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2:40 PM ET, February 18, 2008


 Top Items: 
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
An Obama Refrain Bears Echoes of a Governor's Speeches  —  CHICAGO — Senator Barack Obama adapted one of his signature arguments — that his oratory amounts to more than inspiring words — from speeches given by Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts during his 2006 campaign.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Clinton aide accuses Obama of plagiarism  —  Howard Wolfson, the Clinton campaign's communications director, today accused Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) of committing “plagiarism” in a speech in Milwaukee on Saturday night.  —  Wolfson made the explosive charge in an interview with Politico …
Big Head DC:
Obama Caught Plagiarizing 2006 Speech?  —  Big Head DC has discovered alarming similarities between a speech made by Sen. Barack Obama on February 16 while campaigning for president in Wisconsin and an October 2006 speech made by Deval Patrick, the current Democratic governor of Massachusetts.
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Is This Really Plagiarism?  No  —  The New York Times makes a big deal about some similarities between elements in Barack Obama's speech and similar constructs in speeches given earlier by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in 2006.  While the wording appears too close for coincidence …
Discussion: Stop The ACLU and The Ruckus
Timothy J. Burger / Bloomberg:
Obama Bought His Home With No Rezko ‘Discount,’ Seller Affirms  —  Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) — The couple who sold Barack Obama his Chicago home said the Illinois senator's $1.65 million bid “was the best offer” and they didn't cut their asking price because a campaign donor bought their adjacent land …
Discussion: MSNBC
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
IT'S ALL ABOUT AUTHENTICITY  —  By now, you've probably heard of the new attack line from the Hillary campaign, accusing Obama of plagiarism because an ad-libbed portion of his stump speech mimicked the language and rhythm of a two-year-old speech by his friend and supporter, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Discussion: Political Punch and The Politico
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:   Clinton And Obama Campaigns Accuse Each Other Of “Borrowing” Rhetoric
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
Hillary Campaign: Obama Plagiarized Speech From Supporter
Discussion: Spin Cycle, The Caucus and Hot Air
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:   Obama says borrowed lines not a big deal
Jeff Fecke / Shakespeare's Sister:   Is Barack Obama a Plagiarist? (No.)
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:   Obama ‘Steals’ from King and Jefferson
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama's rhetoric getting some friendly help?
Cernig / The Newshoggers:
Obama, “Plagiarism” and YouTube Attack Ads (Updated)
Frank James / The Swamp:
Did Obama plagiarize? Clinton team says yes
Discussion: Political Radar
Krooney / The Page:
Clinton Campaign Calls Obama a Promise-Breaking Rhetoric Lifter
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Matthew Mosk / Washington Post:
System Worries Clinton Backers  —  Supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton are worried that convoluted delegate rules in Texas could water down the impact of strong support for her among Hispanic voters there, creating a new obstacle for her in the must-win presidential primary contest.
Hilzoy / The Daily Dish:
Competence  —  From the Washington Post (emphasis added, and stolen from publius): … When I read this, I dissolved in giggles after the first sentence.  It was that part about the Texas delegate selection rules “creating a new obstacle for her” that got me.  In what sense are the Texas rules a “new obstacle?”
Publius / Obsidian Wings:
They're Not a Machine  —  This article should put to rest …
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Clinton's Ties To Texas Run Long and Deep
Greg Jefferson /
Clinton laid groundwork in this area decades ago
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
How Evangelical Leaders Blew It  —  Dan Gilgoff does a post-mortem on how the evangelical movement managed to allow John McCain to win the Republican Party nomination over two candidates more amenable to their cause.  Gilgoff focuses on their failure to back Romney, and makes it plain …
Daniel Gilgoff / USA Today:
Why the Religious Right is stuck with McCain
Discussion: Ross Douthat and Hot Air
William Kristol / New York Times:
Democrats Should Read Kipling  —  Browsing through a used-book store Friday — in the Milwaukee airport, of all places — I came across a 1981 paperback collection of George Orwell's essays.  That's how I happened to reread his 1942 essay on Rudyard Kipling.
New York Times:
Kosovo Is Recognized by U.S., France and Britain  —  BRUSSELS — The United States formally joined France and Britain in recognizing the independence of Kosovo on Monday, a day after the breakaway province declared itself independent of Serbia.  —  In a statement, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice …
Andrew Malcolm / Los Angeles Times:
Nearly-naked hotties for Ron Paul!  Really!  —  You better hurry because the last batch of Ron Paul pin-up calendars is going quickly.  Which pleases Juliet Annerino no end because she sank a sizable chunk of her own change into printing up hundreds of these calendars to help fund the campaign of her favorite politician.
Robert D. Novak / Washington Post:
Why Torts Trumped Terrorism  —  A closed-door caucus of House Democrats last Wednesday took a risky political course.  By 4 to 1, they instructed Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call President Bush's bluff on extending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to continue eavesdropping on suspected foreign terrorists.
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
PPP Poll: Obama With Comfortable WI Lead  —  According to PPP, Obama will capture a comfortable win in Wisconsin tomorrow: … What is interesting about this poll, and PPP's track record is not the greatest, is that it has Obama leading among women and all white voters.
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 More Items: 
Little Green Footballs:
Hizballah = Nazis
Brian Stelter / New York Times:
First on the Scene, Again, Is the College Newspaper
Katharine Q. Seelye / New York Times:
Huckabee Takes a Break and Heads to the Islands
Logan Murphy / Crooks and Liars:
Bush Struggles For Relevancy As Obama Follows Him To Africa
Discussion: CNN and The Ruckus
Susan Carroll / Immigration Chronicles:
Role play an immigrant's life in video game
Daily Mail:
Life for Muslim fanatic in soldier kidnap plot who showed son …
You Decide 08!:
Ben Smith / The Politico:
More Obama and Patrick  —  Mike Allen has more on a pretty …
Discussion: The New Republic
 Earlier Items: 
David Denby / New Yorker:
KILLING JOKE  —  The Coen brothers' twists and turns.
Discussion: The New Republic
Matthew Yglesias:
Kristof's Crystal Ball
Daniel Martin / Daily Mail:
A&E patients left in ambulances for up to FIVE hours 'so trusts …
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
It's All Uphill From Here  —  It was 15 degrees outside …
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Obama's Corner On Public Financing
Michael J. Totten:
The Dungeon of Fallujah
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
McCain Facing Delicate Choice: A Role for Bush