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6:35 AM ET, February 19, 2008


 Top Items: 
Castro resigns as president, state-run paper reports  —  HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) — Fidel Castro announced his resignation as president of Cuba and commander-in-chief of Cuba's military on Tuesday, according to a letter published in the state-run newspaper, Granma.
Castro Resigns as President, Cuban Commander-in-Chief  —  Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) — Fidel Castro resigned as president and commander-in-chief of Cuba, after almost 50 years as the country's leader, the official daily Granma said.  —  “I neither will aspire to nor will I accept …
Ziva / Babalu Blog:
Breaking news** fidel castro retires … Read it in Granma, and below the fold, in Spanish, followed by the English version.  —  Right now, at this late hour, my emotions are in turmoil.  —  ueridos compatriotas:  —  Les prometí el pasado viernes 15 de febrero que en la próxima …
Anthony Boadle / Reuters:
Fidel Castro retires  —  HAVANA (Reuters) - Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Tuesday that he will not return to lead the country as president or commander-in-chief, retiring as head of state 49 years after he seized power in an armed revolution.  —  Castro, 81, who has not appeared …
Discussion: Firedoglake
James C. McKinley Jr / New York Times:
Fidel Castro Resigns as Cuba's President  —  MEXICO CITY — Fidel Castro stepped down Tuesday morning as the president of Cuba after a long illness, ending one of the longest tenures as an all-powerful, communist head of state in the world, according to Granma, the official publication of the Cuban Communist Party.
Discussion: Booman Tribune and Gawker
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés / The Moderate Voice:
Fidel Castro; The Man in the Green Suit Turns
Discussion: The Ruckus
Steve Clemons / The Washington Note:   Fidel Castro Not Returning to the Presidency
Michelle Malkin:
Breaking: Castro to resign; “This is not my farewell to you”
Discussion: Babalu Blog
Sasha Issenberg / Boston Globe:
Pride in the name of self-love  —  MILWAUKEE — So what did Michelle Obama think of the United States before her husband decided he wanted to run the place?  —  “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country,” she told a Milwaukee crowd today, “because it feels like hope is making a comeback.”
John Podhoretz / Commentary:
She Said What?  —  Michelle Obama today said that “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country.  And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.  I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction.”
Mark Daniels / The Moderate Voice:
Desperate  —  Do you want to know how desperate the Clinton campaign is to stop the gathering momentum of the Obama campaign on the eve of primaries in Wisconsin and Hawaii?  —  Consider the accusations being leveled by the Clinton camp that the Illinois senator is guilty of plagiarizing words …
Discussion: BBC NEWS
James Fallows:
On plagiarism  —  The “plagiarism” flap over Barack Obama is bogus and overstated.
Discussion: The Ruckus
Justin Webb / BBC NEWS:
Al-Qaeda's choice  —  Bedd Gelert and Vagueofgodalming may well be right about Rees Mogg.  —  My own concern about his piece is this.  He writes: “There are, of course, hypothetical events that could change everything.  There could be an attack on Mr Obama himself, but he is protected by the Secret Service.
Discussion: USS Neverdock
Andrew Fell / Weasel Zippers:   BBC: Al-Qaeda Would Back McCain......
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
Texas poll shows dead heat among Dems  —  CNN deputy political director  —  (CNN) — It's all tied up in Texas.  —  A new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll suggests the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination between Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois …
USA Today:
A McCain cabinet could bear shades of Teddy Roosevelt  —  PHOENIX — Democrats already are regularly attacking John McCain for offering what they characterize as a third George W. Bush term.  —  But a new Theodore Roosevelt presidency might be closer to the mark.
Robin Koerner / The Moderate Voice:
Obama is Not a Lightweight  —  A number of articles around the world have suggested that Obama's charisma and ability to inspire come at the expense of specific policy proposals; Clinton, indeed, has been using this “fact” to draw a favorable contrast with her opponent.
Mark Daniels / The Moderate Voice:
You Can't Blame Clinton Campaign for This  —  According to NPR, this bit of kitsch wasn't created by the Clinton campaign, but by an overzealous supporter with too much money and too much time.  —  But, really, is it any worse than this production from an Obama fan?  —  Can we make hokie videos with our laptops?
Mark Halperin / The Page:
Obama Release on Clinton's Languge  —  Here are a couple of places Clinton freely borrowed rhetoric from Obama...  Clinton Stole The Phrase “Fired Up And Ready To Go” From Obama.  “We are fired up and we are ready to go because we know America is ready for change and the process starts right here in Iowa.”
Discussion: Political Machine and Spin Cycle
Marc Kaufman / Washington Post:
FDA Says It Approved The Wrong Drug Plant  —  The Chinese facility that supplies the active ingredient of the widely used blood thinner heparin was never inspected by the Food and Drug Administration because the agency confused its name with another just like it, agency officials said yesterday.
Discussion: D-Day
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 More Items: 
Fareed Zakaria / Newsweek:
The End of Conservatism  —  Conservative slogans sound anachronistic …
David Brooks / New York Times:
When the Magic Fades  —  At first it seemed like a few random cases …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Why I'm voting for Obama in the Wisconsin primary.
Yaakov Katz / Jerusalem Post:
Israel concerned over impending UNIFIL breakdown in Lebanon
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Trish / Pensito Review:
Total Drag: Bush Judge Appointee Resigns After DUI Arrest While Cross Dressing
Michael Park / Fox News:
Journalist Who Exposes U.N. Corruption Disappears From Google
Jules Crittenden:
Frontline's Haditha: “Rules of Engagement”
Discussion: SWJ Blog and Flopping Aces
Kevin Sack / New York Times:
Study Finds Cancer Diagnosis Linked to Insurance
 Earlier Items: 
Jonathan Foreman / The Corner:
Pakistan's Election Day  —  The results of the Pakistani …
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Does It Smell A Little Like New Hampshire?
Discussion: Daily Kos
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Is Barack Obama The Quintessential Barack Oboomer?
Discussion: Tom Watson
Nicole Belle / Crooks and Liars:
Why We Do What We Do  —  It never fails that every day …
Discussion: IntoxiNation and Donklephant
Michael Weiss / Pajamas Media:
Rasmussen Reports:
Florida 2008 Presidential Election
Admiral: Al Qaeda in Iraq ‘killing off’ former allies
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Who's calling who a second-class delegate?