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1:30 PM ET, July 17, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Exclusive: Conservative group offers to sell endorsement for $2M  —  The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group's endorsement in a bitter legislative dispute, then the group's president flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.
Wall Street Journal:
The Grassley Test  —  An Iowa Republican may decide the fate of ObamaCare.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  Forget Max Baucus, Henry Waxman and Rahm Emanuel.  If there's one guy who may hold the whole health-care world in his hands, it's Sen. Chuck Grassley.  That ought to have President Barack Obama worried.
RELATED:
Jonathan Cohn / The Treatment:
Elmendorf: More Cost Control; Orszag: We're Already On It.  —  Doug Elmendorf, director of the Congresional Budget Office, sent tremors through Washington when he gave congressional tesitmony on Thursday.  Appearing first before the Senate Finance Committee and then the House Ways and Means Committee …
Rasmussen Reports:
50% Oppose Government Health Insurance Company
Penny Starr / CNSNews:
Joe Biden: ‘We Have to Go Spend Money to Keep From Going Bankrupt’
Ezra Klein:
Rules For Commenting On The CBO's Judgments
Political Punch:
President Obama Continues Questionable “You Can Keep Your Health Care” Promise
Discussion: Right Wing Nut House
Political Punch:
Snowe Dampens President Obama's Timeline on Health Care Reform
Discussion: Stop The ACLU and TPMDC
Jonathan Allen / Notepad:
Another Alleged Affair Tied to Christian House on Capitol Hill  —  A Capitol Hill townhouse that serves as a dormitory and meeting place for a band of conservative Christian lawmakers has been linked to a third episode of marital infidelity, this time in a Mississippi court filing by a former lawmaker's estranged wife.
RELATED:
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
Democrats Drop Key Part of Bill to Assist Unions  —  A half-dozen senators friendly to labor have decided to drop a central provision of a bill that would have made it easier to organize workers.  —  The so-called card-check provision — which senators decided to scrap to help secure …
RELATED:
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
AFL: Dropping card check is ‘normal process’
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:   “Card Check” Is As Good As Dead; Binding Arbitration Lives
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Joy of Sachs  —  The American economy remains in dire straits, with one worker in six unemployed or underemployed.  Yet Goldman Sachs just reported record quarterly profits — and it's preparing to hand out huge bonuses, comparable to what it was paying before the crisis.  What does this contrast tell us?
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Sanford flies high on taxpayers' dime  —  Aside from the damage done to his standing as a social conservative, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's recent admission of an extramarital affair may end up tarnishing another of his political credentials—his carefully-honed reputation as a tight-fisted steward of taxpayer money.
Discussion: The Swamp, Daily Kos and GOP 12
RELATED:
Associated Press:
AP Investigation: ‘Frugal’ SC gov flew in style
Douglas Elmendorf / Director's Blog:
The Long-Term Budget Outlook  —  Today I had the opportunity to testify before the Senate Budget Committee about CBO's most recent analysis of the long-term budget outlook.  —  Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path, because federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run.
Chris / TVNewser:
Susan Roesgen Out at CNN  —  Breaking: TVNewser has learned CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen's contract will not be renewed and she will be leaving the network.  —  Roesgen, you'll recall, was criticized for her coverage at the tax day tea parties in April, when she said the event she was covering …
DefenseLINK:
Economic Club of Chicago  —  As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, Chicago, IL, Thursday, July 16, 2009  —  Thank you, Secretary Daley, for that kind introduction.  —  It's an honor to be at the Economic Club of Chicago.  I certainly appreciate the special arrangements you made to have me here this afternoon.
RELATED:
Wayne Drash / CNN:
Obama on slavery: ‘Capacity for cruelty still exists’  —  (CNN) — President Obama slowly walked across the grounds of Cape Coast Castle, a slave outpost in Ghana where hundreds of thousands of Africans were shipped as human cargo to a life of bondage in the United States, South America and the Caribbean.
Discussion: Big Brass Blog
RELATED:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
No Pity for the Rich  —  When considering the alleged plight of the very rich groaning under the socialist yoke of Charlie Rangel's tax proposals, it's worth keeping in mind that the super-rich's share of the overall income pie is been skyrocketing:  —  The reasons behind this trend are complicated.
RELATED:
Richard Wolf / USA Today:
Tax rates on track to soar as proposals form
Discussion: Wonk Room
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
A mechanic in a black robe  —  Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is embraced by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) after completing her testimony.  One law professor said the hearing was “less than useless.  If Judge Sotomayor won't meaningfully discuss any legal topics in front of the Senate, then what's the point?”
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Sen. Graham's Exchanges With Sotomayor Among Most Anticipated of Judiciary Panel
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and New York Times
Jimmie Bise / AIP Blog:
Let's Put Some Real Faces on the Casualties of Obamacare  —  On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the President and his Democratic allies in Congress intend to force small business with payrolls more than $250,000 per year to provide health insurance to their employees.
Hilzoy / Obsidian Wings:
Read It And Weep  —  Fester at Newhoggers links to a set of right-wing bloggers' predictions for 2003.  It's pretty stunning.  For instance: … More from another pre-war interview with Tim Blair: … If only.  —  Except for Rachel Lucas', those are some pretty embarrassing predictions.
Wall Street Journal:
Sotomayor Hearing Escapes Gravity  —  They put a man on the moon, and a comedian in the Senate.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  Everyone is noting the 40th anniversary, on July 20, of the moon landing.  Good.  It was an epic moment in history, though its memory is accompanied by an unsatisfied feeling …
David Carr / New York Times:
A Hollywood Blogger Feared by Executives  —  Right now, there's a good chance a Hollywood executive is leaning into a colleague's office and quietly asking, “Did you see what Nikki just wrote?”  —  That would be Nikki Finke, a well-traveled newspaper reporter who has found her moment as a digital-age Walter Winchell.
Discussion: The Awl and Mediaite
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
40 Years After Apollo 11, America's Retreat From the Moon  —  Michael Crichton once wrote that if you told a physicist in 1899 that within a hundred years humankind would, among other wonders (nukes, commercial airlines), “travel to the moon, and then lose interest . . . the physicist would almost certainly pronounce you mad.”
 
 
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 More Items: 
David Axe / Danger Room:
Air Force Plans for All-Drone Future
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Big Dem cash dump on eve of climate vote
Discussion: Say Anything
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Clinton: “100 Percent Committed”
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Explosions at 2 Hotels in Indonesia Kill at Least 8
Discussion: News Desk
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Dept. of unlikely sources
Discussion: The Moderate Voice