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11:40 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  —  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.
Discussion: The Swamp, TownHall Blog, MSNBC and Hot Air
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama's rhetoric getting some friendly help?
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Spin Cycle
Zzaki / Political Punch:
Obama Echoes Deval Patrick...Again
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and NO QUARTER
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: Balloon Juice and 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 and Hot Air
Bush cites character in endorsing McCain
Discussion: Political Machine
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?”
Greg Jefferson /
Clinton laid groundwork in this area decades ago
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.
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
Obama's Campaign Finance Pledge  —  Reid Wilson has more background on Barack Obama's pledge to accept public financing: … So, essentially, Obama made a promise that he thought would be cost-free and is now held to it. … My guess is the latter.  While I'm not entirely persuaded …
Reid Wilson / RealClearPolitics:   Obama's No-Win On Financing
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Obama's Corner On Public Financing
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
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
Andrew Martin / New York Times:
Largest Recall of Ground Beef Is Ordered
Discussion: The Huffington Post and CNN
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.
Byron York / The Corner:
Where's the Outrage?  —  I'm sure you've noticed stories like this one, in which some areas in New York City appear to have grossly undercounted votes for Barack Obama on Super Tuesday primary night.  The New York Times reported finding 80 election districts in the city, some in Harlem …
Discussion: Betsy's Page and MyDD
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
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.
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 …
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 and First Draft
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
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 …
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
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
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 More Items: 
Kevin McCallum / Santa Rosa Press-Democrat:
A boom in bankruptcies  —  With worsening mortgage crisis …
Discussion: If I Ran the Zoo
Timothy J. Burger / Bloomberg:
Obama Bought His Home With No Rezko ‘Discount,’ Seller Affirms
Discussion: MSNBC
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
Clinton's Ties To Texas Run Long and Deep
Discussion: The Caucus and PrairiePundit
David Barboza / New York Times:
Smugglers Return iPhones to China
Discussion: BloggingStocks
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
 Earlier Items: 
Jeff Jacoby / Boston Globe:
What would JFK do?  —  IN 1963, John F. Kennedy was murdered …
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
Obama and Edwards Meet in NC
William Yardley / New York Times:
In Washington State Vote, Relevance Is an Issue
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
McCain Facing Delicate Choice: A Role for Bush
Jeffrey Ressner / The Politico:
RNC donor event outlines Obama attack plan