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2:35 PM ET, July 30, 2008


 Top Items: 
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 …
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 …
Mark Murray / MSNBC:
FIRST THOUGHTS: ROCK BOTTOM FOR GOPERS?  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro  —  *** Rock bottom for Republicans?  OK, Hill Republicans, ask yourselves — is this bottom?  The indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) is a BIG deal.  This appears to be a case of a politician …
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.
New York Times:
Low-Road Express  —  Well, that certainly didn't take long.  On July 3, news reports said Senator John McCain, worried that he might lose the election before it truly started, opened his doors to disciples of Karl Rove from the 2004 campaign and the Bush White House.  Less than a month later, the results are on full display.
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 …
Ben Smith / The Politico:
McCain campaign backs off ‘cameras’ charge  —  McCain's camp, accused in the New York Times and the Washington Post this morning of distorting Obama's canceled trip to a military hospital in German, seems to have backed off the core of the charge: That he canceled the trip because “the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras.”
Discussion: AMERICAblog News and Daily Kos
Michael Goldfarb / John McCain Report blog:
Eleven Different Excuses
Washington Post:
McCain Charge Against Obama Lacks Evidence
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.
The Hill:
The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful 2008  —  Welcome to The Hill's fifth …
Discussion: The Swamp
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 $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop — from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem …
National Enquirer:
EDWARDS' HU$H MONEY TO MISTRESS  —  A NATIONAL ENQUIRER investigation has uncovered John Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter - the mother of his “love child” - has been secretly receiv­ing $15,000 a month as part of an elaborate cover-up orchestrated by the former presidential contender.
Carol Marin / Chicago Sun Times:
Women voters aren't warming to ‘cool’ Obama  —  The Obama campaign has a woman problem.  How big?  How small?  It's not clear, but in a close election, small can be big.  —  And Michelle Obama spoke to it Monday in Chicago.  —  Departing from her prepared remarks …
Amanda Erickson / The Swamp:
Obama + Ludacris = BFF  —  As if Barack Obama, presumed Democratic nominee, weren't popular enough with the kids.  —  A loyal Swamp reader points out that Illinois-born rapper Ludacris has just released a new song about his favorite politician, Barack Obama.  —  Among the jewels of wisdom:
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs
Jill Zuckman / The Swamp:
Obama ‘biggest celebrity in world’ but...
Jerusalem Post:
Olmert says he will resign after Kadima elects new leader  —  Prime Minister Ehud Olmert held a special press conference on Wednesday at 8 p.m. where he announced he will not run in the Kadima primary scheduled to take place in September, adding that he would resign from office upon selection of a successor …
Michael Novak / The Corner:
The Flag in the Lapel  —  Now we know why Obama took the American flag off his lapel.  On July 24, in Berlin, he told us.  The American flag is too small to contain him.  He is not comfortable being an American citizen, only fully comfortable as a citizen of the world.
Wall Street Journal:
McCain's Tax Blunder  —  One of the miracles of this Presidential election campaign is that John McCain still has a chance to win, notwithstanding his best attempts to kick it away.  In his latest random policy improvisation, the Arizona Senator tried to give up the tax issue.
Discussion: and Taegan Goddard's …
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.
Hernán Rozemberg / Houston Chronicle:
New immigration strategy Deport yourself  —  Agency allows immigrants here illegally to avoid raids, prison by turning selves in  —  Comments Recommend  —  Rather than risk getting caught, turn yourselves in.  —  That's the latest government strategy in its ongoing effort to dramatically reduce …
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%.
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 More Items: 
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Richardson will host Clinton fundraisers
Discussion: MSNBC
Eric Moskowitz / Boston Globe:
A curb on gay marriage will fall
Gordon / Harry's Place:
Orwell the blogger  —  Okay so not exactly, but George Orwell's diaries …
Gina Chon / Wall Street Journal:
U.S., Iraq Move Closer To Reaching a Security Deal
Cristian Hernandez / Navy Times:
Bill to aid paralyzed vets blocked in Senate
Tim Wu / New York Times:
OPEC 2.0  —  AMERICANS today spend almost as much on bandwidth …
Agence France Presse:
Saudi religious police ban pet cats and dogs
Andy Barr / The Hill:
House Judiciary Committee holds Rove in contempt
 Earlier Items: 
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Restaurant Chains Close as Diners Reduce Spending
Lois Romano / Washington Post:
Surviving The Free Fall
Frank James / The Swamp:
Stevens woes = 60 votes for Dems?
Discussion: The Crypt's Blogs
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Audio: This is not the Ludacris that Barack Obama thought he knew
Discussion: ATTACKERMAN and Gateway Pundit
Anna Palmer / Roll Call:
Lobbyists Give to Obama Campaign
Natalie Gewargis / Political Punch:
Obama to House Dems: If Sanctions Fail, Israel Will Likely Strike Iran
New York Post:
Dan Casey / The Roanoke Times:
Aide to U.S. Senator Jim Webb found dead from apparent gunshot wound