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7:05 AM ET, July 20, 2009


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Obama Heads to the Front to Do Battle on Health-Care Reform  —  Six months into his presidency, Barack Obama may have no greater test of his ability to translate personal popularity into a successful legislative agenda than the upcoming two weeks.  —  With skepticism about the president's …
Nicole Belle / Crooks and Liars:
The Chris Matthews Show: On Health Care Reform, Won't Someone Think About Us Rich People???  —  You can view this video right here by getting the latest version of Flash Player!  —  DOWNLOADS: (684)  —  PLAYS: (2322)  —  (h/t Heather)  —  Clearly, the Beltway Bubble operates …
Discussion: The Confluence
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Obama feels the heat, changes the play  —  Finally, we're starting to see him sweat.  —  President Barack Obama made his personal icy cool the trademark of his campaign, the tenor of his White House and the hallmark of an early run of successes at home and abroad.
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard and Don Surber
William Grimes / New York Times:
Frank McCourt, 'Angela's Ashes' Author, Dies at 78  —  Frank McCourt, a former New York City schoolteacher who turned his miserable childhood in Limerick, Ireland, into a phenomenally popular, Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, “Angela's Ashes,” died in Manhattan on Sunday.  He was 78 and lived in Manhattan and Roxbury, Conn.
Discussion: Runnin' Scared and Liberal Values
Rinker Buck / Baltimore Sun:
Frank McCourt, Author Of Angela's Ashes, Dies At 78  —  Frank McCourt's 1996 novel “Angela's Ashes” sold more than 5 million copies  —  Frank McCourt author of 'Angela's Ashes' at his Roxbury home in 1999.  (TOM BROWN / HARTFORD COURANT / August 9, 1999)  —  The Hartford Courant
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
New York Times:
Governors Fear Medicaid Costs in Health Plan  —  BILOXI, Miss. — The nation's governors, Democrats as well as Republicans, voiced deep concern Sunday about the shape of the health care plan emerging from Congress, fearing that Washington was about to hand them expensive new Medicaid obligations without money to pay for them.
Tim Lindell /
Palin Hairdresser: NYT Was Lying About “Hair Thinning” Claim  —  Chalk this up as Stupid Palin Meme of the Week:  —  In a July 12th hit piece published on the front page of the New York Times, reporters Jim Rutenberg and Serge Kovaleski (assisted by Kim Severson and William Yardley in Alaska) made the following claim:
Washington Post:
Approval Ratings Drop for Obama on Health Care, Other Issues  —  Approval Rating on Health Care Falls Below 50 Percent  —  Obama's approval ratings on other front-burner issues, such as the economy and the federal budget deficit, have also slipped over the summer, as rising concern …
Discussion: The Swamp, marbury and The Page
Michael D. Griffin / Washington Post:
Let's Reach for The Stars Again  —  What is most striking about this 40th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon is that we can no longer do what we're celebrating.  Not “do not choose to,” but “can't.”  —  By the 40th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Oregon Trail was carrying settlers to the West.
Sabina Amidi / Jerusalem Post:
‘I wed Iranian girls before execution’  —  Article's topics: Basiji, Ali Khamenei  —  In a shocking and unprecedented interview, directly exposing the inhumanity of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's religious regime in Iran, a serving member of the paramilitary Basiji militia has told this reporter …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Race in 2028  —  During last week's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Republican senators kept bringing the conversation back to 2001 — the year when Sonia Sotomayor delivered the most famous version of her line about how a “wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences” might outshine a white male judge.
Martina Stewart / CNN:
Leahy on Sotomayor: ‘Stop the racial politics’
Peter S. Goodman / New York Times:
Cashing In, Again, on Risky Mortgages  —  LOS ANGELES — From the ninth floor of a downtown office building on Wilshire Boulevard, Jack Soussana delivered staggering numbers of mortgages to homeowners during the real estate boom, amassing a fortune.  —  By Mr. Soussana's own account, his customers fared less happily.
Discussion: Economist's View
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
After bashing K Street, Dodd mingles with lobbyists  —  After distancing himself from lobbyists in campaign ads, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) was on Martha's Vineyard this weekend meeting with some of the most well known names on K Street.  —  The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee …
Discussion: Moe Lane
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Commerce Secretary: America needs to pay for China's emissions  —  It's bad enough that the Obama administration wants to penalize all Americans for their energy use through the cap-and-tax scheme that will hobble our economy and hike electricity and gas costs, but until now they only proposed to penalize us for our own energy use.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WITH SO MUCH ON THE LINE.... In 1993, Bill Kristol privately advised congressional Republicans to do whatever it took to “kill” the Clinton health care reform initiative.  It wasn't that the policy proposal was a bad idea; it was that passage would help the Democratic Party for years to come.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The (Political) Stakes in Health Reform
Paul Krugman:
Morning Joe  —  I think this Michael Hirsch piece on Joe Stiglitz somewhat misses the point.  —  Yes, Joe should be playing a bigger role — he's an insanely great economist, in ways you can't really appreciate unless you're deep into the field.  I'd say that he's more his generation's Paul Samuelson …
Discussion: AMERICAblog News and The Impolitic
Matt Bai / New York Times:
The Shuffle President  —  Like romantic comedies and superhero blockbusters, the modern presidency has evolved into a reliable form of dramatic narrative.  A candidate comes into office brandishing a broad theme — a vow to clean up government, perhaps, or to fearlessly prune it back …
Discussion: The Fix and Blue Crab Boulevard
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Mike Allen's PLAYBOOK
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 More Items: 
Paul Krugman:
Ketchup and the housing bubble
Wall Street Journal:
Why Toxic Assets Are So Hard to Clean Up
Discussion: Economist's View
New York Times:
What's That Got to Do With Mr. Murtha?
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Louis Uchitelle / New York Times:
When, Oh When, Will HELP Be WANTED?
New York Times:
Health Bill Might Direct Tax Money to Abortion
 Earlier Items: 
Caroline Davies / Guardian:
Airlines to stop suspected swine flu victims flying
John Lott / Fox News:
States Hit Hardest by Recession Get Least Stimulus Money
Washington Post:
Wizened Watergate Awaits Highest Bidder at Auction Tuesday
Political Punch:
Inspector General Fired by President Obama Files Lawsuit to Be Reinstated*