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12:00 PM ET, June 19, 2008


 Top Items: 
Ed OKeefe / Political Punch:
Obama to Break Promise, Opt Out of Public Financing for General Election  —  In a web video to supporters — “the people who built this movement from the bottom up” — Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, announced this morning that he will not enter into the public financing system, despite a previous pledge to do so.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Obama aide blames McCain on public-financing  —  Obama spokesman Bill Burton is blaming Senator John McCain's campaign for failing, he says, to negotiate in good faith on a course to public financing.  —  “In the past couple of weeks, our campaign counsels met and it was immediately clear …
John McCormick / The Swamp:
Obama rejects public financing  —  by John McCormick, updated with McCain response  —  In a widely expected decision, Sen. Barack Obama announced this morning that his Democratic presidential bid will reject public financing, abandoning an earlier pledge to participate in the system if his Republican challenger agreed to do the same.
Lynn Sweet:
Obama told Tim Russert at Feb. 27 debate he would “sit down with John McCain” to discuss public financing.  Obama never did before opting out of system.  —  WASHINGTON-The legacy of the sharp questioning of Tim Russert, who died Friday, is clear in this exchange he had in a Feb. 27 Democratic primary debate …
Discussion: Salon
Jim Kuhnhenn / Associated Press:
Obama opts out of public campaign finance system
Discussion: Washington Wire, Hot Air and MyDD
Krooney /
Discussion: The Other McCain and Commentary
Andrew E. Kramer / New York Times:
Deals With Iraq Are Set to Bring Oil Giants Back  —  BAGHDAD — Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.
Matthew Yglesias:
Blood for Oil  —  Someone's gonna get paid:
Discussion: Eschaton
New York Times:
Obama's Campaign Tightens Control of Image and Access  —  At a rally for Senator Barack Obama in Detroit on Monday, two Muslim women said they were prohibited from sitting behind the candidate because they were wearing head scarves and campaign volunteers did not want them to appear …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:   News organizations complain about access to Obama
Bmaz / Emptywheel:
The FISA Shaft Is Underway  —  As you know, the FISA Amendments Act has been being negotiated behind closed doors by Steny Hoyer, Kit Bond and friends for some time now.  See here and here.  Well, the action is coming a little faster than we all anticipated.
Discussion: Firedoglake and
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:
House, Bush reach deal on war supplemental
Roxana Tiron / The Hill:
Rumsfeld repays McCain; declines to back candidate  —  Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently declined to answer whether he will support Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for president.  —  McCain, the GOP presidential standard-bearer, has been one of Rumsfeld's harshest critics.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Condi Rice: There will be (new) blood  —  In a town of “maybes” and “options on the table,” it's refreshing to see someone who knows how to say, “No.”  —  The only frustrating part is how many times Condoleezza Rice has to say it.  How many times can she say no?  Let us count the ways.
Chuck Bennett / New York Post:
SUBPOENA BLITZ PUTS HEAT ON AL  —  IRS SEEKS INFO FROM TOP DONORS  —  The probe into the Rev. Al Sharpton's finances intensified this week, with the IRS sending out a flurry of subpoenas to his most generous corporate donors, The Post has learned.  —  Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of Budweiser …
Jacques Steinberg / New York Times:
Russert's Son Sounds a Theme of Unity at Funeral  —  WASHINGTON — In death, Tim Russert did on Wednesday what no living journalist has accomplished this campaign season: he got Barack Obama and John McCain to sit together and talk, quietly.  —  Specifically, it was Mr. Russert's son, Luke …
Americans drive 1.4 billion fewer highway miles  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Americans drove 1.4 billion fewer highway miles in April than they did in April 2007, the Department of Transportation said Wednesday.  —  That marks the sixth consecutive monthly drop and coincides with record gas prices …
Discussion: JammieWearingFool and Donklephant
New York Times:
Officials Report Routing of Taliban  —  ARGHANDAB, Afghanistan — After a day of air strikes and ground operations against Taliban fighters, Afghan and NATO officials claimed broad success on Thursday, saying they had largely expelled the insurgents from the strategic Arghandab region near Kandahar, killing more than 50 of them
Discussion: Weekly Standard Blog
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Obama and McCain Spout Economic Nonsense  —  Barack Obama and John McCain are busy demonstrating that in close elections during tough economic times, candidates for president can be economically illiterate and irresponsibly populist.  —  In Raleigh, N.C., last week, Sen. Obama promised …
Harry Siegel / The Politico:
Specter of 2000 could haunt Obama  —  Until 2000, it hadn't happened in more than 100 years, but plugged-in observers from both parties see a distinct possibility of Barack Obama winning the popular vote but losing the Electoral College — and with it the presidency — to John McCain.
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 More Items: 
Bushra Juhi / Associated Press:
Top Sadrist official arrested in Amarah
Caroline Brothers / New York Times:
E.U. Passes Tough Migrant Measure
William Glaberson / New York Times:
An Unlikely Antagonist in the Detainees' Corner
Discussion: TalkLeft
Kathleen Kingsbury / Time:
Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High
Discussion: Hot Air and The Other McCain
Ari Melber / The Politico:
Obama's Colorado summit
Demetri Sevastopulo / Financial Times:
US N-weapons parts missing, Pentagon says
Jeffrey H. Birnbaum / Washington Post:
Wall Street Lobbies to Protect Speculative Oil Trades
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama, telecoms and the Beltway system
 Earlier Items: 
Mark Dubowitz / Wall Street Journal:
Sounds of Silence  —  Welcome to a world where criticism …
Discussion: The Corner
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Rep. Young's interns cite do's, don'ts
Daniel Libit / The Politico:
Dems salivate over Obama e-mail list
Michael B. Oren / Wall Street Journal:
Israel's Truce With Hamas Is a Victory for Iran
Dodd and CT residents speak out
Discussion: Macsmind
Michelle Malkin:
The Obama/Pooh Photoshop collection
Margie Mason / Associated Press:
Cindy McCain has harsh words for Myanmar's leaders
Discussion: Don Surber