- Get ready for the next manufactured media outrage directed at President Obama: his choice of where to spend his family vacation.
- Ezra Klein on the health care reform process (emphasis mine):
You couldn't possibly have begun this process with more sincere bipartisan intent than Max Baucus, nor with a more productive cross-aisle working relationship than he enjoys with Chuck Grassley. But that hasn't left him with a bipartisan bill and Republican support. So far, it's given him no bill and time for Republican opposition to harden. One of the meta stories of this whole process was that the Senate Finance Committee was supposed to prove that bipartisanship could still work to pass major legislation. Instead, it's proving that it can't.
Something Democratic leaders in the Senate are still trying to come to grips with, apparently.
- The whole "Sarah Palin as a national political figure" meme, according to Jonathan Singer at MyDD, has a simple problem: Americans don't like her very much.
- Republicans have become notorious for using the ballot initiative process to drive base turnout on Election Day (see: marriage amendments in a dozen states, 2004). In Michigan, apparently, the Democrats are contemplating the same thing for 2010.
- The town manager of Fort Myers Beach, Florida, got dismissed from his duties because his wife works in pornography. The mayor of the community gives perhaps the most dimwitted rationale for it:
Fort Myers Beach Mayor Larry Kiker insisted that Scott Janke's termination had nothing to do with his spouse's job, that the town was merely trying to maintain order.
"What we were addressing was a situation where we weren't going to be able to govern the town with all the disruption and interruption," Kiker said.
The plan appears to have backfired.
"I've done over 30 interviews (with media) ... I've gotten hundreds of e-mails, we're getting threatened," Kiker said. "Nobody is getting any work done around here."
Kiker had been tipped off by a reporter earlier in the week, apparently. Here's guessing that Janke's career with Fort Myers Beach is over, but his wife's might be about to take off.
- A new study in the medical journal Pediatrics makes the connection between exposure to pollution by expectant mothers and lower IQ's in children. Expect Senator Inhofe to say that pollution makes you smarter any minute now.
- Chris Cilizza of The Fix updates his Senate rankings, and finds that four of the six most vulnerable seats in the Senate are GOP-held seats.
- Dave Weigel is on top of it: McCain's team investigated the birther conspiracy theory during the course of the 2008 campaign, and came up with nothing. McCain's general counsel Trevor Potter sums it up:
“We never saw any evidence that then-Senator Obama had been born outside of the United States. We saw rumors, but nothing that could be sourced to evidence. There were no statements and no documents that suggested he was born somewhere else. On the other side, there was proof that he was born in Hawaii.
So, if the lawyer for McCain-Palin didn't want a piece of it, why are Fox News and Lou Dobbs giving this fiction credibility?