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7:40 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.
Steve Clemons / The Washington Note:
The Four Iran Scenarios and “Basiji Hunting”  —  One of my colleagues at the New America Foundation's Global Strategic Finance Initiative, Douglas Rediker, received this note from a friend abroad.  It's illuminating as to how a well-connected Iranian internationalist who has been in Tehran during …
Discussion: BBC
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 neo-neocon
I speak for Mousavi.  And Iran  —  The man Iranians want as their leader has been silenced.  This is what he wants you to know  —  I have been given the ­responsibility of telling the world what is happening in Iran.  The office of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who the Iranian people truly want as their leader, has asked me to do so.
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
City of Whispers  —  TEHRAN — This has become the city of whispers.
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Daily Dish
Jon Lee Anderson / News Desk:
Understanding The Basij  —  Thirty years ago, during …
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 …
Jeffrey Goldberg:
Sullivan, Froomkin, Hiatt, Iran and AIPAC  —  The incipient Iranian revolution has upset certain political categories at home, two to be exact: Scowcroftian realism and liberal interventionism (a/k/a neoconservatism).  Both, IMHO, are inadequate to the current crisis.
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 …
Paul Wolfowitz / Washington Post:
Obama Needs to Change Stance on Iran
The New Republic:
Will the Conservatives Please Attempt An Argument?
Jacob Heilbrunn / TPMCafe:
Is Obama Selling Out the Iranian Revolution?
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  —  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 …
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.
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 …
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
House approves Iran bill 405-1  —  The House overwhelmingly approved a resolution Friday in support of Iranian dissidents as that country's top cleric warned protesters to end demonstrations.  —  The resolution was approved in a 405-1 vote, with two members voting present.
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Dem Congressman: 'We cannot stand silent in the face of this assault …
Discussion: Commentary
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.
Ezra Klein:
Listen to the Polls  —  Yesterday's NBC/Wall Street Journal poll …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Public wary of Obama policies: NBC/WSJ and CBS/NYT polls
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Obama Administration Set To Hold Powwow With Big Gay Groups  —  The Obama Justice Department has reached out to major gay rights organizations and scheduled a private meeting for next week with the groups, in an apparent effort to smooth over tensions in the wake of the controversy …
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.  —
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 …
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.
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
NeoCon Derangement Syndrome On Steroids  —  To read Andrew Sullivan's posts on the suppression of the opposition in Iran, you would think American “NeoCons” (whoever they may be) were in the streets swinging batons from the backs of motorcycles, trashing the library at Tehran University …
Discussion: Moe Lane and Gateway Pundit
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Khamenei-Neocon Agreement
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Jonathan Cohn / The Treatment:
Early Word on the House Bill: So Far, So Good  —  In a week of discouarging developments on health care reform, the House of Representatives has stepped up and offered reform advocates reason for optimism.  —  Today, three House committees are unveiling a draft of reform legislation they've constructed together.
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.
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.
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 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 …
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 More Items: 
Daniel Larison / Eunomia:
Islamism … What's wrong with this sentence?
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
CIA Postpones Release Of Big Torture Report That Could Undercut Cheney
Discussion: Salon and Emptywheel
The Cajun Boy / Gawker:
Dan Abrams Is Looking For Fresh Meat
Greg Hengler /
Sotomayor 1986: I Found Men Unconsciously Discriminate Against Women
Discussion: Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Sen. Burris Escapes Perjury Rap
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blog
Xuan Thai / CNN:
Obama press secretary chronically tardy
David Brooks / New York Times:
Fragile at the Core
Elianne Friend / CNN:
Mom fined to tune of $1.9M for 24 illegal songs
Discussion: Outside The Beltway

From Techmeme:

Meta says it is testing its Meta AI chatbot with WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger users in India and parts of Africa

Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
Elon Musk's xAI previews Grok-1.5 Vision, its first multimodal model, and says the AI model will be available soon to “early testers and existing Grok users”

Wes Davis / The Verge:
Bluesky says it is now allowing heads of state to sign up, and adds features including hashtags in profile bios and the ability to long press a link to share

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