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10:45 AM ET, February 18, 2008


 Top Items: 
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.
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
An Obama Refrain Bears Echoes of a Governor's Speeches
Discussion: TownHall Blog, MSNBC and Hot Air
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
Obama and Edwards Meet in NC
Discussion: MyDD and Truthdig
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.
Jeffrey Ressner / The Politico:
RNC donor event outlines Obama attack plan
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
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.
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 …
Discussion: Daimnation!
Daniel Gilgoff / USA Today:
Why the Religious Right is stuck with McCain  —  The lukewarm support for Mitt Romney left a void that evangelical preacher Mike Huckabee was only too happy to fill.  The result: A GOP nominee who strays far from the flock.  —  As co-founder of the blog Evangelicals for Mitt …
Discussion: Ross Douthat
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Obama's Corner On Public Financing  —  Barack Obama has made a historic presidential run this cycle primarily on the basis of changing the political culture in Washington.  His unbelievable success has ironically set a trap for a potential general-election run.
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Reid Wilson / RealClearPolitics:
Obama's No-Win On Financing
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
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.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Tanzania Welcomes Bush, but Obama Is Topic No. 1 on the Streets  —  DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania — President Bush has been smothered with affection here, never more so than on Sunday, when he sat at a wooden desk under a sweltering sun with President Jakaya Kikwete by his side and signed a $698 million grant of foreign aid to Tanzania.
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Whatever Happened To The Politics Of Contrast?  —  As, in the day, one of the proponents of what I term the politics of contrast, it was with great interest that I considered Paul Lukasiak's argument (and the reactions to it) that Super Delegates should consider, among other things …
Ari Kaufman / American Thinker:
America's Three Worst Presidents  —  Presidents Day has taken a deep back seat these days on our holiday calendar to the point that not only do schools go on as scheduled, but so do many state and government offices.  This is not surprising in 2008, and many revel in it.
Discussion: Right Wing Nut House
CBS News:
Afghans Hit By 2nd Deadly Suicide Blast  —  At Least 35 Killed As Relatives Bury Victims Of Sunday Blast That Left 100 Dead  —  (CBS/AP) As relatives and friends buried the victims Monday of the deadliest blast to hit Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S. invasion, another suicide bomber killed 35 civilians …
Associated Press:   Car bomb kills 35 Afghan civilians
Los Angeles Times:
Political surge in Iraq  —  For the first time, there's a glimmer of hope we can fix what we've broken.  But leave we must  —  It has taken nine bloody and difficult months, but the deployment of 30,000 additional U.S. troops appears at last to have brought not just a lull in the sectarian fighting …
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
CNN LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER  —  Interview With Bobby Jindal  —  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.  THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.  —  WOLF BLITZER, HOST: It's 11 a.m. in Washington, 10 a.m. here New Orleans, 7 p.m. in Baghdad.
Discussion: Firedoglake, NO QUARTER and First Draft
David Brown / Washington Post:
USDA Orders Largest Meat Recall in U.S. History  —  The Agriculture Department has ordered the largest meat recall in its history — 143 million pounds of beef, a California meatpacker's entire production for the past two years — because the company did not prevent ailing animals from entering …
Discussion: Norwegianity and American Street
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
It's All Uphill From Here  —  It was 15 degrees outside on a wind-whipped Pennsylvania Avenue as Hillary Clinton, smile firmly fixed in place, made an early-morning stop for a primary she didn't have a prayer of winning.  —  Inside the high-ceilinged office of the National Council of Negro Women …
Discussion: Commentary and Romenesko
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 More Items: 
Byron York / The Corner:
Where's the Outrage?  —  I'm sure you've noticed stories …
Discussion: Betsy's Page and MyDD
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Clinton's Ties To Texas Run Long and Deep
David Barboza / New York Times:
Smugglers Return iPhones to China
Richard Wolffe / Newsweek:
Barack's Rock  —  She's the one who keeps him real …
Discussion: The Caucus
Michael J. Totten:
The Dungeon of Fallujah
Discussion: Silent Running
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Poverty Is Poison  —  “Poverty in early childhood poisons the brain.”
Discussion: Suburban Guerrilla
Greg Miller / Los Angeles Times:
CIA's ambitious post-9/11 spy plan crumbles
Wall Street Journal:
Northern Rock Takeover Marks Risky Bet for U.K.
Discussion: European Tribune
 Earlier Items: 
Jeff Jacoby / Boston Globe:
What would JFK do?  —  IN 1963, John F. Kennedy was murdered …
Jim Hoagland / Washington Post:
Candidates on Message  —  MUNICH — Karl Wendl, an Austrian journalist …
William Yardley / New York Times:
In Washington State Vote, Relevance Is an Issue
Michael Silverstein / The Moderate Voice:
Poetic Political Commetary: Election (Under) Coverage
Discussion: The Ruckus
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
McCain Facing Delicate Choice: A Role for Bush
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Kurtz does Tweety
Discussion: AMERICAblog, CNN and The Ruckus
Steve Gutterman / Associated Press:
Russia denounces Kosovo declaration
Mark Murray / MSNBC: