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1:40 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.
Edwin Chen / Bloomberg:
Obama Open to Partisan Vote on Health-Care Overhaul, Aides Say  —  President Barack Obama may rely only on Democrats to push health-care legislation through the U.S. Congress if Republican opposition doesn't yield soon, two of the president's top advisers said.
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 …
Wall Street Journal:
Health Bill Would Hit Small Business  —  $1.04 Trillion House Health Bill Hits All but Tiniest Firms for Not Providing Insurance  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, from left, stands with House Democratic leaders Steny Hoyer, Pete Stark, Henry Waxman, Charles Rangel, and John Dingell to announce health-care legislation on Tuesday.
Associated Press:
Sen. Kennedy's committee passes health care bill  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate health committee has passed legislation to revamp health care, becoming the first congressional committee to act on President Barack Obama's goal of overhauling the system this year.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Praising HELP  —  A full-throated statement from President Obama …
Discussion: The Hill
Craig Crawford / Craig Crawford's Trail Mix:
Smiling GOPers Ought to be Frowning  —  Watching Lindsey Graham's gotcha grin as he needled Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor with disingenuous and rhetorical questions you had to wonder what was so funny.  —  Does the Republican senator think it is amusing that he and his party's …
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
White Man's Last Stand  —  You can't judge a judge by her cover.  —  Despite the best efforts of Republicans to root out any sign that Sonia Sotomayor has emotions that color her views on the law, the Bronx Bomber kept a robotic mask in place.  —  A wise Latina woman with the richness …
Paul / Power Line:
The great gesturer  —  Why do so many Senators persist during …
Discussion: Sadly, No!
Washington Post:
Sen. Coburn Questions Judge Sotomayor at Supreme Court Nomination Hearings  —  Review all exchanges organized by senator  —  COBURN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I'd ask unanimous consent to put an article from the newspaper this morning, the Washington Times.  —  LEAHY: Without objection, it'll be placed in the record.
Discussion: ACS Blog
Randy Barnett / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Sotomayor Again Misstates Fundamental Rights Doctrine:
Discussion: Bench Memos
Eva Rodriguez / PostPartisan:
Sotomayor's Unconvincing Backpedaling
Gateway Pundit:
OBAMA BOOED IN ST. LOUIS!... And Throws a Sissy Pitch (Video)  —  Barack Obama Booed at the All-Star Game in St. Louis On Tuesday!  —  And, he threw a sissy pitch:  —  It's going to be a rough 4 years.  He's only been in office 5 months and he's already getting booed.  —  ...And protested.
Duk / Yahoo! Sports:
Obama reps Chicago's South Side, delivers All-Star first pitch  —  ST LOUIS — Where did it land?  Was it a strike or wasn't it?  Why didn't the network choose a better camera to shoot from?  Those were the questions that viewers of baseball's All-Star Game were asking themselves at home …
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 …
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:
John O'Connor / The State:
Media jostled for access to Sanford  —  E-mails illustrate frenzy to be the first on the air or in print  —  National media blitzed Gov. Mark Sanford's staff, offering big ratings and, possibly, a sympathetic venue in an effort to land the first interview with the governor after his six-day trip to Argentina.
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.
Discussion: Riehl World View
Palin becomes MoveOn target as SarahPAC cash haul surges
Elizabeth Landau / CNN:   Sotomayor: Ivy League was ‘new to me’
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Florida Project Under Investigation Is Linked to Rep. Murtha  —  When an Air Force command in north Florida sought new battlefield technologies, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) steered millions in federal dollars its way to hire defense contractors.  —  The research effort at the Pensacola Air …
Discussion: YID With LID
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Another FBI probe involves Murtha
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Key Obama advisers indicate openness to pushing health care reform through with just Democratic votes.  —  Bloomberg's Ed Chen reports that two of Obama's top advisers — Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod - “may rely only on Democrats to push health-care legislation through the U.S. Congress …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Chuck Todd's arguments against investigations  —  (updated below - Update II)  —  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 is likely …
Kara Rowland / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Perlmutter part owns ‘green’ bank he helped  —  Provision in bill would aid family members, political donor  —  Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado inserted a provision into the recently passed House climate change bill that would drum up business for “green” banks …
Discussion: Clayton Cramer's BLOG
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 More Items: 
Daniel Martin / Daily Mail:
A 9-month wait for arthritis treatment: Delay can mean a lifetime …
Peter Brown / Capital Journal:
Can Soaring Deficits Boost GOP Fortunes?
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Goodbye Iraq, and Good Luck
Discussion: The New Republic
U.S. House releases healthcare overhaul bill
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Jen DiMascio / The Politico:
Levin bails on F-22 cuts
Discussion: The Note
Bill Wyman / Wall Street Journal:
The Tragedy of Michael Jackson
Discussion: Us Weekly, Reason and Pajamas Media
 Earlier Items: 
Lisa Mascaro / Las Vegas Sun:
In D.C., some worry Ensign saga is not over
Discussion: DownWithTyranny! and TPMDC
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Dems reject palling around with Palin
Laurie K. Blandford /
Port St. Lucie apologizes to Treasure Coast Tea Party
Discussion: Moe_Lane's blog