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7:10 AM ET, March 21, 2008


 Top Items: 
2 fired over Obama passport file breach  —  Third employee at State disciplined over accessing candidate's records  —  Two contract employees of the State Department were fired and a third person was disciplined for accessing passport records of Sen. Barack Obama “without a need to do so …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
NUGGETS  —  A few more details about the Obama passport breach.  According to a new piece out in the Post from Glenn Kessler, the breaches occurred Jan. 9th, Feb. 21st and March 14th.  —  That would be the day after the New Hampshire primary, the day of the Democratic debate in Texas and the day the Wright story really hit.
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Looking at Obama's File Gets Two Fired  —  The State Department said last night that it had fired two contract employees and disciplined a third for accessing Sen. Barack Obama's passport file.  —  Obama's presidential campaign immediately called for a “complete investigation.”
Officials: Someone snooped in Obama passport file  —  (CNN) — On three occasions since January, Sen. Barack Obama's passport file was looked at by three different contract workers, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.  —  The contractors accessed information in the file in an unauthorized way, he said.
Discussion: The RBC
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
State Dept. workers illicitly check Obama's passport [Updated]
Discussion: The Swamp
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Jeremiah Wright was White House guest  —  The recent coverage of Rev. Jeremiah Wright has often cast him as a marginal, almost fringe figure, but Trinity Church is a major Chicago institution, and Wright has long been a prominent pastor on the American scene.
Kate Phillips / The Caucus:
Photograph of Bill Clinton and Rev. Wright Surfaces  —  During one of the most difficult periods in the presidency of Bill Clinton, he addressed a group of clerics at an annual prayer breakfast in September 1998 just as the Starr report outlining his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was about to be published.
Gallup Daily: Clinton Holds Onto Lead Over Obama
Discussion: LiberalOasis and AMERICAblog
Barry Massey / Associated Press:
AP: Gov. Richardson endorsing Obama  —  SANTA FE, N.M. - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, the nation's only Hispanic governor, is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for president, calling him a “once-in-a-lifetime leader” who can unite the nation and restore America's international leadership.
Bill Richardson to endorse Obama
Discussion: Cliff Schecter
Jeralyn / TalkLeft:   Bill Richardson to Endorse Obama
Jonathan Martin / Jonathan Martin's Blogs:
McCain aide circulates Obama/Wright video, is suspended  —  An aide to John McCain was suspended from the campaign today for blasting out an inflammatory video that raises questions about Barack Obama's patriotism.  —  Soren Dayton, who works in McCain's political department …
Patrick Ruffini / TownHall Blog:
Defending Soren Dayton  —  Earlier today, Soren Dayton, a friend and frequent collaborator in the blogosphere, was suspended from the McCain campaign for making a note of this video in his Twitter account.  —  A few notes here.  I use Twitter a lot.  And I'm “looser” on Twitter than I would be on my blog.
Discussion: Oliver Willis
Matt Lewis / TownHall Blog:
McCain Throws Aide Under the Bus for Twittering YouTube Link  —  Today, John McCain suspended an aide — Soren Dayton — for distributing this controversial YouTube video about Barack Obama and Rev. Wright.  As campaigns spokesperson Jill Hazelbaker told Jonathan Martin, Dayton was “reprimanded by campaign leadership.”
Greg Mitchell / Editor and Publisher:
Hagee, in ‘NYT’ This Sunday, Says McCain Sought His Endorsement
Discussion: AMERICAblog and Cliff Schecter
Aaron Klein / WorldNetDaily:
Obama church published Hamas terror manifesto  —  Compares charter calling for murder of Jews to Declaration of Independence  —  JERUSALEM - Sen. Barack Obama's Chicago church reprinted a manifesto by Hamas that defended terrorism as legitimate resistance, refused to recognize the right …
Taylor Marsh / The Huffington Post:
Obama: Grandmother “Typical White Person”  —  Via a WIP radio: … Can you imagine if Hillary Clinton said someone was a “typical black person?”  —  Seriously, Barack Obama basically called all white people racist.  You know, because when us typical white folk walk down the street …
Amy Sullivan / Washington Monthly:
Guest: Amy Sullivan  —  AS I WAS SAYING....Good lord.  I always forget there's no presumption of good faith (no pun intended) in the blogosphere.  I should know better than to throw up a quick post, but let's all take a deep breath and start over.  —  I believe one of the reasons …
David Neiwert / Firedoglake:
The Media's Race Problem  —  Probably the most remarkable aspect of the recent feeding frenzy about Barack Obama's so-called “pastor problem” — besides the agility and smarts that Obama has displayed in handling it — is not as much what it reveals about the state of race in America …
Discussion: DownWithTyranny! and Time
Kate Phillips / The Caucus:
Michigan Do-Over Dies  —  With lawmakers leaving for the holiday weekend today without taking up a bill that would've provided for a second Democratic primary, Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan basically declared the do-over option dead.  —  In a statement issued this afternoon, Ms. Granholm, a Clinton supporter, said:
Discussion: Winds of Change.NET
Talal Al-Khatib / Political Radar:
Michigan Do-Over Primary ‘Dead’
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 More Items: 
Ben Pershing / Capitol Briefing:
The Rise and Fall of Tom Reynolds
Robin Wright / Washington Post:
Iran a Nuclear Threat, Bush Insists
Discussion: Hullabaloo
John McWhorter & Glenn Loury: If Obama Wasn't Black Before, He Sure Is Now
Discussion: PrestoPundit
Alec Russell / Financial Times:
Mugabe opponents ‘denied access to food’
Discussion: Obsidian Wings and Redstate
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Stocks Bounce Back as Oil and Gold Fall Again
Jerusalem Post:
Israeli attacked by Arab youth in NY
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Gateway Pundit
New York Times:
U.S. Defends Tough Tactics With Spitzer
Sam Graham-Felsen /
Response to Fox News “story”
 Earlier Items: 
Playgirl / PLAYGIRL Magazine:
Open Playgirl Casting Call to Eliot Spitzer
Rob Piercy / KING-TV:
Bellingham war dead billboard brings praise, threats
Sharon Tubbs / St. Petersburg Times:
Obama's pastor has Tampa ties
Discussion: Top of the Ticket and The Buzz
Corilyn Shropshire / Houston Chronicle:
Race-related blog causing controversy
Discussion: Pat Dollard and JustOneMinute
Joseph C. Wilson / The Huffington Post:
Obama's Shallow Credentials on National Security Are Dangerous for the Country
Discussion: Liberal Values and Swampland
Michael Meyers / Los Angeles Times:
Obama blew it  —  What the candidate should have said about race.