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10:00 AM ET, July 31, 2009


 Top Items: 
Saaret /
‘An Accident of Time and Place’  —  Henry Louis Gates Jr. on his meeting with Sgt. Crowley at the White House.  —  “...I thank God that I 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.”
New York Times:
Over Beers, No Apologies, but Plans to Have Lunch  —  WASHINGTON — They came, they met, they drank.  They did not apologize.  —  The much-anticipated “beer summit” of President Obama, the Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department …
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. …
Political Punch:
Notes from the Suds Summit
Discussion: BBC and Sister Toldjah
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 …
Dan Eggen /
Health industry is generous to Blue Dogs  —  Blue Dogs, key brokers in shaping health bills, see surge in contributions  —  WASHINGTON - On June 19, Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas made clear that he and a group of other conservative Democrats known as the Blue Dogs were increasingly unhappy …
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Obama Will Settle for Less on Health Care  —  Yesterday, Barack Obama was God.  Today, he's fallen from grace, the magic gone, his health-care reform dead.  If you believed the first idiocy — and half the mainstream media did — you'll believe the second.  Don't believe either.
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:
Dem memo plots message war on insurers
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.
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 …
Felix Gillette / New York Observer:
Controversy Surrounding Lou Dobbs Has Failed to Increase His Ratings  —  On the night of Monday, July 27, Bill O'Reilly welcomed Richard Cohen, the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center, onto The O'Reilly Factor, to talk about Mr. Cohen's repeated public criticisms of CNN anchor Lou Dobbs.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran / Washington Post:
In Afghanistan, U.S. May Shift Strategy  —  Request for Big Boost in Afghan Troops Could Also Require More Americans  —  The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is preparing a new strategy that calls for major changes in the way U.S. and other NATO troops there operate, a vast increase …
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
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 …
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
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.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Axelrod Holding Private Messaging Session With House Dems On Selling Reform  —  In another sign that the White House will play a very hands-on role during the looming Congressional health care wars of August, senior Obama adviser David Axelrod is set to hold a private messaging session with House Dems tomorrow on the Hill, I'm told.
Detained Nigeria sect leader dies  —  The leader of an Islamic sect blamed for days of deadly violence in Nigeria has been killed in police custody, police officials have said.  —  Officials said Mohammed Yusuf was shot while trying to escape.  They had announced his capture hours earlier.
Discussion: MyDD and Truthdig
Njadvara Musa / Associated Press:
Nigerian Troops Attack Islamist Mosque, Kill 100
Discussion: BLACKFIVE
David Pauly / Bloomberg:
Wall Street Analysts Keep Telling Big Earnings Lie: David Pauly  —  At a time when the financial industry's credibility is at an all-time low, you would think Wall Street's finest would break their necks providing transparency.  —  Not so.  Stock analysts continue to promote corporate earnings lies …
Discussion: TigerHawk and AmSpecBlog
New York Times:
Big Banks Paid Billions in Bonuses Amid Wall St. Crisis  —  Thousands of top traders and bankers on Wall Street were awarded huge bonuses and pay packages last year, even as their employers were battered by the financial crisis.  —  Nine of the financial firms that were among the largest recipients …
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
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 More Items: 
Mary Williams Walsh / New York Times:
After Rescue, New Weakness Seen at A.I.G.
Discussion: Clusterstock and DailyFinance
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Health Care Realities
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Porn prosecution fuels debate
Michael C. Moynihan / Reason:
Why Can't Paul Ryan Be the “Future of the Republican Party”?
Christopher Toothaker / Associated Press:
Venezuela: ‘Freedom of expression must be limited’
 Earlier Items: 
Jim Davenport / Associated Press:
Letter shows SC gov predicting public humiliation
The Huffington Post:
Disorderly Conduct: Conversation About Gates Arrest Precedes Arrest
Michael S. Schmidt / New York Times:
Ortiz and Ramirez Said to Be on 2003 Doping List