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8:35 AM ET, July 7, 2010


 Top Items:
Levi Johnston Apologizes to Palin Family for ‘Youthful Indiscretion’  —  Levi Johnston isn't just getting past his differences with Bristol Palin - he's also hoping to make amends with her famous mom.  —  “Last year, after Bristol and I broke up, I was unhappy and a little angry.
CNN:   TRENDING: Levi Johnston apologizes to Palin family
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Obama Bypassing Congress to Appoint Chief of Medicare and Medicaid  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama will bypass Congress and appoint Dr. Donald M. Berwick, a health policy expert, to run Medicare and Medicaid, the White House said Tuesday.  —  Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director …
Ed Barnes / Fox News:
Illegal Immigration Costs U.S. $113 Billion a Year, Study Finds  —  The cost of harboring illegal immigrants in the United States is a staggering $113 billion a year — an average of $1,117 for every “native-headed” household in America — according to a study conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Discussion: Moonbattery and Weasel Zippers
The Huffington Post:
Mayberry Machiavellis: Obama Political Team Handcuffing Recovery  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  Under the leadership of President George W. Bush, science, empirical evidence and expert advice struggled to be heard above the din of politics.  It's one thing to prioritize politics over good policy …
Pajamas Media:
BREAKING: Former DOJ Officials Stepping Forward to Support J. Christian Adams (Updated)  —  Former DOJ employees want to go on record praising Adams' outstanding work record, and — pay attention, DOJ press liaisons — maybe corroborate Adams' charges about DOJ hostility to race-neutral law enforcement.
Discussion: Wizbang, Hot Air and Power Line
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama Job Approval Rating Down to 38% Among Independents  —  Overall job ratings for the president continue to be below majority level  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Thirty-eight percent of independents approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, the first time independent approval of Obama …
The Hill:
Healthcare: Democrats up ante  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi is doubling down on healthcare reform, betting that it will do Democrats more good than harm in November's elections.  —  She and her leadership team have seized on new polls that suggest healthcare overhaul's popularity is rising …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Jeff Cranson /
San Francisco starts soda ban as soda tax still pending in Michigan Legislature  —  The practical effects are being felt today from a ban on sugary drinks in San Francisco even as libertarian groups continue to cast doubt on the thesis.  —  The San Francisco policy, the result of an executive order …
Directorblue / Doug Ross:
Perfect — Eric Holder's DOJ crony leading SB1070 challenge is member of the “Gitmo 9”, who represented terrorists in court  —  The White House is so laser-focused on the environmental tragedy in the Gulf* that the Obama Justice Department today filed suit against Arizona.
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
Darrell Issa Emerges as Obama's Annoyer-in-Chief  —  WASHINGTON — As a sign of the pride Representative Darrell Issa takes in annoying the Obama administration, consider his account of a recent exchange with Rahm Emanuel, a former congressman and now the White House chief of staff.
Discussion: The Page
John F. Kerry / Washington Post:
How New-START will improve our nation's security  —  Even in these polarized times, anyone seeking the presidency should know that the security of the United States is too important to be treated as fodder for political posturing.  Sadly, former governor Mitt Romney failed that test in arguing …
Ed Pilkington / Guardian:
America's most unlikely politician  —  Last month, an unknown, unemployed former soldier astonished America by becoming the Democratic nominee for South Carolina's upcoming senate election.  How on earth did he do it?  —  The journey to the home of one of the most enigmatic figures to emerge …
Matt Cover / CNSNews:
Federal Government Helped Pay Home Air-Conditioning Bills for Federal Employees, Prisoners and More Than 11,000 Dead People  —  ( - According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the federal government helped pay the home air conditioning bills for more than 11,000 dead people …
N.C. Aizenman / Washington Post:
Tanning salons feel burned by 10 percent ‘tan tax’  —  The sun hasn't exactly set on Solar Planet, but anxiety over the fate of the Arlington tanning salon has been running high ever since a “tan tax” took effect Thursday.  —  One of the less publicized measures in the new health-care law …
Discussion: Right Wing News
Peter Daou / The Huffington Post:
On the Left, A False Choice Fuels The Growing Civil War Over Obama  —  There is a civil war on the left over Barack Obama.  The fault lines are jagged, and depending on the issue, porous, but broadly, the split is along two fronts:  — Those who believe that critiquing - and occasionally opposing …
Discussion: Open Left
The Politico:
Arizona suit imperils Western Dems  —  The Obama administration's lawsuit over the stringent Arizona border law might have just made the incline a little steeper for many Western Democrats, providing instant fodder to Republicans who are already optimistic about regaining ground lost over the last two election cycles.
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Spencer Ackerman / Danger Room:
Civilian Casualties Create New Enemies, Study Confirms  —  Yes, we needed economists to tell us this.  A new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds “strong evidence for a revenge effect” when examining the relationship between civilian casualties caused …
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Justice Thomas's wife takes on Obama  —  When Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife announced in 2008 that she was going to help run Washington operations for a Michigan college once described as “a citadel of American conservatism,” she said the move was her “way of pulling away from politics” …
Tim Duy / Tim Duy's Fed Watch:
Why is the American Jobs Machine Broken?  —  The June employment report was decidedly weak, and serves as the latest blow to the V-shapers - if any are even left.  It once again left me feeling that something is very, very wrong at the heart of the American economy, something that is much more structural than cyclical.
Juliette Jowit / Guardian:
Over 25% of flowers face extinction  —  Scientists say human activity could spell end for a quarter of all flowering plants, with huge impact on food chain  —  More than one-in-four of all flowering plants are under threat of extinction according to the latest report to confirm …
Discussion: Truthdig
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Kennedy: I think I'll stick around until 2013  —  Increasingly, Justice Anthony Kennedy has become the most important member of the Supreme Court.  After the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor, Kennedy serves as the swing vote between the conservative and liberal blocs on the Court …
Jasonhanna / This Just In:
Nasr explains controversial tweet on Lebanese cleric  —  Fadlallah died Sunday in a hospital in Beirut, Lebanon.  —  My tweet was short: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot.  #Lebanon”
Discussion: Jihad Watch
John M. Broder / New York Times:
Rules Proposed To Cut Pollution At Power Plants  —  WASHINGTON — Acting under federal court order, the Obama administration proposed new air-quality rules on Tuesday for coal-burning power plants that officials said would bring major reductions in soot and smog from Texas to the Eastern Seaboard.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Kentucky Senate race knotted  —  Kentucky voters don't think much of Rand Paul and as a result the race to replace Jim Bunning in the Senate is tied.  Paul and Jack Conway are getting 43% each.  —  The more Kentucky voters get to know Rand Paul, the less they like him.
Senate candidates leave out current jobs in first campaign ads  —  Reps. Brad Ellsworth (left) and Roy Blunt (right) both released their first TV ads of the campaign season on Tuesday.  —  Washington (CNN) - What do Republican Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Democratic Rep. Brad Ellsworth of Indiana have in common?
Discussion: The Politico and The Swamp
Golnaz Esfandiari / Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:
Iran Unveils Approved Hairstyles  —  Iran has unveiled haircuts that according to officials are in line with Iranian and Islamic principles.  —  The new haircut models approved by Iran's Culture Ministry are aimed at preventing haircuts deemed “Western” among Iranian youth.
Jennifer Rizzo /
Stamps may go to 46 cents  —  NEW YORK ( — Want to send granny a card?  It might cost you a bit more next year.  —  The U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday proposed a 2-cent increase in the price of a first-class stamp, bringing the cost to 46 cents.  The change, if approved, will go into effect on Jan. 2.
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
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 More Items: 
Thomas Sowell / Real Clear Politics:
Santa and Frank  —  People who remember the old comic strip …
Richard Florida / Financial Times:
America needs to make its bad jobs better
Brad Delong / The Week Magazine:
Keynes & Co. have lost the stimulus argument
Discussion: Rortybomb and Grasping Reality …
Sara Ganim / Centre Daily Times:
Judge rescinds 3 orders directing CDT to delete stories; 2 orders remain
Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit:
American Singer Receives Death Threats After Recording Anti-Obama Song
Statement on detainees  —  A statement given by the Prime Minister …
Paul Davidson / USA Today:
Expect lots of government layoffs at state, local level
Discussion: Politics Daily
 Earlier Items: 
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Problem of Credible Commitment
Liz Sidoti / Associated Press:
Feingold faces unexpectedly tough race
The Politico:
Police probe death hoaxes
Ezra Klein:
Research Desk researches: How do the U.S., Switzerland and Sweden spend money?