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9:15 AM ET, July 16, 2008


 Top Items: 
Tedski / Rum, Romanism and Rebellion:
The Comedy Stylings of Shecky McCain  —  I made the mistake of watching Verdict yesterday where they had a John McCain sycophant go on and on about how McCain stuck by his principles when he bucked his party on immigration.  He and the host failed to note that he was lining up with the president …
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
McCain Ape Rape Joke Recalled By Sources  —  News circulated fast late Tuesday afternoon that back in 1986, during his initial run for the Senate, John McCain allegedly told a crude joke about rape involving a woman's affection for an ape.  —  The story, which was reprised on the blog Rum …
Discussion: Firedoglake
Glen Johnson / Associated Press:
Obama says New Yorker insulted Muslim Americans … CHICAGO (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama said Tuesday that the New Yorker magazine's satirical cover depicting him and his wife as flag-burning, fist-bumping radicals doesn't bother him but that it was an insult to Muslim Americans.
Discussion: Stop The ACLU and
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
NYT poll: Majority now believes Obama says what he thinks people want to hear  —  From tonight's monster 33-page omnibus poll, the “new politics” halo is officially off.  Note the trend:  —  McCain does almost as badly at 46/49 but then McCain's not supposed to be a “Lightworker.”
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
Gates Warns of Militarized Policy  —  Defense Secretary Stresses Civilian Aspects of U.S. Engagement  —  Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned yesterday against the risk of a “creeping militarization” of U.S. foreign policy, saying the State Department should lead U.S. engagement with other countries …
Steven Lee Myers / New York Times:
U.S. Envoy to Join Meeting With Iranian
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Washington Monthly
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
American Envoy To Join Iran Talks
New York Times:
Poll Finds Obama's Run Isn't Closing Divide on Race  —  Americans are sharply divided by race heading into the first election in which an African-American will be a major-party presidential nominee, with blacks and whites holding vastly different views of Senator Barack Obama …
Washington Post:
Obama Leads by 8 Points In Poll  —  Sen. Barack Obama holds his biggest advantage of the presidential campaign as the candidate best prepared to fix the nation's ailing economy, but lingering concerns about his readiness to handle international crises are keeping the race competitive, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Dean Barnett / Weekly Standard Blog:
Most Offensive Quote of the Day  —  If we had a “Most Offensive Quote of the Day” every day, Joe Biden would probably come to own the prize.  But even by the senator's lofty standards of chronic obtuseness, he outdid himself this afternoon: … I know Democrats get a certain tingling …
Alegre /
Breaking: Eight Supers Switching to Hillary  —  Big news folks - it looks like our efforts in contacting those Superdelegates are starting to pay off, so keep on writing to them (ok, maybe Donna B's a waste of time).  There are unconfirmed reports, based on phone banking efforts to reach out to Super Ds …
Rasmussen Reports:
Obama Leads Bush by Twenty, But Clinton Does Better Against McCain  —  Barack Obama says a vote for John McCain is a vote for George W. Bush's third term, but a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that the Democratic hopeful would have a much easier time of it if he were actually running …
Gary Langer / ABCNEWS:   Obama Leads McCain by Eight But Doubts Loom, Raising Stakes
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Congressional Approval Hits Record-Low 14%  —  Democrats less positive than Republicans about Congress  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Congress' job approval rating has dropped five percentage points over the past month, from 19% in June to 14% in July, making the current reading the lowest congressional …
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
So Popular and So Spineless  —  Much ink has been spilled lately decrying the decline in American popularity around the world under President Bush.  Polls tell us how China is now more popular in Asia than America and how few Europeans say they identify with the United States.
Discussion: Salon and The Plank
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Court Backs Bush on Military Detentions  —  President Bush has the legal power to order the indefinite military detentions of civilians captured in the United States, the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled on Tuesday in a fractured 5-to-4 decision.
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Brit Hume to Step Down as Fox News Anchor  —  Brit Hume, a top anchor and executive with Fox News since the channel was launched 12 years ago, plans to step down at year's end.  But he won't disappear entirely.  —  Sources familiar with the situation say that Hume, 65 …
PR Newswire:
New Report Shows Saudi Ministry Textbooks Still Teach Extreme Intolerance  —  WASHINGTON, July 15, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — State Department-Negotiated Deadline for Reform Nears  —  Today the Center for Religious Freedom of the Hudson Institute released a 90-page report …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Charmaine Noronha /
Gitmo video offers glimpse of interrogations  —  Burying his face in his hands, a 16-year-old captured in Afghanistan sobs and calls out “Oh Mommy!” in a hidden-camera video released Tuesday that provides the first look at interrogations inside the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay.
Discussion:, Hullabaloo and ACSBlog
Cristina Page / Reproductive Health:
HHS Moves to Define Contraception as Abortion … In a spectacular act of complicity with the religious right, the Department of Health and Human Services Monday released a proposal that allows any federal grant recipient to obstruct a woman's access to contraception.
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 More Items: 
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Obama website's opposition to successful surge gets deleted
Washington Post:
Wachovia Faces Shallow Reserves but Says It Is Raising More Capital
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
May We Mock, Barack?  —  When I interviewed Jon Stewart …
Wall Street Journal:
The New Reality in Iraq
Discussion: Commentary
Georgia Secretary of State Election Results:
Georgia Election Results Unofficial And Incomplete Results …
Max Blumenthal / The Nation:
Phil Gramm's Porn Stash
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
Discussion: Angry Bear
Washington Post:
Obama Addresses the National Council of La Raza
Discussion: Latina Lista
 Earlier Items: 
Margery Eagan / Boston Herald:
Fumble in '04 cost us big time
Ibrahim Barzak / Associated Press:
Blair postpones Gaza visit, cites specific threat
Discussion: Truthdig
McCain again cites current events in ‘Czechoslovakia’
The Politico:
GOP should get serious about cyberspace
Shaun Waterman / Middle East Times:
Analysis: More Bush library sleaze charges
Obama: I'd consult on Iraq, but war needs to end
Scott Conroy / CBS News:
Will Romney's Combative Style Net VP Nod?