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11:55 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?
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
CNN:   Bush cites character in endorsing McCain
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.
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
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
Obama's Campaign Finance Pledge
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 …
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.
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.
Discussion: The Newshoggers
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
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
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 …
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
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
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 More Items: 
Daniel Martin / Daily Mail:
A&E patients left in ambulances for up to FIVE hours 'so trusts …
Kevin McCallum / Santa Rosa Press-Democrat:
A boom in bankruptcies  —  With worsening mortgage crisis …
Discussion: If I Ran the Zoo
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Whatever Happened To The Politics Of Contrast?
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
CBS News:
Afghans Hit By 2nd Deadly Suicide Blast
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
Los Angeles Times:
Political surge in Iraq
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Michael J. Totten:
The Dungeon of Fallujah
Discussion: Silent Running
 Earlier Items: 
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
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