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5:50 PM ET, August 6, 2009


 Top Items: 
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Sotomayor Confirmed by Senate, 68-31  —  WASHINGTON — Voting largely along party lines, the Senate on Thursday confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the 111th justice of the Supreme Court.  She will be the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the court.
The Huffington Post:
Unions To Take On Conservative Groups Health Care Town Halls  —  The nation's largest federation of labor organizations has promised to directly engage with boisterous conservative protesters at Democratic town halls during the August recess.  —  In a memo sent out on Thursday …
Washington Post:
Senate Committee's Bipartisan Health-Care Reform Talks Move Toward Center  —  Bipartisan Talks On Reform Move Toward Center  —  Senate negotiators are inching toward bipartisan agreement on a health-care plan that seeks middle ground on some of the thorniest issues facing Congress …
Moe Lane / Moe_Lane's blog:
Behold those scary, scary swastika-bearing astroturfers.  —  (Brief summary for those lacking video: Dallas AARP meeting went wrong for organizers when participants refused to sit down, shut up, and applaud Democratic talking points.  Organizers then left; meeting continued.)
Tom Bevan / Real Clear Politics:
After 6 Months, More View Obama's Presidency as a ‘Failure’ Than Bush's  —  A rather surprising finding from the newly released CNN poll.  Question three on the national survey of 1,136 adults (which includes an oversample of African-Americans) asks, “Do you consider the first six months …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THEY ALREADY HAVE THEIR CARE.... The CNN poll released yesterday found …
CNN Poll: Support for Afghanistan war drops
Philip Kennicott / Washington Post:
Obama as The Joker: Racial Fear's Ugly Face  —  ‘Political’ Poster Turns On Violent Symbolism  —  Between Jack Nicholson's 1989 portrayal of the Joker in “Batman” and Heath Ledger's 2008 characterization in “The Dark Knight,” something sinister happened to the villain's iconic makeup.
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:
‘Punkin’ the Birthers: Priceless'  —  It's looking more and more like the forged “Kenyan birth certificate” released by Orly Taitz on Sunday was a prank by a supporter of President Obama.  Politijab points to an anonymous blogger at FearlessBlogging, who has uploaded four photos of the original forgery and a mocking declaration:
Jerome R. Corsi / WorldNetDaily:
Obama birth doc update: Kenya sources weigh in  —  Comparison with similar certificates suggests fakery, WND probe reveals  —  NEW YORK - The Kenyan birth document released by California attorney Orly Taitz is probably not authentic, according to WND's investigative operatives in Africa …
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
White House Affirms Deal on Drug Cost  —  WASHINGTON — Pressed by industry lobbyists, White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion.
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Brennan: “We Cannot Shoot Our Way Out” Of Terrorism Challenge
Discussion: The Page
RealClearPolitics Video Log:
Pelosi: Town Hall Protesters Are “Carrying Swastikas”  —  Nancy Pelosi claims protesters are “carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on healthcare.”  VIDEO: Man At Town Hall: “You Need To Get The Government The Hell Out Of Our Way” VIDEO: DNC Web Ad Attacks Protesters …
Pew Research Center:
Many Fault Media Coverage of Health Care Debate  —  Partisan Divide Over Coverage of “Birther” Allegations  —  As the fight in Washington over health care reform continues to dominate public attention and media coverage, most Americans are critical of the way news organizations are explaining key elements of the debate.
Discussion: The Swamp, Salon and Brendan Nyhan
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Say, isn't this Astroturfing?  —  The White House and its allies have tossed around accusations of “astroturfing” — fake grassroots movements — at the opposition to ObamaCare with gusto, as town-hall meetings erupt in anger and acrimony towards elected officials who don't bother to read bills before voting for them.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama's Virginia campaign: Party calls
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Tim Fernholz / American Prospect:
CHRISTY ROMER ARGUES FOR THE STIMULUS.  —  Well, can't get a much better speech title than “So, Is It Working?”  That's the question answered in Council of Economic Advisers Chair Christina Romer's speech today, and she answers it with one word: Absolutely.
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts and Free exchange
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Christina Romer Makes the Case for ARRA
Discussion: TalkLeft
Taylor Marsh / The Huffington Post:
Dear Huffington Post, About That Headline  —  Yesterday was a pretty big day.  The lives of two amazing journalists were saved, their families spared more emotional agony.  It all started, as the New York Times reported it, after being arrested on March 17 near the North Korean border …
Lanny Davis / The Hill:
The Clinton-Clinton-Obama triumph
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Erica Alini / Wall Street Journal:
No More Perks: Coffee Shops Pull the Plug on Laptop Users  —  They Sit for Hours and Don't Spend Much; Getting the Bum's Rush in the Big Apple  —  A sign at Naidre's, a small neighborhood coffee shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., begins warmly: “Dear customers, we are absolutely thrilled that you like us …
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Ron Paul: Obama ‘deserves an F’  —  Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said Thursday that President Barack Obama deserves a failing grade for his first 200 days in office.  —  The libertarian-minded Republican ultimately graded the president at a just-passing “D” when asked to rate Obama's performance during …
Kristi Keck / CNN:
Ron Paul's son following in father's footsteps
Discussion: Raw Story and Below The Beltway
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
Reid: GOP ‘run by a talk show host’  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid launched his harshest attack on the Republican Party in months, claiming the GOP is “being run by a talk show host.”  —  Reid, armed with a patch of Astroturf, slammed Republicans for sponsoring town hall attacks …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Guns of August  —  Jon Cohn says he's “been obsessing over the lack of passion and organization on the left,” though now feeling slightly better.  I agree, but it is worth saying that this is almost 100 percent the fault of Max Baucus.  —  There's a reason, after all …
Washington Post:
U.S. Considers Remaking Mortgage Giants  —  ‘Bad Bank’ Would Wipe the Slate Clean for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac by Taking Their Toxic Loans  —  The Obama administration is considering an overhaul of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would strip the mortgage finance giants of hundreds of billions …
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 More Items: 
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Afghanistan War Spending in Perspective
Discussion: The RBC
New York Times:
White House Has Difficulty Measuring Afghan Progress
Gary Fields / Wall Street Journal:
Clunkers Plan Deflates Mechanics
Discussion: Betsy's Page and AmSpecBlog
Alysia Patterson / Associated Press:
Ex-Edwards mistress appears at federal courthouse
Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Dominic Kennedy / Times of London:
Secret mission to expose L. Ron Hubbard as a fake
Discussion: UN Dispatch
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Jurors Don't Discount Evidence Obtained From Rough Treatment
Discussion: Liberty Street
Rasmussen Reports:
Krugman Disses Rasmussen Poll - But Forgets to Fact-Check
 Earlier Items: 
Steve Lohr / New York Times:
For Today's Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics
Discussion: Gawker, The Stash and MoJo Blog Posts
Kate Pickert / Time:
Barack Obama's Golf Game
Discussion: The Swamp and Swampland
Ashley Hayes / CNN:
Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme to be released
Discussion: Scared Monkeys and Jezebel