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11:40 PM ET, February 21, 2008


 Top Items: 
Gabriel Sherman / The New Republic:
The Long Run-Up  —  Behind the Bombshell in ‘The New York Times.’  —  RELATED CONTENT  —  'Charlie's Horse,' by S.V. Date (2/6/08)  —  Last night, around dinnertime, The New York Times posted on its website a 3,000-word investigation detailing Senator John McCain's connections to a telecommunications lobbyist named Vicki Iseman.
Transcript: Howard Dean On John McCain And The Republican ‘Culture Of Corruption’  —  Q: I want to welcome Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.  Welcome, Chairman Dean. … Q: So there is big news about John McCain — the story that is in the New York Times …
THE ‘NEW YORK TIMES’ AND THE JOHN MCCAIN SEX SCANDAL STORY  —  The New York Times began reporting its story about John McCain's relationship with Vicki Iseman after two sources told its reporters that McCain had had an affair with the lobbyist for many months, and that McCain's wife had become aware of the relationship.
The Politico:
Rush, right rally to McCain
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
John Weaver Speaks
The Politico:
McCain raising money off NYT story
Discussion: Think Progress
Washington Post:
Democrats Deadlocked In Texas Poll  —  AUSTIN, Feb. 21 — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, facing a pair of big Democratic primary tests on March 4 that could determine the fate of her presidential candidacy, is deadlocked with Sen. Barack Obama here in Texas and holds a slender lead over him in Ohio …
Gary Langer / ABCNEWS:
POLL: Clinton Up in Ohio, Dead Heat in Texas  —  Obama Leads in Electability in Primaries Critical to Democratic Race  —  Trailing in perceived electability, Hillary Clinton is running in a dead heat with Barack Obama in the Texas Democratic primary and holds a single-digit lead in Ohio …
Clinton, Obama throw few punches  —  AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) — Sen. Barack Obama said while he and Sen. Hillary Clinton share a lot of policy positions, “there's a fundamental difference between us in terms of how change comes about.”  —  The Democratic presidential candidates are facing off …
Discussion: The Nation and Gateway Pundit
The CNN Democratic presidential debate in Texas  —  This is the transcript of the debate between Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on February 21, 2008 at the University of Texas in Austin.  —  CNN's CAMPBELL BROWN: And the candidates have taken their seats.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:   LONE STAR DEBATE BLOGGIN'
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Liveblogging: The Democratic debate
Discussion: Rolling Stone
Jack Douglas Jr / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Police concerned about order to stop screening  —  DALLAS — Security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.
Marc Ambinder:
First Take: The Debate Belongs To Obama, But The Best (And) Last Moment Belongs To Hillary  —  Talk about a final answer. … Almost wistful ... acknowledging reality... but forcefully asserting her humanity ... extremely, seemingly, genuine.  —  And at the right time... at the end …
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
An Actual Debate!  —  Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.  —  Just when it looked like the debate between Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton would go quietly, the issue of plagiarism brought the two candidates out of their slumber.
Discussion: Flopping Aces and I Am TRex
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
The Xerox Candidate  —  I'm not watching the Democratic debate …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
An echo from Hillary  —  Several readers, and Obama's staff, heard an echo in Clinton's closing line, that the candidates on stage would be “fine.”  —  Clinton Tonight: ? … Edwards the December 13 debate: … Some borrowing is fairly normal.  What's been striking about the two Obama moments is that they were almost verbatim.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:   THAT LINE  —  I mentioned at the end of my debate blog …
Gallup Daily: Tracking Election 2008  —  Based on polling conducted Feb. 18-20, 2008  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are now tied in national Democratic presidential preferences, based on Feb. 18-20 Gallup Poll Daily tracking.  —  The latest three-day average finds Clinton favored …
Joshua Molina / CNN:
Utah students hide guns, head to class  —  CNNU campus correspondent Joshua Molina is a senior at Brigham Young University.  CNNU is a feature that provides student perspectives on news and trends from colleges across the United States.  The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of CNN …
Discussion: MoJoBlog
Margery Eagan / Boston Herald:
When backing Barack feels like joining a cult  —  I'm an Obama girl and my man throttled Hillary Clinton, again, Tuesday night.  —  Suddenly, the impossible is real.  —  Suddenly, I'm nervous.  Very nervous, actually.  —  I'm nervous because an otherwise normal grownup told …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Obama lawyer warns of “reckoning” for Clinton 527 donors and staff  —  Obama lawyer Bob Bauer reiterated the charges made in a memo yesterday (after the jump) that the new pro-Clinton 527, the American Leadership, is breaking the law and warned that donors and aides to the group …
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 More Items: 
Stephen Green / Vodkapundit:
Debate Drunkblogging — LIVE!
Discussion: Althouse
Megan McArdle:
Liveblogging the debate  —  8:08 Hillary is looking chipper and trim …
Associated Press:
Ex-GOP official acquitted in phone-jam case
Watts Up With That?:
NOAA: Hurricane frequency and global warming NOT the cause of increased destruction
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
GOP politics in a nutshell
David Freddoso / The Corner:
Shadegg Changes His Mind
Deacon / Power Line:
Discussion: Bluey Blog
The Campaign Spot:
Michelle Obama: ‘Every Woman That I Know... Is Struggling to Keep Her Head Above Water.’
 Earlier Items: 
John Derbyshire / The Corner:
Obama, Dem Disaster?
Discussion: alicublog and Sadly, No!
Noel Sheppard /
Inconvenient Fact: Times Sex Scandal Writer's Left-wing Connection
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Consultant spending saps Clinton campaign
Christy Hardin Smith / Firedoglake:
McCain's Cronies: Rick Davis, Uber-Lobbyist, At The Helm
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Huckabee's wife takes a breather at a Vegas fight, rests at Hooters
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
FOX News Poll: Obama Has Slim Edge Over McCain, Half Would Never Vote for Clinton
Slobodan Lekic / Associated Press:
Belgrade's US Embassy set on fire
Marc Ambinder:
“Associates” = “Lobbyists”?  —  Here is the most explosive graph from the Times story: