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9:55 AM ET, July 2, 2009


 Top Items: 
Helen Thomas: Not Even Nixon Tried to Control the Media Like Obama  —  ( - Following a testy exchange during today's briefing with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas told that not even Richard Nixon tried to control …
John / Power Line:
Health Care Stagecraft  —  President Obama held an “online town hall” health care meeting in Annandale, Virginia today.  It was televised and, coincidentally, I happened to catch the emotional centerpiece of the production on CNN.  Obama gave a long introductory pitch in support of his health care plan …
Clif LeBlanc / The State:
39 trips for Sanford with no security in '09  —  EXCLUSIVE: Governor's secret trip prompts scrutiny  —  Gov. Mark Sanford left the Governor's Mansion without a security escort, 38 times in 2008.  In the first six months of this year, he left the mansion without security, 39 times.
Discussion: The Page
Michael Falcone / The Politico:
House of Pain: GOP's Class of '94  —  The sex scandals that have tarnished Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) don't appear to have much in common.  Yet there is one thread that binds them together: Both Ensign and Sanford were members of the famed Republican House class of 1994, as well as its latest casualties.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
The Politico:
S.C. GOP: Sanford must go  —  Gov. Mark Sanford's long and emotional interview with The Associated Press Tuesday appears to have been the final straw for South Carolina's Republican establishment, much of which is now actively seeking his resignation.  —  While Sanford seemed to have weathered …
David Saltonstall / NY Daily News:
Blubbering Love Gov. Mark Sanford tears up again over ‘soul mate’ Maria Belen Chapur
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
In affair, Sanford loses closest ally: his wife
Discussion: Associated Press and Hot Air
Taliban capture U.S. soldier  —  KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) — A U.S. soldier has been captured by militants in Afghanistan, the U.S. military and the Taliban said Thursday.  —  The unidentified soldier has been missing since Tuesday.  U.S. forces are exhausting all resources to find the soldier, the military said.
Washington Post:
U.S.: American Soldier Captured in Afghanistan  —  A U.S. soldier missing from his base in eastern Afghanistan since Tuesday is believed to have been captured by Taliban militants, the military said Thursday.  —  In a statement issued from U.S. military headquarters in Kabul, officials said …
Discussion: and Gateway Pundit
Los Angeles Times:   American soldier believed captured in Afghanistan
CBS News:   Taliban Seize U.S. Soldier in Afghanistan
John_Merritt / CBS News:
Palin E-mails Show Infighting With Staff  —  Exclusive: Spat Over Todd Palin's Membership In Secessionist Party Was Major Distraction On Critical Day In '08 Campaign … Internal campaign e-mails exchanged three weeks before Election Day offer a rare look at just how frustrated …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
WashPost sells access, $25,000+  —  For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post is offering lobbyists and association executives off the record, non-confrontational access to “those powerful few” — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the paper's own reporters and editors.
Brian Blackstone / Wall Street Journal:
Job Losses Accelerated in June
Discussion: TigerHawk and Betsy's Page
Terror from the Right  —  75 plots, conspiracies and racist rampages since Oklahoma City … What follows is a detailed listing of major terrorist plots and racist rampages that have emerged from the American radical right in the years since Oklahoma City.
John R. Bolton / Washington Post:
Time for an Israeli Strike?  —  With Iran's hard-line mullahs and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps unmistakably back in control, Israel's decision of whether to use military force against Tehran's nuclear weapons program is more urgent than ever.  —  Iran's nuclear threat was never …
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Black Reporters on the Beat of Michelle Obama  —  While Michelle Obama was meeting with doctors and patients at the Upper Cardozo Health Center, nearly two dozen journalists stood behind a white rope in a small room upstairs, most finally growing so tired during the hour-long wait that they sat on the floor.
John Feehery / CNN:   Commentary: Franken victory is not funny
Michelle Malkin:
Who railroaded the Amtrak inspector general?  —  Creators Syndicate  —  Watchdogs are an endangered species in the Age of Obama.  The latest government ombudsman to get the muzzle: Amtrak inspector general Fred Weiderhold.  The longtime veteran employee was abruptly “retired” …
Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain:
Michelle Malkin Reports on IG-Gate
Discussion: Swampland
Laurie Goodstein / New York Times:
U.S. Nuns Facing Vatican Scrutiny  —  The Vatican is quietly conducting two sweeping investigations of American nuns, a development that has startled and dismayed nuns who fear they are the targets of a doctrinal inquisition.  —  Nuns were the often-unsung workers who helped build …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Barney Frank: Let's spend TARP profits before taxpayers can get them  —  When President Obama announced on June 9 that some financial institutions would be allowed to repay Troubled Asset Relief Program dollars, he said the massively expensive TARP bailout had made money for the federal government.
Discussion: Power Line, AmSpecBlog and Betsy's Page
Roger Cohen / New York Times:
Let the Usurpers Writhe  —  TEHRAN — Think of normalized relations with the United States as the big prize.  Who gets to deliver it?  One thing is certain: Iran's ruthless usurpers are determined to ensure reformists are never in a position to claim the breakthrough.
Discussion: Washington Post and normblog
Wall Street Journal:
Congress's Travel Tab Swells  —  Spending on Taxpayer-Funded Trips Rises Tenfold; From Italy to the Galápagos  —  WASHINGTON — Spending by lawmakers on taxpayer-financed trips abroad has risen sharply in recent years, a Wall Street Journal analysis of travel records shows …
Discussion: and JONATHAN TURLEY
Runnin' Scared:
Times Square Tea Party Denounces Obama, Media, Imaginary Tax Rates, Etc.  —  They had another one of those Tea Party things this evening, this time right next to the Times Square subway station on Broadway.  The anti-Obama pep rally occupied part of the street and part of the sidewalk …
Discussion: JammieWearingFool and alicublog
Peter Nicholas / Los Angeles Times:
Obama administration touring competitive rural districts  —  Cabinet secretaries will fan out this summer to hear concerns and possibly sway some more-conservative voters.  —  Reporting from Washington — The White House bills it as a “listening tour,” a chance for President Obama's Cabinet …
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog and The Swamp
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
A few victory laughs for Sen.-elect Franken  —  Al Franken is funny again.  —  The senator-elect alternated between jokes and emotion Wednesday in a victory rally that was, as he acknowledged, more than two years in the making.  —  “It was close,” Franken began, garnering a big laugh for his even bigger understatement.
Discussion: SEIU
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 More Items: 
Andy McCarthy / The Corner:
Senators Sessions and Kyl Demand Answers on Obama's Negotiations …
Discussion: Power Line and Washington Times
Megan McArdle:
Aspen Bulletin: Austan Goolsbee Explains It All
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Daily Mail:
CoE school bans girl from wearing crucifix - but allows Sikh pupils to wear bangles
Discussion: Don Surber and Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Robert Berkvist / New York Times:
Karl Malden, Actor Who Played the Uncommon Everyman, Dies at 97
Discussion: normblog, The New Republic and ArtsBeat
Daily Mail:
Rigged?  ‘Suspicious’ Iranian ballot papers show name Ahmadinejad …
Discussion: Hot Air and Weasel Zippers
Another View: In Praise of Law Firm Layoffs
Discussion: Law Blog
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
We're Getting A Bad Feeling About Our Food
Discussion: D-Day, and Ezra Klein
Matt Walker / BBC:
Ant mega-colony takes over world
Discussion: Pharyngula