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1:20 PM ET, June 23, 2009


 Top Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
SANFORD RETURNS!  —  Gov. Mark Sanford is set to return to South Carolina tomorrow.  AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain  —  South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford will return to the state tomorrow after spending the last five days hiking the Appalachian Trail, according to a statement released by his office this morning.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Sanford Story Takes More Serious Turn  —  Late Monday evening, Gov. Mark Sanford's office revealed that he is hiking on the Appalachian Trail.  —  On the face of it, that solves the mystery.  But this article from The State, South Carolina's main newspaper, suggests some more troubling possibilities to the story.
Jimmy Orr / Christian Science Monitor:
Sanford disappears to hike Appalachian Trail (on Naked Hiking Day)  —  We're not suggesting that the formerly missing Governor of South Carolina specifically ditched his family and security detail to go hiking on Naked Hiking Day.  But that's what he ended up doing.
The Huffington Post:
Sanford's Hiking Trail Got Stimulus Money He Opposed  —  Gov. Mark Sanford has spent a good part of South Carolina's past legislative session railing against, and even actively turning down, portions of Barack Obama's stimulus package.  And when the session ended with Sanford losing his fight …
The Politico:
Missing Gov. sparks political fight
Scott Wilson / Washington Post:
Iran Unrest Reveals Split In U.S. on Its Role Abroad  —  Iran's post-election tumult has exposed the sharply divergent ways in which the Obama administration and its Republican opponents view the nature of American power and the president's role in speaking to political dissent outside the borders of the United States.
Agence France Presse:
US says hot dog diplomacy still on with Iran  —  WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States said Monday its invitations were still standing for Iranian diplomats to attend July 4 celebrations at US embassies despite the crackdown on opposition supporters.  —  President Barack Obama's administration …
Fox News:
Hot Dog Diplomacy: Iranian Diplomats Still Welcome at July 4 Parties  —  State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said there's been no thought of taking back offers for Iranian officials to join the Independence Day festivities, even as the Islamic Republic's leaders threaten violence against protesters …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
White House: Cairo speech inspired the Iran uprising
Discussion: JustOneMinute and Stop The ACLU
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Gibbs: White House may reevaluate position if Iran escalates
Discussion: Flopping Aces and Weasel Zippers
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Obama, Staying Cool on Iran
Discussion: Commentary and
Attaturk / Firedoglake:
America's Concern Troll
Discussion: Gawker
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
9 of 10 Americans worry about Obama's spending deficits: Poll
Discussion: Right Wing News
Fox News:
White House: Obama Has No Plan to Alter Tone on Iran Protests
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs and Gateway Pundit
Washington Post:
At Least Nine Killed in Red Line Crash  —  The number of people killed in last night's deadly Red Line crash has risen to at least nine, Metro officials said this morning, shortly after five bodies were removed from the mangled wreckage.  —  The train that slammed into the back of another during …
Brian Witte / Associated Press:
D.C. subway crash: Regulators had warned to replace aging fleet
Discussion: Outside The Beltway and BLACKFIVE
Lyndsey Layton / Washington Post:
Experts Suspect System Failure, Operator Error in Metrorail Crash
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Metro Crash  —  Fort Totten Station (CC photo by katmere)
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Jenny Booth / Times of London:
Iranian authorities scramble to negate Neda Soltan ‘martyrdom’  —  The Iranian authorities have ordered the family of a student shot dead in Tehran to take down mourning posters as they struggle to stop her becoming the rallying point for protests against the presidential election.
Ahmadinejad swearing-in by August
Discussion: CNN
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
Approval Ratings for Pelosi Hit a New Low  —  A month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's showdown with the CIA over interrogation techniques, just 38 percent of Americans approve of her job performance, while 45 percent disapprove, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released yesterday.
Discussion: FiveThirtyEight
Washington Post:
Poll: Americans Less Upbeat About Stimulus Bill's Impact
Christopher Hitchens / Slate:
Iranian leaders will always believe Anglo-Saxons are plotting against them. … - There is nothing at all that any Western country can do to avoid the charge of intervening in Iran's foreign affairs.  The deep belief that everything—especially anything in English—is already and by definition …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Engagement With a Post-Crackdown Iran
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
Rubio's curious Tweet  —  Twitter hasn't always been a politician's best friend — see Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra's comparison of House Republican floor rebellions to the uprising in Iran or Newt Gingrich calling Sonia Sotomayor a “racist.”  —  Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio …
Al Kamen / Washington Post:
Dennis Ross Expands His Portfolio  —  Remember when the Washington Institute for Near East Policy announced Jan. 7 how happy they were that Dennis B. Ross, a senior official in the pro-Israel think tank, was going to get some kind of uber-job, “designed especially for him,” …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Obama's Political Operation To Launch Big Database Of Health Care Stories  —  In a major new effort to throw Obama's campaign apparatus into the push for health care reform, the White House's political operation is set to launch a massive new online data bank of thousands of health care stories …
Robert Tait / Guardian:
Iran bans election protest footballers  —  Ali Karimi, Mehdi Mahdavikia and two others are ‘retired’ after sporting green wristbands in World Cup qualifier in Seoul  —  Their gesture attracted worldwide comment and drew the attention of football fans to Iran's political turmoil.
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Bolton Slams Obama For Being ‘Timid’ On Iran, Then Admits U.S. Options Limited Because Of Bush's Failures  —  Yesterday on Fox News, Sean Hannity and former U.N. ambassador John Bolton joined the right-wing chorus hitting President Obama's response to the Iranian election crisis.
Discussion: The Reaction
Michael Slackman / New York Times:
Top Clerical Council in Iran Rejects Plea to Annul Vote  —  CAIRO — Iran's most powerful oversight council has refused to nullify the contested presidential election just one day after it announced that the number of votes in 50 cities exceeded the number of eligible voters there by three million …
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 More Items: 
Alan Suderman / Washington Examiner:
Family sues after SWAT team raids their apartment by mistake
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Thomas Joscelyn / Weekly Standard:
They Blame America Anyway
George Friedman / STRATFOR:
The Iranian Election and the Revolution Test
Discussion: The Washington Note
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Supreme Court narrows but preserves Voting Rights Act
Discussion: New York Times and Washington Post
Jeff Stein / SpyTalk:
Mousavi, Celebrated in Iranian Protests, Was the Butcher of Beirut
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Alaska waiting on Sarah Palin's plans
Discussion: Politics Daily
Chris Good / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Internet Surveillance And Iran: A Primer
 Earlier Items: 
Jennifer Rubin / Pajamas Media:
Why Is the Justice Department Cozying Up to Islamic Radicals?
Roll Call:
Ensign to Face the Music
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Jerusalem Post:
US: Settlement freeze must include J'lem
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Scott / Power Line:
What Bill Keller learned from George Bush
Jared Allen / The Hill:
Climate change bill to hit House floor this week