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1:05 PM ET, July 28, 2008


 Top Items: 
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
McCain Says Obama Plays Politics on Iraq  —  Some Fellow Republicans Question Tactics  —  In his most direct challenge yet of his Democratic presidential rival's Iraq policy, Sen. John McCain suggested yesterday that Sen. Barack Obama had crafted a war strategy designed to further his own political advancement.
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: ANALYZE THIS  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro  —  *** Analyze this: We've now crossed the 100-day mark before Election Day, and the chattering class is going to obsessed with two things this week: 1) over-analyzing the veepstakes and 2) over-analyzing any overseas bounce for Obama.
The Politico:
McCain takes aim at Obama's character
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
William Kristol / New York Times:
Be Afraid.  Please.  —  Life is full of disappointments.  —  Early Friday, I went to the Real Clear Politics Web site, as I do every morning, for my fix of political news and commentary.  I perked up when I saw the third entry on the list of that day's notable articles — “No. 44 Has Spoken.”
Hayes Hickman / Knoxville News-Sentinel:
Police: Accused shooter hated liberals, expected to be killed  —  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.
Duncan Mansfield / Associated Press:
Police: Man shot churchgoers over liberal views
Discussion: Sweetness & Light
James Gordon Meek / NY Daily News:
Go take a hike, injured vets tell nervy Cheney  —  WASHINGTON - Vice President Cheney's invitation to address wounded combat veterans next month has been yanked because the group felt his security demands were Draconian and unreasonable.  —  The veep had planned to speak to the Disabled American Veterans …
Carrie Johnson / Washington Post:
Justice Officials Repeatedly Broke Law on Hiring, Report Says  —  Former Justice Department counselor Monica M. Goodling and former chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson routinely broke the law by conducting political litmus tests on candidates for jobs as immigration judges and line prosecutors …
Andy Zajac / The Swamp:
Bush Justice officials broke law: DOJ IG  —  Monica Goodling and D. Kyle Sampson, key aides to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, violated federal law and departmental policy by considering political affiliation and other improper factors in Justice Department hiring decisions …
Discussion: The Crypt's Blogs
Eric Lichtblau / New York Times:   Gonzales Aides Broke Laws in Hiring, Report Concludes
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Democrats Try to Break Grip of the Senate's Dr. No  —  WASHINGTON — Congress has dealt for decades with catchall bills known as omnibus legislation.  Now, for the first time, comes the Tomnibus.  —  A product of Democratic frustration with the tactics of Senator Tom Coburn …
Ezra Klein / American Prospect:
TOO HARD FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND.  —  For reasons that I try not to speculate on before 9am, the media likes to make policy disputes sound incredibly complicated.  Much too complicated for mortals to understand, or base electoral behavior on.  Take this Time article on the various tax plans floating around the election.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Eschaton
Michael Scherer / Time:
The Candidates' Tax Plans: Fuzzy Math
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Swampland
Robert D. Novak / Washington Post:
Closer Than He Should Be  —  In the contest for president, Barack Obama is a magnetic candidate supported by a disciplined, well-organized campaign.  John McCain seems wooden, with a campaign that appears to be in shambles.  Yet Obama's lead in the polls over McCain is fragile because he so far …
Christopher Conkey / Wall Street Journal:
Funds for Highways Plummet As Drivers Cut Gasoline Use  —  An unprecedented cutback in driving is slashing the funds available to rebuild the nation's aging highway system and expand mass-transit options, underscoring the economic impact of high gasoline prices.
Richard Wolf / USA Today:
Record deficit expected in 2009  —  WASHINGTON — The White House has increased its estimate for next year's deficit to nearly $490 billion, a record figure that will saddle the next president with deepening budget problems in his first year in office, a report due out Monday shows.
Jonathan Weisman / Washington Post:
Federal Deficit Grows After Three Years of Decline
Washington Post:
For Obama, Hurdles in Expanding Black Vote  —  MACON, Ga. — Amanda Bass, a volunteer for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, had already tried once to get Wilmer Gray to register to vote.  But when she glimpsed him in a black T-shirt and White Sox cap again on a recent weekday …
Human Events:
Robert Novak Hospitalized  —  Robert Novak was admitted yesterday to a Boston hospital where he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  In a written statement given to his publisher, Novak said:  —  “On Sunday, July 27, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  I have been admitted to Brigham …
Discussion: and TVNewser
Wall Street Journal:
Docking Paychecks for Politics  —  The mighty Service Employees International Union (SEIU) plans to spend some $150 million in this year's election, most of it to get Barack Obama and other Democrats elected.  Where'd they get that much money?  —  That's a question the Departments of Labor …
Discussion: D-Day, Hot Air, QandO and Betsy's Page
Nate /
Romney's Effect On the Map  —  If Bob Novak is circulating internal polls showing Mitt Romney helping John McCain in Michigan, you can be pretty sure that the Republican establishment is behind the idea of making Romney McCain's VP.  It's easy enough to understand why.
Pierre Thomas / ABCNEWS:
U.S. Headed for ‘Heightened Alert’ Stage  —  Exclusive: Major Events on the Horizon Prompt a Surge in Anti-Terror Efforts  —  Government officials have been quietly stepping up counterterror efforts out of a growing concern that al Qaeda or similar organizations might try to capitalize …
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 More Items: 
Richard A. Oppel Jr / New York Times:
U.S. Military Says Soldiers Fired on Civilians
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
FixCam Week in Preview: Veepstakes Timing
Discussion: Salon
Keith Bradsher / New York Times:
Fuel Subsidies Overseas Take a Toll on U.S.
Bonnie Fuller / AdAge:
Bonnie Fuller on Team Obama's Tabloid Strategy
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Change Obama can't believe in; he's on a ticket with Larry Craig
Discussion: Media Blog
Matthew Yglesias:
Shame Economics  —  Many analysts believe that the incidence …
City Journal:
Economics Does Not Lie
Discussion: Economist's View
Kelly Moeller / Political Punch:
Two former Bush Advisers Now Advising Obama, Will Appear at Economic Meeting Today
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Bomb Attacks in Baghdad and Kirkuk Leave Dozens Dead
Discussion: The Reaction and Taylor Marsh
Russell Berman / New York Sun:
Chances Dim for Clinton as Obama V.P.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Another Temporary Fix
Discussion: Achenblog and DownWithTyranny!
Michelle Malkin:
McCain finally endorses campaign to end racial preferences...or does he?
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
McCain has reason to smile as he visits state
Jimmy Vielkind / Albany Times Union:
Cuomo to Obama: Be specific
Rick Moran / Right Wing Nut House: