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1:25 PM ET, July 16, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Obama Campaign Criticizes New York Times Story On Poll  —  The Obama campaign is taking issue with The New York Times this morning over the paper's front-page piece today on the Times poll released last night, critiquing the story for omitting a great deal of the paper's own poll polling data …
RELATED:
Michael Tomasky / Guardian:
The election is about the Republican party's failures  —  It's about John McCain and the failed policies and stale ideas of the Republican party  —  When Barack Obama sewed up the Democratic nomination, I wrote that he needed to do five things: redefine himself, redefine John McCain …
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 …
Gary Langer / ABCNEWS:
Obama Leads McCain by Eight But Doubts Loom, Raising Stakes
Discussion: Commentary and Joe. My. God.
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
May We Mock, Barack?  —  When I interviewed Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for Rolling Stone a couple years ago, I wondered what Barack Obama would mean for them.  —  “It seems like a President Obama would be harder to make fun of than these guys,” I said.  —  “Are you kidding me?”  Stewart scoffed.
RELATED:
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: Hot Air and Commentary
RELATED:
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:   Tom Friedman doesn't understand why America is unpopular in the world
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 …
Anita Huslin / Washington Post:
On the Outside Now, Watching Fannie Falter  —  In the four years since he stepped down as Fannie Mae's chief executive under the shadow of a $6.3 billion accounting scandal, Franklin D. Raines has been quietly constructing a new life for himself.  He has shaved eight points off his golf handicap …
RELATED:
Eamon Javers / The Politico:   A talking head with a conflict
Joe / Joe. My. God.:
Elizabeth Dole Says “F**k You” To Americans Who Died From AIDS  —  This is unbelievable.  Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) wants to rename the the current AIDS relief bill after Jesse Helms. … Jesse Helms, the man who in 1987 described AIDS prevention literature as “so obscene, so revolting, I may throw up.”
RELATED:
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog News:   Dead racist bigot Jesse Helms, AIDS hero? I don't think so.
Elaine Sciolino / New York Times:
Policy Shift Seen in U.S. Decision on Iran Talks  —  PARIS — The decision by the Bush administration to send a senior American official to participate in international talks with Iran this weekend reflects a double policy shift in the struggle to resolve the impasse over the country's nuclear program..
RELATED:
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 …
Wall Street Journal:
The New Reality in Iraq  —  All of the most important objectives of the surge have been accomplished in Iraq.  The sectarian civil war is ended; al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has been dealt a devastating blow; and the Sadrist militia and other Iranian-backed militant groups have been disrupted.
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Consumer Prices, Driven by Fuel, Surge 1.1% in June  —  A crucial measure of inflation rose at its fastest rate in 17 years, the government said on Wednesday, just a day after the chairman of the Federal Reserve warned that inflation poses a significant risk to the nation's economic outlook.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Planned Parenthood Action Fund: ‘Simple Question’  —  Planned Parenthood Action Fund is launching a televised campaign against Senator John McCain on cable in some swing states today.  —  The ad uses McCain's evident discomfort with a question about whether it's “unfair” …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Hillary Clinton launches fundraising for 2012 already!  —  Just six weeks after reluctantly surrendering to Barack Obama in the brutal 2008 Democratic primary race, Sen. Hillary Clinton has begun raising money for what she says is her 2012 New York Senate reelection campaign.
Kevin Drum / Washington Monthly:
WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE....Via Tyler Cowen, David Zetland writes in Forbes that California wouldn't have to ration water if prices responded to supply and demand instead of being fixed bureaucratically: … Details aside, maybe that's the right way to go.  After all, market pricing is usually …
Discussion: Forbes
CNN:
CNN LARRY KING LIVE  —  Interview with Sen. Barack Obama; Mortgage Crisis Affects Thousands of Homeowners  —  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.  THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.  —  LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Barack Obama sounds off right here on the magazine cover that created a firestorm.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Kevin Carey / Washington Monthly:
How black Baltimore drug dealers are using white supremacist legal …
Discussion: Reason Magazine
Robert Dreyfuss / The Nation:
The Ugliness in Sudan and Zimbabwe
Matthew Yglesias:
The Trouble With Sam's Club
Amir Shah / Associated Press:
US troops pull out of Afghan base after attack
Alex Johnson / MSNBC:
Gay tourism ad causes uproar in S.C.
Discussion: The New Republic and TBogg
Michelle Malkin:
Educating the ignorant Kumbaya candidate
Discussion: The Other McCain
John Leland / New York Times:
More Homeowners Taking in Boarders
Dan Golden / Portfolio:
Angelo's Many “Friends”  —  The Countrywide V.I.P.-loan scandal …
 Earlier Items: 
Bruce Bartlett / Wall Street Journal:
The GOP Is the Party of Civil Rights
Karl Penhaul / CNN:
Colombian military used Red Cross emblem in rescue
New York Times:
Spitzer Charged Campaign for Hotel Bills, Raising Questions on His Use of Funds
Discussion: Gothamist, City Room and Don Surber
Massimo Calabresi / Time:
Obama's Conservative Mideast Pick
Discussion: The Caucus and TIME.com
Daphne Retter / New York Post:
$$-BEGGING RANGEL COPS TO A ‘MAIL’ DYSFUNCTION
Agnostic / Gene Expression:
Colder climates favor civilization even among Whites alone
Discussion: Stop The ACLU
PR Newswire:
New Report Shows Saudi Ministry Textbooks Still Teach Extreme Intolerance
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Max Blumenthal / The Nation:
Phil Gramm's Porn Stash
 

 
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Alex Heath / The Verge:
Meta details Llama 3: 8B- and 70B-parameter models, a focus on reducing false refusals, and an upcoming model trained on 15T+ tokens that has 400B+ parameters

Raffaele Huang / Wall Street Journal:
Apple removes WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China, saying it was ordered to do so by China's cyberspace officials citing national security concerns

Ryan Morrison / Tom's Guide:
Microsoft researchers introduce VASA-1, an AI model that creates a realistic talking face video from a portrait photo and an audio file, in research preview

 
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