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6:25 PM ET, August 4, 2009


 Top Items: 
Macon Phillips / Blog:
Facts Are Stubborn Things  —  Opponents of health insurance reform may find the truth a little inconvenient, but as our second president famously said, “facts are stubborn things.”  —  Scary chain emails and videos are starting to percolate on the internet, breathlessly claiming, for example …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama vs. Drudge  —  The White House on Tuesday posted a three-minute video punching back at an old clip of President Barack Obama that was featured on the Drudge Report with the headline, “Uncovered Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will ‘Eliminate’ Private Insurance.”
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
White House Strategy: Ridicule The Angry Republicans  —  The White House and Democratic officials, surprised by the angry words thrown at Democratic lawmakers in their first weekend of August town hall meetings, are scrambling to put together a strategy to minimize the effects …
The Huffington Post:
Obama And DNC Try Turning Angry Mobs And Drudge Into Benefits  —  The White House and allied Democrats are ramping up efforts to make belligerent anti-Obama town hall crowds — and the media outlets that feed their resentment — the face of opposition to the president's health care agenda, aides tell the Huffington Post.
The Huffington Post:
Durbin, Schumer: Town Hall Protesters Are “Birthers” “Tea Baggers,” And “Fringe”
Discussion: The Swamp and The Plum Line
Political Punch:
Today's Qs for O's WH
Discussion: Commentary and The Campaign Spot
KCNA: Two journalists pardoned in N. Korea  —  (CNN) — North Korean President Kim Jong Il has pardoned and ordered the release of two U.S. journalists, state-run news agency KCNA said Wednesday.  —  The announcement came after former U.S. President Bill Clinton met with top North Korean officials …
North Korea Pardons Jailed U.S. Journalists After Bill Clinton's Visit  —  It is Unclear Whether the Recently Pardoned Journalists Are Accompanying Him  —  North Korea state media is reporting that former President Bill Clinton and his party are on their way home from the country …
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:
Even After North Korea Frees American Journalists, Bolton Insists Clinton Trip Was A Mistake  —  Reports emerged yesterday that President Clinton — along with Center for American Progress President and CEO John Podesta — was traveling to North Korea to negotiate the release of two imprisoned American journalists.
John R. Bolton / Washington Post:
Clinton's Unwise Trip to North Korea  —  The Obama administration characterized Bill Clinton's unexpected visit to Pyongyang to secure the release of two American reporters, held unjustifiably by North Korea for nearly five months, as a private, humanitarian mission.
Josh Gerstein / Josh Gerstein's Blog:
Podesta joins Bill Clinton in N. Korea
Chuck Norris from Creators Syndicate:
What Obama and My Wife Have in Common  —  Dear Mr. President:  —  First, happy birthday.  I do hope today is an enjoyable day for you and your family.  Coincidentally, I also will be celebrating this week the birth of someone dear to me, my beloved wife, Gena, whose birthday is Aug. 9.
Why I doubt Kenyan birth document
Discussion: Salon and Vox Popoli
Jeremy Scahill / The Nation:
Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder  —  A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia.
Wall Street Journal:
Geithner Vents as Overhaul Stumbles  —  WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner blasted top U.S. financial regulators in an expletive-laced critique last Friday as frustration grows over the Obama administration's faltering plan to overhaul U.S. financial regulation, according to people familiar with the meeting.
Wall Street Journal:
Teeing Up the Middle Class
Evan Perez / Wall Street Journal:
White House Counsel's Job Is at Stake  —  WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials are holding discussions that could result in White House counsel Gregory Craig leaving his post, following a rocky tenure, people familiar with the matter said.  —  Mr. Craig, the top lawyer at the White House …
Rasmussen Reports:
Clinton 51%, Palin 39%  —  If America elects a woman president soon, right now her name appears to be Hillary Clinton.  —  In a hypothetical match-up between the two most formidable female candidates in their respective parties, Clinton defeats former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin 51% to 39% …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
McDonnell leads by 14  —  Bob McDonnell has opened up a 51-37 lead over Creigh Deeds in the race to be Virginia's next Governor, up from a 49-43 advantage four weeks ago.  —  The movement in the race likely has more to do with national trends than anything actually going on in Virginia.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama's birthday: Turning the candles  —  President Barack Obama, born 48 years ago today in Honolulu, Hawaii, celebrated his first birthday in the White House with a family breakfast in the private residence, a birthday song at lunch sung by senators in the State Dining Room and a song …
Discussion: The Politico
ABC News:
Adelaide man caught up in bid to oust Obama  —  A self-described ‘grey-haired guy in a corner of little old Adelaide’ has been unwittingly implicated in a conspiracy to oust the 44th President of the United States from office.  Unbeknown to David Bomford, a group called the Birthers have used …
New York Post:
HONORING AN AMERICA-HATER  —  THE Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor.  Past recipients include John Wayne, Norman Rockwell and Vaclav Havel.  This year, one of the 16 recipients President Obama selected (along with such worthies as Sen. Edward Kennedy and the late Jack Kemp) …
Discussion: Commentary
Pat Toomey /
Sotomayor: Qualified, mainstream  —  Judicial confirmation hearings weren't always ideological witch hunts.  —  When John Roberts and Samuel Alito were nominated to the Supreme Court, Republicans argued that they should be confirmed based on their impeccable qualifications and mainstream jurisprudence.
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:
PERSONAL INCOME AND OUTLAYS: JUNE 2009 REVISED ESTIMATES: 1929 THROUGH MAY 2009  —  Personal income decreased $159.8 billion, or 1.3 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $143.8 billion, or 1.3 percent, in June, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Brett J. Blackledge / Associated Press:
Obama administration withholds data on program … WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is refusing to release government records on its “cash-for-clunkers” rebate program that would substantiate—or undercut—White House claims of the program's success, even as the president presses …
CNN Poll: Did Obama act stupidly in Gates arrest comments?  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that white and black Americans don't see eye to eye on last month's arrest of Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates.  The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey …
Discussion: The Fix
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
Olbermann to keep Wolffe off show  —  The most anticipated part of Keith Olbermann's return to “Countdown” last night was to see whether he'd abide by a reported cease-fire with Bill O'Reilly — he didn't.  —  But simmering in the background was the ongoing issue of Richard Wolffe …
Daily Mail:
Spoof poster of Obama's face painted as The Joker branded ‘dangerous and mean-spirited’  —  A poster depicting Barack Obama as Batman villain The Joker has been called ‘mean-spirited and dangerous’ by the U.S. President's supporters.  —  The image, which has been adopted by Mr Obama's critics …
The Huffington Post:
For The Modern GOP, It's A Return To The “White Voter Strategy”  —  With Republican party leaders so constrained by ideological blinders that none of their positions is likely to produce gains among non-white minorities, especially Hispanics, the GOP is finding it has no real alternative but to revert to a “white voter” strategy.
Discussion: Big Brass Blog, The Plank and
Joe Sestak / Open Left:
It's Official!  I'm running to restore accountable leadership to Washington.  —  This this morning, I was honored to stand in the VFW Hall where I am a member and address an overflowing room of enthusiastic supporters to announce my candidacy to be the next United States Senator from Pennsylvania.
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
Dr. Orly Taitz Esquire:
Debunking the obots, Bomfort report.  Time for Obama and Fukino to pack their bags and go.  —  Recently Obama's thugs in main stream media came up with this Bomford report in order to stop my efforts in exposing and prosecuting Obama.  Though typically I don't have time to waste on each and every dumb obot …
Discussion: Salon and Confederate Yankee
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 More Items: 
Maria Chutchian / Boston Globe:
Suspended Boston police officer Barrett sues commissioner, mayor
Discussion: Law Blog, Above the Law and Raw Story
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Former Bachmann Opponent Tinklenberg Drops Out, As Dems Appear …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Open Left
Ezra Klein:
The Strange Role of the Insurers
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Eric Wilson / New York Times:
Naomi Sims, 61, Pioneering Cover Girl, Is Dead
Discussion: RaceWire
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
Justin Rood / ABCNEWS:
Money Trail: Obama Taps Donor for Health Job
Jane Hamsher / The Huffington Post:
How Come CBS Journalists Can't Recognize Paid Lobbyists When They See Them?
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Ross: Bush — not Obama — pioneered socialized medicine in U.S.
 Earlier Items: 
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Heather / Crooks and Liars:
Rachel Maddow on GOP Thugishness at Town Halls: This is Called Hooliganism
Michelle Malkin:
How quickly they forget
Discussion: The Moderate Voice