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11:00 AM ET, August 5, 2009


 Top Items: 
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.
Wall Street Journal:
Paying Kim's Price  —  Was Mr. Clinton's visit the down payment for a larger set of American concessions?  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  The last time an American civilian was held prisoner by North Korea, in 1996, it took a visit from then-Congressman Bill Richardson to secure his release.
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:
Even After North Korea Frees American Journalists, Bolton Insists …
CNN:   U.S. journalists home from N. Korea
Michelle Malkin:
Tea Party-bashers gone wild  —  Creators Syndicate  —  The activist Left can't stand competition.  Last week in Long Island, NY, opponents of the Democrats' government health care takeover legislation outnumbered Obama supporters ten to one.  The Tea Party activists toted American flags …
Michelle Malkin:
This is what mob rule looks like
The Note:
Young GOPers Gaga Over Gingrich  —  ABC News' Devin Dwyer reports:  —  Before an energetic and enthusiastic young Republican crowd, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich weighed in today on the upcoming Senate confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and made predictions for health care reform legislation this fall.
Sotomayor worthy? Senate to debate
Discussion: The Page
The Huffington Post:
Durbin, Schumer: Town Hall Protesters Are “Birthers” “Tea Baggers,” And “Fringe”
Rolfe Winkler:
Buffett's Betrayal  —  When I was 14, Warren Buffett wrote me a letter.  —  It was a response to one I'd sent him, pitching an investment idea.  For a kid interested in learning stocks, Buffett was a great role model.  His investing style — diligent security analysis, finding competent management …
Discussion: Raw Story and Corrente
New York Times:
Russian Subs Patrolling Off East Coast of U.S.  —  WASHINGTON — A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States in recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Palin calls divorce report ‘made up’  —  Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin tells POLITICO that widespread blogosphere reports about a possible divorce from her husband, Todd, are “made up.”  —  In a brief telephone interview on Tuesday night, Palin quipped that she loves finding out “what's goin' on in my life from the news.”
Discussion: Wonkette
Dana Loesch /
Russ Carnahan rattled at Cash for Clunkers presser  —  Carnahan held a press conference at McMahon Ford in south St. Louis city.  Constituents who showed up to politely and peacefully voice their concerns were both barred from entering the lobby where Carnahan was fielding press inquiries …
Sandhya Somashekhar / Washington Post:
Obama's Domestic Policies Are Having Immediate Effects on Race for Va. Governor  —  Some Voters Who Backed President Disillusioned Over Economic Pledges  —  The coffee was still brewing when Chris Ann Cleland got her first reminder of the day that voting for Barack Obama might have been a mistake.
CNN Poll: Americans split on Obama's health care proposals  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - Americans appear split over President Barack Obama's health care reform proposals, according to a new national poll.  —  Fifty percent of those questioned in CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday morning …
The Politico:
Obama: ‘Left-wing groups’ should back off.  —  OBAMA WAVES OFF LIBERALS: On the same day that announced a new wave of ads to pressure centrist ...  ... Democrats on health care reform, President Obama told Senate Democrats he wished “left-wing groups” would back off.
Boston Globe:
Mass. bashers take note: Health reform is working  —  PUNDITS and politicians who oppose universal healthcare for the nation have a new straw man to kick around - the Massachusetts reform plan that covers more than 97 percent of the state's residents.  In the myth that these critics have manufactured …
Kevin Drum / MoJo Blog Posts:
California's Prison Disaster  —  A couple of weeks ago I described California as “a penal colony with a nice coastline.”  The coastline is still nice, but a three-judge panel has finally ordered the state to get off its ass and do something about our wretched and overflowing prison system:
Discussion: The RBC
Steve Clow / L.A. Now:
Judges order state to release nearly 43,000 prisoners in next two years [Updated]
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Kathleen Parker / Washington Post:
Sen. George Voinovich and the GOP as a Party of the South  —  Southern writer Walker Percy liked to poke fun at Ohioans in his novels, just to even things out a bit.  —  “Usually Mississippians and Georgians are getting it from everybody, and Alabamians,” he once explained to an interviewer.
Gabriel Sherman / The New Republic:
Wolffe at the Door  —  EXCLUSIVE: The radioactive book proposal from MSNBC's much-maligned pundit/publicist.  —  Richard Wolffe, the former Newsweek correspondent and author of the best-selling book Renegade: The Making of a President, who now works at Dan Bartlett's PR firm Public Strategies …
Paul Krugman:
Hey, Mister Postman  —  Art Laffer (why is he, of all people, on my TV?) asks what it will be like when the government runs Medicare and Medicaid.  —  But I'd raise a further question: he warns that when the government takes over these, um, government programs, they'll be like the Post Office and the DMV.
Attaturk / Firedoglake:
Preemptive dodging  —  Apparently Glenn Beck was either forced, or decided, to tell the maniacs that form a large portion of his audience NOT TO KILL OTHER PEOPLE.  So he's preemptively washed his hands.  —  But let's face the great lie of American history and the on-going threat to the nation's first black President.
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.
John Stossel / Real Clear Politics:
Impossible Promises  —  I keep reading about health-care “reform,” but I have yet to see anyone explain how the government can make it easier for more people to obtain medical services, control the already exploding cost of those services and not interfere with people's most intimate decisions.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Martin Ivens / Times of London:
Hezbollah stockpiles 40,000 rockets near Israel border  —  Richard Beeston on the Israel-Lebanese border and Nicholas Blanford in Beirut  —  Three years after Israel fought a bloody war in Lebanon against Hezbollah, there are fears that hostilities could erupt again — this time with the militant group better armed than ever.
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 More Items: 
Reed Abelson / New York Times:
For Health Insurers' Lobbyist, Good Will Is Tested
Discussion: The Huffington Post and The BLT
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Obama Tries to Put a Brighter Face on the Economy
Discussion:, JustOneMinute and The Caucus
Jennifer Rubin / Pajamas Media:
How Many Obama Voters Feel Let Down?
Discussion: Stop The ACLU and NO QUARTER
Wall Street Journal:
As Congress Goes on Break, Health Lobbying Heats Up
Washington Post:
Leahy Blocks Positive Report on Mexico's Rights Record
Discussion: TalkLeft
 Earlier Items: 
Ricardo Alonsozaldivar / Associated Press:
Gov't insurance would allow coverage for abortion
The Huffington Post:
Obama's Birthday Cards From Birthers (PICS)
Discussion: The Caucus and GOP 12