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3:22 AM ET, July 29, 2008


 Top Items: 
USA Today:
Gains for McCain in latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll  —  Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among “likely” voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Where's the Bounce?  —  WASHINGTON — It is a question that has hovered over Senator Barack Obama even as he has passed milestone after milestone in his race for the White House: Why is he not doing better?  —  It shadowed him as he struggled against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton …
Gallup Daily: Obama 48%, McCain 40%  —  No further gains for Obama in latest update  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Barack Obama's lead over John McCain has settled back slightly to a 48% to 40% margin among registered voters in Gallup Poll Daily tracking conducted July 25-27.
Tom Bevan / Real Clear Politics:
Gallup/USA Today Poll: McCain +4  —  This one should set the tongues wagging: … This is the first poll showing McCain with a lead over Obama since a May 1-3 Gallup/USA Today survey showed him with a slim 1 point lead.  A Fox News poll at the end of April had McCain up 3.
Mark Blumenthal /
Berlin Bounce?  —  The polling question of the morning seems …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
The Politico:
Kaine ‘very, very high’ on VP shortlist  —  As Senator Barack Obama turns to the choice of his running mate, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has emerged as one of the campaign's potential finalists, sources familiar with conversations in Richmond and in Chicago said.
Washington Post:
Kaine in ‘Serious’ Talks With Obama  —  Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has told close associates that he has had “very serious” conversations with Sen. Barack Obama about joining the Democratic presidential ticket and has provided documents to the campaign as it combs through his background, according to several sources close to Kaine.
Discussion: TalkLeft and Hot Air
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
Obama-Clinton Ticket Is Seen as Unlikely  —  WASHINGTON — When Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton abandoned her bid for the presidency and endorsed Senator Barack Obama in June, she made clear that she was interested in becoming his running mate, and Mr. Obama and his associates signaled respectfully that she would get full consideration.
Discussion: The New Republic
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Staunch Hillary Clinton delegate axed by Wisconsin party
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Veepstakes: Divining Obama's Thinking
Discussion: and NO QUARTER
Hayes Hickman / Knoxville News-Sentinel:
Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity on accused shooter's reading list  —  4-page letter outlines frustration, hatred of ‘liberal movement’  —  Please download the latest version of Adobe Flash Player, or enable JavaScript for your browser to view the video player.
Bob Fowler / Knoxville News-Sentinel:
Accused church shooter threatened to kill wife, himself
Discussion: Pharyngula and Winds of Change.NET
RJ Eskow / The Huffington Post:
Monster: Who Really Killed the Knoxville Unitarians?
Discussion: Shakesville
Blue Texan / Firedoglake:
Right Wing Blogosphere Completely Ignores Domestic Terrorism In Knoxville
Discussion: Guardian
The New Republic:
Is Anything Sacred?  —  Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv was lambasted for printing the note that Obama placed in the Western Wall, allegedly stolen by a Yeshiva student.  “Notes which are placed in the Western Wall are between the person and his Maker; Heaven forbid that one should read them or use them in any way …
Jerusalem Post:
Attorney: Probe Israeli paper for printing Obama note  —  Attorney Shahar Alon petitioned Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz on Sunday to order police to open a criminal investigation against the editor of Ma'ariv and other correspondents from the newspaper following its publication …
Eran Azran / Haaretz:
Lawyer seeks police probe into removal, publication of note …
Discussion: Big Lizards and Brutally Honest
Israel Insider:   Paper, rapped for outing Obama note, claims campaign pre-approved leak
Maureen O'Donnell / Chicago Sun Times:
Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak says he has brain tumor  —  Biopsy set for later today  —  Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak said today he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor but says that, “God willing,” he plans to be back at work soon.  —  Novak said he was diagnosed Sunday …
Carrie Johnson / Washington Post:
Internal Justice Dept. Report Cites Illegal Hiring Practices  —  For nearly two years, a young political aide sought to cultivate a “farm system” for Republicans at the Justice Department, hiring scores of prosecutors and immigration judges who espoused conservative priorities and Christian lifestyle choices.
American Prospect:
How Important Was the Surge?  —  Ten Iraq experts weigh in on the effectiveness of the surge.  —  The past few weeks have been momentous for the national conversation about Iraq.  Nouri al-Maliki's explicitly stated insistence on a timetable for American withdrawal was transformative.
Transcript: ‘Response ... will be a positive one’  —  Ahmadinejad welcomes ‘new behavior’ from United States, if sincere … WILLIAMS: Mr. President, I know you wanted to begin with a statement.  —  AHMADINEJAD: In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful, a prayer for the emergence of the 12th imam.
Roger Runningen / Bloomberg:
U.S. Deficit to Reach Record $490 Billion in 2009  —  The U.S. budget deficit will widen to a record of about $490 billion next year, an administration official said, leaving a deep budget hole that will constrain the next president's tax and spending plans.
Thomas Beaumont / Des Moines Register:
Pawlenty to campaign in Iowa Saturday  —  Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, considered a potential running mate for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, plans to campaign in Iowa on Saturday.  —  Pawlenty is scheduled to be the featured guest in Ames, as the Republican Party of Iowa holds …
Discussion: The Campaign Spot
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
John McCain: ‘Days of the sound-bite’  —  John McCain, quoted as saying last week that Barack Obama's 16-month timeframe for withdrawal from Iraq is “a pretty good timetable,” suggested tonight that the rest of his comment has been overlooked - that any timetable must be “based on conditions.”
Discussion: Top of the Ticket
Katie Fretland / The Swamp:
McCain has spot removed, awaits biopsy  —  Sen. John McCain, who survived melanoma three times after suffering sun damage from his years as a Vietnam POW, said he had a spot of skin removed from his right cheek today.  Doctors will perform a biopsy of the spot, AP reports.
Wall Street Journal:
The Greatest Scandal  —  The profound failure of inner-city public schools to teach children may be the nation's greatest scandal.  The differences between the two Presidential candidates on this could hardly be more stark.  John McCain is calling for alternatives to the system; Barack Obama wants the kids to stay within that system.
Discussion: PrestoPundit
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 More Items: 
Rasmussen Reports:
Huckabee, Lieberman Have Highest Favorables among Possible McCain Veep Choices
Discussion: The Jed Report
Al Qaeda chemist likely target of U.S. missile strike
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Geraghty: Source says it's Pawlenty for VP
Robert M. McDowell / Washington Post:
Who Should Solve This Internet Crisis?
See-Dubya /
Counterjihad in Tulsa: Jamal Miftah's lawsuit moves forward
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
GOP Budget Hawks Don't Count A Few Hundred Billion For War
Michael Calderone / The Politico:
O'Reilly calls McClellan a “liar”
Snubbing Wounded Troops?
 Earlier Items: 
Martin Kady II / The Crypt's Blogs:
Coburn gets best of Reid on ‘omnibus’ package
Little Green Footballs:
When Disco Dudes Attack
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
Obama's Futile Chase For “Values” Voters
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
Lee Smith / Slate:
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Krooney /
McAuliffe: Clinton Will “Probably” Speak at Convention Tuesday Night
Discussion: Salon
Pierre Thomas / ABCNEWS:
U.S. Headed for ‘Heightened Alert’ Stage
James Gordon Meek / NY Daily News:
Go take a hike, injured vets tell nervy Cheney