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3:20 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 …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Senators Have Agency  —  In today's column, Paul Krugman lamented …
Discussion: Prairie Weather
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
Financial Times:
Rafsanjani ally calls for ‘political bloc’
Discussion: niacINsight
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 …
Rick Hasen / Election Law:
INITIAL THOUGHTS ON NAMUDNO: CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS BLINKED  —  Despite Chief Justice Roberts' longstanding skepticism of the Voting Rights Act and his blistering set of questions to supporters of section 5's constitutionality during oral argument, the Chief has managed to put together a coalition …
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)]
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 …
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 Orr / The New Republic:
It's All in How You Say It  —  “[A]fter treating this popular …
Discussion: Grasping Reality …
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.
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 …
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
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Shep Smith responds to right-wing critics: ‘I do belong here’ at Fox News.  —  On June 10, Fox News anchor Shep Smith made headlines with his response to the shooting by a white supremacist at the Holocaust Memorial Museum.  He said the incident showed that the much-maligned DHS report on violent …
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 …
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 …
Walt Bogdanich / New York Times:
At V.A. Hospital, a Rogue Cancer Unit  —  For patients with prostate cancer, it is a common surgical procedure: a doctor implants dozens of radioactive seeds to attack the disease.  But when Dr. Gary D. Kao treated one patient at the veterans' hospital in Philadelphia, his aim was more than a little off.
Megan McArdle:
Rogue Cancer Unit at the Veterans Administration
President Obama accepts invitation to World Cup  —  U.S. President Barack Obama has accepted an invitation to attend the opening ceremony of the World Cup finals in South Africa next year, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Monday.  —  President Obama, whose late father was Kenyan …
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 …
Andy McCarthy / The Corner:
Understanding Obama on Iran  —  Call me thick, but I continue to be baffled by a lot of the commentary, cited by Rich and others, which gives as the rationale for President Obama's diffidence his purported determination to preserve the opportunity to negotiate with the mullahs on their nuclear program.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Reza Pahlavi  —  The man who was once in line to run Iran — but who has been mentioned little in the domestic turmoil there — spoke at the National Press Club this morning:  —  A movement was born on the 22nd of Khordad in my calendar, the 12th of June in yours.
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 …
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 …
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: and Right Pundits
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.
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 …
Discussion: L.A. Now and Israel Matzav
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 More Items: 
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Health Care 2009 = Social Security 2005?
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Chicago Breaking News:
Blagojevich fundraiser gets 37 months in jail
Discussion: TalkLeft
Christopher Maag / New York Times:
From the Ashes of '69, a River Reborn
Discussion: The Huffington Post
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”
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Sarkozy says burqas are ‘not welcome’ in France
Discussion: and Fausta's Blog
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
RNC warns of ‘lights out’ due to climate change bill
Discussion: Think Progress
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