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2:05 PM ET, June 22, 2009


 Top Items: 
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Health Care Showdown  —  America's political scene has changed immensely since the last time a Democratic president tried to reform health care.  So has the health care picture: with costs soaring and insurance dwindling, nobody can now say with a straight face that the U.S. health care system …
Babooph / CBS News:
Democrats May Unite On Public Health Plan  —  Emboldened By Apparent Public Backing For “Public Option”, Democrats May Drop Attempt To Compromise  —  (CBS/AP) Emboldened by polls that show public backing for a government health insurance plan, Democrats are moving to make it a politically defining issue …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Hard Part  —  There was one small consolation for Republicans amid last November's shellacking.  For at least four years, their opponents would enjoy the dubious pleasure of trying to govern the United States of America.  Late on election night, while the confetti swirled in Blue America …
New York Times:
Iran Admits Possible Discrepancy in 3 Million Votes  —  TEHRAN — Locked in a continuing bitter contest Monday with Iranians who say the presidential elections were rigged, the authorities here acknowledged that the number of votes cast in 50 cities exceeded the actual number of voters …
Guardian Council: Over 100% voted in 50 cities  —  Iran's Guardian Council has admitted that the number of votes collected in 50 cities surpass the number of those eligible to cast ballot in those areas.  —  The council's Spokesman Abbas-Ali Kadkhodaei, who was speaking on the Islamic Republic …
Financial Times:   Rafsanjani ally calls for ‘political bloc’
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
Iran's Children of Tomorrow
Discussion: The Daily Dish, Politics Daily and CNN
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Section 5 survives  —  With only one Justice voting to strike down Congress's 25-year extension of the Voting Rights Act's controversial Section 5, the Supreme Court on Monday interpreted the law in a way that saves it.  The Court said that all local units of government must be given the option …
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:   Supreme Court Upholds, But Narrows Voting Rights Act
Associated Press:
High court rules narrowly in voting rights case
St. Petersburg Times:
Scientology: The Truth Rundown, Part 1 of 3 in a special report on the Church of Scientology  —  After L. Ron Hubbard died, David Miscavige became Scientology's leader.  Former church executives say Miscavige beat his staff.  Church officials say the defectors are lying.  —  Reuters/Corbis (2006)]
Manu Raju / The Politico:
GOP: no benefit to court fight  —  Nearly a month after President Barack Obama picked her for the Supreme Court, Republican senators say Sonia Sotomayor isn't serving as the political lightning rod some in their party had hoped she would be.  —  “She doesn't have the punch out there in terms …
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:   The one who won't meet Sotomayor  —  Supreme Court nominee …
Katharine Q. Seelye / New York Times:
White House Changes the Terms of a Campaign Pledge About Posting Bills Online  —  During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised that once a bill was passed by Congress, the White House would post it online for five days before he signed it.  —  “When there's a bill that ends …
Christina Hoff Sommers / Weekly Standard:
No Country for Burly Men  —  How feminist groups skewed the Obama stimulus plan towards women's jobs.  —  A “man-cession.”  That's what some economists are starting to call it.  Of the 5.7 million jobs Americans lost between December 2007 and May 2009, nearly 80 percent had been held by men.
Molly Ball / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
SEX SCANDAL: ENSIGN'S APPROVAL RATING DROPS  —  But he's still Nevada's most popular senior elected official  —  Since admitting an extramarital affair with a former staffer, Sen. John Ensign's approval rating in his home state has plunged.  —  In a new Las Vegas Review-Journal poll of Nevada voters …
Molly Ball / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Voters weigh in on Obama, Reid, Nevada governor
Discussion: The Fix and AmSpecBlog
Wall Street Journal:
Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology  —  By CHRISTOPHER RHOADS in New York and LORETTA CHAO in Beijing  —  The Iranian regime has developed, with the assistance of European telecommunications companies, one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet …
Steve Schippert / RapidRecon:
Regime Change Iran: Movement Seeks to Eliminate ‘Supreme Leader’ Position  —  [Update at Bottom.]  —  Folks, this is huge.  Huge.  A report from Saudi Arabia's al-Arabiya, Iranian clerics seek supreme leader alternative, indicates that Rafsanjani is seeking to eliminate the Supreme Leader.
Chris Dodd / U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd:
Rights, Responsibilities and Love  —  On Sunday, The Meriden Record-Journal published the following op-ed by Senator Chris Dodd  —  Public officials aren't supposed to change their minds.  But I firmly believe that it's important to keep learning.  Last week, while I was in Connecticut meeting …
Lee Fang / Think Progress:
Under Misspelled Banner, Buchanan And White Nationalist Brimelow Argue For English-Only Initiatives  —  On Saturday, Pat Buchanan hosted a conference to discuss how Republicans can regain a majority in America.  During one discussion, panelists suggested supporting English-only initiatives …
Deborah Yao / Associated Press:
FTC plans to monitor blogs for claims, payments  —  Savvy consumers often go online for independent consumer reviews of products and services, scouring through comments from everyday Joes and Janes to help them find a gem or shun a lemon.  —  What some fail to realize, though …
Times of London:
Silvio Berlusconi: the parties, the trinkets, the cash  —  He has made no secret of his love of women but the sex scandal surrounding Silvio Berlusconi is now threatening to topple him, as more claims emerge of the systematic recruitment of young women paid to attend private parties at his homes in Rome and Sardinia.
Discussion: Right Pundits and
Scott / Power Line:
Support Trader Joe's  —  Beneath the attention of major media coverage, the boycott of Israeli products has arrived in America.  Its first reported target over this past weekend was the couscous at Trader Joe's.  —  The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg comments: “My recommendation …
Kevin Mooney / Washington Examiner:
ACORN drops tarnished name and moves to silence critics  —  Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) leaders are using the threat of a law suit to silence and intimidate critics, according to current and former members of the liberal activist group.
Perry Bacon Jr / Washington Post:
GOP Outnumbered in Senate, but McConnell Tries to Ensure It Is Not Outflanked  —  Senate GOP Chief Assumes Higher Profile  —  When he was fighting campaign finance reform a decade ago, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was dubbed Darth Vader by his critics.  He embraced the nickname, even announcing …
Inal Ersan / Reuters:
Al Qaeda says would use Pakistani nuclear weapons  —  DUBAI (Reuters) - If it were in a position to do so, Al Qaeda would use Pakistan's nuclear weapons in its fight against the United States, a top leader of the group said in remarks aired Sunday.  —  Pakistan has been battling al Qaeda's Taliban allies …
Associated Press:
Sarkozy says burqas are ‘not welcome’ in France … PARIS (AP) - President Nicolas Sarkozy lashed out Monday at the practice of wearing the Muslim burqa, insisting the full-body religious gown is a sign of the “debasement” of women and that it won't be welcome in France.
Discussion: and Fausta's Blog
Rasmussen Reports:
39% Now Blame Bad Economy on Obama's Policies  —  While most U.S. voters still blame the Bush Administration for the nation's economic problems, a growing number are inclined to blame President Barack Obama.  —  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 39% of voters …
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 More Items: 
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Albany in flames, Golisano eyes the South
Fouad Ajami / Wall Street Journal:
Obama's Persian Tutorial
Discussion: QandO
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Continuing Claims “Exhaustion Rate”
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Sen. Bond: Iranians want the U.S. to get more involved
Discussion: The Impolitic
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
RNC warns of ‘lights out’ due to climate change bill
Discussion: Think Progress
 Earlier Items: 
James A. Barnes / National Journal Online:
Obama's Team: The Face Of Diversity
Greg Jaffe / Washington Post:
Obama's War: A U.S. Captain's Personal Touch in Afghanistan
Steve Chapman / Reason:
Cigarette Control and Thought Control
Discussion: Say Anything
Michael A. Fletcher / Washington Post:
Lingering Unemployment Likely to Challenge Obama and the Nation
Dexter Filkins / New York Times:
U.S. Toughens Airstrike Policy in Afghanistan