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4:25 PM 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 …
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Kristol: Kill It, and Start Over  —  With Obamacare on the ropes, there will be a temptation for opponents to let up on their criticism, and to try to appear constructive, or at least responsible.  There will be a tendency to want to let the Democrats' plans sink of their own weight …
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 …
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.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
How Worried Should You Be About Health Reform?
Discussion: The Plum Line
Rachel Slajda / Talking Points Memo:
Steele On Health Care: What's Individual Requirement?  —  Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC, doesn't seem to know the basic terminology of the health care debate.  —  In a Q&A at the National Press Club just now, Steele was asked if Republicans support an individual requirement to get health care …
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
Obama slams DeMint on ‘Waterloo’
Discussion: HotMES
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
The Most Important Number in Politics Today
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
AHIP Ad Buy Supports ‘Bipartisan Solution’ For Health Care
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Jonathan Cohn / The Treatment:
Some Good News from Olympia Snowe?
Discussion: TPMDC and Ezra Klein
Rasmussen Reports:
2012 Match-ups: Obama, Romney Tied at 45%; Obama 48%, Palin 42%  —  If the 2012 presidential election were held today, President Obama and possible Republican nominee Mitt Romney would be all tied up at 45% each, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
P.J. Tobia / Afghan Desk:
Source: Bergdahl Deserted
Discussion: BLACKFIVE and The Jawa Report
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 …
Matthew Jaffe / ABCNEWS:
Whoa: Bailout Costs Could Top $23 TRILLION  —  In New Report, Neil Barofsky Says It's Possible Government Could Spend $23.7 Trillion to Fix Financial System  —  Sitting down?  —  “The total potential federal government support could reach up to $23.7 trillion,” says Neil Barofsky …
Discussion: Hot Air
Eamon Javers / The Politico:
Bailouts could cost U.S. $23 trillion
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 …
Robert J. Samuelson / Washington Post:
President Obama, Democratic Congress's Squandered Stimulus  —  It's not surprising that the much-ballyhooed “economic stimulus” hasn't done much stimulating.  President Obama and his aides argue that it's too early to expect startling results.  They have a point.  A $14 trillion economy won't revive in a nanosecond.
Discussion: ProPublica and The Glittering Eye
Tim Fernholz / American Prospect:
Discussion: The Impolitic
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
REJECTING THE IDEA OF AN OVERHAUL.... Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky was on “Meet the Press” yesterday, talking about his opposition to the health care reform proposal(s).  That's fine; he's the opposition leader.  Of course he's going to oppose the majority's agenda.
Jonathan Cohn / The Treatment:
Mitch McConnell Makes the Dems Look Good
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.
New York Post:
JENNA AND BARBARA BUSH GAVE SECRET SERVICE FITS  —  WHEN it came to protecting Jenna and Barbara Bush, the Secret Service truly had its hands full, with President George W. Bush's wild and crazy daughters doing everything in their power to escape them, a new book reveals.
Chris Matyszczyk / Technically Incorrect:
New iPhone app helps you score pot  —  States that are low on funds are steadily inhaling the idea of taxing the sale of a substance that gets you high.  —  Meanwhile, as if anticipating an uptick in demand, the folks at Apple have approved a new iPhone and iPod Touch app that will allow …
Megan McArdle:
One Small Step For Man . . .  If you're like me (and I know many of you are), you grew up reading the science fiction of the 1940's and 1950's, promising a quick and rapid expansion into the solar system, and not too long thereafter, the galaxy.  Your young mind tried, and failed …
Steven T. Dennis / Roll Call:
Ross Is Blue Dogs' Bulldog  —  He warned them.  —  Months ago, Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), chairman of the Blue Dogs' health care task force, told House leaders and chairmen they'd better include Blue Dogs in the writing of their health care bill.  But that didn't happen.
Winnie Hu / New York Times:
Parent-Paid Aides Ordered Out of New York City Schools  —  For years, top Manhattan public schools have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from parents to independently hire assistants to help teachers with reading, writing, tying shoelaces or supervising recess.
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.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Vilsack responds to Drudge  —  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has issued a direct “Response to Drudge Item on Recovery Act Funding,” as the Drudge Report leads with a list of millions of dollars in food items included in the stimulus package:  —  Through the Recovery Act …
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 More Items: 
Elliott Abrams / National Review:
An Unworkable Compromise  —  Everyone knows that the Obama …
Discussion: Jerusalem Post and Israel Matzav
Susan Page / USA Today:
Poll: Less faith in Obama's economic abilities
Discussion: Politics Nation and AmSpecBlog
James H. Warner / Herald-Mail:
A different take on moon landing
Discussion: Weekly Standard
 Earlier Items: 
Jonathan Zittrain / New York Times:
Lost in the Cloud  —  EARLIER this month Google announced …
Allison Klein / Washington Post:
Drop in Violent Crime in D.C. Area and Some Other Major Cities Puzzles Experts
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Reason
Wall Street Journal:
The New Old ‘Card Check’
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Feingold Hits Obama's Intel Chief: You're Wrong, CIA Officials May Have Broken Law
S.logan / insert clever s.logan here:
God, Guns, Guts, and CNN's Idiot Reporters
Discussion: Pundit & Pundette and AmSpecBlog