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10:35 AM ET, July 21, 2008


 Top Items: 
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
News in terror hot spots appears to aid Obama  —  Barack Obama's long-awaited and much-hyped trip overseas, in large part intended to overcome a perception that he's not up to the job of commander-in-chief, seems to have come at the perfect time as recent events in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran have played into his message.
Discussion: and The Jed Report
Alissa J. Rubin / New York Times:
Obama Arrives in Baghdad on Mideast Tour  —  BAGHDAD — Senator Barack Obama arrived in Baghdad on Monday on the latest leg of a weeklong overseas tour, his first as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.  —  A United States Embassy official said Mr. Obama, who was traveling …
Associated Press:
Iraqi officials hopes for US troop pullout by 2010  —  BAGHDAD - Iraq's government spokesman is hopeful that U.S. combat forces could be out of the country by 2010.  —  Ali al-Dabbagh made the comments following a meeting in Baghdad on Monday between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki …
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
Iraqi Government Acting Like Real Government  —  The Iraqi government is claiming Der Spiegel mistranslated earlier reports that they were supporting a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops.  The magazine stands by its story. … This has prompted AP Baghdad bureau chief Robert Reid …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
John McCain: Obama's Iraq tour revealing
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
McCain Camp: Admiral Mullen Opposes Timtetable
Discussion: Open Left and The Jed Report
Robert D. Novak / Washington Post:
In Iraq, and Under the Spotlight
Discussion: Blog P.I.
CNN:   Obama meeting with U.S. commanders, Iraqi officials
Robert H. Reid /
Analysis: Iraq playing US politics for best deal
Jeanne Cummings / The Politico:
Obama roars with $25M one-day haul  —  After locking up his party's presidential nomination, Barack Obama's fundraising operation came roaring back to life in June, generating more than a million dollars on five days, including a whopping $25 million that came in on the last day of the month.
Michael Luo / New York Times:
Clinton Lends Her Campaign More Money as Its Debt Proves Stubborn
Discussion: Spin Cycle
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
After 2000, McCain Learned to Work Levers of Power  —  Senator John McCain was all but a sworn enemy of Senator Trent Lott, the former Republican leader.  —  Mr. Lott had quashed Mr. McCain's most cherished legislative goals.  And, worse, Mr. McCain believed that in the 2000 Republican primaries …
Discussion: Commentary and
Kate Phillips / The Caucus:
Dobson Leans Toward Endorsing McCain  —  There seems to be a kumbaya moment occurring on the conservative front, and it's one that would apply a salve to Senator John McCain's uneven, unsettled relationship with the religious right.  —  Enter James Dobson, who has at times been blistering in his criticisms of Mr. McCain.
Eric Gorski / Associated Press:
Dobson shifts positions, may endorse McCain
Discussion: Top of the Ticket
Wall Street Journal:
Their Fair Share  —  Washington is teeing up “the rich” for a big tax hike next year, as a way to make them “pay their fair share.”  Well, the latest IRS data have arrived on who paid what share of income taxes in 2006, and it's going to be hard for the rich to pay any more than they already do.
Discussion: Power Line, QandO and Commentary
Jose Antonio Vargas / Washington Post:
Liberal Bloggers Brace for Victory  —  Obama's Prospects Pose New Concerns for Netroots  —  AUSTIN, July 20 — “Yep, the way it's looking, we might actually win this thing . . .”  —  That's Markos Moulitsas talking, a.k.a. “Kos” to everyone here at Netroots Nation, the four-day liberal blogapalooza …
Discussion: protein wisdom and Booman Tribune
William Kristol / New York Times:
No Substitute for Victory  —  I'll go out on a limb and say that Barack Obama will be well received when he speaks in Berlin on July 24.  —  O.K., it's not exactly a limb.  A recent poll shows that the German public prefers Obama to John McCain by 67 percent to 6 percent.  —  But there is angst in Germany.
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
McCain and Obama Agree to Attend Megachurch Forum  —  It has taken a man of God, perhaps, to do what nobody else has been able to do since the general election season began: Get Barack Obama and John McCain together on the same stage before their party conventions later this summer.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
In satirical payback, Obama camp denies New Yorker writer plane seat  —  There's probably no connection whatsoever.  —  But the New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza, whose long, long article on Barack Obama's early political days in Chicago's ward politics (available here) was the reason …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Matthew Walter / Bloomberg:
Chavez Goes Weapons Shopping in Russia Amid Arms Race  —  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez heads to Moscow today to shop for air defense systems, submarines and other weaponry as Latin America's arms race quickens amid signs that his regional influence is waning.
Discussion: Power Line
Times of London:
President Bush lobbyist Stephen Payne in ‘bribes’ row quits  —  Cash for access at the White House is under scrutiny by Congress  —  An American government adviser and lobbyist, caught offering access to top White House figures in exchange for a $250,000 (£126,000) …
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 More Items: 
Sarah Baxter / Times of London:
Barack Obama fears the Blair effect: hero abroad, liability at home
Discussion: Commentary and Gateway Pundit
Theola Labbé-DeBose / Washington Post:
Michelle, Meritocracy and Me  —  I last visited my alma mater …
Joseph Abrams / Fox News:
Israel Decries U.N. Troops After Peacekeepers Salute Dead Hezbollah Terrorists
Michael J. Totten:
The Bin Ladens of the Balkans, Part I
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
Sobriety, Herr Obama
Jeremy Olshan / New York Post:
Mike Allen / The Politico:
CBS scores first Obama interview abroad
Marie Horrigan / CQ Politics:
Franken Stumbling in Minnesota Senate Race
 Earlier Items: 
Richard Wolf / USA Today:
Study: Poor ballot designs still affect U.S. elections
Discussion: Think Progress
Jerry Markon / Washington Post:
Detainee's Trial in Military System Begins Today
Los Angeles Times:
Rice calls Iran's nuclear position ‘small talk’
Ian Urbina / New York Times:
Influx of Voters Likely to Test New Machines
San Francisco Chronicle:
Slaying suspect once found sanctuary in S.F.
Times of London:
Gordon Brown aide a victim of honeytrap operation by Chinese agents
Tahman Bradley / Political Punch:
Barack Obama's Butterfly Effect