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2:15 PM ET, June 19, 2009


 Top Items: 
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.
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 …
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 …
Discussion: CNN, BBC, The Washington Note and TigerHawk
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.
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 …
Discussion: The Daily Dish and rubber hose
Jacob Heilbrunn / TPMCafe:
Is Obama Selling Out the Iranian Revolution?
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts and Balloon Juice
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Protests Are a Real Threat to Iran's Rulers
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.
The Huffington Post:
Fox News Denies Report: We Didn't Force Ensign To Admit Affair
Discussion: TPMMuckraker
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.
Erica Werner / Associated Press:
House eyes new taxes as senators pare health bill  —  WASHINGTON (AP) - Early work on the ambitious health care overhaul the Obama administration is seeking has exposed the kinds of in-house fights that typify just how hard it will be to get meaningful legislation this year.
Discussion: A Blog For All
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 …
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.
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Sabato's program earmark dries up
Discussion: Gawker and Scorecard's Blog
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.
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.  —
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 …
Jake Sherman / Wall Street Journal:
White House Looks to Include Same-Sex Unions in Census Count  —  WASHINGTON — The White House said Thursday it was seeking ways to include same-sex marriages, unions and partnerships in 2010 Census data, the second time in a week the administration has signaled a policy change of interest to the gay community.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Gay Rights Lawyers: Obama Administration Rebuffed Our Requests For Dialogue
President Barack Obama / PARADE Magazine:
‘We Need Fathers To Step Up’  —  Two days before the inauguration, PARADE published a letter from Barack Obama to his daughters about what he hoped for them and all the children of America.  The letter attracted international attention.  On this Father's Day, we asked the President to reflect on what fatherhood means to him.
Washington Wire:
Obama on the Importance of Fatherhood
Xuan Thai / CNN:
Obama press secretary chronically tardy  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs delayed the start of his daily briefing Thursday — which is only remarkable for the fact it's so unremarkable.  —  The Bush White House briefings were only rarely delayed.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
DEPT. OF ELECTIONS, CONSEQUENCES.... In light of George W. Bush's …
Discussion: The Hill
Daily Oklahoman:
Coburn meets court pick; Inhofe skips opportunity  —  WASHINGTON — Sen. Tom Coburn had a private visit on Thursday with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and said they had a “philosophical discussion.”  —  “General stuff,” Coburn said when asked what the two talked about.
Discussion: TPMDC
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 …
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.
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 More Items: 
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
How Republicans can crack the AmeriCorps scandal
Betsy McCaughey / Wall Street Journal:
Dissecting the Kennedy Health Bill
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Friday Senate Line: Stability Reigns
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Khamenei-Neocon Agreement
Discussion: Weekly Standard
John O'Connor / Associated Press:
Prosecutor: Sen. Burris won't face perjury charge
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blog and Wonkette
John M. Shalikashvili / Washington Post:
Data Must Rule the Debate on Gays in the Military
Kate Barrett / The Note:
Obama Allies Target Insurance Companies in New TV Ad
 Earlier Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
Fragile at the Core
Krissah Thompson / Washington Post:
Senate Unanimously Approves Resolution Apologizing for Slavery
Discussion: Right Wing News
Associated Press:
Judge rules David Goldman can have custody of son, but only in Brazil
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Chicago Sun Times:
Legendary CBS journalist Walter Cronkite reportedly gravely ill