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9:40 AM ET, July 20, 2009


 Top Items: 
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 …
Tom Raum / Associated Press:
White House putting off release of budget update  —  WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.  —  The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits …
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 …
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.
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: (829)  —  PLAYS: (2560)  —  (h/t Heather)  —  Clearly, the Beltway Bubble operates …
Discussion: The Confluence
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Pelosi: Make millionaires pay  —  Trying to sell a historic health bill to a balky caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told POLITICO in an interview that she wants to soften a proposed surcharge on the wealthy so that it applies only to families that make $1 million or more.
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
Fox News:
Deficits, Taxes and Time Appear to Doom Health Care Reforms
Ginger Adams Otis / New York Post:
Binyamin Appelbaum / Washington Post:
Financial Rescue I.G. Says Banks Funneled TARP Aid to Various Expenses  —  Many of the banks that got federal aid to support increased lending have instead used some of the money to make investments, repay debts or buy other banks, according to a new report from the special inspector general overseeing …
Discussion: The Page
William Grimes / New York Times:
Frank McCourt, Whose Irish Childhood Illuminated His Prose, Is Dead 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.
Rinker Buck / Baltimore Sun:
Frank McCourt, Author Of Angela's Ashes, Dies At 78
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Bob Ingle / Daily Record:
Corzine campaign showing signs of obvious desperation  —  Gov. Jon S. Corzine's campaign continues to make even Democrats think the governor is desperate, the latest installment being his adding a “reality show” winner to his list of lieutenant governor candidates.
Discussion: RedState
Mark Impomeni / Examiner:   Corzine finds raising money uncomfortable
Rusty / The Jawa Report:
Video: Pvt. Bowe Bergdahl Full Hostage Video  —  Here is the entire video showing Private Bowe Berdahl in Taliban captivity.  The Taliban have threatened to murder him if the U.S. does not leave Afghanistan.  —  Until Bowe Bergdahl's captors are dead I will not rest.
S.logan / insert clever s.logan here:
God, Guns, Guts, and CNN's Idiot Reporters  —  Greetings, Instapundit readers!  —  “You don't have a problem with God, do ya?”  —  This is a question posed to CNN reporter Carol Costello during a recent interview with Mark Muller, a Missouri car dealer whose company is offering an unusual incentive …
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Pundit & Pundette
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Morning Fix: Jindal Rises Again  —  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) will wade into the national debate over health care this week by penning op-eds in Politico and the Wall Street Journal and appearing on a series of cable chat shows today and tomorrow.  —  “Governor Jindal has seen enough …
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.
Peter S. Goodman / New York Times:
Subprime Brokers Resurface as Dubious Loan Fixers  —  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: Eschaton and Economist's View
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:
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
“Rationing”  —  Thinking about the “rationing” question in health care it's worth trying to get clear.  Sometimes there are shortages of something relative to demand—think of a huge oil shock—and the government decides it wants to impose price controls.  That, in turn, leads to shortages.
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 More Items: 
Bobby Jindal / The Politico:
‘A trillion here, a trillion there’  —  Things in Louisiana are looking up.
Rick Hampson / USA Today:
As wars' death toll nears 5,000, Dover shows quiet dignity
Discussion: The New Republic
Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain:
TWO MILLION VISITORS!  —  About 3 p.m. today, The Other McCain recorded …
Discussion: The Sundries Shack
Paul Krugman:
Ketchup and the housing bubble
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
After bashing K Street, Dodd mingles with lobbyists
Discussion: JammieWearingFool and Moe Lane
 Earlier Items: 
Michael D. Griffin / Washington Post:
Let's Reach for The Stars Again
New York Times:
Health Bill Might Direct Tax Money to Abortion
Discussion: The Caucus
John Lott / Fox News:
States Hit Hardest by Recession Get Least Stimulus Money