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12:40 PM ET, July 21, 2008


 Top Items: 
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 …
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: MCCAIN'S ROUGH WEEKEND  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro  —  *** McCain's rough weekend: You know you had a problematic weekend when: 1) one of your top economic advisers/surrogates finally steps down from the campaign after his “nation of whiners” …
Jason Zengerle / The New Republic:
McCain (and Petraeus) Know Best  —  Here's the key exchange from McCain's interview this morning on NBC's “Today”: … So, basically, the new McCain position on withdrawal seems to be: we shouldn't listen to what the Iraqi government says it wants, we should listen to what McCain says it wants.
Discussion: Blue Girl, Red State
New York Times:
Obama Meets Iraqi Officials in Baghdad  —  BAGHDAD — Senator Barack Obama arrived in Baghdad on Monday, meeting with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and other senior Iraqi politicians, on the latest leg of a weeklong overseas tour, his first as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
John McCain: Obama's Iraq tour revealing
Byron York / The Corner:   Maliki's “Inartful” Statement
Taegan Goddard / Political Insider:
Could Obama's Running Mate Be With Him Now?
Juan Cole / Informed Comment:
Obama in Iraq; Der Spiegel Proves al-Maliki Story Correct …
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
McCain Camp: Admiral Mullen Opposes Timtetable
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: TownHall Blog and Spin Cycle
Rasmussen Reports:
Belief Growing That Reporters are Trying to Help Obama Win  —  The belief that reporters are trying to help Barack Obama win the fall campaign has grown by five percentage points over the past month.  The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey found that 49% of voters believe most reporters …
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.
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.
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 …
Dion Nissenbaum / Jerusalem:
Kickin' it with Samir Kuntar  —  Samir Kuntar is sitting under a photo of himself standing next to Hassan Nasrallah and telling friends that he almost didn't come home.  —  As Israel was getting ready to free Kuntar last Wednesday, the Lebanese militant told guards that he didn't want to walk to freedom in a prison uniform.
Soccer Dad:
Horribly wrong part II
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Dana Goldstein / American Prospect:
WHY LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES SHOULDN'T FUND SCHOOLS.  —  Because some people, who don't have kids in public schools and who aren't particularly civic-minded, will inevitably resent paying them and do everything they can to avoid doing so.  Case in point: Sun belt retirees living in “adult” …
Discussion: The New Republic
Andrew D. Blechman / Arizona Republic:   Living in a world of exclusion
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: Think Progress, Commentary and
Michael J. Totten:
The Bin Ladens of the Balkans, Part I  —  Around a thousand mujahideen, veteran Arabic fighters from the anti-Soviet insurgency in Afghanistan, showed up in Bosnia in the mid-1990s to fight a jihad against Serbian Orthodox Christians.  They thought they would be welcomed, and they were right.
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 …
Clive Crook / Financial Times:
One simple way to predict a victor  —  One cannot help but be struck by the current disconnection in US presidential politics between, on one hand, the excitement and enthusiasm that attend Barack Obama's candidacy and, on the other, the tightness of the race according to recent polls.
Jeremy Olshan / New York Post:
TRAIN-ING DAY FOR JIHADISTS  —  MUSLIM SUBWAY ADS HAVE TERROR TIE-IN  —  Allah board!  —  An Islamic group plans to blitz 1,000 subway cars with advertisements this September in a campaign being promoted by a Brooklyn imam whom federal officials have linked to a plot to blow up city landmarks.
Ali / Think Progress:
McCain Warns Of ‘Hard Struggle’ On The ‘Iraq-Pakistan Border’  —  Today on Good Morning America, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) refused to call the situation in Afghanistan “precarious and urgent,” but admitted that “We have a lot of work to do.”  He warned of a “very hard struggle …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and MSNBC
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 More Items: 
John R. Emshwiller / Wall Street Journal:
A Top Obama Fund-Raiser Had Ties to Failed Bank
Discussion: MSNBC
Andrew Gelman / The Monkey Cage:
Left-right ideology of voters, congressmembers, and senators
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
National Review:
A Strategy For McCain  —  EDITOR'S NOTE: A longer version …
Sarah Baxter / Times of London:
Barack Obama fears the Blair effect: hero abroad, liability at home
Discussion: Commentary and Gateway Pundit
 Earlier Items: 
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
Sobriety, Herr Obama
Robert D. Novak / Washington Post:
In Iraq, and Under the Spotlight
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Blog P.I.
Kate Phillips / The Caucus:
Dobson Leans Toward Endorsing McCain
Times of London:
Gordon Brown aide a victim of honeytrap operation by Chinese agents