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6:55 PM ET, July 20, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Farmer's wife says fired USDA official helped save their land  —  The wife of the white farmer allegedly discriminated against by the USDA's rural development director for Georgia said Shirley Sherrod “kept us out of bankruptcy.”  —  Eloise Spooner, 82, awoke Tuesday to discover that Sherrod …
RELATED:
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
Our Summer Race War Heats Up  —  Hoo boy.  Conservatives apparently aren't going to back down from ever more overt appeals to racial resentment this summer.  BigGovernment.com “broke” a story yesterday about a speech given a few months ago by Shirley Sherrod, USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development, at an NAACP Freedom Fund dinner.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Official: No White House pressure on Sherrod  —  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this afternoon took responsibility for firing an official, Shirley Sherrod, whose appearance on video recalling her behavior toward a white farmer drew charges of racism, and whose immediate firing drew suggestions …
Digby / Hullabaloo:
The White House's Weak Back Hand  —  Update below:  —  Weak Back Hand  —  by digby  —  When our new overlord Andrew Breitbart says jump, the White House says, “how high?”  Kevin Drum: … Naturally, the administration panicked like a bunch of frightened little children:
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
Not Looking Good For Breitbart  —  The 82-year-old wife of the white Georgia farmer who was supposedly discriminated against some quarter century ago by the black USDA official forced to resign this week — if the video released by Andrew Breitbart's Big Government and re-run by Fox is to be believed …
Fox News:
Ex-Ag Official Says White House Forced Her Out Without Hearing ‘Truth’ About Video  —  Shown here is USDA Georgia official Shirley Sherrod.  (YouTube)  —  The Department of Agriculture official who resigned Monday over a YouTube clip said the White House forced her out of her job without bothering to hear her side of the story.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Breitbart's Skilled Editing  —  The quotes that former USDA worker Shirley Sherrod gave on the edited tapes disseminated by Andrew Breitbart are indeed indefensible, but is it not fair to provide some kind of context?  To wit: … And: … This reminds me of the Octavia Nasr case.
Discussion: Mediaite
CNN:
Former USDA employee says White House pressured her to resign  —  Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) — A black former Agriculture Department employee, who resigned after a video clip surfaced of her discussing a white farmer, insisted Tuesday she “went all out” to help the man keep his farm …
Datechguy / DaTechguy's Blog:
One thing about the NAACP video of Shirley Sherrod  —  ...that nobody is mentioning.  —  Look at the crowd reaction when she says this.  Is there shock?  Is there disgust?  Is there anger?  Nope, they are with her all the way.  —  That says more about the NAACP than anything Sherrod did.
Discussion: The Other McCain
Marcus K. Garner / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Resigned USDA official says racial story misconstrued
Tom Blumer / Washington Examiner:
Shirley Sherrod's Disappearing Act: Not So Fast
Jonathan Strong / The Daily Caller:
It was the moment of greatest peril for then-Sen. Barack Obama's political career.  In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. government and America itself.  Obama had once bragged of his closeness to Wright.
RELATED:
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Corruption Of Journo-list  —  The latest revelations from Journo-list are deeply depressing to me.  What's depressing is the way in which liberal journalists are not responding to events in order to find out the truth, but playing strategic games to cover or not cover events and controversies in order to win a media/political war.
Discussion: The New Republic
Jonathan Strong / The Daily Caller:
Documents show media plotting to kill stories about Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Jeff Sessions / USA Today:
Opposing view on the Supreme Court: A big-government vision  —  After carefully reviewing Elena Kagan's record and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I must oppose her nomination.  —  OUR VIEW: Kagan deserves bipartisan backing, but won't get it
RELATED:
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Lindsey Graham's vote on Elena Kagan ensures primary challenge  —  South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R) announcement that he will vote in favor of Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court is likely to further incite conservatives already unhappy with him and, according to close observers …
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan approved by Senate Judiciary Committee in 13-6 vote  —  Kagan wins approval in a nearly party-line vote, with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina joining the majority Democrats.  She is expected to gain full Senate confirmation in August.
The Politico:
GOP leery of Tea Party Caucus  —  With the official formation of a congressional Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Michele Bachmann has thrust an existential question before House Republican leaders: Are you in or are you out?  —  Indiana's Mike Pence, chairman of the Republican Conference, was adamant.
RELATED:
Jake Sherman / The Politico:
Cantor won't join House Tea Party Caucus
Discussion: Hot Air
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
GOP campaign chief joins Tea Party caucus
Discussion: CNN and TPMDC
First Read / msnbc.com:
Bachmann-chaired ‘Tea Party’ Caucus holds first meeting tomorrow
Discussion: Townhall.com and Big Government
Ezra Klein:
Unemployment benefits to pass, but all alone  —  Democrats are set to pass an extension of unemployment benefits today.  The presence of Carte Goodwin, Sen. Robert Byrd's temporary replacement, gives them the 60 votes necessary to break the Republicans' — and Ben Nelson's — filibuster of the bill.
RELATED:
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Breaking Impasse, Senate Extends Jobless Benefits
Discussion: Truthdig
Wall Street Journal:
Stimulating Unemployment  —  If you can't create any jobs, pay people not to work.
David Rogers / The Politico:
Democrats break filibuster on jobless aid
Discussion: ABCNEWS and New York Magazine
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
The Scariest Unemployment Graph I've Seen Yet  —  The median duration of unemployment is higher today than any time in the last 50 years.  That's an understatement.  It is more than twice as high today than any time in the last 50 years.  —  OK, you're saying, but what does this mean?
Jonathan Allen / The Politico:
David Axelrod won't commit Obama to Meek campaign  —  President Barack Obama's top political adviser declined to say Tuesday whether the commander in chief would campaign for Florida Senate candidate Kendrick Meek — even amid reports that Vice President Joe Biden may hit the trail to assist the fourth-term Democratic House member.
Discussion: Public Policy Polling and Hot Air
RELATED:
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Biden to survey oil spill recovery in Alabama this week
Discussion: CNN
Dan Mangan / New York Post:
Chilling toll of Times Sq. ‘bomb’  —  Thankfully, it didn't go off as planned.  —  A secret FBI test of a correctly made version of the Times Square bomb revealed that it “would have killed thousands of people” if it had been made to explode as terrorists had intended, law-enforcement sources told The Post yesterday.
RELATED:
Fox News:
Times Square Bomb Could Have ‘Killed Thousands,’ FBI Test Shows
Discussion: Weekly Standard and World Threats
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog News:
BP photoshops fake photo of crisis command center, posts on main BP site  —  (H/t to AK for spotting this.)  —  UPDATE 12:08PM Eastern 7/20/10: BP has faked yet another oil crisis response photo on its Web site.  —  UPDATE: 11:14PM Eastern: BP has now posted the “original” photo, they claim.
RELATED:
Steven Mufson / Washington Post:
Altered BP photo comes into question
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Six in 10 Workers Hold No Hope of Receiving Social Security  —  Americans aged 18 to 34 are least likely to believe they will ever see benefits  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Six in 10 Americans who have not yet retired believe they will get no Social Security benefits when they retire …
RELATED:
Anne Applebaum / Washington Post:
A government of the people's every wish?
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
CNN:
New Angle ad says society ‘fearful’  —  Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle is out with a new ad Tuesday.  —  (CNN) - A new ad by Sharron Angle highlights the nation's massive deficit and states that “government is the problem.”  —  The television commercial, the second by Angle since …
Discussion: The Politico and The Swamp
RELATED:
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Reid holds slight lead
Peter Wallsten / Wall Street Journal:
Crist Uses His Old Party as a New Foil  —  Senate Push Gains as Florida Governor Sets Himself Off Against State's GOP, With Some Firepower From Obama Camp  —  Gov. Crist has shored up some conservative positions, such as his support for gun rights, while shifting to the left on core issues like abortion, education and gay rights.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Christina Wilkie / The Hill:
Durbin's office chastises some Dream Act backers
Ben Geman / The Hill:
House Dems whack Cheney over oil spill
Bloomberg:
Bin Laden Son Says U.S. May Agree to Let in Family
Ken Ritter / Associated Press:
VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD CASE: ACORN finances leave questions
Discussion: Big Government
Jana Winter / Fox News:
EXCLUSIVE: ‘BMWs’ Help Afghans Go AWOL From Texas Air Base
Discussion: judicialwatch.org
Jason Embry / Austin American-Statesman:
White not planning to attend Obama's Texas fundraisers
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
 Earlier Items: 
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
A City Outsources Everything. Sky Doesn't Fall.
Tim Fernholz / American Prospect:
Ross Douthat's Fear of Opining.
Townhall.com:
Race Card Fraud
Discussion: Betsy's Page