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5:05 PM ET, July 18, 2010


 Top Items: 
Tea Party Federation kicks out Williams over blog post  —  (CNN) — The National Tea Party Federation, an organization that represents the Tea Party political movement around the country, has expelled conservative commentator Mark Williams and his Tea Party Express because of an inflammatory blog post …
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
Republican lawmakers gird for rowdy tea party  —  So who wants to join Rand Paul's “tea-party” caucus?  —  “I don't know about that,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) replied with a nervous laugh.  “I'm not sure I should be participating in this story.”  —  Republican lawmakers see plenty …
Bridget Johnson / The Hill:
McConnell ‘not interested’ in weighing in on debate over racism in Tea Party  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stayed out of the debate over whether there are racist elements in the Tea Party movement, saying he had better things to worry about — namely, GOP efforts in the midterm elections.
Discussion: CNN, sisu and Riehl World View
Kevin Bogardus / Ballot Box:
Sessions predicts ‘slightly over 40’ House seats gained by the GOP
Discussion: The Politico
Kay Lazar / Boston Globe:
Firms cancel health coverage  —  With cost rising, small companies turning to state  —  The relentlessly rising cost of health insurance is prompting some small Massachusetts companies to drop coverage for their workers and encourage them to sign up for state-subsidized care instead …
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
Moral of the Obamacare Story: Taxes In, Doctors Out  —  There were two important developments recently in the continued unraveling of the Obamacare public relations BS.  —  First, the Obama administration cemented its legal position that the health care mandate is a tax …
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a Tax
Reed Abelson / New York Times:
Insurers Push Plans Limiting Patient Choice of Doctors
Tom Gross Mideast Media Analysis:
A nice new shopping mall opened today in Gaza: Will the media report on it?  —  [Please link to and credit this website if writing on this.]  —  Will the Western media show these images?  —  All notes below by Tom Gross  —  Please scroll down below for photos of the new shopping mall that opened today in Gaza.
Kendra Marr / The Politico:
GOP senators: Obama failing in oil clean-up  —  Just days after BP temporarily plugged the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, Senate Republicans on Sunday lashed out at the Obama administration for failing to clean up America's soiled shoreline.  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell …
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Vitter: Obama avoiding oil spill
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Kendra Marr / The Politico:
Biden: GOP forced smaller stimulus  —  Vice President Joe Biden said that the Recovery Act was undersized because the White House shrunk the economic stimulus package to win Republican votes in Congress to pass it.  —  “I think it would have been bigger,” he told ABC's Jake Tapper in an interview airing Sunday.
Anita Kumar / Washington Post:
McDonnell wants to show Virginia the way out of liquor business  —  RICHMOND — For months, aides to Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell have been meeting behind closed doors with alcohol retailers and wholesalers, public safety officials and faith-based groups to come up with a way to fulfill …
James Slack / Daily Mail:
Female minister insists women must be able to choose their own clothes as ban on burka is ruled out  —  Banning the burka would infringe a woman's right to ‘choose each morning when you wake up what you wear’, Cabinet minister Caroline Spelman said today.  —  The Environment Secretary claimed …
Discussion: protein wisdom and Weasel Zippers
David Limbaugh / Washington Examiner:
Obama's the “most” racial president  —  While President Obama has touted himself as a post-racial president, he has built a record demonstrating precisely the opposite.  Is it Obama's bitterness, or is the incessant playing of the race card by him and many of his supporters merely calculated political exploitation — or both?
Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs:
Muslims Riot, Mayhem in France, Fire On Police UPDATE: After Islamic Cleric's Fiery Speech  —  Mayhem in Grenoble (Photo: AFP) (hat tip woolie)  —  The imprimatur of an Islamic cleric: … UPDATE: The police were fired on by automatic gunfire, a fact that strangely was only reported on by al jazeera.
Margaret Thatcher's family are ‘appalled’ at Meryl Streep film  —  Film about Margaret Thatcher's life, which is expected to star Meryl Streep, shows the former prime minister as a dementia-sufferer looking back at her life with sadness.  —  Tim Walker.  —  Although the prospect …
Associated Press:
Biden's 2008 campaign fined $219K for violations  —  WASHINGTON — Election watchdogs have fined Joe Biden's 2008 presidential campaign more than $219,000 for sloppy bookkeeping and accepting excessive contributions, including a discounted flight on a private jet.
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Biden Owes $219,000 for Campaign Violations
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 More Items: 
Mike Brunker /
Louisiana reopens Gulf waters to sport fishing
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Paul Krugman:
More On Deficit Limits  —  Jamie Galbraith responded to this post …
Discussion: Angry Bear and Economist's View
Victor Davis Hanson / The Corner on National …:
Pampered populists — By: Victor Davis Hanson
Keith B. Richburg / Washington Post:
For many pregnant Chinese, a U.S. passport for baby remains a powerful lure
Lauren Etter / Wall Street Journal:
Roads to Ruin: Towns Rip Up the Pavement
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Hayworth: Obama wants ‘no enforcement of the law’ on immigration
 Earlier Items: 
New Economic Perspectives:
The Myths About Government Debt and Deficit as Told By Carmen Reinhart …
Discussion: Corrente
Jessica Taloney / WKRG-TV:
News 5 Investigates: Testing The Water
Steve Krakauer / Mediaite:
Keith Olbermann To Take “Couple Weeks Vacation Off” - Lawrence O'Donnell Fills In
Laura Donnelly / Telegraph:
Cash crisis in NHS leaves patients lying on operating tables
Tamar Lewin / New York Times:
Pleas Evolve for Conscientious Objector Status
Alan Greenblatt / NPR:
GOP Favored In All-Important State Races
Discussion: MyDD