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8:50 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.
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 …
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. … In English:
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 …
Michelle Malkin:
Breaking: Castro to resign; “This is not my farewell to you”  —  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: Fidel Castro has announced he will be resigning.  —  Just a single line so far: “HAVANA (AP) …
Associated Press:
Castro resigns as Cuba's leader  —  Revolutionary icon, not seen in public since '06, ruled for 49 years  —  HAVANA - Ailing leader Fidel Castro resigned as Cuba's president early Tuesday after nearly a half-century in power, saying in a letter published in online official media …
Discussion: Pam's House Blend
Steve Clemons / The Washington Note:
Fidel Castro Not Returning to the Presidency
Discussion: PoliBlog (TM) and Booman Tribune
Bloomberg:   Castro Resigns as President, Cuban Commander-in-Chief
Frances Robles /
Fidel Castro stepping down after nearly 50 years
Discussion: Shakespeare's Sister
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés / The Moderate Voice:
Fidel Castro; The Man in the Green Suit Turns
Discussion: The Ruckus
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 …
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.”
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.
Discussion: protein wisdom and Washington Wire
Kevin Drum / Washington Monthly:   THE OBAMA BUBBLE....Paul Krugman this morning:
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.”
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
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.
Jerusalem Post:
‘Bomb, slaughter Danes due to republication of Muhammad caricatures’  —  Muslims worldwide should bomb Denmark's embassies and kill it diplomats following last week's republication of caricatures of Muslim prophet Muhammad, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees in the Gaza Strip said on Monday.
Discussion: small dead animals
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.
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Adam Liptak / New York Times:
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A ‘Challenge’ Worth Challenging
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Discussion: AirCongress
Michael Goldfarb / Weekly Standard:
NYTimes Reporter Damien Cave Talks Iraq
Discussion: Silent Running
Fareed Zakaria / Newsweek:
The End of Conservatism  —  Conservative slogans sound anachronistic …
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
Discussion: D-Day
 Earlier Items: 
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
Mark Halperin / The Page:
Obama Release on Clinton's Languge
USA Today:
A McCain cabinet could bear shades of Teddy Roosevelt
Kevin Sack / New York Times:
Study Finds Cancer Diagnosis Linked to Insurance
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Does It Smell A Little Like New Hampshire?
Discussion: Daily Kos