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1:05 PM ET, April 7, 2008


 Top Items: 
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  —  The wounds inflicted on Barack Obama by the hateful speech of his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are serious and profound.  —  Why else would ministers gather at Obama's church in Chicago—Trinity United Church of Christ …
Wall Street Journal:
Iraq and Its Costs  —  When Gen. David Petraeus testifies before Congress tomorrow, he will step into an American political landscape dramatically different from the one he faced when he last spoke on Capitol Hill seven months ago.  —  This time Gen. Petraeus returns to Washington having led …
USA Today:
Radio host Ed Schultz: 'I'm sorry ... John McCain is a warmonger'  —  “I'm sorry, John, the label sticks.  John McCain is a warmonger,” liberal radio host Ed Schultz said a few minutes ago on CNN's American Morning.  —  Schultz called McCain a “warmonger” on Friday as he was warming …
Zachary A. Goldfarb / The Talk:
McCain: Obama ‘Absolutely’ Qualified to Be President
Discussion: The Jed Report and Donklephant
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.
Frank James / Baltimore Sun:
CLINTON MAN'S OBAMA MOMENT  —  Was Terry McAuliffe, chairman of Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, engaging in his own sort of hedging strategy at a recent meeting of Washington State Democrats?  Or was the former Democratic National Committee chair engaging in a kumbayah, all-us-Democrats-are-in-this- together moment?
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
FULL FIRING?  OR JUST GELDED?  —  Is Penn really out?  Completely, positively out?  —  Here's the statement ...  The campaign statement says Geoff Garin and Howard Wolfson are taking over strategy and message.  But Garin's a pollster.  So the logic of the situation says he's taking over the polling.
Washington Post:
Clinton's Chief Strategist Steps Down
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
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 Post:
RICE BIDS TO BE VP: GOPER  —  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been “campaigning” to be John McCain's running mate, a former Bush administration aide said yesterday.  —  Rice has been courting the Republican elite, Dan Senor, a political strategist and former foreign-policy adviser to President Bush, said on ABC's “This Week.”
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
No Really, You Should Go  —  Wretched rationalizations for Hillary Clinton's kamikaze campaign.  —  Last week, Senator Pat Leahy suggested that Hillary Clinton ought to quit the presidential race.  How insensitive!  How boorish!  Pundits gasped, Clinton took umbrage …
New York Times:
U.S. and Iraqis Battle Militias to End Attacks  —  BAGHDAD — Sharp fighting broke out in the Sadr City district of Baghdad 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.
Olympic torch extinguished during Paris leg  —  (CNN) — The Olympic torch relay was disrupted Monday by protesters in Paris demonstrating against the Chinese government, causing authorities to extinguish the flame three times and put the torch on a bus, according to The Associated Press.
John Hood / The Corner:
The Real Colombian-Trade Story  —  It's understandable that Mark Penn's departure from the Clinton campaign has made so much news over the weekend, but the political story isn't the most important.  That's the fate for the Colombian free-trade deal that Penn's firm was helping to promote.
Discussion: Houston Chronicle
Condoleezza Rice / Wall Street Journal:
The Colombia Trade Stakes
Discussion: Hot Air and Betsy's Page
Logan Hill / New York Magazine:
How I Made It: Spike Lee on ‘Do the Right Thing’  —  Several people have surprised me by saying that one of the movie's biggest legacies is the impact you had on diversifying New York film crews.  —  Do the Right Thing was my first union film.  I looked at the rosters, and for the most part, it was white males.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs
Gallup Daily: Obama Maintains 3-Point Edge Over Clinton  —  McCain, Obama tie in general election trial heat  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup Poll Daily tracking for April 3-5 shows 49% of national Democratic voters saying they are most likely to support Barack Obama for the party's presidential nomination …
Dday / Hullabaloo:
The Blithering Idiocy of the DC Establishment  —  The Village, via Cokie Roberts, gives their very serious assessment of Iraq on ABC's This Week: … Well, Katrina Vanden Heuvel handled that a bit better than I, because I don't think I would have been able to hold down the bile …
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 More Items: 
REFILE-FACTBOX-US presidential candidates on Iraq withdrawal
Media Matters for America:
CNN's Acosta smeared 16-year old McCain questioner as a “heckler”
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
SEIU dropping $740k in Pennsylvania
Ron Nixon / New York Times:
Pork Barrel Remains Hidden in U.S. Budget
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Grains Gone Wild
CBS News:
Siegelman Future Hinges On Appeal
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
The Vodka Chronicles  —  John McCain's saucy mother says her boy …
Lawrence O'Donnell Jr / New York Magazine:
Four Days in Denver
 Earlier Items: 
Taylor Branch / New York Times:
The Last Wish of Martin Luther King
Los Angeles Times:
The Times retracts Tupac Shakur story
Clinton predicts more ‘twists and turns’
Discussion: Redstate
Anne Lieberman / Boker tov, Boulder!:
Your federal government at work ... for Palestinians
Discussion: Power Line and Israel Matzav
Age Group / Rasmussen Reports:
Early Response to Al Gore's New Global Warming Ad
David Stafford / Washington Post:
Iraq Is a Mess. But Germany Was, Too.
Steven Zeitchik / Hollywood Reporter:
Thandie Newton, Ioan Gruffudd cast in ‘W’
Discussion: Don Surber and Pandagon
John Harwood / New York Times:
In Superdelegate Count, Tough Math for Clinton