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12:50 AM ET, July 31, 2009


 Top Items: 
Henry Louis Gates Jr /
‘An Accident of Time and Place’  —  “...I thank God that live in a country in which police officers put their lives at risk to protect us every day, and, more than ever, I've come to understand and appreciate their daily sacrifices on our behalf.  —  I would like to applaud President Obama …
Pew Research Center:
Obama's Ratings Slide Across the Board  —  The Economy, Health Care Reform and Gates Grease the Skids  —  Barack Obama's approval ratings have suffered major declines.  The president's overall job approval number fell from 61% in mid-June to 54% currently.
Political Punch:
Notes from the Suds Summit  —  The media was cordoned off approximately 45 feet away from the patio furniture where the beers were being quaffed, so we have no idea what was being said.  —  President Obama and Vice President Biden appeared to be doing what they could to keep the mood light …
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Disaster strikes beer summit: Biden decides to attend; Update: Obama issues statement; Update: “Toast” photo added; Update: Gates issues statement; Update: Obama played only a small part, says Crowley  —  Video via Greg Hengler.  I wonder how long it took Greasy Joe to tell his first “two blacks and an Irishman walk into a bar” joke.
The Caucus:
What a White House Beer Says About Race and Politics  —  It's being called the “beer break” or the “suds summit.”  But the gathering at the White House on Thursday evening of President Obama, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Harvard scholar, and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge, Mass. …
New York Times:
Over Beers, No Apologies, but Plans to Have Lunch
Discussion: TBogg
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
President, professor, policeman: Talking
Discussion: The Washington Note
Jeffrey Goldberg:   White Cops Are Always Right
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Obama: Beer summit ‘positive lesson’
Discussion: Flopping Aces and The Swamp
Ken Thomas / Associated Press:
AP sources: Govt to suspend ‘cash for clunkers’ … WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional officials say the government plans to suspend the popular “cash for clunkers” program amid concerns it could quickly use up the $1 billion in rebates for new car purchases.  —  The Transportation Department …
Fox News:
Success Threatens to Sink ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Program  —  The future of the popular program is up in the air as the Transportation Department worries it quickly will run out of the allotted $1 billion  —  WASHINGTON — The White House said Thursday it was reviewing what has turned out to be a wildly popular …
Carrie Johnson / Washington Post:
Rove Had Heavier Hand in Prosecutor Firings Than Previously Known  —  Political adviser Karl Rove and other high-ranking figures in the Bush White House played a greater role than previously understood in the firing of federal prosecutors almost three years ago, according to e-mails obtained …
The Hill:
Pelosi lashes out at private health insurance ‘villains’  —  A day after formally delaying a vote on a healthcare bill and having to accept a further weakening of a public option to compete with private insurers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lashed out at the health insurance industry …
Michael R. Gordon / New York Times:
U.S. Adviser's Blunt Memo on Iraq: Time ‘to Go Home’  —  WASHINGTON — A senior American military adviser in Baghdad has concluded in an unusually blunt memo that the Iraqi forces suffer from deeply entrenched deficiencies but are now capable of protecting the Iraqi government, and that it is time …
TWI / The Washington Independent:
Col. Timothy Reese: 'It's Time for the US to Declare Victory and Go Home'
Scott A. Hodge / Tax Foundation:
Tax Burden of Top 1% Now Exceeds That of Bottom 95%  —  Newly released data from the IRS clearly debunks the conventional Beltway rhetoric that the “rich” are not paying their fair share of taxes and disproportionately benefited from the Bush tax cuts.  —  Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007 …
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
Baucus: ‘No idea’ how he'll vote on Sotomayor  —  Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said Thursday he hasn't made up his mind on whether he will vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.  —  Baucus this summer has infuriated liberals on and off Capitol Hill by working to strike a deal with Republicans on healthcare reform.
David S. Broder / Washington Post:   Stepping Beyond Political Party for Votes on Judges
The Huffington Post:
Disorderly Conduct: Conversation About Gates Arrest Precedes Arrest  —  A lawyer who moments earlier had been complaining to friends about police overreaction in the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., got a taste of the Gates treatment himself after loudly chanting … Blog:
President Obama Names Medal of Freedom Recipients 16 Agents of Change to Receive Top Civilian Honor  —  WASHINGTON - President Obama today named 16 recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.  America's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals …
Foon Rhee / Boston Globe:   Kennedy gets highest civilian honor
Mark Joseph / The Huffington Post:
The only thing weirder than the Birthers are the anti-Birthers, who blame the Birthers for being conspiracy theorists yet actively feed the conspiracy by refusing to call for President Obama to release his birth certificate.  —  The state official in Hawaii who manages such things has reiterated …
Discussion: alicublog, HorsesAss.Org and The Sleuth
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
57 signatures on anti-Blue Dog letter  —  About 50 House liberals have signed on to a letter calling the deal struck between the Blue Dogs and House leadership “totally unacceptable” — and have vowed to vote against it on the floor.  —  The point may be moot: Democratic leadership is spinning the deal …
Michael S. Schmidt / New York Times:
Ortiz and Ramirez Said to Be on 2003 Doping List  —  Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the sluggers who propelled the Boston Red Sox to end an 86-year World Series championship drought and to capture another title three years later, were among the roughly 100 Major League Baseball players …
The Hill:
Health deal sparks fury on the left
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
Suborned in the U.S.A.  —  Throughout the 2008 campaign, Barack Hussein Obama claimed it was a “smear” to refer to him as “Barack Hussein Obama.”  The candidate had initially rhapsodized over how his middle name, the name of the prophet Mohammed's grandson, would signal a new beginning in American relations with the Muslim world.
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Encore: Master thespian reads Palin's Twitter free verse  —  Back by popular demand.  These bits are actually less a testament to her goofiness than to the ability of Shatner's sublime hamminess to make anything funny.  Set it to bass and bongos and add a few patented melodramatic pauses and even …
Discussion: and GOP 12
Officers Run Background Check On Obama; Placed On Leave  —  DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Two DeKalb County police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave after an investigation revealed they ran a background check on President Barack Obama.  —  A representative for the DeKalb County …
Rachel Slajda / Talking Points Memo:
Report: Stormy Daniels's Adviser Has Car Bombed  —  A political adviser to Stormy Daniels, the porn star who's considering a Senate run in Louisiana, told a New Orleans TV station Monday that someone bombed his car.  —  Brian Welsh, who wasn't hurt in the incident, posted surveillance video of his car exploding on YouTube.
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 More Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Pawlenty's Blue-State Appeal
Jim Davenport / Associated Press:
Letter shows SC gov predicting public humiliation
 Earlier Items: 
Ted Johnson / Wilshire & Washington:
Obama, The Movie
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Military May Ban Twitter, Facebook as Security ‘Headaches’
Discussion: ATTACKERMAN, Op For and USNI Blog
Heather / Crooks and Liars:
Why is MSNBC Allowing Matthews to Repeat “Deathers” …
Jeff Cohen / The Huffington Post:
Are Liberal Netroots Groups Helping Obama Fail?