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1:50 PM ET, March 14, 2008


 Top Items: 
Ronald Kessler / Wall Street Journal:
Obama and the Minister  —  In a sermon delivered at Howard University, Barack Obama's longtime minister, friend and adviser blamed America for starting the AIDS virus, training professional killers, importing drugs and creating a racist society that would never elect a black candidate president.
David Brown /
Obama addresses Pa.'s importance, pastor's remarks  —  TRIBUNE-REVIEW  —  The following are excerpts of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's telephone interview Thursday with Tribune-Review reporter David.  M. Brown.  —  Q: Gov. (Ed) Rendell and (Philadelphia) Mayor (Michael) …
Tim Graham /
Study: Broadcast Networks Fell Down on Covering Jeremiah Wright  —  As Jeremiah Wright's screaming sermons have gone from ABC across the media in the last 24 hours, many are asking: where were the networks on this story?  It sounds like Obama's minister is less versed in the audacity of hope than in the audacity of hate.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama camp: ‘Deplores divisive statements’
Janny Scott / New York Times:
A Free-Spirited Wanderer Who Set Obama's Path  —  In the capsule version of the Barack Obama story, his mother is simply the white woman from Kansas.  The phrase comes coupled alliteratively to its counterpart, the black father from Kenya.  On the campaign trail, he has called her his “single mom.”
Mona Charen / The Corner:
Obama's True Beliefs  —  Derb: I am coming to believe that Barack Obama is one of the greatest con artists we've seen.  His entire campaign has been about “coming together,” a post-racial consensus, etc.  Any mention of his middle name was immediately condemned as ignorant fear-mongering.
Discussion: Salon, Dr. Sanity and Balloon Juice
Cameron W. Barr / Washington Post:
Petraeus: Iraqi Leaders Not Making ‘Sufficient Progress’  —  Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday.
Edmund S. Phelps / Wall Street Journal:
Our Uncertain Economy  —  In recent times, most economists have pretended that the economy is essentially predictable and understandable.  Economic decision- and policy-making in the private and public sectors, the thinking goes, can be reduced to a science.
Discussion: Economist's View
Steve Holland / Reuters:
McCain says al Qaeda might try to tip U.S. election  —  SPRINGFIELD, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Friday he fears that al Qaeda or another extremist group might attempt spectacular attacks in Iraq to try to tilt the U.S. election against him.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Saddam supported at least two al-Qaeda groups: Pentagon Update: What it means  —  Earlier this week, the Pentagon announced that an investigation into over 600,000 documents captured at the end of the invasion of Iraq showed no operational links to al-Qaeda — or at least, that's how the media reported it.
Andy McCarthy / The Corner:
CONNECTED: Iraq and al Qaeda
New York Post:
OMG!  I JUST DID THE GOVERNOR!  —  SPITZ HOOKER'S DC DISCOVERY  —  The high-priced hooker at the center of Gov. Spitzer's sex scandal trysted with him several times before he was caught on a wiretap - but it was only during their last encounter that she realized the real identity of her john, sources said yesterday.
Obama Cuts Into Clinton's Delegate Lead Among Elected Officials  —  Barack Obama has pulled almost even with Hillary Clinton in endorsements from top elected officials and has cut into her lead among the other superdelegates she's relying on to win the Democratic presidential nomination.
Discussion: TPMCafe and The Page
Landon Thomas Jr / New York Times:
JPMorgan and Fed Move to Bail Out Bear Stearns  —  Bear Stearns, facing a grave liquidity crisis, reached out to JPMorgan on Friday for a short-term financial lifeline and now faces the prospect of the end of its 85-year run as an independent investment bank.
Bear Stearns gets Fed funding, shares plummet
Discussion: The Newshoggers
Daniel W. Reilly / The Crypt's Blogs:
Rare closed session changes few minds on FISA  —  A rare closed session of the House to discuss electronic surveillance legislation failed to change many minds Thursday night, as many lawmakers emerged from the closed-door meeting entrenched in their positions on the controversial measure.
Discussion: The Swamp
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
The Secret Is Out: There Was No Big Secret  —  Psst.  Congress has a secret.
Discussion: The Gavel and TPMMuckraker
Jay Rosen / PressThink:
Getting the Politics of the Press Right: Walter Pincus Rips into Newsroom Neutrality  —  “The important thing is to show integrity— not to be a neuter, politically.  Having good facts that hold up is a bigger advantage than claiming to reflect all sides equally well.”
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Charlie Savage / Boston Globe:
President weakens espionage oversight  —  Board created by Ford loses most of its power  —  President Ford with Vice President Dick Cheney (left), then Ford's chief of staff, and Jim Baker.  Cheney said in 2005 that postWatergate reforms went too far.  (New york times/file 1976)
New York Times:
Obama Lists His Earmarks, Asking Clinton for Hers  —  Senator Barack Obama on Thursday released a list of $740 million in earmarked spending requests that he had made over the last three years, and his campaign challenged Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to do the same.
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Obama works to convert in Pennsylvania  —  FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. — Nearly a month before voters go to the polls, Sen. Barack Obama will get an early clue about his chances against Pennsylvania's prohibitive favorite, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.  —  In the days after the March 24 voter registration deadline …
Richard Ford / Times of London:
Schools fear that forced marriages poster campaign will upset parents  —  Schools in areas feared to have high rates of forced marriage are refusing to display posters on the issue because they are too hard-hitting, according to a government report.  —  Headteachers are unwilling to put …
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 More Items: 
Mark Glaser / MediaShift:
Digging Deeper::  Semi-Pro Journalism Teams Give Alternative View of U.S. Elections
Fox News:
Weather Channel Founder: Sue Al Gore for Fraud
Todd Spangler / Detroit Free Press:
Legislators plan talks with Clinton, Obama campaigns today
Discussion: Washington Wire
US Faces Severe Recession, Feldstein Says
Discussion: Sadly, No!
New York Sun:
$1,000 Gold
Stephen Moore / Wall Street Journal:
The Bare Necessities: A Generation Tries to Imagine Life Without iPods
Al Kamen / Washington Post:
Politicians Spanked by Virgin
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Obama's Michigan Co-Chair Suggests Agreement On Redo Of Primary Is Likely
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Damage Done  —  A reader writes: … One small moment …
Discussion: marbury
Matthew Yglesias:
The Romance of Empire  —  George W. Bush laments that his advanced age …
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / The Lede:
Bush's Surprise Serenade Hits YouTube
Discussion: The Newshoggers
Yeas & Nays:
Ventura: Will he or won't he?  —  To hear Jesse Ventura tell it …
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Sen. Ensign paints a grim picture for GOP in November
Eric Adams / Popular Science:
How It Works: The Airborne Laser Cannon
Discussion: Centerfield
Richard Garner / The Independent:
Iraq: teachers told to rewrite history
Susan Milligan / Boston Globe:
Clinton role in health program disputed
Discussion: Hot Air, Don Surber and Spin Cycle