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2:10 PM ET, June 30, 2009


 Top Items: 
Todd S. Purdum / Vanity Fair:
It Came from Wasilla  —  Despite her disastrous performance in the 2008 election, Sarah Palin is still the sexiest brand in Republican politics, with a lucrative book contract for her story.  But what Alaska's charismatic governor wants the public to know about herself doesn't always jibe with reality.
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Kristol: Liberal Media and GOP Hacks vs. Palin  —  Lefty journalist Todd Purdum has a hit piece in the new Vanity Fair on Sarah Palin.  You don't have to be a big Palin fan to recognize the article is full of dubious claims, and is dependent on self-serving stories provided on background …
The Ninth Justice:
Justices Reject Sotomayor Position 9-0 — But Bigger Battles Loom  —  The Supreme Court's predictable 5-4 vote to reverse the decision by Judge Sonia Sotomayor and two federal appeals court colleagues against 17 white (and one Hispanic) plaintiffs in the now-famous New Haven, Conn. …
Allison Kilkenny / The Huffington Post:   The Media's Premature Celebration of US Withdrawal From Iraq
Oklahoma Legislature to Consider Proclamation Linking the Economic Crisis to Obama's Immoral Policies  —  Recently, Rush Limbaugh explained (if it were not already obvious) how Obama economic policies were the cause of Republican Gov. Mark Sanford's affair with a beautiful Argentinian woman.
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Sally Kern Returns To Blame America's ‘Economic Woes’ …
Associated Press:
AP NewsBreak: SC gov admits additional liaisons  —  COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Tuesday that he saw his Argentine mistress more times than previously disclosed, including what was to be a farewell meeting in New York chaperoned by a spiritual adviser soon after his wife found out about the affair.
Jerry Harkavy / Associated Press:
AP Interview: Maine Sen. Snowe seeks health care compromise by keeping government plan on hold  —  (AP Photo/Pat Wellenbach) (Pat Wellenbach, AP / June 29, 2009)  —  PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Sen. Olympia Snowe, a key figure in shaping federal health care legislation, said Monday …
CNN Poll: Americans don't want to intervene in Iran election crisis  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll suggests that that nearly three out of four Americans don't want the U.S. directly intervene in the election crisis in Iran even though most Americans are upset by how the Iranian government …
“The Commission Has Been Road-Blocked”: Republicans' War On The FEC  —  Last fall, James Ross, a New York City resident and a donor to several Democratic organizations, received an unusual letter.  “Your name has been put in our database,” Ross was told.  “We are monitoring all reports of a wide variety of leftist organizations.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Gingrich: Obama sides with Castro and Chavez on Honduras  —  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accused President Obama of siding with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez when it comes to the recent coup in Honduras.  Gingrich blasted Obama for opposing the coup in Honduras …
David Brooks / New York Times:
Vince Lombardi Politics  —  Freud said we're forever changed by the traumas of our youth, and so it is with the Democrats and Clintoncare.  Even as you watch the leading Democrats today in their moment of glory, you can still see wounds caused by the defeat of the Clinton health care initiative.
Max Blumenthal / The Huffington Post:
Neda in Palestine, Sentenced To Die Alone  —  For over a week, major American news outlets have broadcast on a virtual loop the video of the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan, an unarmed 26-year-old Iranian woman, by Iranian security services.  The poignant footage of Neda dying before a throng …
MEDIA SWING FROM PROTESTS IN IRAN TO THE PASSING OF THE KING OF POP  —  In the age of 24 hours news, sometimes it's hard to know how to measure time.  —  Last week the news narrative careened through three distinct, often dramatic phases, and ended overwhelmed by a celebrity story that echoed coverage from more than a decade ago.
Alexandra LeTellier / Comments Blog:
How would we have reacted if TMZ had been wrong about Michael Jackson's death?
Discussion: Gawker, JustOneMinute and BitsBlog
Los Angeles Times:
States brace for shutdowns  —  Time is running out for the legislatures in Arizona, California, Indiana, Mississippi and Pennsylvania to solve budget gaps.  —  Reporting from Indianapolis and Denver — The last time Indiana missed its deadline for passing a budget and had to shut down the government was during the Civil War.
Geoffrey A. Fowler / Wall Street Journal:
Amazon Drops More Affiliates to Avoid Tax  — Inc. ended its business relationships with marketing affiliates in Rhode Island so the online retailer could avoid collecting sales tax in the state.  —  Rhode Island's state legislature recently passed a bill that would force companies …
The Politico:
Vulnerable House Dems in GOP sights  —  Republicans believe a handful of junior House Democrats may have taken a career-ending vote by supporting the controversial energy bill last week and are planning to launch an ad campaign in targeted districts to try to seal their fate.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Cheney Lays Down The Iraq Gauntlet  —  You could see this coming a mile off: having initiated the worst foreign policy decision in recent times, Cheney doesn't want the occupation to end any time soon.  More to the point, he is gearing up to blame Obama if the withdrawal leads to bloodshed or chaos.
Peter Whoriskey / Washington Post:
Uncertainty Clouds Recovery of U.S. Investment in GM  —  Carmaker's Shares Would Have to Hit A Historic High  —  If a new General Motors emerges from bankruptcy as planned, U.S. financial aid for the company will expand to nearly $50 billion, but neither the government nor the company …
Drudge Report:
BEWARE THE OBAMA ‘EVIL EYE’  —  As the summer begins, White House watchers have spotted a new look by President Obama: The Evil Eye!  —  Staffers have joked about the menacing glance, which comes when the president meets with world leaders who are not aligned with his progressive view.
Discussion: Don Surber, Gawker, Fausta's Blog and Salon
Jeremy D. Mayer / The Politico:
Queen Michelle the First?  —  Michelle Obama wants a bigger role in her husband's administration, according to The Washington Post.  Unlike Laura Bush, who focused on a few peripheral issues, Obama wants a seat at the table when key policies are made.  —  Obama's new chief of staff …
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 More Items: 
James Fallows:
Ideas Festival kickoff: opening “Big Ideas” session
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: Massachusetts Governor
Roger C. Altman / Wall Street Journal:
We'll Need to Raise Taxes Soon
Discussion: The New Republic and Clusterstock
Geoff Colvin / Washington Post:
Higher Taxes for Business Mean We All Pay
Discussion: Cato @ Liberty and AmSpecBlog
Matthew Vadum / AmSpecBlog:
ACORN Rent-A-Mob Thugs to Harass Lenders in 14 Cities Tuesday
Discussion: YID With LID and Moonbattery
US News:
As White House Readies Abortion Plan, Packaging Emerges as Major Issue
 Earlier Items: 
Kevin Johnson / USA Today:
‘Scent lineups’ stink to critics
Discussion: The Agitator and Reason
Joe Bel Bruno / Wall Street Journal:
Street to Log Best Quarter Since Crisis
Discussion: Clusterstock
Bob Gale / Big Hollywood:
The Brevity Act: Time for a 28th Amendment
Discussion: Pajamas Media and Moe_Lane's blog
Ethan Smith / Wall Street Journal:
Jackson Will From 2002 In Spotlight
Discussion: Guardian, CNN and Joe. My. God.