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Weekly Washup

Rebecca Tapscott, Weekend Edition Intern

It's that time of the week again, and this week, we've got a lot of dirt to wash off. Bloggers everywhere are having a field day with Obama's political shimmies to the right and they're also making note of the McCain campaign's numerous stumbles. Adding to all of this is some foreign policy uproar - Iran is testing missiles and not being entirely honest about the results.

Walking the walk (or Obama steps out):
In the past few weeks, Barack Obama has been criticized for shifting his positions on wiretapping, gun ownership, the death penalty, campaign finance reform, and America's war in Iraq. Whew! Is his "shift to the center" strategic? Or is it opening him up to the charge of "flip-flopping?" After the jump, check out these blogs and tell us what you think:

BOINGBOING: "Senate approves warrantless wiretapping and telco immunity, throws out the Fourth Amendment," by Cory Doctorow, Wednesday, July 9, 2008.

HOTAIR: "Kondracke: Phony or pragmatist?" by Ed Morrissey, Thursday, July 10, 2008.
Ed Morrissey discusses Obama's changing positions. Morrissey is concerned that Obama promised a different kind of campaign, free of smoke and mirrors -can he follow through, or will he attempt to be "all things to all people"?

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REALCLEARPOLITICS: "The Speed of Obama," by Tom Bevan, Thursday, July 10, 2008.
Tom Bevan analyzes the strategy behind Obama's policy shifts, writing that "he's performing the political equivalent of tearing off a band aid."

Talking the talk (or McCain speaks up):
This week, the McCain campaign has been faced with tough questions, ranging from health care coverage to the economy. And some of the answers were less than polished. Should we hold our representatives to higher standards, or is it good to know they're "real guys?"

HUFFINGTONPOST: "Birth Control, Viagra Question Makes McCain Squirm," Wednesday, July 9, 2008.
At a recent breakfast with the press, John McCain declined to say whether health insurance should cover prescription birth control. The Huffington Post links to a Wall Street Journal article, and reminds us that McCain voted against birth control coverage twice.

THINKPROGRESS: "Reporters Dismiss McCain's Iran 'Joke' As Part of His 'Real Guy' Persona," by Ben, Wednesday, July 9, 2008.
On Tuesday, McCain joked to a reporter about killing Iranians by selling them cigarettes. Ben, of thinkprogress.org, quotes T.V. news personalities on McCain's statements and links the video.

TOWNHALL: "McCain Throws Gramm Under Bus?" by Matt Lewis, Thursday, July 10, 2008.
On Thursday, Phil Gramm, one of McCain's top economic advisors, downplayed the economic recession, referring to America as a "nation of whiners." Matt Lewis analyzes McCain's response to Gramm's political misstep.

Washington v. Tehran:
Although we've been looking mainly at U.S. politics, we couldn't let Iran's recent missile test pass us by. Especially in light of that doctored photo...

THELEDE: "Iran's Shooting Star Enters, Stage Left," by Mike Nizza, Wednesday, July 9, 2008.
Mike Nizza posts for the New York Times' news blog about Iran's missile tests, explaining the capacity of the "shooting star" and what this might mean for the international community.

LITTLEGREENFOOTBALLS: "Reality vs. Photoshop," Thursday July 10, 2008.
Charles Johnson posts both the Photoshopped photo from Iran's missile test, and the authentic photo.

PASSPORT: "Morning Brief: Iran doubles down," by Blake Hounshell, Thursday, July 10, 2008.
Blake Hounshell links articles of American politicians and pundits on Iran's missile tests.

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