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9:55 AM ET, July 31, 2008


 Top Items: 
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
GOP's celeb-Obama message gains traction  —  Barack Obama's critics laid down the foundations of the strategy months ago: The Republican National Committee started the “Audacity Watch” back in April, and Karl Rove later fueled the attack by describing the first-term Illinois senator as “coolly arrogant.”
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
McCain Tries to Define Obama as Out of Touch  —  WASHINGTON — After spending much of the summer searching for an effective line of attack against Senator Barack Obama, Senator John McCain is beginning a newly aggressive campaign to define Mr. Obama as arrogant, out of touch and unprepared for the presidency.
The Paris Hilton comparisons  —  (CNN) — John McCain is facing criticism from many Democrats for likening Barack Obama to Paris Hilton, but the Illinois senator made the same comparison himself at a dinner in 2004.  —  “Andy Warhol said we all get our 15 minutes of fame,” …
Washington Post:
As Aides Map Aggressive Race, McCain Often Steers Off Course
Plain Dealer / OPENERS:
McCain ad attacking Obama's celebrity is a ‘zero’
Marc Ambinder:
Weaver, McCain's Former Strategist, Calls “Celeb” Ad “Childish”
Gomonkeygo / The New Disease:
What's the Word, John?  —  Miscegenation (Latin miscere “to mix” + genus “kind") is the mixing of different racial groups, that is, marrying, cohabiting, having sexual relations and having children with a partner from outside of one's racially or ethnically defined group.  —  Obama.  Britney.
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Rick Perlstein / Blog entry:
Liberal Fascism  —  Recall that John McCain's new adviser Karl Rove has said he creates campaigns for people who watch TV with the sound off.  I watched John McCain's new TV commercial with the sound off, the one, it's already been well-explicated, with the Barack Obama will rape yo daughta overtones:
Discussion: BAGnewsNotes
Mike Glover / Associated Press:
Obama says Republicans trying to scare voters
Discussion: Dean's World
Zzaki / Political Punch:
Did Obama Accuse McCain of Running a Racist, Xenophobic Campaign?  —  “John McCain right now, he's spending an awful lot of time talking about me,” Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said today in Rolla, Mo. “You notice that?  I haven't seen an ad yet where he talks about what he's gonna do.
Daniel Henninger / Wall Street Journal:
Is John McCain Stupid?  —  Is John McCain losing it?  —  On Sunday, he said on national television that to solve Social Security “everything's on the table,” which of course means raising payroll taxes.  On July 7 in Denver he said: “Senator Obama will raise your taxes.  I won't.”
Discussion: The Swamp, EconLog and Campaign Stops
Barak Ravid / Haaretz:
Olmert to step down in September, vows to push for peace first  —  Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday that he has decided not to contend in the Kadima primary election and would resign as soon as the new party leader was chosen, due to the criminal investigations in which he has been embroiled in recent months.
Ian Black / Guardian:
Olmert to resign as Israeli PM
Ann Coulter / Human Events:
A Baby Daddy For Both Americas  —  The mainstream media really seem to imagine they can prevent Americans from knowing information by refusing to mention it in newspapers or on TV.  —  For those few Americans without an Internet connection and to whom I have not faxed the National Enquirer stories …
Discussion: Don Surber
New York Post:
HILLARY IN MYSTERY POWWOW  —  IT sure looked like Hillary Rodham Clinton was plotting her political future at a secret ladies-only dinner in Washington the other night.  —  The New York senator was guest of honor at Tuesday's hush-hush powwow that raised speculation about a possible White House run in 2012.
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
McCain's True Voice  —  In the dog days of summer, John McCain's political personality has become so fuzzy that even some Republicans are worrying about his viability.  But if you want a reminder of why McCain should be a formidable candidate, take another look at his remarkable 1999 autobiography, “Faith of My Fathers.”
Discussion: Firedoglake and Commentary
Peter S. Goodman / New York Times:
A Hidden Toll on Employment: Cut to Part Time  —  The number of Americans who have seen their full-time jobs chopped to part time because of weak business has swelled to more than 3.7 million — the largest figure since the government began tracking such data more than half a century ago.
The Politico:
Cohen lacks DCCC support  —  Democratic insiders say House Democratic leaders have refused a request from Tennessee Rep. Stephen I. Cohen — a white man in a majority-black district — for money to fend off a primary challenge from a black woman.  —  But they gave Cohen a consolation prize this week …
Karl Vick / Washington Post:
Alaskans Fret About a Future Without Help From ‘Uncle Ted’  —  Alaska's vast landscape is littered with federally funded tributes to Sen. Ted Stevens's single-minded promotion of the state, from the brushed steel of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to the $187 million …
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 More Items: 
St. Petersburg Times:
From ‘straight talk’ to smear campaign
Senator attacked for delivering babies free
Rove's Contempt: For All the Reasons We've Been Talking About
Washington Post:
Leading by Example  —  The Bush administration announced …
The Hill:
Fears of a shutdown  —  The prospect of a September government …
Discussion: Think Progress
New York Times:
Deal on a Security Agreement Is Close, Iraqis Say
Amit R. Paley / Washington Post:
Al-Qaeda in Iraq Leader May Be in Afghanistan
Kate Klonick / TPMMuckraker:
In Contempt Vote on Karl Rove, the Ayes Have It
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Jacobs / International Herald Tribune:
IOC agrees to Internet blocking at the Games
Discussion: Commentary
Michelle Malkin:
Save the neglected Obama school in Kenya!
Jay Cost / HorseRaceBlog:
McCain Should Pick Romney, And Soon
Jeff Yang / San Francisco Chronicle:
ASIAN POP  —  Could Obama be the first Asian American president?
New York Post:
Patrick Healy / New York Times:
Obama Camp Sees Potential in G.O.P. Discontent
Discussion: MSNBC and The RBC
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Obama's energy plan: drilling tires; Flashback: Obama on your shoulder!
The Onion:
Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet
Discussion: Don Surber