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1:50 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 …
Matthew Yglesias:
Ah, Journalism  —  So it seems that Barack Obama said something like: … One could dispute that theory, but it's not a particularly remarkable thing to say.  You have a candidate who was greeted enthusiastically in Europe saying that the enthusiasm was about something larger than him …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and TPMCafe
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Cyclops and Cunning  —  In his eight days around the world, Barack Obama learned a lot.  —  His meeting with Angela Merkel taught him a whole new expression.  —  “When we were talking about Iran,” he told me, “it turns out that carrots and sticks in German is sweetbread and whips, which I thought was a little more evocative.”
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.”
Washington Post:
McCain Charge Against Obama Lacks Evidence  —  For four days, Sen. John McCain and his allies have accused Sen. Barack Obama of snubbing wounded soldiers by canceling a visit to a military hospital because he could not take reporters with him, despite no evidence that the charge is true.
Michael Goldfarb / John McCain Report blog:
Eleven Different Excuses
The Hill:
1. Statuesque beauty  —  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.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Frank James / The Swamp:
Stevens woes = 60 votes for Dems?  —  The federal indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens certainly is buoying Democratic hopes that they could pick up enough Senate seats to get to the magical 60 votes, enough for a veto-proof majority.  —  It would be the first time in 30 years that a party would hold such a majority in the Senate.
Discussion: The Crypt's Blogs
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 …
Cristian Hernandez / Navy Times:
Bill to aid paralyzed vets blocked in Senate  —  A bill promising more money for programs that help paralyzed veterans is part of a bundle of legislation tied up in partisan bickering in the Senate.  —  The Christopher Reeve and Dana Reeve Act, which includes money for research into spinal cord injuries …
Discussion: Big Brass Blog
John Byrne / The Raw Story:
Congress blocks $25 million effort to aid paralyzed vets
Discussion: Blue Girl, Red State
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
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 More Items: 
The Hill:
The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful 2008  —  Welcome to The Hill's fifth …
Discussion: The Swamp
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
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Restaurant Chains Close as Diners Reduce Spending
Lois Romano / Washington Post:
Surviving The Free Fall
Jill Zuckman / The Swamp:
Obama ‘biggest celebrity in world’ but...
Wall Street Journal:  —  Bad personnel decisions have haunted …
 Earlier Items: 
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
Discussion: Hot Air and The Next Right
Natalie Gewargis / Political Punch:
Obama to House Dems: If Sanctions Fail, Israel Will Likely Strike Iran
John Dickerson / Slate:
New York Post:
Darryl Fears / Washington Post:
House Issues An Apology For Slavery
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Those privacy-hating Chinese communist tyrants
Dan Casey / The Roanoke Times:
Aide to U.S. Senator Jim Webb found dead from apparent gunshot wound
Discussion: Wake up America