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7:30 PM ET, July 27, 2009

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Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Mike Stark on Capitol Hill: Know Your Birthers  —  Mike Stark has been up on the Hill all week whipping Democrats to hold fast on the public plan, and in his spare time, he decided to ask Republicans if Barack Obama was born in the United States.  Not only do they not want to answer — they run.
Wen Stephenson / WBUR and NPR:
The Fury of the ‘Birthers’  —  A detail of President Barack Obama's birth certificate, from The Annenberg Political Fact Check (FactCheck.org), a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.  —  Post your comments below  —  President Barack Obama turns 48 next week.
Mike Stark / The Huffington Post:
Elected Birthers on the Hill  —  Thanks to FireDogLake and Campaign Silo for giving me the opportunity to do this work!  —  Check out this video: several Republican Congressman tell me they don't believe Barack Obama is an American.  Several dodge the question.
The Politico:
GOP headache: The birther issue  —  So far, Hoekstra hasn't faced any such questions.  —  “When you're in a state with 15.2 percent unemployment,” he said, “most people have other things on their mind than this.”  —  But as if to illustrate the touchiness of the subject, Hoekstra quickly added: “Not that this isn't important.”
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Inhofe Clarifies Claim That Birthers “Have A Point,” Blames White House  —  As you've already seen, Senator Jim Inhofe made a big splash today by telling the Politico that the birthers “have a point,” adding that he doesn't “discourage” their movement.  —  But he's now clarifying his claim …
Daniel Libit / The Politico:
Birther leader: GOP is with me
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Gibbs: Birther conspiracy theory is ‘made-up, fictional nonsense.’
Discussion: The Plum Line
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Breaking: Inhofe Does Not Question Obama's Legitimacy As President
Radley Balko / Reason:
The Henry Louis Gates “Teaching Moment”  —  The arrest of Harvard African-American Studies Professor Henry Louis Gates has certainly got everyone talking.  Unfortunately, everyone's talking about the wrong issue.  —  Responding to a 911 call from a woman who observed Gates prying open …
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Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
A Straw In The Wind In Favor Of Gates  —  Interesting - the 911 caller asserts, and the Cambridge Police confirm, that she didn't mention the race of the suspected in-breakers when she made the 911 call.  Gates had made a similar claim to the effect that the caller could not have seen …
Discussion: ABCNEWS and ParaPundit
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
House Dem Putting GOPers On The Spot By Introducing Measure Describing Hawaii As Obama's Birthplace  —  Okay, this is getting really good.  Dem Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii is going to introduce a resolution on the House floor today that seems designed to put House GOPers who are flirting with birtherism in a jam.
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Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:
Bachmann blocks resolution declaring Hawaii to be Obama's birthplace.  —  Today, Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) introduced a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood.  The resolution also proclaims the state as President Obama's birthplace, a point …
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Governor Palin, You're No Hillary Clinton  —  Over at Pollster.com, Brendan Nyhan (whom you should be reading) espouses a fairly common sentiment: that Sarah Palin's favorability numbers, while poor, are not a whole heck of a lot worse than Hillary Clinton's were at the same point in the electoral cycle.
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Brendan Nyhan
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Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Voinovich slams DeMint and Coburn for GOP downfall; blames ‘the southerners’  —  Too many conservative senators like Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are to blame for the GOP's downfall, one of their retiring Republican colleagues complained Monday.
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Darrel Rowland / The Daily Briefing:
Look out, gov - the ex-gov is comin'!
Discussion: MyDD
Larry Margasak / Associated Press:
AP IMPACT: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened … WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation's largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.
Carrie Johnson / Washington Post:
Amid New Scrutiny, John Yoo Rebuts Critics of Detainee Memos  —  Quietly but Forcefully, Author of Detainee Memos Rebuts Critics  —  Some public figures, if their judgment and ethics come under fire, retreat into solitude.  Then there is John C. Yoo.  —  The former Justice Department official …
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Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Pelosi unpopular?  'I don't care'  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is one of the most despised political figures in the country.  —  And, frankly, she doesn't give a damn.  —  “No, I don't care,” Pelosi told POLITICO last Thursday, laughing heartily as she walked beneath the Capitol dome and plunged into a crowd of tourists.
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Eric Boehlert / Media Matters for America:
UPDATED: Because Politico is really just a GOP bulletin board
Discussion: Campaign Silo
Tom Beaumont / Des Moines Register:
Grassley to vote against Sotomayor confirmation  —  Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley said today he planned to oppose the confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court when the Senate Judiciary Committee votes on her nomination Tuesday.  —  The vote, which Grassley announced …
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Paul Krugman / New York Times:
An Incoherent Truth  —  Right now the fate of health care reform seems to rest in the hands of relatively conservative Democrats — mainly members of the Blue Dog Coalition, created in 1995.  And you might be tempted to say that President Obama needs to give those Democrats what they want.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE.... I suppose it was bound to happen eventually, though I'd hoped it wouldn't.  Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, during an official press briefing, was actually asked about the Birther conspiracy nuts.  —  I'm fairly certain it was Bill Press …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
The Daily Beast:
Finally, Action on Gay Soldiers  —  Blogs and Stories  —  The Daily Beast has learned that the Senate, prompted by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, will hold hearings on “Don't Ask, Don't Tell”—a first since 1993, despite Obama's campaign promises.  —  After determining she didn't have enough votes …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Bunning's not running  —  Cantankerous Kentucky Republican Sen. Jim Bunning has officially dropped out of next year's reelection campaign — citing his paltry fundraising efforts.  —  Bunning's office just put out the following statement:  —  I have the same conservative principles in 2009 …
Discussion: The Politico, The Note and Salon
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
The hidden hand  —  The wave of publicity for the Birther movement hasn't yet crested, with the dentist who's the movement's leading legal light, Orly Taitz, saying she's taping the Colbert Report tomorrow, and popping up elsewhere in the mainstream media.  —  This isn't necessarily a bad thing …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Van Hollen: Senate may need to ‘pull the plug’ on talks  —  Senate leaders may need to “pull the plug” on bipartisan negotiations on healthcare reform legislation, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said Monday.  —  Van Hollen, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) …
CBS News:
Palin's “Mad as Hell” Speech  —  Outgoing Alaska Governor Lashes Out at Media in Resignation Address, But Will It Work in the Long Term?  —  (CBS) This story was written by CBS News digital journalist Scott Conroy and director of political coverage Steve Chaggaris.
David Neiwert / Crooks and Liars:
Lou Dobbs and the Birthers: Mainstreaming fringe ideas for ratings eventually will catch up with you  —  Howard Kurtz this weekend was only the latest media critic to pile on Lou Dobbs for his promotion of the Birthers' conspiracy theories on CNN.  Like nearly everyone else …
Les Christie / CNNMoney.com:
New home sales: ‘Really good news’  —  Sales of newly constructed single family homes rose 11% over May, but median price fell 3%.  —  NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Sales of newly constructed single-family homes spiked 11% in June to an annualized rate of 384,000 homes, according to a report released Monday.
Ilya Somin / The Volokh Conspiracy:
A Modest Proposal for Bar Exam Reform: This week, many of my former students will be undergoing the painful experience of taking the Virginia bar exam.  My general view on bar exams is that they should be abolished, or at least that you should not be required to pass one in order to practice law.
Discussion: Joanne Jacobs and Discourse.net
 
 
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 More Items: 
Terri Judd / The Independent:
How the forces finally learnt to take pride
Discussion: Firedoglake and Shakesville
Geoff Earle / New York Post:
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My Daughter, the Best-Selling Novelist
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Iceland Proves That in a Financial Crisis, Breaking Glass …
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CSI Myths: The Shaky Science Behind Forensics
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Brad Plumer / The New Republic:
How Russia Learned To Love Global Warming
Discussion: New York Times and The Bellows
 Earlier Items: 
Reliable Source:
Hey, Isn't That...?  — Bill Clinton waiting in line …
Discussion: The Note
David Frum / The New Majority:
See Ya!  —  Sarah Palin's most notable achievement as governor …
Discussion: TheDailyBanter.com
Joanna Weiss / Boston Globe:
It's Shepard Smith time
Discussion: Inside Cable News