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1:55 AM ET, February 21, 2008


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk  —  WASHINGTON — Early in Senator John McCain's first run for the White House eight years ago, waves of anxiety swept through his small circle of advisers.  —  A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, in his offices and aboard a client's corporate jet.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
THE MCCAIN STORY  —  This afternoon, before the Times story came out, I was working on a post about national political reporters' tendency not to give much of any scrutiny to various McCain flipflops, contradictions and bamboozlements.  Obviously, the terrain has changed a bit since …
Discussion: The New Republic, Eschaton and The RBC
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
Bonus TNR Angle on the McCain Story  —  The McCain campaign is apparently blaming TNR for forcing the Times' hand on this story.  We can't yet confirm that.  But we can say this: TNR correspondent Gabe Sherman is working on a piece about the Times' foot-dragging on the McCain story …
Discussion: protein wisdom
Rich Lowry / The Corner:
First-Blush Reaction  —  The Times doesn't have the goods—at least from what's in the story—and shouldn't have run it.  Let's be honest: this story is all about the alleged affair, and all the Keating Five and campaign finance reform re-hash is window dressing.  A key passage:
Discussion: The New Republic
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
NYT: McCain may have behaved unethically and cheated on his wife, but we're not sure; Update: Pressured by the New Republic?  Update: McCain responds; Update: Carl Cameron video added; Update: TNR confirms?  Update: WaPo piles on  —  A sex scandal that may not be a scandal tucked inside …
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
McCain Bombshell  —  About two-thirds of one anyway.  See here.  —  Some key passages: … The story reads to me like it had originally been much more ambitious, but had its guts ripped out somewhere along the way.  The obvious question is whether those guts will ever trickle out now that this story has surfaced.
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:
McCain Slams NY Times Article Linking Him to Female Lobbyist  —  Bump and Update: McCain releases a statement condemning the New York Times article.  Olbermann read it really fast but I didn't hear any denial of the allegations pertaining to the female lobbyist.  —  Update: Salon has more.
Logan Murphy / Crooks and Liars:   Countdown: McCain In Bed With Lobbyist.  No, Really In Bed With Lobbyist
Discussion: Daily Kos
Will / Attytood:
McCain's lobbyist friend: “A View from the Top”
Discussion: Wonkette
Ana Marie Cox / TIME: Swampland:
McCain Senior Adviser Responds to Times Story
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Sara Just / Political Radar:
McCain Campaign Responds Angrily to Report Questioning Ethics
Discussion: Pam's House Blend and Commentary
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
NYT prints allegation of McCain relationship
Discussion: protein wisdom and Macsmind
Mary Katharine Ham / TownHall Blog:   What's the Quickest Way to Rally Conservatives 'Round McCain?
Texas Senator Kirk Watson:
MSNBC and Me  —  On Tuesday night, after an important and historic victory in the Wisconsin Presidential Primary by Senator Barack Obama, I appeared on the MSNBC post-election program.  “Hardball” host Chris Matthews (who is, it turns out, as ferocious as they say), began grilling me on Senator Obama's legislative record.
Hilzoy / The Daily Dish:
Dear Chris Matthews: Please Do Your Job  —  Last night, Texas State Senator Kirk Watson, an Obama supporter, was embarrassed on national TV when he couldn't name any of Obama's legislative achievements.  (He wrote what I think is a pretty decent and disarming account of it here.)
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:   VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED
Media Matters for America:
O'Reilly: “I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels"  —  During the February 19 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Bill O'Reilly took a call from a listener who said of Michelle Obama …
Michelle Obama clarifies: I've always loved my country  —  (CNN) - Michelle Obama said Wednesday she has always loved America, seeking to quell the firestorm over her comment earlier in the week that seemed to suggest she is only now proud to be an American.
Jill Miller Zimon / The Moderate Voice:   Joe was right: the talking heads are out of control
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Clinton's Blueprint  —  A trio of senior advisers to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (N.Y.) presidential campaign held a conference call this afternoon to lay out what they believe is a blueprint that — over the next two weeks — will restore the race for the nomination to rough parity between …
Discussion: Power Line and Wonkette
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama camp slams Clinton ‘lunacy’
Discussion: Power Line
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
The Establishment Reaction To Obama
Discussion: Associated Press
Bill Clinton: Texas Could Be Hillary's Last Stand
Discussion: Political Radar and TalkLeft
Robert Burns / Associated Press:
Navy Missile Hits Spy Satellite  —  WASHINGTON (AP) - A missile launched from a Navy ship successfully struck a dying U.S. spy satellite passing 130 miles over the Pacific on Wednesday, a defense official said.  Full details were not immediately available.  —  It happened just after 10:30 p.m. EST.
Discussion: Redstate
Military sources: Dying spy satellite hit by missile
Discussion: AngryBlackBitch and The Foundry
Sarah Lyall / New York Times:
Use of Private Care Tests British Health System  —  LONDON — Created 60 years ago as a cornerstone of the British welfare state, the National Health Service is devoted to the principle of free medical care for everyone.  But recently it has been wrestling with a problem its founders never anticipated …
Spiegel Online:
Danish Caricaturist of Muhammad Fame Now Homeless  —  Two years ago Kurt Westergaard was in his Copenhagen home drawing pictures.  One of them was of the Muslim prophet, Muhammad.  Now Westergaard is homeless.  —  Draw a picture offensive to Muslim extremists, and you might find yourself without a roof.
Thomas W. /
TIA Passenger Had Box Cutter In Hollowed-Out Book  —  A security officer at Tampa International Airport found a box cutter hidden in a hollowed-out book on Sunday.  —  TAMPA — A 21-year-old Clearwater man was arrested at Tampa International Airport this weekend after security personnel found …
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 More Items: 
Thomas / Blue Indiana:
Why I'm not scared of John McCain (or his supporters)
Discussion: D-Day
Martin Feldstein / Wall Street Journal:
Our Economic Dilemma  —  Although it is too soon to tell whether …
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Defense Contractor Sentenced to 12 Years for Bribery
Jesse McKinley / New York Times:
Web Legal Scholar Considers Run for House
Columbia Spectator:
TC Prof Sanctioned for Fraud
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Attacking Obama  —  I am tapping out my link-free cocktail …
Discussion: Sadly, No!
SilentPatriot / Crooks and Liars:
CNN: al Qaeda congratulates Obama on WI primary victory
 Earlier Items: 
SilentPatriot / Crooks and Liars:
Neil Cavuto on Hillary's “kind of bitchy image”
Nicole Belle / Crooks and Liars:
Bush scores lowest presidential approval rating EVER!
Jerusalem Post:
Ahmadinejad: Israel filthy bacteria
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Holly Ramer / Associated Press:
Candidate Guilty of Faking Disappearance
Discussion: The Corner
Lisa Lerer / The Politico:
Obamamania verges on obsession
The Campaign Spot:
“Barack Will Never Allow You to Go Back to Your Lives as Usual.”