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9:50 AM ET, April 7, 2008


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Clinton's Chief Strategist Steps Down  —  Mark J. Penn quit Sunday as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's chief strategist, the second shake-up in her campaign's top ranks since the onetime front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination began trailing Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Clinton strategist left mark, message  —  Mark Penn's exit from his role as Hillary Rodham Clinton's chief strategist likely will portend no dramatic shift in message for the campaign in coming weeks but will bring satisfaction to scores of Clinton loyalists who have wanted the controversial image-meister sacked for months.
Jackie Calmes / Wall Street Journal:
Clinton Aide Sacked Over Controversy On Colombia  —  WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton replaced the longtime chief strategist of her struggling presidential campaign after the disclosure that he was working with Colombia's government to help win congressional approval of a trade pact that she opposes.
Discussion: Guardian, and The Field
Zzaki / Political Radar:
Clinton Chief Strategist Pushed Out
Glenn Thrush / Newsday:
Hillary's chief strategist is ousted
Discussion: The Caucus and The Campaign Spot
John M. Broder / New York Times:
Chief Strategist of Clinton Campaign Steps Down
Glenn Thrush / Newsday:
Timing of tax information may backfire on Clinton
Discussion: Feministing
Beth Fouhy / Associated Press:
Penn out as Clinton senior strategist
Discussion: Hot Air, Say Anything and MyDD
Nick Timiraos / Wall Street Journal:
Obama May Not Have Fully Contained Damage From Ex-Pastor  —  Sen. Barack Obama's Philadelphia speech on race relations last month seemed to put the controversial remarks of his former pastor behind him.  But three weeks later, there is evidence of lingering damage.
William Kristol / New York Times:
The Shape of the Race to Come  —  I've spent a fair amount of time the last couple of weeks with conservatives of all ages and leanings.  Call it my very own listening tour.  —  It began with a series of conversations with a group of Weekly Standard subscribers.
John Kass / Chicago Tribune:
Dialogue on race could begin on hallowed ground
Discussion: protein wisdom
Sean Wilentz / Salon:
If the system made sense, Clinton would be far ahead  —  Under a winner-take-all primary system, Hillary Clinton would have a wide lead over Barack Obama — and enough delegates to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination by June.  —  Hillary Clinton celebrates with supporters …
New York Times:
Iraqi Forces and Militia Clash in Baghdad  —  BAGHDAD — Sharp fighting broke out in Baghdad's Sadr City district on Sunday as American and Iraqi troops sought to control neighborhoods used by Shiite militias to fire rockets and mortars into the nearby Green Zone.
Jonathan Weisman / Washington Post:
The Next Campaign Stop: Iraq Hearings  —  At Tuesday's Sessions, Candidates Can Ask Questions, Try to Score Points  —  When Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker travel to Capitol Hill tomorrow, they might be the ones before the microphones, but the cameras will be trained …
Anne Lieberman / Boker tov, Boulder!:
Your federal government at work ... for Palestinians … 04/12/2006 … And lest you think “certain [otherwise prohibited] transactions” are merely being “authorized,” think again.  They're being encouraged, promoted and assisted... all over our federal  —  dot-GOV. Here's just one thread …
Discussion: Power Line and Israel Matzav
CBS News:
Insider: Iraq Attack Was Preemptive  —  Pentagon Insider Tells 60 Minutes U.S. Attack On Iraq Was Anticipatory Self-Defense; Not 9/11 Retaliation  —  In his memoir, “War and Decision,” due out this week, Feith writes there was one potential problem the Pentagon seriously underestimated …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Age Group / Rasmussen Reports:
Early Response to Al Gore's New Global Warming Ad  —  The latest television ad put together by Al Gore and his team touched on themes that all Americans support—the nation's role in World War II, Civil Rights, and putting a man on the moon.  Note, however, the differing responses when the ad moves to its primary topic—Global Warming.
Steven Zeitchik / Hollywood Reporter:
Thandie Newton, Ioan Gruffudd cast in ‘W’  —  The Bush administration is coming together — and adding a key ally for good measure.  —  Oliver Stone has found the actress to play Condoleezza Rice in his upcoming “W,” with Thandie Newton in final negotiations to star as the National Security Advisor-turned-Secretary of State.
Discussion: Don Surber and Pam's House Blend
Marc Ambinder:
Ex-Clinton Insider Launches Unity Ticket Drive  —  Hillary/Obama '08 becomes official today.  In a way.  —  A Clinton insider who served as ex campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle's executive assistant for several years has set up a new website, and plans to register with the Federal Election Commission today.
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 More Items: 
John M. Broder / The Caucus:
Clinton: No State Will Be Overlooked
Joe Klein / Swampland:
More on Patriotism  —  Pete Wehner, former chief White House …
Brian Knowlton / New York Times:
McCain Brushes Back Criticism of Iraq Stance
Steve Brusk / CNN:
Clinton drops hospital story from stump speech
Discussion: PunditGuy
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Obama aims for pro-gun vote
David Stafford / Washington Post:
Iraq Is a Mess. But Germany Was, Too.
Tomgram: Ira Chernus, The General and the Trap
John Harwood / New York Times:
In Superdelegate Count, Tough Math for Clinton
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Over 25,000 Pakistanis Rally Against Anti-Koran Film, Prophet Cartoons
Jane Macartney / Times of London:
Tibetans wounded as Chinese police fire on pilgrim protest
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Spiritual Side Of Atheism
Discussion: The American Scene
The Big Trunk / Power Line:
Discussion: Associated Press
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Anti-McCain groups lag in fundraising
Discussion: Don Surber and The Raw Story
Nicole Belle / Crooks and Liars:
CNN Reporter Doesn't Know The Difference Between A Legitimate …
Gateway Pundit:
Veteran Sentenced For Desecrating Mexican Flag at UNM Campus