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8:10 PM ET, July 15, 2009


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
House Democrats Want to Fund Health Care With an Ill-Advised Surtax on the Rich.  —  THERE IS a serious case to be made that the U.S. income tax system should become more progressive.  The average rate paid by the top 1 percent of households shrank from 33 percent in 1986 to about 23 percent in 2006.
Kbh /
Does the House really want to raise taxes on eight million uninsured people?  —  The President has said he would not allow taxes to be raised on anyone with less than $250,000 of income.  —  Today for the first time we see the legislative language for and a summary of the health care reform bill …
Fred Bauer / A Certain Enthusiasm:
Use It Before You Lose It
Discussion: Paco Enterprises
Edwin Chen / Bloomberg:
Obama Open to Partisan Vote on Health-Care Overhaul, Aides Say
Wall Street Journal:
Health Bill Would Hit Small Business
Bombshell: Orders revoked for soldier challenging prez  —  Major victory for Army warrior questioning Obama's birthplace  —  A U.S. Army Reserve major from Florida scheduled to report for deployment to Afghanistan within days has had his military orders revoked after arguing he should not be required …
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Police kill suspected shooter  —  Police shot and killed a man near Upper Senate Park Wednesday after he attempted to flee from a traffic stop, officials said.  —  In a statement emailed to reporters, the Capitol Police said the shooting was “an isolated incident unrelated to the security …
Discussion: TVNewser and Raw Story
Person Shot Near U.S. Capitol  —  WASHINGTON - A U.S. Capitol Police officer shot a 35-year-old man at New Jersey Avenue NW and C Street NW, blocks from the Capitol, according to law enforcement sources.  —  It happened just after 5:15 p.m.  —  Robert Drum, a tourist from Edmond, Oklahoma …
Discussion: Weekly Standard, FamousDC and Macsmind
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Coburn might have some “splaining to do”  —  A funny, slightly cringe-inducing exchange just now between Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who was pressing Sonia Sotomayor on the Second Amendment.  —  Sotomayor, jokingly produced a hypothetical in which she went back to her apartment …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Buchanan: GOP Needs More Race-Baiting, Not Less  —  A provocative article by Pat Buchanan argues that contrary to conventional wisdom, Republicans shouldn't worry about alienating Hispanic voters, they should just focus on getting white people to like them more: … And he sees race-baiting attacks as the way to do it:
Conor Clarke / The Daily Dish:
Why We Beltway Elites Like Sotomayor More Than Palin
Discussion: The American Scene
Randy Barnett / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Sotomayor Again Misstates Fundamental Rights Doctrine:  —  As she did yesterday, Sotomayor asserted that a right is “fundamental” if it is “incorporated” against the states via the 14th Amendment rather than that a right is incorporated against the states if it is fundamental.
Jonathan Cohn / The Treatment:
Rube Goldberg Already Lives Here  —  House Republicans today released a chart depicting what health care in America would look like if the House Democrats get their way.  It's confusing, if colorful—full of boxes, lines, and all sorts of hard-to-say acronyms.  Which, of course, is the point.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THEY DO LOVE THEIR CHARTS.... Republican opponents of health care reform …
Discussion: TPMDC and Wonkette
Will Holland /
As Republicans gain control, face of Oklahoma Democrats changes  —  Democratic Congressman Dan Boren sits behind a desk with two bucks mounted on wooden plaques peering over each of his shoulders.  The sleeves of his button-down shirt are rolled almost to his elbows, and like everyone milling about outside, he is sweaty.
Discussion: Salon and RedState
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:   Boren goes nuclear on Obama
Jeffrey Goldberg:
Fundraising Corruption at Human Rights Watch  —  An on-line Wall Street Journal op-ed posted two days ago alleged that Human Rights Watch officials went trolling for dollars in Saudi Arabia, and that the organization's senior Middle East official, Sarah Leah Whitson, attempted to extract money …
David Freddoso / Washington Examiner:
Obama's science czar suggested compulsory abortion, sterilization  —  Internet reports are now circulating that Obama's Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, John Holdren, penned a 1977 book that approved of and recommended compulsory sterilization and even abortion in some cases …
Gen. Lee Wright /
‘COMINSKEY FIELD’?  PRESIDENT OBAMA BOTCHES NAME OF HOME OF HIS BELOVED WHITE SOX  —  “I do think that there's a different quality to what used to be Cominskey Field vs. Wrigley,” President Obama told Bob Costas during an interview that aired during Tuesday night's MLB All-Star Game.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Calorie Labeling and the Dunch Problem  —  I wrote earlier today about the problem of large portion sizes in which many of us who might have one kind of desire to consume fewer calories nonetheless find ourselves drawn toward high-calorie orders in the moment.
Hillary Rodham Clinton / US Department of State:
Foreign Policy Address at the Council on Foreign Relations  —  Washington, DC  —  Thank you very much, Richard, and I am delighted to be here in these new headquarters.  I have been often to, I guess, the mother ship in New York City, but it's good to have an outpost of the Council right …
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Palin: All Tail, No Head  —  Sarah Palin's political action committee — SarahPAC — raised $733,000 in the first half of the year and is set to push past $1 million in the wake of the recent attention she's gotten herself.  On the one hand, this isn't that impressive.  Mitt Romney, for instance, has raised twice as much.
Wall Street Journal:
Poor, Persecuted Sarah Palin  —  The GOP embraces the culture of victimhood.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced her resignation two weeks ago it was after a series of strange, petty bouts with her detractors.  Many “frivolous ethics violations” had been alleged against her, she noted.
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
Bush's Justice Dept. blacklisted LGBT groups  —  Affiliation with Immigration Equality, GMHC may have doomed intern candidates  —  Applicants for Justice Department internships and honors programs may have been rejected based on their membership in LGBT groups during the Bush administration, the Blade has learned.
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Calpers: Rating Agencies to Blame for Huge Losses  —  Way back when, I mentioned there was a surprise coming S&P's way.  Since it is now out there officially, I can discuss it publicly.  —  After the brouhaha with McGraw Hill began, I was contacted by numerous people — mostly readers emailing words of support.
Paul Krugman:
Deficits saved the world  —  Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs has a new note (no link) responding to claims that government support for the economy is postponing the necessary adjustment.  He doesn't think much of that argument; neither do I. But one passage in particular caught my eye:
Thomas Szasz / Wall Street Journal:
Universal Health Care Isn't Worth Our Freedom  —  What would Thoreau have made of the current debate?  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  People who seek the services of auto mechanics want car repair, not “auto care.”  Similarly, most people who seek the services of medical doctors want body repair, not “health care.”
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Business Channel:
This Recession is Over  —  Daniel Gross, writing for Newsweek, finds that two of his favorite economic forecasters have predicted an end to the recession, starting ... now.  We're growing, everybody!  We're a real economy!  Let's look at the evidence:  —  The Macroeconomic Advisers …
Discussion: Newsweek
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Chuck Todd's arguments against investigations  —  (updated below - Update II - Update III)  —  NBC's Chuck Todd — who, remember, is billed as a reporter covering the White House, not a pundit expressing opinions — was on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Tuesday discussing reports that Eric Holder …
National Journal Online:
Sources Say Rubio Reconsidering Senate Race  —  Florida.  Two Republican sources said today that even as former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio campaigns for retiring GOP Sen. Mel Martinez's Senate seat, he has been calling around to top Republican donors and activists in the state to discuss …
David Kerley / ABCNEWS:
Shark Attack Survivors Lobby Congress  —  Survivors Visit 25 Senators, Asking for Support of a Bill to Protect Sharks  —  Though they may have lost fingers or even a leg or an arm, a group of resilient shark bite victims hit Capitol Hill today and asked lawmakers to protect their attackers.
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 More Items: 
Stephanie Rosenbloom / New York Times:
Wal-Mart to Rate Products' Impact on Environment
Above the Law:
Morgan Lewis Cancels 2010 Summer Program
Discussion: PrawfsBlawg and Law Blog
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Chris Dodd, lobbyist scourge
Discussion: The Note
iPhone launches ‘purity ring’ application
Discussion: Feministing and Matthew Yglesias
City Room:
Teenager Is Arrested in May Starbucks Bombing
Political Punch:
“Thinly-Veiled Threats”? …
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
The Most Important Number in Politics Today
Andy McCarthy / The Corner:
Meet Me in St. Booie!
Discussion: Power Line and The Anchoress
Elizabeth Sprague / CBS News:
Pot No Longer Focus of Anti-Drug Campaigns
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2009: Virginia Governor Election
Discussion: Real Clear Politics and GOP 12
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
White Man's Last Stand