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8:25 PM ET, July 8, 2011


 Top Items: 
Cheryl Contee / Jack & Jill Politics:
Michelle Bachmann Signs Pledge that Says Black Children Better Off During Slavery  —  In Iowa, there's a social conservative pledge called “The Marriage Vow - A Declaration of Dependence upon Marriage and Family” that is anti-abortion, anti-same sex marriage, anti-divorce etc etc that GOP candidates are being urged to sign.
The Note:
Bachmann Signs Pledge for Ban on Porn and Same-Sex Marriage  —  ABC News' Russell Goldman (@GoldmanRussell) reports:  —  Michele Bachmann became the first presidential candidate to sign a pledge, vowing to support a constitutional amendment that defines marriage between a man and a woman, and which calls for a ban on all pornography.
Zack Ford / ThinkProgress:
The FAMiLY Leader's Marriage Pledge Says Unwed Slaves Preferable Parents For African-Americans
Christine Hauser / New York Times:
Job Growth Falters Badly, Clouding Hope for Recovery  —  The United States economy added a meager 18,000 jobs in June, up from a gain of a revised 25,000 jobs in May, the Department of Labor said on Friday.  The unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent from 9.1 percent in May, the department said.
Jobs Picture Gets Even Worse as Rate Swells to 9.2%
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
What did David Plouffe really say about unemployment?  —  Senior Obama adviser David Plouffe is getting widely pilloried on the right today for claiming that people won't vote in 2012 “based on the unemployment rate.”  —  Plouffe made the comments to reporters at a Bloomberg breakfast earlier this week.
Jake Tapper / Political Punch:
What's the White House Doing Today to Create Jobs?  And Plouffe's Comments on Unemployment: Today's Qs for O's WH - 7/8/2011  —  CARNEY: Well, for several weeks, some of them.  But yeah. … CARNEY: Well, the trade deals have not been in front of Congress for that long.
Julie Mason / Reuters:
Plouffe: It's about vision, not jobs
Susan Crabtree / TPMDC:
Rep. Ryan Tastes The Grapes Of Wrath  —  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), a leading advocate of shrinking entitlement spending and the architect of the plan to privatize Medicare, spent Wednesday evening sipping $350 wine with two like-minded conservative economists at the swanky Capitol Hill eatery Bistro Bis.
Joshua Green / The Atlantic Online:
Paul Ryan's $350 Bottle of Wine  —  Remember John Edwards's $400 haircut?  That turned out to be quite a problem for him.  It looks like Paul Ryan is about have a similar problem on his hands.  According to this astounding article (with pictures) at Talking Points Memo, Ryan …
Discussion: Corrente
Erika Gudmundson / U.S. Department of the Treasury:
FACT CHECK: Treasury General Counsel George Madison Responds to New York Times Op-Ed on 14th Amendment  —  Treasury's General Counsel George Madison submitted to the New York Times today the following letter to the editor:  —  620 Eighth Avenue  —  New York, NY 10018  —  To the Editor:
Laurence H. Tribe / New York Times:
A Ceiling We Can't Wish Away
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
What's In A Name?  Dems Support Social Security Benefit Cut — By Calling It Something Else  —  Social Security benefit cuts may be a bridge too far for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).  But what if Republicans and Democrats alike just agreed to refer to a benefit cut by another name.
Seung Min Kim / The Politico:   Nancy Pelosi: No entitlement cuts
Alan Silverleib / CNN:   GOP ties jobs numbers to anti-tax stance in debt talks
David Leonhardt / Economix:
The Cost of Austerity  —  The main problem with the job market is the lack of hiring by private employers.  Above all, they aren't sure what the future will bring.  —  Financial crises have long hangovers, and this one is no exception.  Home sales and car sales remain depressed …
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:   The High Price Of Austerity
Dan Amira / New York Magazine:
President Obama Receiving Sycophantic Laughter  —  While President Obama certainly has an above-average sense of humor for a politician — easy-going, self-effacing, maybe a little corny at times — he's not known as one of the planet's foremost comedians.  Yet photographic evidence compiled …
Rand Simberg / Popular Mechanics:
6 False Lessons Of The Space Shuttle  —  With the final flight of shuttle Atlantis sparking inspired debate over where NASA should go from here, PM contributor Rand Simberg warns against some of the conclusions that observers are drawing from 30 years of shuttle flights.  —  The last space shuttle flight has now launched.
Discussion: National Review
Matthew Hendley / The Daily Pulp:
TSA Agent Caught With Passenger's iPad in His Pants; Allegedly Took $50,000 in Other Goods, Cops Say  —  While most Transportation Security Administration employees are busy groping people or taking naked pictures of them, the cops say one of those employees was putting fliers' electronics down his pants.
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
CHART: Over 500,000 Government Jobs Lost Since Obama's Inauguration  —  So should we blame today's bad jobs numbers on Barack Obama's big government policies?  Again, I doubt it.  What we continue to see are decent—though not great—private sector job numbers offset by tumbling public sector employment:
Mike / Rortybomb:   Some Graphs for the Terrible June Jobs Numbers
Andrew Tilghman / Army Times:
Pentagon suspends DADT in wake of court ruling  —  The Pentagon has ordered a halt to all separations of gay troops under “don't ask, don't tell” and will begin accepting applications from prospective recruits who identify themselves as homosexuals.  —  The moratorium issued Friday came …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
What Obama Wants  —  On Thursday, President Obama met with Republicans to discuss a debt deal.  We don't know exactly what was proposed, but news reports before the meeting suggested that Mr. Obama is offering huge spending cuts, possibly including cuts to Social Security and an end …
Archbishop Dolan / The Gospel in the Digital Age:
Some Afterthoughts  —  Almost two weeks ago — hauntingly, on the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist, whom King Herod would behead because the saint dared to defend the God-given truth about marriage — our state sadly attempted a re-definition of marriage.  Is there anything left to say?
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
GOP allies hatching sleazy dirty tricks in Wisconsin recall wars  —  It looks like allies of Wisconsin Republicans are growing so desperate that they're resorting to sleazy dirty tricks in their last-ditch bid to help the GOP hang on to the state senate.  —  This is deep in the weeds, but bear with me.
Byron Tau / Ben Smith's Blog:
DSCC fires back at Koch brothers  —  The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, after soliciting funds from the Koch Brothers, have decided that they're a much better foil.  DSCC executive director Guy Cecil writes a letter in response, blaming the DSCC campaign solicitation on a staff error:
John Marzulli / NY Daily News:
High school dropout convicted of trying to join terrorist group so he could kill U.S. troops  —  A Brooklyn high school dropout was convicted Thursday of conspiring to join a foreign terrorist group so he could kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.  —  Betim Kaziu faces life in prison …
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 More Items: 
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
What Really Matters
Discussion: Modeled Behavior
Aharding / CNN:
Rangel: What would Jesus do on the debt talks?
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Caroline May / The Daily Caller:
New EPA rules to devastate coal industry
Ray Reed /
GOP's Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann to speak at Liberty University
Discussion: The Hill
Jeffrey Gettleman / New York Times:
South Sudan, the Newest Nation, Is Full of Hope and Problems
Discussion: Law Blog and ThinkProgress
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Obama weak in Pennsylvania
Discussion: Hot Air and GOP 12
Tony Radar / RADAR:
Casey Anthony Offered $1 Million For TV Appearance
 Earlier Items: 
The Daily Beast:
Why ‘Obamacare’ May Live  —  The once-fervent Republican effort …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Wisconsin schools buck union to cut health costs
Confederate Yankee:
It's a Trap!  —  I've seen several claims in the past 24 hours that …
Discussion: Fausta's Blog
Andrew Frye / Bloomberg:
Buffett Bets ‘Heavily’ Against Double Dip
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Bachmann: ‘I Hope’ Higher Unemployment Will Help My Campaign