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5:35 AM ET, July 23, 2009


 Top Items: 
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
Durbin: No pre-recess vote on healthcare  —  Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Wednesday acknowledged for the first time that a pre-recess vote on healthcare reform is unlikely.  —  “We're going to take a little longer to get it right,” Durbin told The Hill when asked …
Washington Post:
Obama Talks Health Care
Discussion: Daily Kos, TPMDC and Taylor Marsh
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Grassley wants 80 votes in Senate for final health bill
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Obama: Cambridge police acted ‘stupidly’  —  After spending most of an hour patiently reiterating his arguments for changing the health insurance system, President Barack Obama turned his press conference sharply toward an iconic moment in American race relations: The arrest …
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
Obama Criticizes Arrest of Harvard Professor  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama bluntly accused the police of acting “stupidly” in arresting the Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. last week after an officer had established that Mr. Gates had not broken into his own home in Cambridge, Mass.
Adam Serwer / American Prospect:
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Salon
New York Times:
Obama's Fifth News Conference  —  Following is a transcript of President Obama's fifth news conference, the fourth given in prime-time, as provided by Federal News Service.  —  PRESIDENT OBAMA: Good evening.  Please be seated.  —  Before I take your questions, I want to talk for a few minutes …
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
Imperfect Health Reform Still Beats the Status Quo  —  Among the range of options for health-care reform, there's one that is sure to raise your taxes, increase your out-of-pocket medical expenses, swell the federal deficit, leave more Americans without insurance and guarantee that wages will remain stagnant.
Discussion: Ezra Klein, D-Day, TPMDC, and CNN
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama, healthcare: 'This isn't about me'  —  by Mark Silva and updated at 8:30 pm EDT
Josh Gerstein / Josh Gerstein's Blog:
WH discloses health-care execs' visits  —  The Secret Service had earlier rejected a request for the same information, asserting executive privilege.  The issue could have been an embarassment for Obama at the presser in light of his promises during the campaign to make public White House visitors …
Discussion: Emptywheel
Peter Nicholas / Los Angeles Times:
White House declines to disclose visits by health industry executives
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
54 House Democrats and All Republicans Against Obamacare?  Update: Make that 69 Dems?  —  Today, Nancy Pelosi said: “I have no question that we have the votes on the floor of the House to pass this [health-care] legislation.”  But Joe Pounder of the GOP Whip's press office emails:
Discussion: Hot Air and Commentary
Deirdre Walsh / CNN:
Two key House Dems dispute Pelosi's health care assessment
Discussion: Open Congress
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Dude, Where's My Sperm?  —  I've been freaking myself out over the past 24 hours by reading Reece Rushing's CAP report on dangerous chemicals impairing American fertility.  For the fellows, there's reduced sperm count:  —  And the ladies aren't being spared either:  —  What's to blame?  Well:
New York Times:
L.I. Man Helped Qaeda, Then Informed  —  He grew up in the solid middle class of Suffolk County, the son of an engineer, the child of a couple that had emigrated from South America, a fan of football and video games, an altar boy and, eventually, a Boy Scout.
Discussion: ThreatsWatch and MoJo Blog Posts
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Obama: Greedy doctors are coming after your tonsils or something  —  Gee, I'm really sorry I decided to skip this for “Ghost Hunters.”  Watching The One explain how the medical industry has designs on your body parts would have been much better in hindsight.
Stephen Green / Pajamas Media:
Drunkblogging ObamaCare  —  Stephen Green listens carefully to President Obama's press conference on health care — and tries to determine whether care of his vodka-challenged liver will be covered.  (Watch PJTV's virtual health care forum here.)  —  4:48PM I'm watching Fox News tonight, instead of the usual CNN.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Liz Cheney: No question on citizenship  —  Liz Cheney is taking some heat today for, amid a discussion on Larry King Live of the fringe movement that doubts Obama's citizenship, appearing to defend it.  —  “People are fundamentally uncomfortable, and they're fundamentally increasingly uncomfortable …
Tomoeh Murakami Tse / Washington Post:
On Wall Street, Compensation Is Rocketing Back to Pre-Crisis Levels  —  Lawmakers Warn Against Return to Pre-Crisis Levels  —  Wall Street's biggest banks are setting aside billions of dollars more to pay their executives and other employees just months after these firms were rescued …
Discussion: The Page and MoJo Blog Posts
Kelly Evans / Real Time Economics:
Would You Stand on Short Flights if It Meant Cheaper Fares?  —  Irish-based discount airline Ryanair recently polled 120,000 passengers on its Web site with the following question: would you be willing to stand on short flights?  —  The answer was an overwhelming “yes” - if the tickets were free.
Mary Louise Kelly / NPR:
Bin Laden Son Reported Killed In Pakistan  —  · U.S. officials believe Saad bin Laden — a son of Osama bin Laden — has been killed by an American missile in Pakistan.  —  Saad bin Laden reportedly spent years under house arrest in Iran before traveling last year to Pakistan …
The Campaign Spot:
Oooh, Don't Forget, ‘Now Is The Time To Act’!  —  Senate Republicans e-mail me: … It's good, don't get me wrong, but they left off a few of my favorite Obama cliches, some of which are straw men, some of which are rhetorical crutches: “We inherited these problems”; “the alternative is to do nothing” …
The State:
Next up for Sanford: 2-week European vacation with family  —  Gov. Mark Sanford said he is leaving the state Thursday with his wife and sons for a two-week European vacation.  —  Sanford said the trip long has been scheduled and was meant as a last family getaway with his family's four sons while they all still are living at home.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Muscular  —  As the Clinton rollout continues, she will appear …
Discussion: The Page
Ed Hornick / CNN:
Will Obama's health care plan mirror Clinton's '94 failure?  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — In 1994, universal health care was a key policy plan for then-President Bill Clinton.  It eventually failed.  —  Now, 15 years later, another Democratic president is taking on the challenge …
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar / Associated Press:
DeMint refuses to take back ‘Waterloo’ statement  —  WASHINGTON — An outspoken Southern Republican says it's time to “put the brakes on” President Barack Obama, saying he's advocating too much government spending and ballooning the deficit.  —  At the same time, Sen. Jim DeMint …
National Journal Online:
Dems Start To Push Back Hard To Prevent A ‘Waterloo’
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 More Items: 
Bruce A. Dixon / Black Agenda Report:
Is the Obama Health Care Plan Really Better Than Nothing?
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and The Confluence
Cui Xiaohuo / CHINAdaily:
Policies not to blame for Urumqi riot
Discussion: New York Times
Roxana Tiron / The Hill:
After Senate vote, F-22 loses House support
James Rosen / Fox News:
Clinton: U.S. Will Extend ‘Defense Umbrella’ …
Christina Boyle / NY Daily News:
PETA video shows Ringling Bros. handlers beating elephants
Josh Kraushaar / Scorecard's Blog:
Republicans nominate Scozzafava in NY 23
 Earlier Items: 
Greg Hengler /
Congresswoman On Obamacare: Democrats Are Telling Sr. Citizens To ‘Drop Dead’!
Discussion: Hot Air
The New Republic:
Atheism, Religion, and Fundamentalism
Discussion: Democracy in America
Douglas Martin / New York Times:
John S. Barry, Main Force Behind WD-40, Dies at 84
Discussion: Blog and Althouse