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7:55 AM ET, August 2, 2008


 Top Items: 
CBS News:
Exclusive: Al Qaeda No. 2 Injured?  —  Unverified Letter Obtained By CBS News Urgently Requests Doctor To Treat Ayman al Zawahiri  —  (CBS) Ayman al Zawahiri - the second most powerful leader in al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden's No. 2 - may be critically wounded and possibly dead …
Dan Balz / The Trail:
Race Card Charges and Campaign Discord Mark Dog Days of Summer  —  Who let the dogs out?  —  Was it Barack Obama, who not so subtly pointed to John McCain and seemingly accused him of trying to scare voters by drawing attention to the fact that Obama doesn't look like (read: he is African American) all the other presidents?
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and
Michael Powell / New York Times:
With Genie Out of Bottle, Obama Is Careful on Race  —  Senator Barack Obama is a man of few rhetorical stumbles, but this week a few of his words opened a racial door his campaign would prefer not to step through.  When Senator John McCain's camp replied by accusing him of playing the race card …
Discussion: Althouse
John Heilemann / New York Magazine:   The Low-Road Warrior  —  Mudslinging will damage McCain's brand …
Michael C. Bender / Palm Beach Post:
Obama would consider off-shore drilling as part of comprehensive energy plan  —  ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said today he would be willing to open Florida's coast for more oil drilling if it meant winning approval for broad energy changes.  —  “My interest is in making sure we've got …
Discussion: Los Angeles Times
St. Petersburg Times:
Considering new energy plan, Obama softens stance on drilling  —  ST. PETERSBURG — Long an opponent of offshore drilling, Sen. Barack Obama offered encouraging words for a bipartisan energy plan that would permit oil drilling within 50 miles of Florida's west coast.
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Obama camp responds: ‘sad...juvenile antics’  —  Barack Obama's campaign responded sharply to a new McCain webad depicting Obama as a parody of a biblical prophet.  —  “It's downright sad that on a day when we learned that 51,000 Americans lost their jobs, a candidate for the presidency …
NewsRadio 740 - KTRH:
Bush Family on Rush  —  The Bush family called in to the Rush Limbaugh show this morning.  Listen Here!  —  RUSH: What are...? (interruption) Interrupting for what?  —  THE PRESIDENT: Hello!  —  RUSH: Oh, jeez.  The president?  —  THE PRESIDENT: Rush Limbaugh?  —  RUSH: Yes, sir, Mr. President.
The Bush Family Calls Rush
Discussion: Think Progress and News Hounds
Richard Blair / All Spin Zone:
Anthrax Suspect Kills Self - How Conveeeeeeeenient...  Bruce Ivins, a bioweapons scientist at Ft. Detrick, Md. reportedly killed himself via overdose earlier this week.  He was about to be indicted in connection with the 2001 anthrax attacks (remember those?).
Confederate Yankee:
Obama's Netroots Supporters Continue “Blog Burning”  —  Let's Party Like It's 1933.  —  Tell me once more how progressives love free speech. … Online activists thought to be loyal to Barack Obama are once against using Google's software tools to target rival political blogs for elimination as spam blogs.
Mark Hemingway / The Corner:
The Guerilla Congress  —  I just got back a short while ago from the press gallery at the House of Representatives where, as Ramesh mentioned, the Republicans are keeping up the fight on creating new domestic energy and lowering gas prices.  —  You can read more details about what happened here …
Elana Schor / Guardian:   US Republican Congressmen refuse to leave
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
McCain's Ad Formula Employs Lowest Common Denominator  —  In a celebrity-driven culture that has left little space for John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate has decided to go tabloid.  —  By featuring Paris Hilton and Britney Spears in an attack ad against Barack Obama …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Plouffe: McCain attacks ‘helped our campaign,’ moneywise  —  In a video sent to donors, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe says the campaign received 100,000 contributions yesterday, a third of them from first-time donors.  —  “I think John McCain has harmed himself in the last week …
The Hill:
1. Tall, dark and handsome  —  Political party: Democrat.  —  Dating status: Married to wife, Beth.  —  Women of all ages and political persuasions swoon when Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) comes near.  During a recent elevator ride in the Rayburn House Office Building …
Discussion: Think Progress
Andrew / Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State:
The nonpuzzle of the close election polls  —  The economy is going badly, Bush is unpopular, so why is Obama up only slightly in the polls?  This is the question that is (currently) puzzling the political world.  A quick answer: the economy isn't going so badly by historical standards …
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Obama explains ‘dollar bill’ line  —  In an interview with Florida outlets, Obama explains his remark about how his opponents would play his appearance which — while clearly not intended to start a racially charged exchange — gave McCain a hook for his response:
Discussion: The Huffington Post
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 More Items: 
Natalie Gewargis / Political Punch:
McCain Campaign Mocks Obama as Messianic in Web Video
Con Coughlin / Telegraph:
With hawks flying high in Israel, Iran builds bombs at its peril
Discussion: American Spectator
Miriam Jordan / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. to Promote ‘Self-Deportation’
Francis Fukuyama & Robert Kagan: The Rise of the Autocracies
Ali / Think Progress:
McCain suggests military-style invasion modeled on the surge …
Discussion: Political Radar
Hélène Mulholland / Guardian:
Barack Obama gets backing from Boris Johnson
Matthew Yglesias:
Getting Our Stereotypes Straight
 Earlier Items: 
Independent: Negative ads risky for McCain
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Brad / Wonk Room:
McCain Embraces Newt's Big Oil Lie, Chants ‘Drill More, Drill Now, Pay Less’
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
HOW IT WORKS  —  Let's see how this works.  McCain runs …
Lawrence B. Lindsey / Wall Street Journal:
Hank Paulson's Fannie Gamble
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Blooper: Hannity punks himself on anti-McCain Campain ad.
Hindrocket / Power Line:
“The One”  —  Today the McCain campaign continued to skewer Barack …
Laurence Lowe / The New Republic:
The Post-Rove Guru  —  How the Republican Party stopped dreaming …
Ben / Think Progress:
Judge on Rove's citizen arrest: 'It's about time.'