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1:35 PM ET, July 27, 2009


 Top Items: 
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.”
The Politico:
GOP headache: The birther issue  —  When lawmakers return home for recess in August, they can expect to hear tough questions from constituents on the economy, health care and government spending.  —  But Republicans are preparing for something else: the birthers.
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
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Palin resigns, blasts press, ‘starlets’  —  FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin resigned here Sunday with a blast at the media that reflected the frustrations that led her to leave office a year-and-a-half before her term expired.  But speaking in a style that her fans see as plain talk …
Akmuckraker / The Mudflats:
Palin's Farewell Address - Full Transcript
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.
Robert J. Samuelson / Washington Post:
Obama Reform Sidesteps Health Costs
Discussion: Swampland
Boston Globe:
Gates caller says she didn't cite race  —  Woman laments media accounts  —  The woman whose report of a possible house break-in led to the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. said she never mentioned race during her 911 call and is “personally devastated” …
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 …
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.
Discussion: dot.comments and
Washington Post:
Pelosi Vows Passage of Health-Care Overhaul
Eric Boehlert / Media Matters for America:
UPDATED: Because Politico is really just a GOP bulletin board
Discussion: Campaign Silo
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 …
Hillel Fendel / Arutz Sheva:
Anti-Obama Rally in Jerusalem  —  Follow Israel news on and .  —  ( For the first time in years, the nationalist camp will hold a large scale rally against United States policies vis-à-vis Israel.  —  The protest will be held in downtown Jerusalem …
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Joanna Weiss / Boston Globe:
It's Shepard Smith time  —  With his ratings soaring, the Fox News anchor enjoys his moment - and becomes a lightning rod  —  NEW YORK - Commercial break.  The cameras have stopped rolling on the set of “Studio B,” the 3 p.m. newscast on the Fox News Channel.
Discussion: Inside Cable News
Michelle Malkin:
What the NYT's 8,100-word Valerie Jarrett profile didn't tell you  —  Here is a perfect example of why I wrote Culture of Corruption (officially out today — I'll be launching on Hannity radio and TV.)  —  Over the weekend, the New York Times published a massive, 8,100-word profile …
Nicholas Ballasy / CNSNews:
Conyers Sees No Point in Members Reading 1,000-Page Health Care Bill—Unless They Have 2 Lawyers to Interpret It for Them  —  ( - During his speech at a National Press Club luncheon, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Democratic Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.) …
Hannah Devlin / Times of London:
Climate study puts Incas' success down to 400 years of warm weather  —  Supreme military organisation and a flair for agricultural invention are traditionally credited for the rise of the Incas.  However, their success may have owed more to a spell of good weather — a spell that lasted for more than 400 years.
Michael Yon:
An Artery of Opium a Vein of Taliban  —  Sangin, Afghanistan
Discussion: Mudville Gazette
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 …
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Forget Aloof, Bernanke Goes Barnstorming  —  KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, is on a publicity campaign with a message: the central bank is here to help, and it is not as mysterious or menacing as people might think.
Real Clear Politics:
Interview with Senator John Thune  —  RCP: Let me start by asking you about the (conceal and carry) amendment yesterday.  Was that a surprise, did you think you had the votes?  —  Senator Thune: Well, they were whipping it hard.  I mean, those guys were really breaking arms on it.
Discussion: GOP 12
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The War We'd Like to Forget  —  It was the kind of symbolic moment that George W. Bush must have yearned for during the Iraq war's darkest days.  Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the prime minister of a sovereign (sort of), stable (up to a point) and democratic (within limits) Republic of Iraq came …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias, ATTACKERMAN and TBogg
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Sorry to State the Obvious, But ...  For all the obvious reasons, I hesitate to even enter this discussion.  But (famous last words) I can't help myself.  —  As you know, high on the list of current right-wing conspiracy theorizing (and sort of a stalking horse for underlying beliefs …
Right Wing News:
An Interview With Congressman John Shadegg  —  Late last week, Right Wing News was pleased to have the opportunity to interview Congressman John Shadegg.  What follows is a slightly edited transcript of that interview.  —  All right, to begin with if someone said to you, “Congressman …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Primary Challenge Pushes Specter to the Left  —  Nate Silver has a neat post up demonstrating how Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) has responded to the primary challenge from Joe Sestak by becoming a loyal Democrat:  —  As far as the Specter-Sestak race, I have no idea which way this cuts.
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
‘Impeach Obama’ bumper stickers spark a shopping mall protest  —  CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While protesters rallied in his support, the owner of a Concord Mills kiosk that sells conservative merchandise said he met with the mall's manager Sunday to see what arrangements can be made for him to remain after his lease expires Friday.
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 More Items: 
Michael Hayden / New York Times:
Warrantless Criticism  —  THE recent report of inspectors general …
Discussion: TalkLeft
Michael Portillo / Times of London:
Teenage bombers are rescued from Taleban suicide training camps
Discussion: PrairiePundit and YID With LID
Alastair Macaulay / ArtsBeat:
Merce Cunningham Dies
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Gothamist
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Bill Clinton Chides Reliance On CBO Scoring
Discussion: The Treatment
Bill Roggio / The Long War Journal:
US released senior Iranian Qods Force commander
Discussion: The Jawa Report and PrairiePundit
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
‘Insecurity,’ not satisfaction, with heath care system?
Discussion: The Hill
 Earlier Items: 
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Anchors in an Unmoored World
Discussion: New York Times
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Cantor claims bipartisan majority — against health reform bills
Elizabeth Jensen / New York Times:
NPR Moves to Rewire Its Approach to the Web
Discussion: FishBowlDC, and Romenesko
Times of India:
US Senator mistakenly calls India a security threat, apologizes
Jeanne Cummings / The Politico:
Obama faces crucial test
Discussion: Associated Press