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9:40 AM ET, August 5, 2008


 Top Items: 
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Book says White House ordered forgery  —  A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.  —  Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday …
Alex Castellanos / The Huffington Post:
The Molten Core of Barack: Why Obama Can't Win  —  In which science-fiction movie do aliens visit the people of earth and insist, “Take me to your leader”?  If they landed today, America's news media would direct them to Barack Obama, the first American to run a global campaign for President.
Discussion: The Swamp and
Eric Kleefeld / TPM Election Central:
Election Central Morning Roundup  —  New Obama Ad: McCain Has Voted Against Fixing Energy For 26 Years  —  Barack Obama has a new ad on energy issues, following through on one of the key attack lines from his speech yesterday — that John McCain can't be trusted on energy …
Discussion: The Reaction
ATV/Zogby Poll Toss-Up!  McCain 42%, Obama 41% as Undecided Voters Increase...  Obama loses support among his strongest demographic groups  —  UTICA, New York - A national Associated TV/Zogby International telephone poll of 1,011 likely voters conducted July 31-Aug. 1 finds Republican …
David Brooks / New York Times:
Where's the Landslide?  —  Why isn't Barack Obama doing better?  Why, after all that has happened, does he have only a slim two- or three-point lead over John McCain, according to an average of the recent polls?  Why is he basically tied with his opponent when his party is so far ahead?
Michael D. Shear / The Trail:
McCain Gets Bikers' Motors Running in S.D.  —  STURGIS, S.D. — If there was any question whether this is John McCain country, that doubt ended Monday as thousands of motorcycle riders repeatedly revved their Harleys upon his arrival here, creating a massive roar of approval and a cloud of exhaust fumes.
Jeremy Clarkson / Times of London:
Secret deal kept British Army out of battle for Basra  —  A secret deal between Britain and the notorious al-Mahdi militia prevented British Forces from coming to the aid of their US and Iraqi allies for nearly a week during the battle for Basra this year, The Times has learnt.
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Peter W. Rodman, 1943-2008  —  A patriot and a gentleman.  —  PETER'S FORMER COLLEAGUES at National Review have done him justice with their tributes at NRO.  John O'Sullivan in particular knew Peter well, and his is a lovely memoir.  —  So I'll just add a word about this patriot and gentleman.
Discussion: National Review
The Politico:
Pelosi: At-risk Dems back drilling  —  California Democrat Nancy Pelosi may be trying to save the planet — but the rank and file in her party increasingly are just trying to save their political hides when it comes to gas prices as Republicans apply more and more rhetorical muscle.
Sommer Mathis / DCist:
Awkward/Sad/Funny Typo from Novak AP story on  —  digg_url = ‘ Typo_on_Robert_Novak_Retirement_Story_ on_NYTimes’; They've already fixed it, but the error above in the Associated Press story about Robert Novak's immediate retirement was live …
E. J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
The Unavoidable Issue  —  Last week's dust-up over race between John McCain and Barack Obama was entirely disappointing.  Obama spoke first about how his opponents would try to “make you scared of me,” noting that he “doesn't look like all those other presidents” on our currency.
Eli Lake / New York Sun:
Iran Threatens Strait of Hormuz  —  Key Oil Shipping Passage Could Be Blocked for a Month  —  WASHINGTON — Two days after a diplomatic deadline passed for Iran to end the reprocessing and enrichment of uranium, the chief of the country's Revolutionary Guard force is threatening to close …
Discussion: Commentary
Nazila Fathi / New York Times:
Iran Issues New Warnings After Defying a Deadline
Discussion: The Raw Story and Commentary
Obama's Overstatement  —  An Obama ad says McCain's campaign got $2 million from “Big Oil.”  The total is actually $1.3 million.  —  Obama released a TV spot saying McCain's campaign got $2 million from “Big Oil” while McCain proposed “another $4 billion in tax breaks” for the industry.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
THE LATEST MEME  —  Truly a Kuhnian moment.  John McCain is so honorable and straight-shooting that the only explanation for his campaign's headlong dive into sleaze, xenophobia and gonzo bamboozlement is that McCain is so out of it and controlled by his advisors that he doesn't actually know what they're doing in his name.
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Hillary's back!  —  Glenn Thrush, in his Politico debut (!), emails over this scoop:  —  Hillary Clinton will campaign for Barack Obama this Friday in Nevada and hit the Miami area on Aug. 21 for a fundraiser and rally as part of a pre-convention unity swing, according to people close to Clinton.
Discussion: Top of the Ticket and MyDD
Charles Duhigg / New York Times:
At Freddie Mac, Chief Discarded Warning Signs  —  The chief executive of the mortgage giant Freddie Mac rejected internal warnings that could have protected the company from some of the financial crises now engulfing it, according to more than two dozen current and former high-ranking executives and others.
Discussion: The Confluence and Dealbreaker
Michael Grunwald / Time:
The Tire-Gauge Solution: No Joke  —  How out of touch is Barack Obama?  He's so out of touch that he suggested that if all Americans inflated their tires properly and took their cars for regular tune-ups, they could save as much oil as new offshore drilling would produce.
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Obama: ‘National Priority’  —  Here's a second contrast ad on the subject of energy from the Obama campaign, which seeks to paint McCain as the candidate of the past, of Washington, and of Bush, while Obama is the candidate of “new energy.”  —  The script: … I don't have details on where the ad is airing.
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Bob Herbert: Why is everyone missing the phallic symbols in McCain's Britney ad?  —  Between this and last week's Godwin-ing of the crowd scenes, I'm honestly curious to see where the left takes the critique next.  One would think they'd either run out of cards to play or would quietly pocket …
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
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 More Items: 
Digby / Hullabaloo:
FYI  —  This is a very interesting article in today's LA Times …
Associated Press:
Kennedy tapes video for Democratic convention
Discussion: Media Nation and
Martin Crutsinger / Associated Press:
Consumer spending falls as prices surge
Discussion: AMERICAblog News and D-Day
Mickey Kaus / Slate:
Why Cover the Edwards Scandal?
John R. Bolton / Wall Street Journal:
While Diplomats Dither, Iran Builds Nukes
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs and Flopping Aces
Associated Press:
Al Qaeda Suspect Extradited to New York for Alleged Attack
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
G.O.P. Drops in Voting Rolls in Many States
Timothy Noah / Slate:
When “Skinny” Means “Black”
 Earlier Items: 
Jonah Goldberg / The Corner:
The Meaning of Capitalism  —  I've received an enormous amount …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Now, 2 Obama backers, Bernie Mac and Morgan Freeman,hospitalized
Phoenix Woman / Firedoglake:
The Joys of the RNC  —  From a T-shirt sold by a local entrepreneur
Discussion: Norwegianity and Alas, a blog
New York Times:
Pressure Grows for F.B.I.'s Anthrax Evidence
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
Hess Corporation “Office Manager” And Her Husband Both Gave $28,500 To Elect McCain
Los Angeles Times:
Barack Obama shifts on tapping national oil reserves
Daniel J. Chacon / Rocky Mountain News:
DNC protesters offer Denver a “doo doo” treaty
Ryan Grim / The Politico:
Bayh Partisans cancel softball game