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1:40 PM ET, July 20, 2008

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Tarek Al-Issawi / Bloomberg:
Maliki Doesn't Endorse Obama Troop Withdrawal Plan  —  Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki hasn't endorsed any specific plan for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, a government spokesman said, a day after a magazine report that he backed Barack Obama's proposal.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Political leverage in the 51st state  —  It's almost a convention of politics that when a politician says he was misquoted, but doesn't detail the misquote or offer an alternative, he's really saying he wishes he hadn't said what he did, or that he needs to issue a pro-forma denial to please someone.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
CNN:
Iraqi PM disputes report on withdrawal plan
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Rendering public opinion irrelevant  —  One of the most striking aspects of our political discourse, particularly during election time, is how efficiently certain views that deviate from the elite consensus are banished from sight — simply prohibited — even when those views are held by the vast majority of citizens.
New York Times:
Closed Mouths, but Open Tryouts to Make the Team  —  For all the lengths Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have gone to in keeping their hunt for a vice president under wraps, their deliberations are in some ways being conducted in plain sight.  —  There was Mr. McCain appearing yet again …
CNN:
Obama meets with Afghan president  —  KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday — a leader the Democratic senator has criticized for not doing enough to rebuild the war-torn nation.  —  The presumptive Democratic …
RELATED:
Gretchen Morgenson / New York Times:
Given a Shovel, Americans Dig Deeper Into Debt  —  The collection agencies call at least 20 times a day.  For a little quiet, Diane McLeod stashes her phone in the dishwasher.  —  But right up until she hit the wall financially, Ms. McLeod was a dream customer for lenders.
Brent Baker / NewsBusters.org:
Day 1 of Obama's Magical Media Tour: All Air from Outside the Paint!  —  A great first day on national television news for Barack Obama as he began his much-hyped overseas trip with a stop in Kuwait before moving on to Afghanistan.  CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, seemingly channeling the media's own excitement …
SilentPatriot / Crooks and Liars:
Dan Rather: Jesse Jackson paved the way for...Osama bin Laden?!  —  When asked for his opinion on the whole Jesse Jackson/Barack Obama dust up, Dan Rather talks about his admiration for the legendary civil rights activists, and says Osama bin Laden wouldn't be possible without him.  Say what?
Discussion: The Sideshow
Mark Hemingway / The Corner:
The Tautology of Hope  —  I'm pretty sure this is photoshopped, but either way it says volumes about Obama's vapid sloganeering:
Discussion: protein wisdom
Aaron Barnhart / TV Barn:
MSNBC prez on Fox News: “You can't trust a word they say”  —  MSNBC president Phil Griffin spoke with me earlier this week, a few hours after he was promoted to his new post (see my earlier story).  Because of what the techies call a “catastrophic failure” of my hard drive (a strange phrase …
Discussion: NewsBusters.org
Khaled Abu Toameh / Jerusalem Post:
Palestinians: Israel uses rats against J'lem Arabs  —  The Palestinian Authority's official news agency Wafa says Israel is using rats to drive Arab families out of their homes in the Old City of Jerusalem.  —  In the past the news agency, which is controlled and funded …
Discussion: Israel Matzav
John P. Avlon / The Politico:
Obama's steady centrism  —  Throughout the left-wing blogosphere, the cry has come: Barack Obama is moving away from them, and to the center.  “Moving to the middle is for losers,” cried the politically ambidextrous Arianna Huffington.  He's “betraying his claims of being a new kind of politician …
Discussion: TalkLeft and The Next Right
CNN:
Preview the Show  —  About the show  —  CNN Presents: Black in America continues with “The Black Woman & Family.”  Soledad O'Brien explores the varied experiences of black women and families and investigates the disturbing statistics of single parenthood, racial disparities between students and the devastating toll of HIV/AIDS.
Discussion: Firedoglake
 
 
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 More Items: 
Michael Barone / National Review:
1976 Revisited
Washington Wire:
Surprise Visit by Bob Barr at Netroots Conference
Peter S. Goodman / New York Times:
Uncomfortable Answers to Questions on the Economy
Discussion: www.redstate.com
Matt / Think Progress:
McCain Aide Scheunemann Linked To Bush Library ‘Cash For Access’ Scandal
Mercury News:
County voter drive blocked
Deborah Howell / Washington Post:
A Vote for Coverage of Substance
Discussion: TIME.com and Big Brass Blog
Elaine Sciolino / New York Times:
Iran Nuclear Talks End in Deadlock
Discussion: Booman Tribune and TIME.com
Frank Rich / New York Times:
It's the Economic Stupidity, Stupid
 Earlier Items: 
Eleanor Clift / Newsweek:
A Perception Problem  —  What will keep The New Yorker's image from sticking?
Discussion: Commentary and Don Surber
The Huffington Post:
Al Gore Surprise Guest At Netroots Nation
Ronald Bailey / Reason Magazine:
It Came From Outer Space
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Boston Globe:
Gramm quits McCain campaign
Associated Press:
Lawmakers Could Consider Gas Tax Hike, After Gas Tax Holiday Fails
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Gallup:
Gallup Daily: Obama Maintains Slight Edge Over McCain
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
How a Young Lawyer Saved the Second Amendment
Discussion: Samizdata.net
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Top Dem Party Officials Send Sharply-Worded Email Demanding …