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4:00 PM ET, June 19, 2009


 Top Items: 
Las Vegas Sun:
Text of Doug Hampton's letter to Fox News  —  Editor's note: Doug Hampton, the husband of Cynthia Hampton, who had an affair with Sen. John Ensign, explains in a letter to a Fox News Channel anchorwoman, Megyn Kelly, how the senator's affair with his wife has"completely ruined" the couple's lives.
Jeff German / Las Vegas Sun:
Spouse in Ensign affair sought help in letter to Fox News  —  Husband's account of how wife's affair with Ensign ‘ruined our lives and careers’ comes to light  —  Doug Hampton, husband of Sen. John Ensign's affair partner, Cynthia Hampton, appears in this KLAS-TV video Wednesday.
The Huffington Post:
Fox News Denies Report: We Didn't Force Ensign To Admit Affair  —  Fox New is denying claims that Doug Hampton — whose wife Cynthia is the other woman in Senator John Ensign's sex scandal — sent the network a letter pleading for help exposing the affair five days before the Senator announced …
New York Times:
As Confrontation Deepens, Iran's Leader to Speak  —  TEHRAN — As another day of defiance and uncertainty loomed in Iran's capital on Friday, it was increasingly apparent that there was no clear path out of a deepening confrontation that has posed the most serious challenge to the Islamic republic in its 30-year history.
Shane M. / New York Times:
A Different Iranian Revolution  —  WE look over this wall of marching people to see what our friends in the United States are saying about us.  We cannot help it — 30 years of struggle against the Enemy has had the curious effect of making us intrigued.  To our great dismay …
Ayatollah demands end to protests  —  Iran's supreme leader has issued a stern warning that protests against the country's disputed presidential election results must end.  —  In his first public remarks after days of protests, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the outcome had to be decided at the ballot box, not on the street.
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Obama Misses the Point With Iran Response  —  Millions of Iranians take to the streets to defy a theocratic dictatorship that, among its other finer qualities, is a self-declared enemy of America and the tolerance and liberties it represents.  The demonstrators are fighting on their own …
Paul Wolfowitz / Washington Post:
Obama Needs to Change Stance on Iran  —  President Obama's first response to the protests in Iran was silence, followed by a cautious, almost neutral stance designed to avoid “meddling” in Iranian affairs.  I am reminded of Ronald Reagan's initially neutral response to the crisis following …
The New Republic:
Will the Conservatives Please Attempt An Argument?  —  President Obama has taken a cautious tone toward the demonstrators in Iran, with his stated reason being that more open support would discredit their cause.  This strikes me as a sensible position.  The revealed preferences of both sides suggest …
Joe Klein / Swampland:
There Will Be Blood  —  The Washington Post's increasingly strident op-ed page offers a double-barreled neocon assault on President Obama's Iran position today by Charles Krauthammer and Paul Wolfowitz.  And it's interesting to see these fellows—among the smartest of the neos …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Jacob Heilbrunn / TPMCafe:
Is Obama Selling Out the Iranian Revolution?
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
The Politico:
Obama health plan imperiled  —  President Obama's campaign for health care reform by this fall, once considered highly likely to succeed, suddenly appears in real jeopardy.  —  Top White House advisers, especially Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, are still privately predicting massive changes to the health care system in 2009.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Poll: Republican Party Now Less Popular Than Dick Cheney  —  Lost in the news yesterday about the polls showing eroding support for Obama's policies was a funny detail in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll: The overall popularity of the Republican Party has now dropped below even the abysmal level of approval enjoyed by Dick Cheney.
Discussion: The Impolitic
Ezra Klein:
Listen to the Polls  —  Yesterday's NBC/Wall Street Journal poll …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Ezra Klein:
An Interview With Tom Daschle
Fox News:
U.S. Military Set to Intercept North Korean Ship Suspected of Proliferating Missiles, Nukes  —  The USS John McCain, a navy destroyer, will intercept the ship Kang Nam as soon as it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official.  —
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Obama aides toned down Iran resolution  —  The White House worked with House Democrats to moderate a fire-breathing resolution circulated by Republicans to rebuke Iran for its post-election crackdown on dissent, according to an Obama aide.  —  The new resolution, similar to a version introduced …
Jane Hamsher / Campaign Silo:
Froomkin v. Washington Post — The Battle Continues  —  Glenn Greenwald says most of what needs to be said about the Washington Post's firing of Dan Froomkin.  But having been involved in the early rounds of this battle and watched it ferment over the years, I thought I'd add a few notes of context.
Discussion: The BRAD BLOG
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
DEPT. OF ELECTIONS, CONSEQUENCES.... In light of George W. Bush's …
Discussion: The Nation and The Hill
Alison Leigh Cowan / New York Times:
Pick for Protocol Post Corrects Failure to File Taxes in 2 Years  —  President Obama's choice as chief of protocol for the State Department, a position that carries the status of an ambassadorship, did not file tax returns for 2005 and 2006, errors she corrected last November.
Elianne Friend / CNN:
Mom fined to tune of $1.9M for 24 illegal songs  —  (CNN) — A federal jury Thursday found a 32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty of illegally downloading music from the Internet and fined her $80,000 each — a total of $1.9 million — for 24 songs.  —  Jammie Thomas-Rasset's case …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Gay Rights Lawyers: Obama Administration Rebuffed Our Requests For Dialogue  —  Two prominent gay rights lawyers litigating high-profile cases against the Obama administration tell me that their requests to meet with administration lawyers to discuss the cases were rebuffed …
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
At fundraiser, Obama laughs at critics  —  As he looks to expand Democratic majorities in Congress, President Obama on Thursday night also used a fundraiser for his congressional allies to target his critics.  —  The president, speaking at a joint fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee …
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Protests Are a Real Threat to Iran's Rulers  —  What's happening on the streets of Tehran is a lesson in what makes history: It isn't guns or secret police, in the end, but the willingness of hundreds of thousands of people to risk their lives to protest injustice.
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Dem Congressman: 'We cannot stand silent in the face of this assault …
Discussion: Commentary
David Whelan / Forbes:
Obama's Doctor Knocks ObamaCare  —  Dr. David Scheiner took care of Obama for 22 years.  But they don't see eye-to-eye on how to fix the health care system.  —  David Scheiner, an internist based in the Chicago neighborhood of Hyde Park, has a diverse practice of lower-income adults …
Discussion: Gawker and Top of the Ticket
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Out of the Shadows  —  Would the Obama administration's plan for financial reform do what has to be done?  Yes and no.  —  Yes, the plan would plug some big holes in regulation.  But as described, it wouldn't end the skewed incentives that made the current crisis inevitable.  —  Let's start with the good news.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
How Republicans can crack the AmeriCorps scandal  —  What's next in the budding scandal over President Obama's abrupt firing of Gerald Walpin, the inspector general of AmeriCorps?  —  Republican investigators on Capitol Hill know one thing very well.  As minorities in both House and Senate …
John M. Shalikashvili / Washington Post:
Data Must Rule the Debate on Gays in the Military  —  The Supreme Court announced last week that it would not review a lawsuit challenging the military's “don't ask, don't tell” policy forbidding homosexuals from serving openly.  The Obama administration had asked the court not to take the case …
Discussion: News Desk, Hot Air and HRC Back Story
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 More Items: 
Los Angeles Times:
California unemployment rises to 11.5% in May
Jesse Lee / Blog:
Bo: The Portrait, the Baseball Card
Discussion: White House Watch and Gawker
Associated Press:
Sen. Burris Escapes Perjury Rap
Betsy McCaughey / Wall Street Journal:
Dissecting the Kennedy Health Bill
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Khamenei-Neocon Agreement
President Barack Obama / PARADE Magazine:
‘We Need Fathers To Step Up’
Discussion: Top of the Ticket and Fox News
Xuan Thai / CNN:
Obama press secretary chronically tardy
 Earlier Items: 
Kate Barrett / The Note:
Obama Allies Target Insurance Companies in New TV Ad
David Brooks / New York Times:
Fragile at the Core
Krissah Thompson / Washington Post:
Senate Unanimously Approves Resolution Apologizing for Slavery
Discussion: Facing South and Right Wing News
Associated Press:
Judge rules David Goldman can have custody of son, but only in Brazil
Chicago Sun Times:
Legendary CBS journalist Walter Cronkite reportedly gravely ill

From Mediagazer:

Jessica Toonkel / Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Apple and Paramount have talked about offering a bundle of Apple TV+ and Paramount+ that would cost less than subscribing to both services separately

Ken Doctor / Nieman Lab:
Canada's deal with Google showed the flaws in the link tax, and now California and the US have a chance to adopt smarter ways to increase trustworthy local news

Emma Nelson / Star Tribune:
Minnesota's Star Tribune hires Aron Pilhofer, who co-founded DocumentCloud, Hacks/Hackers, and Tiny News Collective, as chief product officer

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