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3:55 PM ET, July 22, 2009


 Top Items: 
Peter Nicholas / Los Angeles Times:
White House declines to disclose visits by health industry executives  —  Citing an argument used by the Bush administration, the Secret Service rejects a request from a watchdog group to list those who have visited the White House to discuss the healthcare overhaul.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
In Health Care Fight, Defining Moment Nears for President  —  WASHINGTON — Six months into his administration, President Obama is at a pivotal moment.  He has pushed through a $787 billion economic stimulus package, bailed out Wall Street and, on Tuesday, managed to beat the defense industry in the Senate …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Obama White House breaks another promise to reject Bush secrecy  —  Well, at least it's bipartisan.  —  The still sort-of-new Barack Obama Democratic administration has again adopted another policy straight out of the administration of his much-criticized Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Stephen Colbert on Chuck Todd and torture investigations  —  (updated below - Update II)  —  Amazingly, reports that Eric Holder is considering commencing an investigation into Bush-era torture crimes has created extreme consternation in multiple Beltway circles despite how narrow and limited those investigations would be.
The Hill:
Dems at odds on how to turn tide on health
Senator: Democrats “baffled” by president's health care stance  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - As the prospects for passing health reform by the time Congress leaves for its August recess look bleaker, Democratic grumbling about President Obama is growing louder.  One Democratic senator tells CNN …
National Journal Online:
Dems Start To Push Back Hard To Prevent A ‘Waterloo’  —  A telling episode recounted by Senate Finance ranking member Charles Grassley reveals the Obama administration might be more worried than they are letting on that a Republican senator's comparison of the healthcare overhaul to Waterloo might be dangerously close to the truth.
'You're Going To Destroy My Presidency'  —  Recall Barack Obama whining the other day how “this isn't about me”?  —  Well, that's nonsense.  Of course it's all about him. … Somebody please send Baracky a waaaahmbulance.  —  Oh wait, are they covered by his plan?
Bobby Jindal / Wall Street Journal:
How to Make Health-Care Reform Bipartisan  —  In Washington, it seems history always repeats itself.  That's what's happening now with health-care reform.  This is an unfortunate turn of events for Americans who are legitimately concerned about the skyrocketing cost of a basic human need.
CNN Poll: President's approval on health care under 50 percent
Discussion: and Right Pundits
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
SNOWE FALLS ON HEALTH CARE REFORM.... It seemed encouraging, at least at first.
Discussion: TPMDC and The Plum Line
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Members propose abortion ‘common ground’
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 …
Capitol Briefing:
Democrats Defeat Concealed Weapons Amendment  —  In a 58-39 vote, supporters of the looser gun law — including all but two Republicans and 20 Democrats — fell two votes short of the 60 they needed under Senate rules to approve the measure.  The amendment, sponsored by Sen. John Thune …
Discussion: The Fix and TPMDC
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
John Thune vs. Central Park
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Martin Kady II / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Gun amendment shot down in close vote
Discussion: The Note
New York Times:
Measure to Expand Gun Rights Falls Short in Senate
Discussion: The Caucus and Indecision Forever
Deirdre Walsh / CNN:
GOP's new youth ambassador: Lady Gaga?  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - Politics may make for strange bedfellows — but even for this town, this may be the oddest couple to ever make beautiful music together: House Republicans...and pop diva Lady Gaga.  —  At Tuesday morning's weekly GOP conference meeting …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Lady Gaga Strategy
Discussion: Ezra Klein, ATTACKERMAN and Reason
Quinnipiac University:
Toomey Ties Specter In Pennsylvania, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; More Say New Democrat Does Not Deserve Another Term  —  Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's 2010 reelection lead over Republican challenger Pat Toomey has shrunk to a tie with 45 percent for Specter and 44 percent for Toomey …
Bob Franken / Politics Daily:
Sarah Palin 2013: A Look Ahead  —  It is noon, Jan. 20, 2013.  Sarah Palin raises her right hand to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.  —  Palin had won a decisive victory over the incumbent, Barack Obama.  The country was still trapped in economic rubble …
Discussion: Indecision Forever
Rasmussen Reports:
53% Now Oppose Congressional Health Care Reform  —  The health care reform legislation working its way through Congress has lost support over the past month.  The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% of U.S. voters are at least somewhat in favor of the reform effort while 53% are at least somewhat opposed.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Why did Obama meet with the CBO?  —  The relevant clip comes at the three-minute mark, where Viera challenges Obama on the CBO scoring of the health-care reform bills:  —  Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy … Why is this important?
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Conrad: A thorn in Obama's side
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
The remarkable vote to kill the plane and what it means for America's military future.  —  This is a big deal: The Senate today voted to halt production of the F-22 stealth fighter plane, and it did so 58-40, a margin much wider than expected.  —  Not only is this a major victory for Secretary …
Josh Drobnyk / Morning Call:
Callahan to challenge Dent, sources say  —  Bethlehem mayor's run for Congress vs. GOP incumbent seen as key race in 2010  —  Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan will run for Congress against Republican incumbent Charlie Dent in 2010, sources say, setting up a political battle the likes of which the Lehigh Valley hasn't seen in 17 years.
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:
Pelosi: Congress should work through recess  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday said she's open to keeping the House in session through the August recess to pass its healthcare overhaul.  —  “I think 70 percent of the American people would want that,” Pelosi said.  “I want a bill.”
David S. Hilzenrath / Washington Post:
Health Insurance Lobby Cherry-Picks Data in Fight Against Public Plan  —  The industry that helped scuttle health reform 15 years ago with its “Harry and Louise” ads is back, voicing support for a central element of the Obama administration's plans: making sure everyone is covered.
Douglas Martin / New York Times:
John S. Barry, Main Force Behind WD-40, Dies at 84  —  John S. Barry, an executive who masterminded the spread of WD-40, the petroleum-based lubricant and protectant created for the space program, into millions of American households, died on July 3 in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego.
Discussion: Blog
Robert Draper / New York Times:
The Ultimate Obama Insider  —  On Jan. 25, 2008, the day before the South Carolina Democratic primary, Barack Obama endured a grueling succession of campaign events across the state.  When his staff informed him that the evening would conclude with a brief show-up at the Pink Ice Ball …
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 More Items: 
Laura Litvan / Bloomberg:
Republican Hatch Leaves Bipartisan Health-Care Talks
Financial Times:
US rating agencies escape overhaul
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Status Quo Bias and Extremism
Discussion: Ezra Klein
Walter Olson / Forbes:
Inside The Health Care Bill
Jonathan Cohn / The Treatment:
Does House Bill Deal With Costs? Yes. No. Maybe.
 Earlier Items: 
Beth Teitell / Boston Globe:
Sarah Palin's hairdresser speaks
Rapper Feud Mirrors World Politics
Discussion: and ATTACKERMAN