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From Maureen Dowd's column yesterday: "Even though Obama stopped smoking when he started running for president, he has lost five pounds racing around the country. Just like Hollywood starlets, he works out religiously and he can make a three-course meal out of a Nicorette." We'd link, except that it's not in the online version. Weird!

Liberal bloggers Digby and Bob Sombery both noticed that quote while reading Dowd's typically offensive amateur psychiatry hour column about how Obama is a girl ("diffident debutante", "Obambi") and Hillary Clinton is a boy ("dragon", "the right man for the job") in the paper newspaper (through gritted teeth, presumably). But it ain't on It's been disappeared from Lexis-Nexis too!

But why? Is it seriously any "worse" than the seemingly unedited analysis Dowd usually churns out? She can call Barack Obama a "debutante" but not a "Hollywood starlet"? Or did someone actually call and confirm whether or not Obama uses nicotine gum? Surely no one fact-checks Maureen Dowd—how the hell would you begin?

Reckless speculation welcome.

Darkness and Light [NYT]
Scrubbing Maureen [Hullabaloo]