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7:15 PM ET, July 30, 2008


 Top Items: 
Marc Ambinder:
Weaver, McCain's Former Strategist, Calls “Celeb” Ad “Childish”  —  John Weaver, for years one of John McCain's closest friends and confidants, has been in exile since his resignation from McCain's presidential campaign last year.  With the exception of an occasional interview, he has …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Keeping Track  —  I note with interest today, John McCain's new tactic of associating Barack Obama with oversexed and/or promiscuous young white women.  (See today's new ad and this from yesterday.)  Presumably, a la Harold Ford 2006, this will be one of those strategies that will be a matter …
Isabel Wilkinson / The Huffington Post:
A Week In John McCain's Shoes — His $520 Ferragamo Loafers, That Is  —  This summer John McCain is traveling in style.  He has worn a pair of $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop — from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem …
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
With Commercial, McCain Gets Much More Than His Money's Worth  —  WASHINGTON — The number of times Senator John McCain's new advertisement attacking Senator Barack Obama for canceling a visit with wounded troops in Germany last week has been shown fully or partly on local, national and cable newscasts: well into the hundreds.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
McCain's Risky Ad Strategy  —  UPDATE, 6:30 pm: Barack Obama's campaign has quickly turned around a response ad that bashes John McCain for practicing the “politics of the past.”  —  The key image?  McCain and President Bush standing side by side while the words “John McCain: Same Old Politics, Same Failed Policies” appear on screen.
Discussion: The Trail, Truthdig and Oliver Willis
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
AXELROD RESPONDS TO MCCAIN TV AD  —  From NBC's Andrea Mitchell  —  Obama senior strategist David Axelrod called into the 1:00 pm MSNBC hour to respond to McCain's latest TV ad.  Having watched McCain campaign policy adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer defend it, Axelrod called in and said the latest ad is both “sophomoric” and “negative.”
Wall Street Journal:   McCain's Tax Blunder
David Weigel / Reason Magazine:
I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Kill Her
Discussion: The Crossed Pond
Massie Ritsch /
Watchdogs Compare McCain, Obama on Donor Disclosure
Discussion: Salon
Ben Smith / The Politico:
McCain campaign backs off ‘cameras’ charge
Michael Cooper / The Caucus:
McCain: No New Taxes (Redux)
Michael Goldfarb / John McCain Report blog:
Eleven Different Excuses
Discussion: Media Blog
Christopher Hayes / The Nation:   Let's Play: If I Were a Right Wing Blogger
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
President Obama Continues Hectic Victory Tour  —  Barack Obama has long been his party's presumptive nominee.  Now he's becoming its presumptuous nominee.  —  Fresh from his presidential-style world tour, during which foreign leaders and American generals lined up to show him affection …
Jonathan Weisman / The Trail:
Obama's Symbolic Importance  —  In his closed door meeting with House Democrats Tuesday night, presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama delivered a real zinger, according to a witness, suggesting that he was beginning to believe his own hype.  —  Obama was waxing lyrical about last week's trip …
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Obama camp condemns song: Ludacris ‘should be ashamed’  —  Barack Obama's campaign is condemning a song by the rapper Ludacris that praises Obama and bitterly attacks Senators Hillary Clinton and John McCain.  —  “As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today …
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Audio: This is not the Ludacris that Barack Obama thought he knew; Update: Obama spokesman condemns  —  It hasn't gained enough critical media mass yet to warrant the pro forma denunciatory campaign statement, but the week is still young.  Lyrics are available in the YouTube sidebar …
Amanda Erickson / The Swamp:
Obama + Ludacris = best friends 4eva
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Obama trip abroad doesn't move poll numbers  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — It was a weeklong trip that drew blanket media coverage and sharp criticism from Republicans, but Sen. Barack Obama's recent tour abroad did little to alter his standing in the presidential race, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll.
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Poll: Most Americans want offshore drilling
Discussion: Commentary and
The Hill:
50 Most Beautiful People on Capitol Hill 2008 - Top 10  —  Political party: Democrat.  —  Dating status: “Happily single”  —  She's striking - and accident-prone.  —  Three weeks ago, Tulani Elisa, a legislative assistant for Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), fell down while going up the Metro escalator that leads into Dupont Circle.
David Stout / New York Times:
Democrats Call for Contempt Charges Against Rove  —  WASHINGTON — Democrats on both sides of the Capitol assailed the administration's handling of the Justice Department yet again on Wednesday, and a House committee recommended contempt charges against Karl Rove, who was President Bush's top political adviser.
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
For White House, Hiring Is Political
Discussion: Think Progress
Mother Jones:
There's Something About Mary: Unmasking a Gun Lobby Mole  —  NEWS: Mary McFate was a prominent gun control activist.  Mary Lou Sapone was a freelance spy with an NRA connection.  They are the same person.  A Mother Jones investigation.  —  This is the story of two Marys.
Gallup Daily: Presidential Race Tightens to 4 Points  —  PRINCETON, NJ — After moving into a nine percentage point lead over John McCain in Gallup Poll Daily tracking of national registered voters this past weekend, Barack Obama now leads by just four points, 46% to 42%.
Romney “Not Planning” On VP Nod  —  “I think there's some great people he could choose from and I expect he will do that.  But I don't plan on being part of the ticket.”  —  Campaign 2008: Get the latest news, video, and polls!  —  AUDIO: Romney talks about VP rumors on 850 KOA's The Ride Home
Discussion: MSNBC, Balloon Juice and Obsidian Wings
Tom Bevan / Real Clear Politics:
McCain Memo Slams Obama's Celebrity  —  Following on the heels of its new ad knocking Barack Obama's celebrity status, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis unleashed a memo to “interested parties” (in other words, everyone), trying to push forward the narrative that Obama is a popular …
Washington Wire:
McCain Ad: Celebrity (Obama) vs. Hero (McCain)
Discussion: Economist's View
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 More Items: 
The Onion:
Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet
Ben Pershing / Capitol Briefing:
The Politics of Adjournment
Frank James / The Swamp:
Pawlenty: Let's govern like Sam's Club
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
Rocky Anderson / The Nation:
Today in The Nation: Open Letter to Barack Obama
Legislators aim to snuff out penalties for pot use
Domenico Montanaro / MSNBC:
Neil Vigdor / Stamford Advocate:
A ‘big rat’ may greet Lieberman at GOP convention
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
John Kass / Chicago Tribune:
Hopium helps you forget several unpleasant facts
Tim Rutten / Los Angeles Times:
The putsch that imperiled America
Jerusalem Post:
Olmert says he will resign after Kadima elects new leader
Tim Wu / New York Times:
OPEC 2.0  —  AMERICANS today spend almost as much on bandwidth …
Discussion: The Glittering Eye
Michael Novak / The Corner:
The Flag in the Lapel  —  Now we know why Obama took the American flag off his lapel.
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Restaurant Chains Close as Diners Reduce Spending
Carol Marin / Chicago Sun Times:
Women voters aren't warming to ‘cool’ Obama
National Enquirer: