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10:25 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 …
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.
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.”
Wall Street Journal:
Roles Are Set, as Are the Perils
Discussion: Donklephant
Marc Ambinder:
Hit Me, Davis, One More Time  —  A night's sleep a few thoughts …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and The RBC
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Where did Barack Obama's mojo go?
Plain Dealer / OPENERS:
McCain ad attacking Obama's celebrity is a ‘zero’
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
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, Campaign Stops and EconLog
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
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
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:
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 …
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
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
Hindrocket / Power Line:
GET THIS MAN A TELEPROMPTER!  —  Barack Obama is a lot like Sean Penn or George Clooney.  If you give him a script, he can deliver it pretty well.  But if he tries to talk without a script that has been written for him by others, he quickly reveals that he is poorly-informed if not downright ignorant.
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.
Jay Cost / HorseRaceBlog:
McCain Should Pick Romney, And Soon  —  As John McCain mulls his veep pick, I'd offer some thoughts on what he should do.  As the title indicates, I think Mitt Romney is quite possibly the best choice, and McCain should pick him soon.  —  Analysts have given multiple reasons for picking Romney …
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs
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 More Items: 
Rob Stein / Washington Post:
Workers' Religious Freedom vs. Patients' Rights
Senator attacked for delivering babies free
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
Washington Post:
Leading by Example  —  The Bush administration announced …
The Hill:
Fears of a shutdown  —  The prospect of a September government …
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Deal on a Security Agreement Is Close, Iraqis Say
Kate Klonick / TPMMuckraker:
In Contempt Vote on Karl Rove, the Ayes Have It
Michelle Malkin:
Save the neglected Obama school in Kenya!
The Politico:
Cohen lacks DCCC support
Jeff Yang / San Francisco Chronicle:
ASIAN POP  —  Could Obama be the first Asian American president?
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
McCain's True Voice
Patrick Healy / New York Times:
Obama Camp Sees Potential in G.O.P. Discontent
Discussion: MSNBC and The RBC
The Onion:
Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet
Discussion: Don Surber