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2:40 PM ET, July 4, 2012


 Top Items: 
CNN Poll: Economic optimism jumping  —  Washington (CNN) - Although most Americans think that the economy is currently in poor shape, economic optimism has skyrocketed since last fall, according to a new national poll.  —  And a CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday also indicates …
Discussion: Ballot Box and Politico
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Romney shifts, says mandate's a tax  —  Directly contradicting his senior adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney told CBS that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is “a tax.”  —  Earlier this week, Fehrnstrom said in a TV appearance that Romney …
Discussion: Daily Kos, ABCNEWS and Business Insider
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Romney Directly Contradicts His Campaign, Now Insists Health Mandate Is ‘A Tax’  —  Earlier this week, Mitt Romney's top campaign adviser broke with the entire Republican party and insisted that the individual mandate at the center of the Affordable Care Act and Massachusetts' 2006 health care law is “not a tax.”
Discussion: rubber hose
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Obama camp, super PAC go there on tax evasion
Discussion: CNN, Mediaite, Ballot Box and Daily Kos
Elise Foley / The Huffington Post:
Chris Collins: 'People Now Don't Die From Prostate Cancer, Breast Cancer' … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  Health Care, Video, Affordable Care Act, Chris Collins Affordable Care Act, Chris Collins Health Care, Kathy Hochul, Chris Collins, Obamacare, Politics News
Randy Barnett / The Volokh Conspiracy:
The Declaration of Independence Annotated  —  [From the next edition of my casebook, Constitutional Law: Cases in Context:]  —  When reading the Declaration, it is worth keeping in mind two very important facts.  The Declaration constituted high treason against the Crown and every person …
Discussion: The Agitator
Thomas Fleming / Wall Street Journal:
What Life Was Like in 1776  —  Americans had the highest per capita income in the civilized world, paid the lowest taxes—and were determined to keep it that way.  —  Almost every American knows the traditional story of July Fourth—the soaring idealism of the Declaration of Independence …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Althouse
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
The eternal meaning of Independence Day  —  On July 9, 1858, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas gave a campaign speech to a raucous throng from the balcony of the Tremont Hotel in Chicago.  Abraham Lincoln was in the audience when Douglas prepared to speak.  Douglas invited Lincoln to come join him on the balcony to watch the speech.
New York Times:
As Weather Channel Buys Wunderground, Storm Clouds Brew Among Fans  —  It's stormy out there.  —  The announcement on Monday that the Weather Channel Companies, owners of television's Weather Channel and, would buy one of its rivals, Weather Underground, set off howls of displeasure …
Discussion: Democracy Now and Althouse
Vanity Fair:
Ben Bradlee's 20 Best Verbal or Written Barbs Microsoft's Downfall: Inside the Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture That Felled a Tech Giant  —  Microsoft C.E.O. Steve Ballmer delivers the keynote address at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, on January 9.
Discussion: Guardian, MarketBeat and TechCrunch
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
The Recession-Proof Fireworks Industry … - Egypt's New President Is Awfully Critical of the United States.  Should We Be Worried?  — Manjoo: Apple's iPhone Used To Be the Best.  But Its Competitors Have Caught Up.  — Why the Higgs Boson Discovery Is Such a Big Deal …
Debbie Siegelbaum / The Hill:
Obama hosts naturalization ceremony, presses Congress on immigration reform  —  President Obama helped celebrate the Fourth of July Wednesday by naturalizing more than two-dozen active duty service members, and used the opportunity to press lawmakers to take up comprehensive immigration reform.
Discussion: Politico
SOM - State of Michigan:
Snyder signs most of election reform legislation  —  LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation to increase election transparency, prevent election fraud and provide consistency across all voting locations.  —  The election reform bills provide for better documentation …
Discussion: Politico and The Raw Story
Dave Murray /
Gov. Snyder vetoes election bills denounced as ‘voter suppression’ by critics
Discussion: Daily Kos
Eric Kleefeld /
TPMMuckraker  —  Michigan's Republican Governor Vetoes Voter ‘Fraud’ Bills
Gregg Carlstrom / AJE - Al Jazeera English:
Arafat's widow calls to exhume his body  —  A nine-month investigation suggests that the late Palestinian leader may have been poisoned with polonium.  —  It was a scene that riveted the world for weeks: The ailing Yasser Arafat, first besieged by Israeli tanks in his Ramallah compound …
New York Times:
Too Quiet, Again, on Health Care  —  Nearly two dozen Pennsylvania residents, interviewed recently by Abby Goodnough of The Times, said they were opposed to President Obama's health care reform law.  Though almost all of them would benefit from it, they expressed fears about a loss of control …
NEWS FLASH  —  North Carolina General Assembly Officially Dismantles The Racial Justice Act |  Today in North Carolina, the Republican-dominated General Assembly overrode Gov. Bev Perdue's (D-NC) veto of the rewritten Racial Justice Act.  The landmark legislation allowed North Carolina death row inmates …
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
North Carolina Defunds Planned Parenthood In Midnight Vote, Overriding Veto
STUDY: Medicaid Expansion Saves States Billions  —  Republican politicians across the country claim that Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid, the widely popular program which makes health insurance available for lower-income Americans, will increase costs for states.
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 More Items: 
Matthew Spalding, Ph.D. / The Heritage Foundation:
Morning Bell: Does the Declaration of Independence Still Matter?
Discussion: Doug Ross
Gov. Bobby Jindal / RedState:
Declaration of Independence, not Dependence
Discussion: Sister Toldjah
Mike Konczal /
The IMF Goes All-Out on Balance-Sheet Recessions, Providing Sanity on Economic Policy
Meghashyam Mali / Ballot Box:
Report: Rep. Cuellar to skip Dem convention
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Weekly Standard
Erika Johnsen / Hot Air:
Bam: Trend of CO2 emissions falling toward 1991 levels
Fox News:
Do not disturb: Oregon town cancels fireworks to spare sea birds
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Anti-abortion amendment a no-go in Ohio
Discussion: The Raw Story
Tina Daunt / Hollywood Reporter:
Gwen Stefani to Host Fundraiser with Michelle Obama
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Reuters
Mhigginscbs / CBS Charlotte:
Judge Sentences Woman To Read Bible For Drunk Driving Conviction
Justin Sink / The Hill:
RNC's Priebus on Rep. Allen West ‘slave’ comment: I'm not GOP ‘police officer’
Discussion: Politico
Nicholas Watt / Guardian:
David Cameron ‘prepared to halt immigration of Greeks into UK’
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
The “narrative” of judicial intrigue