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3:35 PM ET, July 20, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.
RELATED:
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
NICE TRY  —  Der Spiegel is standing by its story, its translation of what Maliki said.  —  And as Ben Smith aptly puts it, “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 …
Discussion: Eschaton
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.
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
DID MALIKI ENDORSE OBAMA'S PLAN?
Discussion: The Trail and The Jed Report
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.
Lee Siegel / New York Times:
We're Not Laughing at You, or With You  —  Enough of the labyrinthine Iraq war, the interminable mortgage crisis and the plummeting economy.  Let's talk about the bloody crossroads where satire goes searching for its target.  —  Last week, in the aftermath of The New Yorker's …
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.
Brian C. Mooney / Boston Globe:
Obama's paid staff dwarfing McCain's  —  Democrat targets 50 states as rival focuses on tossups  —  John McCain is sending smaller staffs to some states but spending more on TV ads than his rival, Barack Obama.  (Carolyn Kaster/associated Press)  —  Behind the headlines about the unprecedented success …
CNN:
Obama: Situation in Afghanistan is ‘urgent’  —  KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday that United States needs to focus on Afghanistan in its battle against terrorism.  —  “The Afghan government needs to do more.  But we have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent here in Afghanistan.
RELATED:
SilentPatriot / Crooks and Liars:
Obama's Mini State Dept.  —  The discipline and organization of the Obama campaign is truly remarkable.  —  A Cast of 300 Advises Obama on Foreign Policy … In contrast, McCain has loose-knit group of about 75 advisers, consisting of a virtual “who's who” of the neoconservative foreign policy establishment:
Discussion: News Hounds and ParaPundit
Jim Tankersley / The Swamp:
Inauguration tix selling fast in Illinois  —  Like Cubs or White Sox fans booking their World Series seats at the All-Star Break, Illinois residents are snapping up tickets to celebrate Barack Obama's potential inauguration in Washington next year.  —  Never mind that native-son Obama …
Christoph von Marschall / Washington Post:
Snubbed by Obama  —  Barack Obama is on his way to Europe, where an adoring public awaits.  But I wonder if the reception would be quite so enthusiastic if Obama's fans across the Atlantic knew a dirty little secret of his remarkable presidential campaign: Although Obama portrays himself …
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Howard Witt / Chicago Tribune:
Taser death ignites racial tensions
Discussion: Big Brass Blog
Hindrocket / Power Line:
BLOWING THE WHISTLE ON GLOBAL WARMING
Discussion: Maggie's Farm
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
SilentPatriot / Crooks and Liars:
Dan Rather: Jesse Jackson paved the way for...Osama bin Laden?!
Discussion: The Sideshow
Khaled Abu Toameh / Jerusalem Post:
Palestinians: Israel uses rats against J'lem Arabs
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Matt / Think Progress:
McCain Aide Scheunemann Linked To Bush Library ‘Cash For Access’ Scandal
Mercury News:
County voter drive blocked
 Earlier Items: 
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
CNN:
Preview the Show
Discussion: Firedoglake
Mark Hemingway / The Corner:
The Tautology of Hope  —  I'm pretty sure this is photoshopped …
Discussion: protein wisdom
Ronald Bailey / Reason Magazine:
It Came From Outer Space
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Aaron Barnhart / TV Barn:
MSNBC prez on Fox News: “You can't trust a word they say”
Discussion: NewsBusters.org