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12:00 PM ET, July 15, 2009


 Top Items: 
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 …
Eva Rodriguez / PostPartisan:
Sotomayor's Unconvincing Backpedaling  —  I'm surprised and disturbed by how many times today Sonia Sotomayor has backed off of or provided less-than-convincing explanations for some of her more controversial speeches about the role of gender and ethnicity in judicial decision-making.
Randy Barnett / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Mike Seidman on Sotomayor: On the Federalist Society Online Debate on the Sotomayor hearings (click here and scroll down), my Georgetown Law colleague Mike Seidman—a cofounder and intellectual leader of the Critical Legal Studies movement in the 1980s—is brutally candid in his opinion of Judge Sotomayor's testimony today:
Discussion: Don Surber, theblogprof and Bench Memos
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
GOP hopefuls don't disclose how they'd vote on Sotomayor
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
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.
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.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
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.
Erica Werner / Associated Press:
House bill would make health care a right
Discussion: Bloomberg
Kbh /
Does the House really want to raise taxes on eight million uninsured people?
Discussion: Hot Air
Ezra Klein:
The House Releases Its Health-Care Reform Bill
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 …
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Video: Even All-Star Game not safe from gratuitous Obama photo ops
Discussion: The Pink Flamingo
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 …
Kyle / Right Wing Watch:
CFJ: Obama Is Putting a Terrorist On The Bench!  —  Yesterday, we noticed that the Committee for Justice had just unveiled two ads calling for Sonia Sotomayor's defeat - one contrasting her to Martin Luther King and the other claiming she wants to “take away your guns.”
Paul / Power Line:
The great gesturer  —  Why do so many Senators persist during judicial confirmation hearings in making speeches rather than asking questions?  This bipartisan phenomenon plagued the Roberts and Alito hearings, and reared its head again today in the proceedings for Sotomayor.  —  But why?
Discussion: Sadly, No!
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:
Washington Post:
Obama Announces $12 Billion Community College Initiative  —  $12 Billion Will Fund New Web Courses, Construction and Innovation Grants  —  President Obama came to this economically struggling state Tuesday with a sobering message about its vanishing jobs and a promise of renewal through a new federal investment in community colleges.
Mark Murray /
Obama: I accept the responsibility
Discussion: Say Anything
Laurie K. Blandford /
Port St. Lucie apologizes to Treasure Coast Tea Party  —  PORT ST. LUCIE — After a week of complaints about a sign at Freedomfest on July 4, city officials apologized to the Treasure Coast Tea Party.  —  “It was not our intent to interfere or cast dispersions on the tea party,” …
Discussion: Moe_Lane's blog and The Virginian
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Dems reject palling around with Palin  —  Gov. Sarah Palin said last weekend that she'd be willing to campaign for some Democrats when she leaves office later this month.  —  She may not have many takers.  —  Interviews with a number of the most conservative Democrats in the House …
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.
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 More Items: 
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Chuck Todd's arguments against investigations
Discussion: CNN
Bill Wyman / Wall Street Journal:
The Tragedy of Michael Jackson
Discussion: Reason
Thomas Szasz / Wall Street Journal:
Universal Health Care Isn't Worth Our Freedom
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Florida Project Under Investigation Is Linked to Rep. Murtha
Discussion: Hot Air
The Hill:
Dem says tax cuts blunted the stimulus
 Earlier Items: 
Spiegel Online:
Violence on France's National Day
Discussion: Right Pundits and Don Surber
Jacqueline L. Salmon / Washington Post:
Antiabortion Leader Randall Terry Returns, Using Same Old Incendiary Tactics
Discussion: Gawker and The Caucus
Iran could have atomic bomb within 6 months - report
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Washington Post:
Transcript of Sen. Feinstein Questioning at Judge Sotomayor Confirmation Hearing
Discussion: The Volokh Conspiracy