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10:50 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.
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 one of the most all-powerful communist heads of state in the world, according to Granma, the official publication of the Cuban Communist Party.
Michelle Malkin:
Castro to resign; “This is not my farewell to you;"Update: US to maintain trade embargo  —  Update 10:18am.  State Dept “has indicated” the trade embargo with Cuba will remain in place.  —  Don't ask me why I'm up, but I am.  And the AP has just put out a news alert that many have been awaiting for years …
Carol J. Williams / Los Angeles Times:
Fidel Castro to step down as Cuba's leader  —  Cuban leader Fidel Castro told compatriots early today that he would not accept another term as president, throwing open the Communist-ruled island's leadership for the first time in nearly 50 years.  —  Castro, 81, and ailing …
Manuel Roig-Franzia / Washington Post:
Fidel Castro Stepping Down as Cuba's President  —  Fidel Castro announced early Tuesday morning that he is stepping down as Cuba's president, ending his half-century rule of the island nation.  —  “I am saying that I will neither aspire to nor accept, I repeat, I will neither aspire …
Anita Snow / Associated Press:
Fidel Castro Resigns As Cuba's President
Anthony Boadle / Reuters:
Fidel Castro retires
Roger Simon / The Politico:
Clinton targets pledged delegates  —  Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign intends to go after delegates whom Barack Obama has already won in the caucuses and primaries if she needs them to win the nomination.  —  This strategy was confirmed to me by a high-ranking Clinton official on Monday.
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
The Politico: Hillary Clinton Campaign Targets Obama's PLEDGED Delegates
Discussion: Sister Toldjah
Kevin Drum / Washington Monthly:
THE OBAMA BUBBLE....Paul Krugman this morning: … Right on cue, here's David Brooks tonight: … A “backlash” from a conservative like Brooks is hardly a surprise.  Still, I think Krugman is right: bubbles always burst, and Obama has been riding a major league bubble for months now.
Discussion: NY Daily News and Matthew Yglesias
David Brooks / New York Times:
When the Magic Fades  —  At first it seemed like a few random cases of lassitude among Mary Chapin Carpenter devotees in Berkeley, Cambridge and Chapel Hill.  But then psychotherapists began to realize patients across the country were complaining of the same distress.
Mike Tackett / The Swamp:
Clinton continues war over words  —  MADISON, Wis.—As her campaign plane began rolling on the tarmac last night, Hillary Clinton made it clear she thinks there might be some tarnish to the accusation that rival Barack Obama borrowed some oratorical riffs from his friend, Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.
Discussion: The Politico and The Hill
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Feels Like The First Time  —  Does a hostility about one's own country provide a good basis for a campaign?  John Podhoretz notes the very strange assertion from Michelle Obama as she campaigned for her husband in Wisconsin.  It comes as a piece with her exhortation at UCLA two weeks ago …
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Why I'm voting for Obama in the Wisconsin primary.  —  I said I was going to write this post, so I'd better do it.  As I said, I want to do an archaeology of the archive and trace my response to Barack Obama as I did to John Kerry in an old 2004 post called “How Kerry lost me.”
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Musharraf Wins By Losing, Islamists Just Lose Big  —  The Pakistanis have rejected both Pervez Musharraf and the Islamists in their national and provincial elections yesterday, preliminary results show.  Supporters of slain national leader Benazir Bhutto and returned exile Nawaz Sharif …
Discussion:, Ali Eteraz and Gateway Pundit
Isambard Wilkinson / Telegraph:
Defeated Pervez Musharraf urged to step down
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
It Depends On How One Views Death  —  E.J. Dionne wonders whether John McCain may have his priorities askew in the upcoming election.  By focusing on terrorism as the “transcendent challenge”, McCain may misunderstand the concerns of ordinary Americans in 2008 and make himself irrelevant, Dionne argues:
E. J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
A ‘Challenge’ Worth Challenging
Discussion: THE LIBERAL JOURNAL and The Ruckus
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Shame On The LA Times  —  The Los Angeles Times puts itself in the unusual position of scolding John McCain over his opposition to torture, claiming that he betrayed his principles in voting against the legislation sponsored by Dianne Feinstein in the Senate last week.
Discussion: Los Angeles Times
Washington Post:
Clinton Steps Up Attacks on Obama  —  Plagiarism, Financing Accusations Come on Eve of Wisconsin Primary  —  Aides to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) accused Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) yesterday of plagiarizing portions of a recent speech and continued to question his vows to reform …
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 More Items: 
Paul Caron / TaxProf Blog:
Law Prof Blog Rankings
Discussion: Althouse
Star Bulletin:
D-Day for caucus  —  The importance of tonight's vote is expected …
Yuri Kageyama / Associated Press:
Toshiba Quits HD DVD Business
Associated Press:
Iraqi Deaths Pain Sharon Stone
Wall Street Journal:
Pelosi's Wiretap Offensive
Gallup Daily: Tracking Election 2008
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Impressions of Terrorism, Drawn From Court Files
Jerusalem Post:
‘Bomb, slaughter Danes due to republication of Muhammad caricatures’
Discussion: small dead animals
 Earlier Items: 
Mark Daniels / The Moderate Voice:
You Can't Blame Clinton Campaign for This
Robin Koerner / The Moderate Voice:
Obama is Not a Lightweight  —  A number of articles around …
Marc Kaufman / Washington Post:
FDA Says It Approved The Wrong Drug Plant
Justin Webb / BBC NEWS:
Al-Qaeda's choice  —  Bedd Gelert and Vagueofgodalming may well be right about Rees Mogg.
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
Discussion: Moonbattery
USA Today:
A McCain cabinet could bear shades of Teddy Roosevelt