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6:55 AM ET, July 29, 2008


 Top Items: 
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.
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.
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 …
Israel Insider:
Paper, rapped for outing Obama note, claims campaign pre-approved leak  —  What initially seemed to be a journalistic scoop of dubious moral propriety now seems to be a case of an Israeli paper being played by the Barack Obama campaign.  Maariv, the second most popular newspaper in Israel …
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 …
Eran Azran / Haaretz:
Lawyer seeks police probe into removal, publication of note Obama put in the Western Wall  —  A Jerusalem lawyer petitioned the attorney general Sunday asking him to order a police investigation into the removal and subsequent publication of a personal note left in a crack of the Western Wall …
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.
RJ Eskow / The Huffington Post:
Monster: Who Really Killed the Knoxville Unitarians?  —  I'd say that Unitarians were God's thoughtful people, but they make no particular claims about God.  In some parts of the country that takes real courage.  —  My first wife and I joined a Unitarian church in suburban DC and raised our kids there.
Confederate Yankee:
Small Miracles  —  There was a shooting at the Tennessee Valley …
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
A Canceled Obama Visit, and the Story Behind It  —  WASHINGTON — For four days, Senator John McCain has sought to keep alive a story about how Senator Barack Obama called off a visit to American troops recuperating from war wounds at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
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.
Discussion: and Soccer Dad
Steven Lee Myers / New York Times:
Bush Praises Pakistan Just Hours After U.S. Strike  —  WASHINGTON — President Bush on Monday praised Pakistan's commitment to fighting extremists along its deteriorating border with Afghanistan, only hours after an American missile strike destroyed what American and Pakistani officials described …
Discussion: Truthdig
Al Qaeda chemist likely target of U.S. missile strike
Discussion: The Jawa Report
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.
Richard Cohen / Real Clear Politics:
Known Unknowns About Obama  —  “Just tell me one thing Barack Obama has done that you admire,” I asked a prominent Democrat.  He paused and then said that he admired Obama's speech to the Democratic convention in 2004.  I agreed.  It was a hell of a speech, but it was just a speech.
Discussion: Commentary
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
johnny dollar's place:
‘I Hope He Lingers and Goes Slow and Hard!’  —  J$P Audio!  Blue blogs express their sympathy for Bob Novak:
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 More Items: 
Gareth Porter / IPS Inter Press Service:
POLITICS: Bush Forced al-Maliki to Back Down on Pullout in 2006
Greg Palast:
Obama Doesn't Sweat. He should.
Discussion: The Sideshow and Wampum
Kate Klonick / TPMMuckraker:
Goodling to Interviewee: What Is It About GWB That Makes You Want to Serve Him?
Jay Cost / HorseRaceBlog:
On Obama's Message  —  Pundits have criticized the McCain campaign …
Tyler Cowen / Marginal Revolution:
The cost of mortgage agency bailouts
Discussion: EconLog and QandO
Thomas Beaumont / Des Moines Register:
Pawlenty to campaign in Iowa Saturday
Rasmussen Reports:
Huckabee, Lieberman Have Highest Favorables among Possible McCain Veep Choices
Discussion: The Jed Report
Michael Scherer / Time:
The Candidates' Tax Plans: Fuzzy Math
 Earlier Items: 
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Geraghty: Source says it's Pawlenty for VP
Robert M. McDowell / Washington Post:
Who Should Solve This Internet Crisis?
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”
Martin Kady II / The Crypt's Blogs:
Coburn gets best of Reid on ‘omnibus’ package
Katie Fretland / The Swamp:
McCain has spot removed, awaits biopsy
Little Green Footballs:
When Disco Dudes Attack
Mark Murray / MSNBC: