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10:55 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.”
Washington Post:
As Aides Map Aggressive Race, McCain Often Steers Off Course  —  Sen. John McCain last week delivered one of his sharpest critiques yet of Sen. Barack Obama's Iraq policies, carefully reading a prepared speech that accused his Democratic rival of failing the commander-in-chief test …
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.
Wall Street Journal:
Roles Are Set, as Are the Perils  —  Obama at Risk Of Arrogant Tag, McCain, Negative  —  AURORA, Colo. — Presidential rivals Barack Obama and John McCain both appear to be seizing the roles in which they have been cast: Sen. Obama as front-runner and Sen. McCain as underdog.
Discussion: Donklephant
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.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Where did Barack Obama's mojo go?  —  Something's going on.  Or some things.  —  A new CNN/Opinion Research poll out Wednesday shows that despite nine solid days of blanket media coverage from overseas with Barack Obama cheered by adoring throngs of Germans and parlez-vousing with the French …
Mike Glover / Associated Press:
Obama says Republicans trying to scare voters  —  SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Democrat Barack Obama, the first black candidate with a shot at winning the White House, says John McCain and his Republican allies will try to scare them by saying Obama “doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
McCain's cacophonous Cabinet
Discussion: Democratic Strategist
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 …
Discussion: BAGnewsNotes
Marc Ambinder:
Hit Me, Davis, One More Time  —  A night's sleep a few thoughts …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and The RBC
Julia Werdigier / New York Times:
Rising Oil Prices Swell Profits at Exxon and Shell  —  Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, reported on Thursday that second-quarter income rose 14 percent, to $11.68 billion, the highest-ever for an American company.  —  Net income of $2.22 a share compared with $10.26 billion …
Exxon has record profit again on soaring oil prices
Discussion: Think Progress
Plain Dealer / OPENERS:
McCain ad attacking Obama's celebrity is a ‘zero’  —  THE AD: “Celeb,” 30 seconds PRODUCER: The McCain campaign  —  WHERE TO SEE IT: On Ohio broadcast TV stations and in other key battleground states and above.  —  SCRIPT  —  (Announcer): “He's the biggest celebrity in the world.
Aaron C. Davis / Washington Post:
Police Raid Berwyn Heights Mayor's Home, Kill His 2 Dogs  —  A police SWAT team raided the home of the mayor in the Prince George's County town of Berwyn Heights on Tuesday, shooting and killing his two dogs, after he brought in a 32-pound package of marijuana that had been delivered to his doorstep, police said.
Discussion: Reason Magazine
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, Campaign Stops and EconLog
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Obama's Iraq Fumble  —  In a race supposedly dominated by the economy, both Barack Obama and John McCain have spent a lot of time talking about Iraq.  Why?  Because both men have Iraq problems that are causing difficulties for their campaigns.  —  How each candidate resolves his Iraq problems …
New York Post:
Andrew Jacobs / New York Times:
China to Limit Web Access During Olympic Games  —  BEIJING — The International Olympic Committee failed to press China to allow fully unfettered access to the Internet for the thousands of journalists arriving here to cover the Olympics, despite promising repeatedly that the foreign news media could …
Andrew Jacobs / International Herald Tribune:
IOC agrees to Internet blocking at the Games
Discussion: Commentary
St. Petersburg Times:
From ‘straight talk’ to smear campaign  —  The Straight Talk Express has taken a nasty turn into the gutter.  Sen. John McCain has resorted to lies and distortions in what sounds like an increasingly desperate attempt to slow down Sen. Barack Obama by raising questions about his patriotism.
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,” …
Discussion: Hot Air
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.
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 More Items: 
Jeannine Aversa / Associated Press:
Growth weaker than hoped; economy shrinks in Q4
Discussion: Don Surber
Associated Press:
Obama-Clinton ticket advocacy group shuts down
Discussion: New York Post and
Blaise Zerega /
Scrabulous's Revenge: What Game Makers And Music Have In Common
Discussion: The Opinionator
Rob Stein / Washington Post:
Workers' Religious Freedom vs. Patients' Rights
Hindrocket / Power Line:
GET THIS MAN A TELEPROMPTER!  —  Barack Obama is a lot like Sean Penn or George Clooney.
Rove's Contempt: For All the Reasons We've Been Talking About
Karl Vick / Washington Post:
Alaskans Fret About a Future Without Help From ‘Uncle Ted’
Peter S. Goodman / New York Times:
A Hidden Toll on Employment: Cut to Part Time
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
Leading by Example  —  The Bush administration announced …
The Hill:
Fears of a shutdown  —  The prospect of a September government …
Ann Coulter / Human Events:
A Baby Daddy For Both Americas
Discussion: Don Surber
Kate Klonick / TPMMuckraker:
In Contempt Vote on Karl Rove, the Ayes Have It
Michelle Malkin:
Save the neglected Obama school in Kenya!
Jay Cost / HorseRaceBlog:
McCain Should Pick Romney, And Soon
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs
The Politico:
Cohen lacks DCCC support
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
McCain's True Voice