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9:20 AM ET, August 17, 2008

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Frank Rich / New York Times:
The Candidate We Still Don't Know  —  AS I went on vacation at the end of July, Barack Obama was leading John McCain by three to four percentage points in national polls.  When I returned last week he still was.  But lo and behold, a whole new plot twist had rolled off the bloviation assembly line …
Discussion: Stop The ACLU and Prairie Weather
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Let's watch the Saddleback Presidential Forum together.  —  Saddle up!  —  7:00 CT: CNN's John King pauses to let other networks join, and when he does, we can hear a voice saying “God who gave us life, gave us...” King drowns that out with the info that this “is not a debate …
RELATED:
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Live-Blogging Saddleback - McCain  —  9.57 pm.  McCain's evolution into a candidate who knows how to stroke the Christianist base is somewhat impressive.  It was a little canned at times, but it will work with evangelicals.  All in all, this struck me as pretty much a draw.
Discussion: American Spectator
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Live-Blogging Saddleback - Obama  —  8. 57 pm.  I don't retract anything about my concern that the first debate of sorts should be held in a church.  But actually this forum so far was in no way offensive to secular values.  It did not demand adherence to any religious doctrine …
Discussion: Althouse
Gateway Pundit:
Kobe Bryant Schools Liberal NBC Announcer On Patriotism  —  It's pretty moving to watch a pampered professional jock show more patriotism than the Democratic candidate for president, more pride in his country than the democratic candidate's wife, and more awareness of this country's opportunities than a liberal NBC announcer.
Dan / Riehl World View:
Obama: Clarence Thomas Is Just Too Dumb  —  I realize everyone is focusing on Obama's “exp...” gaffe tonight with Rick Warren.  But look for something else in this brief clip via Hot Air.  It seems fairly obvious to me that what Obama actually did, whether he intended to, or not, is imply that Clarence Thomas is simply dumb.
Rich Lowry / The Corner:
Saddleback: The Contrast  —  A fascinating night that gave us a peek at the fundamental contrast between these candidates.  They both were very good, but in entirely different ways.  Obama was relaxed, reflective, polished, and conversational—truer to the spirit of the event.
Karen Crouse / New York Times:
Phelps's Epic Journey Ends in Perfection  —  BEIJING — It was so surreal to be Michael Phelps here, to listen to people debate whether he is the greatest athlete in Olympic history after he passed a group that included the runners Carl Lewis and Paavo Nurmi to become the one with the most gold medals.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Kevin Drum / Washington Monthly:
BUSH AND SAAKASHVILI....Josh Marshall on the Russo-Georgian war: … I've read variations on this theme about a hundred times now, and I really feel like some pushback is in order.  The idea that we somehow prompted Mikheil Saakashvili to undertake his invasion of South Ossetia last week just doesn't bear scrutiny.
Discussion: TigerHawk and FP Passport
RELATED:
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
MORE ON UKRAINE  —  From TPM Reader OA ...  As I told this reader …
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Dr. iRack / abu muqawama:
Rigging the Game?  —  The failure to pass a provincial election law is not the only dark cloud on the election front.  On Dr. iRack's recent Iraq voyage, many U.S. commanders, coalition officials, and Iraqis expressed growing concerns that the “Powers That Be” (Dawa, ISCI, the IIP, PUK …
Associated Press:
Roberta McCain denies lawsuit against son's ex-wife  —  ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain's divorce was amicable enough that he and his ex-wife jointly brought a lawsuit 10 years later to recover damages for lost mementos, but it wasn't amicable enough …
Discussion: Dependable Renegade
Washington Post:
Justice Dept. Moves Toward Charges Against Contractors in Iraq Shooting  —  Federal prosecutors have sent target letters to six Blackwater Worldwide security guards involved in a September shooting that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead, indicating a high likelihood the Justice Department will seek …
Discussion: At-Largely
 
 
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 More Items: 
Dotcomabc / Political Punch:
Howard Dean Accidentally Calls the Republican Party the “White” Party
Discussion: The Raw Story and TigerHawk
Tim Rutten / Los Angeles Times:
The extreme-right way to make a buck
Bill Keller / New York Times:
Cold Friends, Wrapped in Mink and Medals
Discussion: The New Republic
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Response to 9/11 Offers Outline of McCain Doctrine
 Earlier Items: 
Colbert I. King / Washington Post:
Memo From a Poison Penn
Discussion: TPMCafe
Burt Hubbard / Rocky Mountain News:
Colorado turns purple in polls
Kevin Vaughan / Rocky Mountain News:
Ticket give-away creates suspicion
Discussion: www.redstate.com
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama nearly doubles McCain haul
Discussion: New York Times