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1:55 PM ET, July 21, 2008


 Top Items: 
Drudge Report:
NYT REJECTS MCCAIN'S EDITORIAL; SHOULD ‘MIRROR’ OBAMA  —  An editorial written by Republican presidential hopeful McCain has been rejected by the NEW YORK TIMES — less than a week after the paper published an essay written by Obama, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
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.
Andy McCarthy / The Corner:
Re: Maliki's “Inartful” Statement  —  If the New York Times account is to be credited, McCain should stick with the “Maliki was ‘inartful’” explanation.  “Mistranslated and taken out of context” is not gonna fly.  —  The Times indicates that, after Maliki's interview comments in Der Spiegel became known, U.S. diplomats complained.
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.
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
McCain Camp Now Officially Disputing Maliki Translation  —  For the first time, the McCain campaign is trying to dismiss Maliki's endorsement of Obama's troop-withdrawal timeline by questioning the translation — even though a published report in the New York Times convincingly argues that the translation was accurate.
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?
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
News in terror hot spots appears to aid Obama
Discussion: The Caucus, and The Jed Report
Liz Sly / Chicago Tribune:
Pullout debate rages despite calm in Iraq
Discussion: The Swamp and Real Clear Politics
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 …
Michael Luo / New York Times:
Clinton Lends Her Campaign More Money as Its Debt Proves Stubborn
Discussion: TownHall Blog and Spin Cycle
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 …
Tony Campbell / The Moderate Voice:
Obama: Go to Mecca, not Berlin  —  The travel itineraries of the candidates for President have been interesting to analyze.  A couple of weeks ago it was announced that Cindy McCain was going to travel to Rwanda as part of a group to discuss the effects of poverty and disease on the people in that country.
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
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.
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
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.
National Review:
A Strategy For McCain  —  EDITOR'S NOTE: A longer version of this piece appears in the new issue of National Review.  —  The good news for Republicans is that Obama can be beaten.  The bad news is that the McCain campaign has embarked on a course that — although it has some of the right elements — seems likely to fail.
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.
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 …
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 More Items: 
William Tucker / Wall Street Journal:
Let's Have Some Love for Nuclear Power
Deborah / News Hounds:
Maybe FOX News Needs To Hire Fact and Spell Checkers
Discussion: Think Progress
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Barack Who?  —  President Bush was asked twice last week about Sen. Barack Obama.
Discussion: CNN and Think Progress
Jon Perr / Crooks and Liars:
“All Roads Lead to Rove” - A Netroots Nation Interview with Don Siegelman
Josh Kraushaar / The Crypt's Blogs:
DSCC, DCCC post strong fundraising numbers
Washington Post:
Obama Arrives in Baghdad to Discuss Iraq Strategy
Ross Douthat:
Obama and the Evangelicals, Cont.
 Earlier Items: 
John R. Emshwiller / Wall Street Journal:
A Top Obama Fund-Raiser Had Ties to Failed Bank
Discussion: MSNBC
Lynn Sweet:
Obama campaign plane poised to depart from Chicago for Mid-east and Europe
Dana Goldstein / American Prospect:
Sarah Baxter / Times of London:
Barack Obama fears the Blair effect: hero abroad, liability at home
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
Sobriety, Herr Obama
Jose Antonio Vargas / Washington Post:
Liberal Bloggers Brace for Victory
Kate Phillips / The Caucus:
Dobson Leans Toward Endorsing McCain