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5:25 PM ET, February 20, 2008


 Top Items: 
Nitya / Political Punch:
Clinton Campaign Sets Up Website to Push to Change the Rules  —  This morning brings the news that the campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, has launched a new website where they are announcing how they are officially preparing to make the case that the rules of the Democratic nomination process should be changed.
Marc Ambinder:
Pro-Clinton 527 Prepares For Ohio, PA and Texas  —  Allies of Hillary Clinton plan an expensive, stealth campaign to buttress her standing in the must-win states of Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania.  —  They're canvassing Clinton donors for pledges of up to $100,000 in the hope of raising at least $10M by the end of next week.
Jennifer Parker / Political Punch:
New Pro-Clinton 527 to Ding Obama in Ohio  —  ABC News has learned that a group of Democratic politicos have set up a new independent 527 organization called the American Leadership Project (ALP) with the express purpose of helping Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, beat Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois …
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Clinton 527 ad hits economic message  —  “If speeches could create jobs, we wouldn't be facing a recession,” the narrator says in the spot, titled “Blueprint,” that takes no more direct shots at Obama, but instead hews closely to Clinton's economic message.  —  The 527 hews to the legal rule …
Discussion: Marc Ambinder and The Page
RJ Eskow / The Huffington Post:
Clinton's New 527 Will Backfire: A Drummer Explains Why.  —  Yesterday the string of defeats continued, and today we learn that Clinton's campaign is launching a “stealth 527.”  You remember those — Swift Boat attacks and all?  It isn't likely to work.  —  Back in my musician days we had a drummer who hardly ever spoke.
Jim Kuhnhenn / Associated Press:
Strategists set up pro-Clinton group
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Matthew Yglesias:
Discussion: The New Republic and The Reaction
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.
The Huffington Post:
Chris Matthews Humiliates State Senator Kirk Watson On MSNBC  —  Texas State Senator Kirk Watson (D-TX) learned a lesson in preparedness Tuesday night when he was humiliated on MSNBC.  Watson was on to talk about his support of Senator Obama alongside Representative Stephanie Tubbs (D-OH), who backs Senator Clinton.
Bryan / Hot Air:
Video: Another Obama supporter can't name anything Obama has actually done
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Alarming News
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Wow: Hillary already touting Matthews's “name one accomplishment” …
Discussion: A Blog For All
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 …
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Bill O'Reilly: “I don't want to go on a lynching party against …
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:   O'Reilly's “Lynching Party” and Michelle Obama
Barack Obama / USA Today:
Opposing view: Both sides must agree  —  I will seek a good faith pact that results in real spending limits.  —  In 2007, shortly after I became a candidate for president, I asked the Federal Election Commission to clear any regulatory obstacles to a publicly funded general election in 2008 with real spending limits.
Byron York / The Corner:
Penn: Hillary Will Mount a Commander-In-Chief Offensive  —  On a conference call, top strategist Mark Penn just told reporters that in the next two weeks Hillary Clinton will go after Barack Obama on the issue of who is better qualified to be commander-in-chief — and Penn suggested that Clinton …
Discussion: The Caucus, Commentary and Hot Air
John Dickerson / Slate:
White Men Jumped
The Campaign Spot:
“Barack Will Never Allow You to Go Back to Your Lives as Usual.”  —  Last night I appeared on Hugh's show, and his producer Duane mentioned a Michelle Obama speech at UCLA.  Captain Ed talked about this a bit, but I hadn't seen anyone transcribe the part of the speech where it gets a little... unnerving.
Associated Press:
Obama Defends Wife on Matter of Pride
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Obama dangerously slow on counterattacks
Discussion: The Corner
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
A CLINTON SURROGATE, A DEM DIVIDE?  —  From NBC's Abby Livingston  —  Oh snap!  Who needs a Rottweiler when you've got surrogates?  —  Tom Buffenbarger president of the machinists' union (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) was the the latest in a string of Clinton junkyard dogs unleashed upon Obama.
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Clinton Calls To Congratulate Obama
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Clinton backer: “Yes we can? Give me a break.”
Discussion: NO QUARTER
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama camp slams Clinton ‘lunacy’  —  Obama campaign manager David Plouffe argued to reporters Wednesday that the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign has virtually no hope of moving ahead in the delegate count after the climactic Texan and Ohio primaries two weeks from now.
Los Angeles Times:
McCain blasts Obama as ‘naive’
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Page
Jesse J. Holland / Associated Press:
Teamsters union to endorse Barack Obama  —  WASHINGTON - Sen. Barack Obama is poised to get the endorsement of the powerful Teamsters, the second major union endorsement for the Democratic front-runner in a week, union officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Marc Ambinder:
Teamsters Plan To Endorse Obama
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and MyDD
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Change To Win Considers Obama Endorsement
Discussion: Ohio Daily Blog
Joe Klein / TIME: Swampland:
McCain: Soft on Al Qaeda?  —  A curious passage from John McCain's victory speech last night: … In time, I'm sure, Barack Obama will explain that any meetings with Iranian leaders will be fully prepped by staff in advance, including advance meetings at the ministerial level...but what about the first part of the quote?
Nicole Belle / Crooks and Liars:
McCain Blasts Obama for Bush's Attacks in Pakistan
Discussion: The New Republic and Spin Cycle
Robert J. Samuelson / Washington Post:
The Obama Delusion  —  It's hard not to be dazzled by Barack Obama.  At the 2004 Democratic convention, he visited with Newsweek reporters and editors, including me.  I came away deeply impressed by his intelligence, his forceful language and his apparent willingness to take positions that seemed to rise above narrow partisanship.
Politicker NJ:
Two N.J. super delegates go to Obama; Norcross backs Obama; key Clinton supporters endorse Obama  —  GEORGE NORCROSS SUPPORTS OBAMA  —  Barack Obama today picked up the support of two super delegates from New Jersey as several major Democratic leaders in South Jersey announced that they would switch …
Discussion: Blue Jersey
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Hillarymandias  —  We continue our coverage of Hillary's Wisconsin Wipeout: … Many thanks to BumperStickerist, who is writing for the ages.
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 More Items: 
Spiegel Online:
Danish Caricaturist of Muhammad Fame Now Homeless
Lisa Lerer / The Politico:
Obamamania verges on obsession
Discussion: Stop The ACLU
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
STRAIGHT TALK.  —  So McCain is now promising “no new taxes.”
Cecilia M. Vega / San Francisco Chronicle:
Mayor's climate aide gets $160,000 a year
Discussion: Megan McArdle
Total Lunar Eclipse: February 20, 2008
Discussion: Gothamist
Atrios / Eschaton:
Mr. 19%  —  Holy crap. … (ht reader g)
Discussion: Firedoglake, Wonkette and Attytood
 Earlier Items: 
Tim Townsend / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Mosque threatened, Muslim group says
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Penn: ‘Hard to imagine...’
Discussion: The New Republic
Ross Tuttle / The Nation:
Rigged Trials at Gitmo
Qassim Abdul-Zahra / Associated Press:
Al-Sadr threatens to end cease-fire
Rick Weiss / Washington Post:
Their Deepest, Darkest Discovery