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8:30 AM ET, July 20, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
CNN:
Iraqi PM disputes report on withdrawal plan  —  (CNN) — A German magazine quoted Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as saying that he backed a proposal by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months.
RELATED:
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
PRETTY WEAK  —  The McCain campaign has just come out with their response to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki's endorsement of Obama's withdrawal plan.  I think the clotted, dodging-the-issue nature of the response communicates very clearly the box this has placed the McCain camp in.
Sarah Wheaton / The Caucus:
Maliki Backs Obama's Troop Withdrawal Plan  —  The policies and whims of American leaders have played a major role in politics in Iraq and elsewhere.  And now, it's Iraqi President Nouri Kamal al-Maliki's turn to dip his toes in the United States's race for the White House.
Steven Lee Myers / The Caucus:
White House Tips Press Off to Maliki Interview
Discussion: Big Brass Blog
CNN:
Obama eats with troops, meets Karzai  —  KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — Sen. Barack Obama met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai Sunday as part of a tour aimed at boosting his foreign policy credentials.  —  The Illinois senator met with Karzai in Kabul, Afghanistan, a U.S. government source told CNN.
Discussion: TIME.com
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Obama Gets Look At Afghan War Zone  —  Iraqi Leader Backs 16-Month Pullout Plan  —  Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama got his first look at deteriorating conditions in war-torn Afghanistan on Saturday, meeting with U.S. military commanders and local officials and touring part …
Frank James / The Swamp:
Obama's Afghan listening tour
Discussion: New York Times and Truthdig
The Huffington Post:
Al Gore Surprise Guest At Netroots Nation  —  Al Gore surprised — and delighted — the crowd at the Netroots Nation conference in Austin, Texas today, appearing on the heels of a speech by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.  (Update: Video here.)  —  According to the various Twitter feeds …
RELATED:
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
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Top Dem Party Officials Send Sharply-Worded Email Demanding That Hillary Donors And Supporters Get Behind Obama  —  In a sign that senior Democratic officials remain deeply concerned that post-primary bitterness could imperil Barack Obama's chances, two top Democratic officials have emailed …
Boston Globe:
Gramm quits McCain campaign  —  Former senator Phil Gramm announced last night that he has stepped down as cochairman of John McCain's presidential campaign to end the “distraction” caused by his remarks the nation was filled with “whiners” who complain about the economy.
Ronald Bailey / Reason Magazine:
It Came From Outer Space  —  July 19, Oxford, UK-Death by asteroids, comets and gamma ray bursts was on the agenda of the conference on Global Catastrophic Risks this morning.  First up was NASA senior scientist David Morrison to talk about the Spaceguard Survey and the threat of a catastrophic asteroid strike.
Associated Press:
Lawmakers Could Consider Gas Tax Hike, After Gas Tax Holiday Fails  —  WASHINGTON — The political vision of a summer gas tax holiday died a quick death in Congress, losing to a view that federal excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel — far from dropping — will have to go up if they go anywhere.
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
How a Young Lawyer Saved the Second Amendment  —  For decades the Second Amendment might as well have been called the Second-Class Amendment.  The U.S. Supreme Court spent the late 20th century expansively interpreting the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth amendments …
Discussion: Samizdata.net
 
 
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 More Items: 
Kate Galbraith / New York Times:
Texas Approves a $4.93 Billion Wind-Power Project
Gallup:
Gallup Daily: Obama Maintains Slight Edge Over McCain
Discussion: American Spectator
William Kern / The Moderate Voice:
From Argentina's Clarin newspaper: Resurrected U.S. Fourth Fleet …
Discussion: Newshoggers.com
Wall Street Journal:
Cities, Customers Launch ‘Save Our Starbucks’ Efforts
SilentPatriot / Crooks and Liars:
Nancy Pelosi: “Two oil men in the White House” are responsible for high oil prices
Discussion: Macsmind
 Earlier Items: 
Julia Preston / New York Times:
Immigrant, Pregnant, Is Jailed Under Pact
Discussion: Lonewacko
Tyler Cowen / New York Times:
Means Testing, for Medicare
New York Post:
‘COMEBACK’ RUDY TO LAUNCH GOP ELEX FUND
Discussion: www.redstate.com and TIME.com
Katharine Q. Seelye / The Caucus:
Easing Off Online Obscenities