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4:45 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.
Peter Singer / New York Times:
Why We Must Ration Health Care  —  You have advanced kidney cancer.  It will kill you, probably in the next year or two.  A drug called Sutent slows the spread of the cancer and may give you an extra six months, but at a cost of $54,000.  Is a few more months worth that much?
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 …
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.
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.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THEY DO LOVE THEIR CHARTS.... Republican opponents of health care reform …
Discussion: TPMDC, NOW! Blog and Wonkette
Fred Bauer / A Certain Enthusiasm:   Use It Before You Lose It
Dow Jones Newswires:
4th UPDATE:US House Health Bill Puts 5.4% Surtax On Millionaires
Discussion: Megan McArdle
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 …
Greyhawk / Mudville Gazette:
Was the Cook case a scam? … But by the end of the day: … That decision has Cook's lawyer declaring victory.  However, there are other indications that the entire case may be somewhat of a fraud.  —  David Weigel revealed yesterday that Cook was a member of the Free Republic message board.
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.
Discussion: Bench Memos and Lean Left
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 …
Andy McCarthy / The Corner:
Meet Me in St. Booie!
Discussion: Power Line
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.
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.
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
Media pushed for Sanford access; Tapper on ‘slimy’ email
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.
Leslie Wayne / New York Times:
Calpers Sues Over Ratings of Securities
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 …
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.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
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 …
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:
Jen DiMascio / The Politico:
Levin bails on F-22 cuts  —  The effort to strip $1.75 billion from the defense authorization bill to fund F-22 Raptors has stalled.  —  Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has pulled the amendment he and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) co-sponsored that would have yanked funding for the controversial jet fighter, Levin's office confirmed.
Discussion: Weekly Standard and The Note
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 …
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2009: Virginia Governor Election  —  2009 Virginia Governor: McDonnell 44%, Deeds 41%  —  Republican candidate Robert F. McDonnell has rebounded to take a narrow lead over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds in the race for governor in Virginia, highlighting the expected closeness of that contest right up to November.
Discussion: Real Clear Politics and GOP 12
Micah L. Sifry / techPresident:
Organizing for America, Obama's Sleeping Beast, Starts to Awaken  —  It looks like Organizing for America, President Obama's de facto field organization based at the DNC, is ramping up its efforts to demonstrate support for health care reform.  Last week I took a look at OFA's online directory …
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.”
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 More Items: 
City Room:
Teenager Is Arrested in May Starbucks Bombing
Discussion: Gawker
Bair, Bernanke Want Tougher Curbs on Biggest Banks
Discussion: DailyFinance and naked capitalism
Michelle Malkin:
Congress should be required to enroll in Obamacare
Discussion: Cassy Fiano
Washington Post:
A Soldier Comes Home
Discussion: Pundit & Pundette
India and Pakistan discuss terror
Discussion: New York Times
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
The Most Important Number in Politics Today
 Earlier Items: 
Elizabeth Sprague / CBS News:
Pot No Longer Focus of Anti-Drug Campaigns
Tomoeh Murakami Tse / Washington Post:
N.Y. Quadrangle Probe Intensifies
Discussion: The Politico and TPMMuckraker
Daniel Martin / Daily Mail:
A 9-month wait for arthritis treatment: Delay can mean a lifetime …
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Goodbye Iraq, and Good Luck
Discussion: The New Republic
Paul / Power Line:
The great gesturer  —  Why do so many Senators persist during …
Discussion: Sadly, No!