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  First Read, 7/17/09; 11:46:34 AM. 
  Bipartisan senators ask for more time.

From NBC's Ken Strickland
Facing a White House-imposed August deadline to pass the health-care reform bill, a bipartisan group of senators is asking Democratic and Republican leaders for more time to write a bipartisan bill. "There is much heavy lifting ahead," wrote Sens. Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Ron Wyden, Susan Collins, Mary Landrieu, and Olympia Snowe.

"We support the efforts of Finance Committee members to produce a bipartisan bill, despite calls on both sides of the aisle to rush forward or delay indefinitely," they wrote to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

"While we are committed to providing relief for American families as quickly as possible, we believe that taking additional time to achieve a bipartisan result is critical for legislation that affects 17% of our economy and every individual in the U.S."

One of the letter's authors -- Snowe -- took her request directly to President Obama in a White House meeting yesterday. She met resistance.

...(read more)

  BBC News | Americas | World Edition, 7/17/09; 11:46:31 AM. 
  Shipping emissions plan 'stalls'. Plans to reduce rising emissions from global shipping have faltered at a key international meeting.

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  General Electric earnings tumble. General Electric's earnings fell 47% to $2.9bn in the second quarter from the same period last year as the slowdown hit.

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  IBM increases earnings forecasts. IBM raises its earnings forecast and posts quarterly profits ahead of expectations, even as sales and revenue fall.

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  Moon memories. Readers recall how they watched the first Moon landing

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  Wired Top Stories, 7/17/09; 11:46:17 AM. 
  5 Atrocious Science Cliches to Throw Down a Black Hole. Wired.com is throwing an extended black hole party to get rid of stuff that sucks. This week, Wired Science chucks in the worst cliches used to describe science. Add your own cliches and vote on what you hate most.

  Bush-Era Plans to Reach Moon and Beyond Still Alive Under Obama. Despite rumors that NASA's next-gen human space-flight program would be severely cut back or scuttled, Obama's Human Spaceflight Plans Committee said today that no such decision had been made.

  The Caucus, 7/17/09; 11:45:49 AM. 
  Sanford Aide Resigns. The communications director for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford announced that he is resigning in the wake of a scandal in which the governor admitted an extramarital affair.

  Minority Leader to Vote Against Sotomayor Confirmation. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate minority leader, said that he would oppose the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, while three other Republican senators said they intended to vote for her.

  Harry and Louise Return, With a New Message. The fictional suburban couple featured in a campaign about health care reform in the 1990s have changed their tune this time around.

  Analysis: Sotomayor on Foreign Law. On this topic, the judge answered questions directly, but seemed to be saying two things at once.

  Lugar Will Vote to Confirm Sotomayor. The Indiana Republican cites the judge's performance this week as evidence that she shows the judicial temperament and qualifications necessary for the Supreme Court.

  NPR Topics: News, 7/17/09; 11:45:42 AM. 
  Obama Delivers Thanks, Tough Love To NAACP. President Barack Obama addressed the NAACP annual meeting on Thursday. The national convention, held in New York City, marked 100 years since the civil rights organization began its fight for equality on behalf of African-Americans. NAACP board chairman Julian Bond offers a recap of the speech and responds to criticism that the organization is no longer relevant.

  Matthew Yglesias, 7/17/09; 11:45:40 AM. 
  Socialized Medicine in Australia. An Australian who follows American political debates closely weighs in with a description of the joys of socialized medicine as practiced in the antipodes: We have a wonderful balance here in Australia. If you need health care and canâ•˙t afford it, you can get it. Everyone can get it. There are a multitude [...]

  OMB Sends Letter to the Hill Recommending MedPAC Reform. As alluded earlier the White House is preparing to really throw its shoulder behind the idea of reforming the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission as a way to get some more curve-bending into health care legislation. The latest sign of that is a letter from OMB Director Peter Orszag addressed to key legislative leaders in the [...]

  Where The Jobs Are. Via Ryan Avent a map of job listings per capita in major metropolitan areas: DC is number one, and Baltimore is number two. Smells like socialism. Not sure about the methodology, though, so I'm not sure how much stock I should put in it. Clearly, though, the metro DC economy is in better-than-average shape and I [...]

  Commentary, 7/17/09; 11:45:31 AM. 
  Has the Magic Worn Off?. As Pete documents, Obama's magical rhetoric seems to be losing its power. He may be selling, but the public isn't buying. Nowhere is this more vividly displayed than on health care. Rick Klein explains: Weâ•˙re seeing sticker shock spread through the Capitol. Weâ•˙re seeing Democrats fight with each other. Weâ•˙re seeing middle-of-the-night committee votes. Weâ•˙re seeing the unemployment rate rising. [...]

  The Microsoft Blog, 7/17/09; 11:45:10 AM. 
  Microsoft-Yahoo search deal 'imminent'. Microsoft and Yahoo sources, and Wall Street analysts, are saying a search and online advertising deal between the two companies is imminent and could be announced as early as next week. By nickeaton@seattlepi.com (Nick Eaton).

  AP Top Headlines At 2:35 p.m. EDT, 7/17/09; 11:45:09 AM. 
  Yao Ming to have foot surgery. HOUSTON (AP) -- Rockets center Yao Ming will have surgery on his broken left foot next week and the team says he may not be available until the training camp before the 2010-11 season.... By By CHRIS DUNCAN.

  USATODAY.com - On Politics, 7/17/09; 11:45:09 AM. 
  Politics of Twitter: Who's following whose every move. Politicians can show support for each other through endorsements, campaign cash and appearances at stump stops. But how about Twitter? We scanned several pols' accounts to see who in politics keeps up with whose every move. While some follow no...

  A cash dump for climate change?. As House Democratic leaders were pushing on-the-fence members of their own caucus to vote for a climate change bill last month they were also pumping big bucks into their campaign accounts, blogger Glenn Thrush is reporting at Politico. The cap-and-trade...

  Reuters: Politics, 7/17/09; 11:45:03 AM. 
  House committee wants auto task force documents. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A congressional committee approved a resolution on Friday seeking documents and other information from the Obama administration's autos task force regarding major decisions made on the restructuring of General Motors Corp and Chrysler LLC.
  House panel backs transport, housing funding. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A House panel approved a 25 percent boost in funding on Friday for domestic housing and transportation programs for fiscal 2010, in a bid to help Americans struggling to keep a roof over their head or find work.
  CNET News.com, 7/17/09; 11:44:58 AM. 
  Mars500 sojourners emerge from isolation. Euro-sextet ends a simulated Mars mission after 105 days sealed into a facility designed to mimic a potential spacecraft built to fly to Mars and back.
  CityMove lets movers fight for your business. Making a move? CityMove lets you put it online like an auction for movers to bid on. As the person moving you get to choose the company and the price.
  Will Apple sue Microsoft over Laptop Hunter ads?. A lawyer quoted in AdAge feels Apple has a good case against Microsoft over its Laptop Hunter campaign. The only question is whether Apple would actually gain anything from a lawsuit.
  Canadian official takes issue with Facebook privacy. A new report from Canada's privacy commissioner expresses concern about third parties accessing member data as well as how long Facebook holds onto the content from deactivated profiles.
  BBC News | News Front Page | UK Edition, 7/17/09; 11:44:52 AM. 
  Superb England dominate Australia. James Anderson takes four wickets as Australia slump to 156-8 after a riveting second day in the second Ashes Test at Lord's.

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  Woods could miss first Open cut. Tiger Woods is in serious danger of missing his first cut at the Open after hitting a 74 on round two to finish five over.

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  eBay fraudster jailed once more. A notorious eBay fraudster is imprisoned for conning more internet users out of thousands after his release from jail.

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  The World Newser, 7/17/09; 11:44:41 AM. 
  Bob Woodruff's First-Hand Account of Security at Bombed Jakarta Hotel. ABC's Bob Woodruff and Christine Romo report: Two weeks ago we were in Indonesia shooting a story on deforestation. While we were passing through Jakarta on our way to Sumatra, we stayed one night at that JW Marriott -- the...
  WATCH: Bomb Rips Through Hotel in Jakarta. Nine people are dead and over 50 are wounded after coordinated bomb blasts ripped through two hotels in Jakarta. Indonesian security officials believe suicide bombers staying at the hotels are responsible for the attacks. Senior U.S. officials say the bombings...
  Fact Checking President Obama's NAACP Speech. ABC's Brian Hartman reports from Washington: President Obama delivered a forceful speech at the 100th anniversary dinner, touting racial progress while warning substantial disparities continue to haunt the black community. I checked the numbers behind the rhetoric and they indeed...
  techPresident, 7/17/09; 11:44:40 AM. 
  Daily Digest | When Governments 2.0 and 1.0 Collide.

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  Engadget, 7/17/09; 11:44:37 AM. 
  Ford to swap out spark plugs for lasers, windshields for googly eyes.

Ah, yes... the future. Remember that? That magical land of flying cars, wearable chariots and Robot Apocalypse? Well, none of that has come to pass (yet!) but if researchers at Liverpool University have their way (and all indications are that they will) the next Ford you purchase will use a laser beam ignition system instead of spark plugs. According to The Telegraph (UK), lasers can be split into multiple beams and aimed at multiple ignition points, making the new system much more reliable. In addition, the engine's cold weather performance is improved -- and as the article points out, "this is the time when around 80 per cent of the exhaust emissions are produced and the engine is at is least efficient." And if that weren't enough, the laser system produces more stable combustion, using less fuel in the process. Consumers can expect to see this technology hit showrooms "within the next few years."

[Via Auto Blog]

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Ford to swap out spark plugs for lasers, windshields for googly eyes originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 14:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 beta adds Windows 7 conveniences.

It wasn't too hard to see this one coming, but Microsoft has now officially rolled out the beta version of Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 which, among other things, brings with it a slew of new features that tie into Windows 7. That includes support for full image backup of Windows 7 PCs, Windows 7 libraries support for shared media folders, built-in Windows Search 4, and a number of Windows Media Center enhancements, as well as "better support for netbook computers," although Microsoft doesn't seem to have elaborated too much on that. No word on a release date for the non-beta version just yet, but Microsoft is apparently hoping to get it out in advance of Windows 7 -- and, yes, it will be a free update for current Windows Home Server users.

[Via The Windows Blog]

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Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 beta adds Windows 7 conveniences originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 13:51:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  POLITICO Top Stories, 7/17/09; 11:43:39 AM. 
  Summers: Google search is progress. He says consumer confidence is up because fewer people are googling "economic depression." By Eamon Javers.

  A VC, 7/17/09; 11:43:37 AM. 
  Seeking A Strong API/Platform Engineer. Our portfolio company Meetup has big potential for its API and platform and is looking for a super strong engineer to lead its efforts in this area. Meetup is located in NYC and is a strong, well funded leader in...
  Salon: How the World Works, 7/17/09; 11:43:36 AM. 
  Gary Locke's Shanghai surprise.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, speaking to the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai on Friday.

From Reuters:

"It's important that those who consume the products being made all around the world to the benefit of America -- and it's our own consumption activity that's causing the emission of greenhouse gases, then quite frankly Americans need to pay for that."

Untangle the slightly confused syntax there, and Secretary Locke is making an extraordinary statement: Americans should pay for the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacturing and transport of products that they consumer -- no matter where they are made. I don't necessarily disagree with that, but it's certainly a new line of argument from the Obama administration.

Keith Johnson at Environmental Capital interpreted the statement as meaning that "rich-country consumers should pick up the tab for some of China's industrial emissions" and that "China, of course, loves the idea."

But how, exactly? I'm having some trouble parsing Locke. The Waxman-Markey bill passed by the House two weeks ago notoriously includes provisions for carbon tariffs, which would hike the price of imported goods according to the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions associated with their production. President Obama is on the record as opposing such "green protectionism" and China hates it. But wouldn't any mechanism that had American consumers paying the price of Chinese greenhouse gas emissions be a tariff or tax on those goods? Or is Locke saying that we need to somehow directly subsidize China not to emit greenhouse gas emissions?

  Wonkette, 7/17/09; 11:43:32 AM. 
   QUOTE OF THE DAY: From an alleged medical doctor on Fox News: "I donâ•˙t know if youâ•˙ve seen the movie Bruno, but thereâ•˙s a scene there where Sacha Baron Cohen invites Paula Abdul to be interviewed on chairs made out of Mexicans. And thatâ•˙s exactly what the Obama or the congressional plan does." [Think Progress]

  National Review's Andy McCarthy Has Theory About Barack Obama And Baseball. Former federal prosecutor and current National Review smart person Andy McCarthy has a number of interesting political opinions about such things as Barack Obama's memoir, Barack Obama's attitude towards Iran, and the Uighurs. Now he has a new interesting political opinion about Barack Obama's first pitch at the Baseball All-Star Game Tuesday night. What does [...]

  REPULSIVE OLD DIXIECRAT ZELL MILLER STILL ALIVE, AS PROVEN BY THIS RACIST REMARK ABOUT OBAMA: "Miller punctuated his speech with a not-too-subtle racial barb at President Obama, saying he needs to stop meeting with foreign heads of state and that Rahm Emanuel ought to get some ‘Gorilla Glue' to keep Obama tied to his chair [...]

  Crooks and Liars, 7/17/09; 11:43:30 AM. 
  Rachel Maddow Tells Pat Buchanan to Quit Living in the 1950's and That He's Playing With Fire With His Rhetoric.
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During what was at times a bit of a heated exchange, but way too chummy in general -- given the type of browbeating Pat Buchanan actually deserves for his continued racist remarks on MSNBC -- Rachel Maddow ends up telling Pat Buchanan to quit living in the 1950s, and that he's fanning the flames of racial hatred with his rhetoric. Before that, she gives him ample opportunity to put on full display, again, just how horribly he thinks the poor, downtrodden white man is being treated in America.

Some of Patâ•˙s "finer" moments during the interview.

-- Comparing Sonia Sotomayor to Harriet Miers.

-- Calling her a purely affirmative action candidate by the President and completely dismissing her academic accomplishments.

-- Saying that ╲white folks╡ built this country.

-- Calling Bork and Scalia ╲real scholars╡ and "tremendous minds" and saying Sotomayor hasnâ•˙t risen to their level.

-- Saying the only reason she was appointed to the bench was because of affirmative action.

-- Complaining about Sotomayor getting a chance to go to the best schools and knocking out someone who might have gotten better grades than her. When has Pat Buchanan ever complained about the likes of George Bush and other legacy children being allowed into the best schools because of who their parents are, and knocking other kids out? I would guess he has not. Iâ•˙ve certainly never heard him bring it up. Rachel should have called him on that one if he'd let her get a word in to do it.

When asked if she got the grades she did in college because of affirmative action, saying that in the Ivy League schools, half the kids graduate cum laude now. Really? So they're raising students' grade point averages in college now and no one told the rest of us about it? Then retreating to saying he bet he graduated higher in his high school class than she did, and going so far as to say he probably did better than she did in college as well, but he doesn't think he's qualified to be on the Supreme Court.

So being a judge for seventeen years doesn't count for anything in Pat's world. And Pat says he did better than she did in school, without backing that up with any specifics. If anyone knows just what his grade point averages were in high school and college, I'd like to find out.

He compared the track team at the Olympics potentially being all black or a hockey team being all white to the racial make up of the Supreme Court. Yeah, that's exactly the same thing, Pat. He seems to have forgotten that there was a time not all that long ago that blacks in America were not even allowed to play on the same team as white people.

And he refused to say there is anything wrong with the fact that the Supreme Court has been made up almost entirely of white men for all these years and might benefit from other races being represented. He dodged back opining over the firemen they trotted out there as a political game at the hearing rather than answer the question.

I really don't understand why Rachel felt the need to bring him on if she was going to let him lie and talk over her for the better part of the interview. She's just not aggressive enough to deal with the likes of this bully, and he knows it. MSNBC has allowed Buchanan to become a racist sideshow on their network. As Media Matters has wondered: What would Pat Buchanan have to say to get himself fired from MSNBC?


  Gizmodo, 7/17/09; 11:43:20 AM. 
   Frog Design's Hartmut Esslinger On Design in 1979 [Design] . Hartmut Esslinger's Frog Design made WEGA/Sony's electronics fetish items, and then designed the "Snow White" language the Mac used. He's a design legend and an author. Here he tells us about the...
   What In the Hell Is Palm Doing with These Pre Ads? [Advertising] . Hey look, it's another Palm Pre ad starring Tamara Hope! And I…don't get it. I mean, sure. Palm could show off the features of the Pre in an obvious way. But I guess they think that pulling a...
   First Images of the Apollo Landing Sites in 40 Years [Apollo 11] . At last! NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has sent photos of the Apollo lunar landing sites, the first images ever since the Apollo missions. I will say it once again, one last time: Moon landing...
  The Nation: Top Stories, 7/17/09; 11:42:51 AM. 
  A Real Win for Single Payer Advocates.

  Crooked Timber, 7/17/09; 11:42:40 AM. 
  Vance in the NYT. The New York Times Magazine has a long, appreciative article on Jack Vance, which seems to me to be more or less exactly right on his virtues (his wonderful prose, most especially his characters' ornate conversational style, which confects a froth of cupidity, amour-propre and sundry other ignoble motives into spun-sugar extravagances of rococo diction), [...]

  CNN Political Ticker, 7/17/09; 11:42:38 AM. 
  Poll: Obama approval rating dips under 60 percent. President Obama's approval rating has dropped under 60 percent according to a CNN Poll of Polls released Friday. WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An average of five national polls conducted in July indicates that President Barack Obama's approval rating has slipped under 60 percent. Fifty-seven percent of Americans surveyed approve of the job Obama's doing as president, according [...]

  A third 'C Street' Republican embroiled in sex scandal. Pickering, a former Republican congressman from Mississippi, is accused of having an affair. (CNN) – The wife of former Republican Rep. Chip Pickering filed a lawsuit late Tuesday against her husband's alleged mistress, making the former six-term congressman from Mississippi the third politician associated with the Capitol Hill "Christian Fellowship" home to be embroiled in a [...]

  DSCC links Palin to GOP Senate hopefuls. A new web video links Sarah Palin to Charlie Crist and Kelly Ayotte. WASHINGTON (CNN) – Senate Democrats are using Sarah Palin's decision to leave office later this month in a new Web video linking the Alaska governor to two GOP candidates in key battleground states. The spot features an oath of office repeated by voices [...]

  The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan, 7/17/09; 11:42:07 AM. 
  Photos From Today. by Patrick Appel More here. (Hat tip: Tehran Bureau)

  Who's Afraid of the World Wide Web?. by Conor Friedersdorf A long piece at GQ tells the disturbing story of Tony Stanci, an 18 year old high school senior who created a fake female identity on Facebook, flirted with male classmates by Internet chat, and successfully encouraged...

  Health Insurance And Organ Donation. by Patrick Appel The LA Times agrees with the first reader, though it would be great if this was the standard.

  NewsHour with Jim Lehrer | PBS, 7/17/09; 11:42:05 AM. 
  At NAACP Centennial, Obama Speaks of Continuing Struggle Against Racism. President Barack Obama delivered a rousing speech Thursday to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, paying tribute to the organization's history and challenging its members to confront continued racial disparities.
  Latest Politics Headlines - CBS News, 7/17/09; 11:42:04 AM. 
  Video: Politics for Entertainment. Bob Schieffer talks to Armando Iannucci, director of the film "In The Loop," a political satire.
  Video: Jakarta Terrorist Bombings. CBS security consultant Juan Zarate talks to Bob Orr about breaking details from the terrorist attacks at two hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  CNN.com, 7/17/09; 11:41:19 AM. 
  For some, moon landings were all a lie. It captivated millions of people around the world for eight days in the summer of 1969. It brought glory to the embattled U.S. space program and inspired beliefs that anything was possible. It's arguably the greatest technological feat of the 20th century. And to some, it was all a lie.

  U.S. drone suspected of killing 5 in Pakistan. A suspected U.S. drone attack killed five militants Friday when a missile was fired on a Taliban stronghold into a village in northwest Pakistan, Pakistani government sources told CNN.

  From boutique law firm to federal bench. Sonia Sotomayor had been a federal appeals court judge for about four months when Ellen Chapnick got a phone call in 1998.

  Obama: 'Capacity for cruelty still exists'. President Obama walked across the grounds of a slave outpost in Ghana. "You almost feel as if the walls can speak," he said. The visit followed a Senate apology on slavery, sparking a debate over whether it's necessary. A descendant of Northern slave traders told CNN: "What most Americans don't know is the extensive complicity of the North in slavery."

  Commentary: What parents can do for their kids. Raising the quality of teaching and learning in American schools is a priority. It receives a great deal of attention in our national discourse and should receive more.

  Suspect cofesses to border town killings. A member of a fringe civilian border enforcement group has confessed to killing an Arizona man and his daughter because the 9-year-old's shooting death "weighed him down," a sheriff's investigator said.

  Gen Y and breast cancer -- 'it's just a boob'. It's Saturday night. Three young women are dressed to the nines at a trendy bistro on Rush Street in downtown Chicago. They're having drinks outside on the kind of summer night that makes you fall in love with the city.

  CNN.com - Politics, 7/17/09; 11:41:18 AM. 
  Commentary: Sotomayor the crime fighter. Many have noted Judge Sonia Sotomayor's personal story -- from being raised by a single mother in a public housing project in the Bronx to top honors at Princeton and Yale and now, potentially the Supreme Court -- will give her a perspective that other justices lack.
  Sotomayor learned the ropes on 'Tarzan' case. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor graduated with honors from Ivy League schools. But she may have learned some of her most memorable lessons as a young prosecutor, following police into abandoned tenements and tracking down witnesses on the grimy streets of New York.
  Firedoglake, 7/17/09; 11:41:16 AM. 
  Principled Conservatism: American Conservative Union Caught Whoring Itself Out to Highest Bidder. The ACU, that venerable organization founded by the likes of William F. Buckley and L. Brent Bozell and host of the annual CPAC convention, is no better than a street ho. The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the groupâ•˙s endorsement in a bitter legislative dispute, then flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay. For the $2 million

  Ben Nelson Calls House Health Care Bill ╲Class Warfare╡. " I spoke with a friend in the Lobby World yesterday. He says the health care issue has become interesting. He says the Public Option has moved from "No Chance." To: "Distant Maybe." But he says that tiny move has created a full on panic by the Insurance and Big Pharma teams. The clients who hire the lobbyists you have met have sent down the orders: Spend Everything!!! Kill This!!!"

  Reuters: U.S., 7/17/09; 11:41:15 AM. 
  House Democratic leaders pledge healthcare progress. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday hailed "historic" progress on healthcare legislation and pledged to continue momentum to deliver on President Barack Obama's vow of reform.
  U.S. CDC fears more swine flu cases in fall. CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The new H1N1 swine flu virus is still circulating and will likely cause more disease in the fall, when schoolchildren return from summer break, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official said Friday.
  Madoff auditor waives indictment. NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bernard Madoff's former outside accountant told a judge on Friday that he would waive his right to a criminal indictment on fraud charges, a sign he might reach agreement with prosecutors to resolve his case.
  Explosion at Chicago biodiesel plant injures two. CHICAGO (Reuters) - An explosion related to biodiesel production heavily damaged a processing plant on Friday and injured two workers, authorities said.
  The Page by Mark Halperin, 7/17/09; 11:41:00 AM. 
  Obama to Speak on Health Reform. President plans to deliver remarks 3:15 pm ET Friday at the White House. Will also hold closed press meetings with Sens. Conrad, Bayh.

  Slow Down. Bipartisan group of six Senators writes to Reid, McConnell asking for more time to work on health care. Find out who they are and read excerpts here.

  India Ink. SecState Clinton pens op-ed in the Times of India ahead of Friday trip, urges cooperation with U.S. and reconciliation with Pakistan.

  POLITICO.com: Politics, 7/17/09; 11:40:58 AM. 
  Senators seek more time on health care. A bipartisan group of six senators issue a formal request to Reid and McConnell asking for more time.  By Carrie Budoff Brown.

  AP Top Political News At 2:29 p.m. EDT, 7/17/09; 11:40:57 AM. 
  Obama quickly plans health care statement. WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has quickly scheduled a statement on health care for Friday afternoon as concerns rise about the cost of new legislation.... By .

  Top Senate Republican to oppose Sotomayor. WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate's top Republican will vote against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.... By By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS.

  Senate's lone Hispanic Republican backs Sotomayor. WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate's lone Hispanic Republican says he'll vote for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.... By By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS.

  AP source: Unions OK drop of 'card check' in bill. WASHINGTON (AP) -- Labor leaders and Senate Democrats are nearing a deal on a union organizing bill that would allow employers to still demand secret ballot elections before having to recognize a union.... By By SAM HANANEL.

  CrunchGear, 7/17/09; 11:40:57 AM. 
  CrunchDeals: Xbox 360 Pro for $250, refurb Elite for $230. Dell is currently offering a brand new Xbox 360 Pro (60GB) for $250, which is $50 cheaper than it normally goes for. Geeks.com has refurbed 360 Elites for $230 with a 90-day warranty Xbox 360 Elite System w/120GB HDD, HDMI Port, Wireless Controller & Headset [Geeks] Xbox 360 Pro 60GB [Dell]

  Bose SoundLink is like their iPod dock with out the dock part. Bose just launched a computer-based speaker system that plugs into the back of your PC and streams music wirelessly to a single SoundLink speaker. As a fan of their SoundDock I'd say it's pretty cool but $549 for this thing is a bit much in anyone's book. The SoundLink simply shows up as a USB speaker [...]

  Apple presents the Lisa. Wait, there was Internet back in the 1980s? via MacMag.br

  Will Androidâ•˙s Donut drop later this summer?. We did say that T-Mobile would be dropping one more major update this year for Android devices and it looks like The Weather Channel is quasi confirming that. In an interview with the Android Guys, TWC revealed that theyâ•˙ve been working with Donut (2.0) and that their next update is slated for late summer.

  Lucky Germans: You can watch every single Bundesliga game live on your T-Mobile cellphone this season. Good news for German football fans who use T-Mobile. The company's Bundesliga Total service is coming to cellphones. That means you'll be able to watch every single game played in the first and second division from the comfort of your iPhone, G1 and G2. This is all live, by the way, not cheap-o highlights sent to your phone hours after the game has ended.

  Crazy Eddie was really insane, but not in a good way. Giz has some great videos from Crazy Eddie, the guy who went nuts in New York and New England back in the 70s and 80s, selling home appliances and CE to a trendy and naive audience. It's interesting to note that Crazy Eddie could have been lying about his low-low prices. In an era where the [...]

  The PSP Go just showed up on Amazon: Save one whole dollar!. Look what just showed up on Amazon. That's right, it's the PSP Go, ready for pre-order for $248.99. That's a deal, too--you save an entire dollar. That's red-hot.

  CrunchDeals: Storage for all!. scaled6261256e Your pr0n collection is growing. You need more space! Luckily eCost has two great deals today, one for a 1TB drive for $84 and another for a 120GB SSD drive for $323.99. Freakout!

  The Inquisitr, 7/17/09; 11:40:54 AM. 
  Jimmy Kimmel: replace terror alert level with YouTube vids. On his show last night, Jimmy Kimmel made a case for replacing the old and busted terror alert system with new criteria based on viral videos. Because while we may not remember the color hierarchy, we all know how severely horrifying vagina-nipping dogs are.

  Sotomayor confirmation hearings wrapping upâ•œ. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)… unavailable for comment. [Image: Pundit Kitchen]

  Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie want to make a sequel to ╢Mr and Mrs Smithâ•˙.. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie â•„ who met and fell in love on the set of the 2005 movie â•„ are reportedly keen to film a follow-up as they think it will help put the passion back in their relationship. A source close to Brad and Angelina â•„ who raise six children together â•„ said: ╲Theyâ•˙re [...]

  12% of people stupid enough to shop through spam. Thanks, jerks. It's the question most internet users can't seem to wrap their heads around. Why is spam so prevalent? Could anyone possibly be that stupid? What the hell is the point? Surely no one ever buys anything presented to them through the medium of spammy e-mails, right? Wrong. The practice may live on because, in short, [...]

  Unexplainable female driving â•˙skillsâ•˙. The title of this post is borrowed from the title of the video: we make no serious effort therefore to justify the fact as being true…but we liked the video none the less

  Lifehacker, 7/17/09; 11:40:11 AM. 
   The Stylish Ubuntu Desktop [Featured Desktop] . Reader naaamo2004's Ubuntu desktop proves that Linux can be slick, stylish, and functional all at the same time. The desktop is a combination of: Ubuntu with a custom theme. Avant window...
   Shop at Local Ethnic Markets to Lower Your Grocery Bill [Groceries] . We need food to survive, and yet groceries can be quite expensive. Budget blog Wise Bread says you can offset your supermarket bill by hitting up local ethnic markets to do some of your shopping....
   Use the Magic of Flash Evaporation to Stay Cool [Beat The Heat] . Running through the sprinklers might be a fun way to cool off, but it involves getting soaked with water. A misting system will cool you with water sans the thorough soaking. Photo by Todd Baker....
   Treat Negotiation as a Right to Overcome Haggling Hangups [Negotiation] . As a whole, Americans are terrible negotiators. Somewhere along the line negotiating prices got a bad name and many people have strong feelings about haggling. Ditch your hangups and save your hard...
  NYT > Home Page, 7/17/09; 11:39:34 AM. 
  Chechen Leader Sues Over Accusations of Ordering Activist’s Death. Ramzan A. Kadyrov denied having a role in the death of Natalya Estemirova, a prominent rights activist, and filed a lawsuit against her employer over the matter.

  Outbreak of Fungus Threatens Tomato Crop. The pathogen has spread to almost every state in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.

  The Fix, 7/17/09; 11:39:31 AM. 
  The Friday Line: Ranking Republican Leaders. Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), Rep. John Boehner (Ohio) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) all make the Fix's list of 10 most influential Republicans. Photos by Mark Wilson/Getty Images, Brendan Hoffman/Bloomberg News and Harry Hamburg/AP Photo The Republican party at present is, in the words of one smart GOP operative, a chorus of voices without a soloist. As such, certain voices rise and others fall over the course of months. Those stepping into the front row of the choir of late include Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; voices that have have quieted in recent months include former Vice President Dick Cheney, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal -- although we hear a Jindal re-emergence is in the offing. Our look at the 10 most influential Republicans at the moment is
  Mouthpiece Theater: Ball & Chain. After a brief respite, Mouthpiece Theater is back!
  GigaOM, 7/17/09; 11:39:15 AM. 
  What to read on the GigaOM network. Confessions of an unbranded professional (WebWorkerDaily) Mozy vs. Carbonite: Mac backup smackdown (TheAppleBlog) Windows 7's impact, and Microsoft's more open development (OStatic) Smartphones: the ultimate model for greener cars? (Earth2Tech) Google: YouTube will soon be "very profitable" (NewTeeVee) Dear Verizon: Please stop disabling GPS in smartphones on your network (jkOnTheRun)

  Nokia Sells Off Symbianâ•˙s Professional Services Business. Nokia, the corporate parent of Symbian, has sold its Symbian Professional Services business to consulting giant Accenture, the company said today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but I imagine its value was trivial, given that Symbian is desperately trying to make itself over as an open-source entity and reinvent its platform. As [...]

  10 Startups Selling Software to Track Carbon. When Wal-Mart tells its more than 100,000 suppliers something, they listen. This week the world's largest retailer said that it will create green labels and a green index to rate the environmental impact of all the products that land on its shelves. For suppliers that means they'll have to turn to software and [...]

  VentureBeat, 7/17/09; 11:38:49 AM. 
  MobileBeat: USA will leapfrog Europe. The MobileBeat 2009 conference went better than we had dared hope for. And we came away with a surprise lesson: Europe's mobile industry has led the world since its birth, but the balance of power is changing. Many attendees remarked on it: MobileBeat is an event the Valley couldn't have pulled off a couple of years ago, but now it rivals what you'd expect from a European conference. We're not bragging about ourselves. It's the iPhone that has shaken and awakened Americans into a new excitement, enthusiasm and energy for mobile goodies. We Yanks care enough now to argue about it onstage: Google VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra drew lots of attention at MobileBeat for declaring Google is "not rich enough" to support individual app platforms, as opposed to one standardized browser-based platform. Not-Rich-Enough Vic also told the audience that unlimited data plans are the future. They change users' behavior drastically and permanently. As a new iPhone owner, I have to agree. It's like 1993 all over again. Just as PC users went crazy for the World-Wide Web 15 years ago, mobile phone owners are discovering what feels like new and unlimited opportunities for their handsets, even the low-priced ones. Once they get a taste, they don't want to go back. Nokia R&D exec Tero Ojanpera's bemused reaction to Gundotra's evangelism was the sort of response you had to be in the room to appreciate. Nokia is far and away the biggest seller of cellphones on the planet, Ojanpera reminded us. And yes, Nokia is also moving toward an everything-in-the-browser platform. But the company isn't going to demand that carriers give away data plans. That's not the way to keep the sort of relationships Nokia has with wireless carriers. Generally, thought, the Euros sided with us. Alex Moukas, CEO of Velti, the top European mobile ad company, said he fully expects the U.S. to leap ahead of Europe in mobile advertising within two years. Henri Moissinac, who runs Facebook Mobile, sees the American mobile industry as a bunch of babies. We're going to change a few thousand diapers this year, he said, but by next year the industry will be walking. After that comes learning its ABCs. Watch out, Europe. Silicon Valley is a fast learner.

  Ben Smith's Blog, 7/17/09; 11:38:45 AM. 
  Sox Closer hard to impress. Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon says meeting the president was nice, but not the highlight of the All Star Game, a baseball blog reports.

  Health reform foes plan Obama's 'Waterloo'. Conservative leaders pressed to delay any vote on health care reform until after the August recess to capitalize on what they say is a growing tide By Ben Smith.

  Techmeme Firehose, 7/17/09; 11:38:44 AM. 
  How Google Made Its Q2 Numbers: Squeezing Expenses (Erick Schonfeld/TechCrunch).

Erick Schonfeld / TechCrunch:
How Google Made Its Q2 Numbers: Squeezing Expenses  —  Google made its earnings numbers yesterday, actually coming in above expectations.  Total revenues were $5.5 billion, 3 percent above the same period last year and flat with the first quarter (when sequential revenues actually declined).

  Industry Moves: Current Media Replaces Hyatt; Mark Rosenthal Is New CEO (Rafat Ali/paidContent).

Rafat Ali / paidContent:
Industry Moves: Current Media Replaces Hyatt; Mark Rosenthal Is New CEO  —  Current Media, the parent of Al Gore-based Current TV, has replaced the longtime CEO Joel Hyatt with another media vet: Mark Rosenthal, who has been Current's board since it was founded four years ago, is taking over as CEO of the still-nascent venture.

  Spanfeller to Take Equity Stake in Client Projects (Jason Fell/FOLIO: Section Blogs).

Jason Fell / FOLIO: Section Blogs:
Spanfeller to Take Equity Stake in Client Projects  —  Outgoing Forbes.com CEO denies he was ousted by investors.  —  BLOG TOOLS  —  Forbes today said Jim Spanfeller will be leaving as president and CEO of Forbes.com.  He will remain with the company through the end of August.

  VCs protest registering with SEC (Mary Kathleen Flynn/Dealscape).

Mary Kathleen Flynn / Dealscape:
VCs protest registering with SEC  —  The Senate Banking Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment got a tutorial on venture capital earlier this week, when Trevor Loy, a board member of the National Venture Capital Association and the founder and general partner of Flywheel Ventures …

  Is Google optimizing Chrome 3 for Windows XP netbooks? (Scott M. Fulton, III/BetaNews).

Scott M. Fulton, III / BetaNews:
Is Google optimizing Chrome 3 for Windows XP netbooks?  —  Download Google Chrome for Windows from Fileforum now.  —  Over the last few weeks, Google has been releasing development builds of its Chrome 3 Web browser in a fast and furious pace.  And with each release …

  Serious doubts - I've never doubted the viability of running ... (Marco.org).

Serious doubts  —  I've never doubted the viability of running a serious business of writing iPhone apps before.  For the first time, now, I am.  —  App Review is problematic when the delays are longer than a few days.  Since its inception, having submitted applications about 12 times …

  Real Clear Politics - TIME.com, 7/17/09; 11:38:40 AM. 
  Meanwhile In New York. The unsurprising thing is that Rudy Giuliani continues to lead incumbent Governor David Patterson by over twenty points, 55%-33%, according to Rasmussen Reports.  Somewhat more surprising is that Giuliani trails Attorney General Andrew Cuomo by only 48%-41%.  It is widely suspected that Giuliani will get in the race if Patterson runs, but will not get [...]

  Burr In Trouble. North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr continues to languish in the 40 percent range, according to PPP (D).  Burr leads attorney Cal Cunningham 40%-31%, and attorney Kenneth Lewis 42%-31%.   His approval ratings are 36% positive to 29% negative, which is an awful lot of undecideds for a sitting Senator.  Amazingly, Democrats have been unable to [...]

  Tight Race For NH Senate. According to Research 2000's polling, conducted for the DailyKos website, the race to replace retiring Senator Judd Gregg is tight no matter who has the Republican nomination.  If former Congressman Charlie Bass is the Republican, he trails Second District Congressman Paul Hodes by five points, 42%-37%.  If Attorney General Kelly Ayotte is the nominee, she [...]

  Daily Kos, 7/17/09; 11:38:21 AM. 
  Media Failing Again on Healthcare Reform.

First we had AP's zombie numbers, and now we've got cable news, and conservative pundits, all abuzz about testimony yesterday afternoon from CBO Directo about the healthcare reform bills in the works.

Under questioning by members of the Senate Budget Committee, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said bills crafted by House leaders and the Senate health committee do not propose "the sort of fundamental changes" necessary to rein in the skyrocketing cost of government health programs, particularly Medicare. On the contrary, Elmendorf said, the measures would pile on an expensive new program to cover the uninsured.

His statement has been trumpted all over the news, but unfortunately, the traditional media isn't reporting anything beyond that statement, including follow-up testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee in which he walked his statement back. The blogospherci healthcare wonks give you the full story that doesn't fit into the traditional media's narrative. First, Jonathon Cohn:

The key thing to remember about Elmendorf's remarks is that CBO has, so far, seen just two pieces of legislation. One is the bill that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed earlier this week. That bill doesn't include the types of reforms that would make a big difference in long-term spending trends, but that's mostly a function of jurisdiction. HELP can't touch Medicare or Medicaid, nor can it fiddle with the tax code. Yet it's through those two levers Congress would most likely influence the growth in health care costs. (It remains to be seen what the Senate Finance Committee, which has that jurisdiction, will do.)

The other piece of legislation CBO has seen--the bill produced by three House committees working together--is another story. That's a complete bill, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the tax system. And the experts who have studied the language closely--or, at least, those I've contacted in the last few days--seem to agree with Elmendorf: The bill, they say, doesn't include the sorts of big reforms that would reduce costs significantly.

But that bill is still very much a work in progress, as House leaders themselves acknowledge. And the White House, among others, has some ideas about how to shape it.

Despite a vow not to draw lines in the sand about reform legislation, President Obama has been adamant that any bill make substantial progress on cost reduction--a pledge his Budget Director, Peter Orszag, reiterated in the course of a brief (and previously scheduled) interview he gave TNR Thursday afternoon. "The legislation that emerges from this process has to contain key provisions that will bend the curve over the long term," Orszag said. "The president has said that and we're in the middle of a legislative process, so it's not surprising that, as you go through that process, there are modifications that are necessary."

Igor Volsky has more:

Part of Elmendorf's message is painfully obvious: investing in health care reform by providing Americans up to 400% of the federal poverty line with subsidies is going to cost the federal government a good deal of money -- somewhere between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion, to be exact. Progressives have always argued that in order to reduce the growth of health care costs in the long term and avoid the kind of catastrophic spending levels that could swallow-up our entire economy, we're going to have to bring everyone into the health care system. As Elmendorf points out, that shows up on the federal books.

But the budget outline that passed the Senate Budget Committee requires a fully funded health reform bill, and both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee are proposing different options to pay for reform and ensure that the bill does not add to the deficit. For his part, Elmendorf, is isolating the ledger of the federal government from the context of the entire system. In other words, since many of the savings from reform won't be reflected in the federal budget, Elmendorf does not consider them. But modernizing the health care system (implementing electronic medical records, health information technology) and reforming the way Medicare and Medicaid reimburse providers will save money for the system as a whole. As Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin and David Cutler pointed out in a recent analysis, these savings can total to some $2 trillion. In fact, even the industry is on record as saying we can reduce the growth rate in annual health spending by 1.5 percentage points a year over the next 10 years, lowering spending overall health care spending by $2 trillion (this represents a 20 percent reduction in projected growth.) Elmendorf is looking at the trunk of the elephant and not the whole....

In testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, Elmendorf walked back his comments, saying that in some ways federal spending will increase and in some ways it will decrease. When pressured by the Republicans on the committee, Elmendorf did not directly confirm his accusations.

And finally, Ezra has some rules for politicians and reporters using Elmendorf's quote:

Politicians who are going to use this CBO report against the existing health-care reform proposals must do some combination of the following:

a) Support, as the CBO says you should, the eradication of the tax exclusion that protects employer-based health-care insurance;

b) Support, as Lewin and Commonwealth say you should, a public insurance option that can bargain at Medicare's rates;

c) Support, as the Office of Management and Budget and every health-care wonk in town says you should, one of the various policies floating around to give MedPAC authority to continually reform and modernize Medicare;

d) Support some form of aggressive cost-sharing that would make people extremely angry because it will save money by reducing their access to health-care services;

e) Support comparative effectiveness review that can judge not only the effectiveness but also the cost-effectiveness of various treatments, and give the federal government authority to use that data when deciding reimbursement rates.

I would also like to propose a related rule: any reporters who receive a quote from a politician referencing this CBO score should be required to ask the politician which of these policies -- or which alternative cost-saving policies -- they support.

This is complicated, expensive, and confusing business. But those reporting on it, and those serious about actually making real reform--reform that's worth doing, owe it to all of us to give us the full story.

By mcjoan .
  Webware.com, 7/17/09; 11:38:15 AM. 
  Microsoft eases back on IE 8 default.
For people who&#39;ve set other browsers set as default, the IE 8 installer now always asks whether they want to make IE the new default.

For people who've set other browsers set as default, the IE 8 installer now always asks whether they want to make IE the new default.

(Credit: Microsoft)

Responding to widespread carping, Microsoft has made it less likely that Internet Explorer 8 will become the default browser against the user's wishes.

Previously, installing the browser offered an "express settings" that would make IE 8 the default browser without asking, though the custom settings route explicitly asked. Now the express settings will ask, too, Microsoft announced Thursday on its IEBlog.

"IE will never install, or become the default browser without your explicit consent. However, we heard a lot of feedback from a lot of different people and groups and decided to make the user choice of the default browser even more explicit," Microsoft said. Those who already have IE 8 set as default won't see the screen.

The change won't be built into the regular IE 8 installation, but instead will arrive as an update during the process beginning mid-August. The IE 8 installer asks users if they want to check for updates when they install, and 90 percent do so, Microsoft said.

One rival, Mozilla Chief Executive John Lilly, praised the move. "Good change: Microsoft does the right thing (finally) with IE8 updater," he said in a Thursday Twitter post.

Originally posted at News - Microsoft

  Top Stories from CQ, 7/17/09; 11:38:13 AM. 
  Where Are the Donation Bundling Reports?. It took years for public interest groups to get a law passed requiring members of Congress to disclose the fundraising that lobbyists do for their campaigns. But after all that work, thereâ•˙s not much to show for it.
  Blue Dogs Show Teeth On Health Bill. Moderate ╲Blue Dog╡ Democrats are starting to show their potential influence on the health care overhaul being written in the House. And top dogs in the House are taking note.
  House Passes Bill to Aid Wild Horses. The House Friday passed a bill designed to improve federal management of wild horses and burros and increase the land on which they can roam.
  Panel Probes U.S. Role in Auto Industry. Frustrated lawmakers Friday called on the Obama administration to release documents detailing its involvement in the restructuring of the U.S. auto industry.
  60 Minutes Podcast - The Full Broadcast, 7/17/09; 11:38:06 AM. 
  Afghanistan,Bin Laden, Eyewitness, Trial. The officer who led the US Army's Delta Force mission to kill or capture Osama bin Laden after September 11th reveals what really happened in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, when the al-Qaeda leader narrowly escaped. Scott Pelley reports. Lesley Stahl investigates flaws in eyewitness testimony that are at the heart of the DNA exonerations of falsely convicted people like Ronald Cotton, who has forgiven his accuser, Jennifer Thompson. All this coming up on "60 Minutes." By CBS.


  Online Poker; Mind Reading; Africa. Online poker players suspecting cheating were forced to successfully ferret out the cheaters themselves. Neuroscience researchers have learned so much about how we think and the brain activity linked to certain thoughts that it is now possible - on a very basic scale - to read a person's mind. American Greg Carr is using his great wealth to try to help some of the poorest people in Africa by attracting more tourists to their neighborhood. All this coming up on "60 Minutes." By CBS.


  Prison; Drug Cartels; Lebron James. This week: "60 Minutes" goes behind bars. Exclusive footage from within and a rare interview with its former warden takes viewers inside the secretive "Supermax" federal prison. Scott Pelley reports. Also: Drug-cartel fueled violence has turned into a war in Mexico, with thousands of deaths and the government battling well-armed gangs. Anderson Cooper reports. And Correspondent Steve Kroft sits down and chats with NBA phenom with Lebron James. All this coming up on "60 Minutes." By CBS.


  Madoff Scam; Deportation; Alice Waters. Harry Markopolos repeatedly warned the Securities and Exchange Commission that Bernie Madoff's investment fund was a fraud and he was ignored. Foreigners who marry Americans are entitled to become permanent residents of the U.S., but in a stricter post-9/11 world, hundreds of widows are being asked to leave the country. Alice Waters who has been cooking and preaching the virtues of fresh food grown in an environmentally friendly way for decades has become famous for her "slow food" approach. By CBS.


  Federal Reserve, Dolly Parton. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke tells Correspondent Scott Pelley what he believes led to the nation's economic crisis, and when he expects the recession to end. Country music star Dolly Parton discusses her success in show business. This and more on "60 Minutes." By CBS.


  Failed Banks; Pakistan; Michael Phelps. Scott Pelley has an exclusive look as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation takes control of a failed bank. Steve Kroft reports from Pakistan, where Islamic insurgents are trying to take over the country and he interviews its new president, Asif Ali Zardari. CNN's Anderson Cooper sits down with Michael Phelps, the 23-year-old phenom who swam into history at the Beijing Olympics. All this coming up on "60 Minutes." By CBS.


  Buy American; Sergeant Bill; Wine Rx. The economic stimulus package includes a clause that could trigger foreign governments to retaliate and hurt the sale of U.S products in overseas markets. Bill Jakob fooled a small town's officials into granting him the authority of a law enforcement officer with a badge he bought on the internet. Scientists have found a substance called resveratrol in red wine that slows down the aging process in mice. Will it someday lengthen the lives of humans, too? All this coming up on "60 Minutes." By CBS.


  Secretary Gates, AIG, Anna Wintour. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates discusses the war in Afghanistan in a candid and wide-ranging interview with Katie Couric. Later...Ed Liddy, the man who took over the reins of AIG, speaks to Steve Kroft about the gargantuan task ahead. Also...the sunglasses come off Anna Wintour as the Vogue editor reveals why she always wears them. She talks to Morley Safer in her first long-length interview for U.S. television. All this coming up on "60 Minutes." By CBS.


  Military, Spy, Baseball. The United States military has been relying on new technology to track and destroy enemies, many times from thousands of miles away. Lara Logan reports. Later...Ashraf Marwan's death is a mystery as was his life - did he work as a spy for the Egyptian or the Israeli government? Steve Croft investigates. Also...Bill James is one of the most important 'players' for the Boston Red Sox, yet he never steps out on the field. Morley Safer tells us why. All this coming up on "60 Minutes." By CBS.


  Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, wine. Scott Pelley speaks with Ecuadorians suing oil maker Chevron because they claim the oil giant is polluting their fragile environment. David Martin reports on Saudi Arabia's attempts to change the mindsets of former jihadists. And finally, Morley Safer speaks with the Antinoris, a family who has been making wine in Italy for 600 years. By CBS.


  Swampland, 7/17/09; 11:38:03 AM. 
  Health Reform: Bending that Curve. In reading the comments of CBO Director Doug Elmendorf from yesterday, a number of Swampland commenters asked what, precisely, might be done as part of health reform to (1) put more downward pressure on health costs overall and (2) make it deficit-neutral, as President Obama has promised. Today, OMB Director Peter Orszag reminds congressional leaders [...]

  AP Top Headlines At 1:40 p.m. EDT, 7/17/09; 10:49:38 AM. 
  Debbie Rowe sues woman over TV interview. LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Michael Jackson's ex-wife Deborah Rowe is striking back at a woman who claimed in a TV interview that Rowe told her she didn't want custody of the pop star's children.... By By ANTHONY McCARTNEY.

  Commentary, 7/17/09; 10:49:38 AM. 
  We've Forgotten the Iranians. Remember this from Barack Obama? The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days.  I strongly condemn these unjust actions…I've made it clear that the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not interfering with [...]

  Silicon Alley Insider, 7/17/09; 10:49:13 AM. 
  The Truth About The iPhone.

henryblodget large

Earlier this week, I ended a 12-year love affair with BlackBerry and bought an iPhone (3GS).

I described the decision process here, and the experience of buying it here.  Because many of you are in a similar position--long-term BlackBerry users wondering whether to switch--I'll also describe the switchover experience.

Read the rest of this story »

By Henry Blodget.
  10 Things Twitter's Stolen Docs Taught Us.

twitter guys macA malicious hacker broke into a Twitter employee's Google Docs account and forwarded some 300 secret company documents to TechCrunch.

Unfortunately, that blog published the whole mess in a post that is so long it would take 25 pages to print out.

Who has time for that?

Read the rest of this story »

By Nicholas Carlson.
  The Coming Apple Tablet-Netbook-Smartphone-Kindle Stats Problem.

ipod touches

As computers, smartphones, Internet tablets, game devices, and e-book readers all start to do more of the same things, it's going to get trickier defining markets and identifying success.

For instance, right now, market shares in the PC industry -- usually calculated by unit shipments -- are getting whacked around by companies selling cheap, low-margin netbooks.

Read the rest of this story »

By Dan Frommer.
  Sorry, YouTube Bears, You Were Wrong.

YouTube logo

Ever since Google bought YouTube for $1.7 billion, a crowd of armchair analysts have cackled smugly about how colossally stupid this was.

$1.7 billion for THAT? 

Read the rest of this story »

By Henry Blodget.
  Verizon Makes Weak Promise To Shorten Exclusive Cellphone Contracts.

verizon guy tbi

Don't pay much attention to Verizon Wireless's pledge to shorten its exclusive cellphone deals to benefit small wireless rivals: It probably won't help you.

Verizon, the biggest U.S. carrier, is trying to make itself look better to the government by vowing that it will allow smaller wireless carriers, with 500,000 customers or fewer, get access to Verizon's exclusive handsets after six months, according to the WSJ.

Read the rest of this story »

By Dan Frommer.
  Name Calling: What's Behind These Tech Companies' Names?.

yahoo generic tbiWhy is Bing called Bing, and Ning called Ning?

SMH explains how seven popular tech companies got their names.

Bing. Microsoft was looking for something short, easy and global; and a name that would eventually convert to a verb, like "google."

Read the rest of this story »

By Preethi Dumpala.
  Top Stories from CQ, 7/17/09; 10:48:17 AM. 
  Lugar is First GOP Senator to Endorse Sotomayorâ•˙s Confirmation. Indianaâ•˙s Richard Lugar on Friday became the first Republican senator to say he will vote to confirm Sonia Sotomayorâ•˙s nomination to the Supreme Court.
  Engadget, 7/17/09; 10:48:07 AM. 
  Gigabyte Booktop M1022 and TouchNote T1028 tablet PC make their way to US.

It's been awhile since we heard anything about Gigabyte's Booktop M1022 netbook with dock or its tablet pc, the TouchNote T1028 -- but it looks like both have finally landed on US shores. If you've forgotten, the 10.1-inch Booktop M1022 boasts a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 1.3 megapixel camera, optional integrated WWAN, VGA output, an Ethernet port, ExpressCard slot, 4-in-1 multicard reader, and its got Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, and WiFi.The TouchNote features nearly identical specs, with a swivelling touchscreen panel. The M1022 and the T1028 can both be ordered now on Amazon, for $449 and $599 respectively.

[Via Portable Monkey]
Read - Amazon product page for Booktop M1022
Read - Amazon product page for TouchNote T1028

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Gigabyte Booktop M1022 and TouchNote T1028 tablet PC make their way to US originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 13:19:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  Ultrasone Edition 8 headphones hands-on and impressions.
Ultrasone's been kickin' out $1.5k headphones for as long as we can remember, and it only takes a glimpse at the Edition 9s from 2006 to see just how far we've come. The newest model, curiously titled the Edition 8, was initially announced a few months back, and we've just now been able to stuff our cranium between its Ethiopian sheepskin-covered earcups and hear 'em out. We've listened to our fair share of audio products over the years, and we definitely feel as if these are some of the most exquisite we've had the pleasure of experiencing. Still, with a $1,500 price tag, it'll take a little more than "yeah, these are pretty wicked" to win us over. Head on past the break for our two pennies.

Continue reading Ultrasone Edition 8 headphones hands-on and impressions

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Ultrasone Edition 8 headphones hands-on and impressions originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 17 Jul 2009 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan, 7/17/09; 10:46:46 AM. 
  The View From Your Window. Palos Verde, California, 9.30 am

  Why Do You Kill Your Brother?. by Patrick Appel NIAC gets an eyewitness report from "a very close friend" in Iran: Made my way down the west side of Laleh Park, large crowd was gathered around a radio listening to Rafi give the sermons, moved down...

  Michael Gerson Has A Very Strange Definition of "Context". By Conor Clarke Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson is disgusted by this response from Ruth Bader Ginsburg, published in an interview with the New York Times Magazine: Q: "Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in...

  More Video From Today. by Patrick Appel Tehran Bureau has a round-up.

  Live-Tweeting The Revolution: Rafsanjani Speaks II. by Patrick Appel A new batch from the last few hours (as always, these should be read very provisionally until confirmed): Human rights activist Shadi Sadr violently arrested in Tehran on her way to Friday prayers. fears arrests are intensifying...

  Going Rogue On Twitter. by Chris Bodenner And just in time for Andrew's return: Planning inauguration w/LtGov in 10 days, Frbanks. W/same cabinet, same positive pro-AK agenda itâ•˙s all good, consistent success bc everyone elected is replaceable;Ak WILL progress! + side benefit=10 dys til...

  Peter Signer on Health Care Rationing. By Conor Clarke I started reading Peter Singer's big New York Times Magazine piece on health-care rationing expecting to be at least a little annoyed by the time I got to the end. But it didn't happen! I agree with...

  What The Speech Means. by Patrick Appel Nico does his best to figure it out, with the help of his readers: Thoughts from reformists on Rafsanjani's speech today are very, very diverse. Some are extremely happy with his comments. Some are pleasantly surprised by...

  Letter from Washington DC. by Conor Friedersdorf Strange as it seems to say it, The Atlanticâ•˙s move to Washington DC irrevocably changed the course of my life. Were the magazine in Boston, Iâ•˙d have gone there to intern after graduate school, and today my...

  Karoubi Attacked?. by Chris Bodenner A reliable twitterer in Iran: Karoubi attacked by the plain cloths http://www.etemademelli.ir/... The plain cloths attacked Karoubi in such a way that his turban fell. Karoubi's son: The plain cloths who attacked my father were congratulated by...

  RedState, 7/17/09; 10:46:43 AM. 
  A Small Victory For Justice.

Spain's National Court has taken a significant step in recapturing the Spanish judicial system from the grasp of a modern day Javert by quashing the indictments against three American soldiers accused of murder in the deaths of a Spanish journalist and Ukrainian national employed as a cameraman by Reuters. The Spanish prosecutor in question, Santiago Pedraz, has exhibited something of a monomania in his attempts to criminalize legitimate, if unfortunate, acts of war. He has had an arrest warrant issued in 2005 and a 2007 indictment quashed but he had recently reinstated the indictments yet again.

MADRID â•„ For the second time, Spainâ•˙s National Court on Tuesday quashed indictments against three U.S. soldiers for the 2003 death in Baghdad of Spanish television cameraman Jose Couso.

Members of the courtâ•˙s criminal chamber also ordered colleague Santiago Pedraz to close the case file.

As we wrote back in 2005, there are two key takeaway points from this story. The first is that leaning out of a hotel window pointing a videocamera at a tank engaged in combat is not a particularly strong evolutionary strategy. The second is that the Bush Administration was unequivocably correct in refusing to participate in any transnational kangaroo court.

Hopefully, this action will bring the entire issue to a close. The three soldiers involved will be able to get on with their lives without fear of being served with an arrest warrant for doing their duty and Sr. Pedraz will be able to spend more time with his coiffeur.

  Obama vs. Obama on the Stimulus.

President Obama told the American people in January that the stimulus would work immediately in his sales pitch to Congress. Now that it's failed to produce jobs -- and the 9.5% unemployment rate is worse than the administration's projections -- Obama is changing his talking points. This is how you lose credibility, Mr. President.

  Gizmodo, 7/17/09; 10:46:16 AM. 
   Use Photoshop to Make Gadgets Less Practical [Photoshop Contest] . For this week's Photoshop Contest, I want you to take perfectly usable gadgets and make them decidedly less so. Let's undo all that hard work that designers put into making these things easy for us...
   Olympus Stylus Tough 6010 Ruggedcam Just Adds More Megapixels [Digital Cameras] . Olympus's Stylus Tough 6010 is an incremental upgrade over the Tough 6000 boosting megapixels to the standard 12 from 10. Everything else, like toughness, looks about the same—as indicated by...
   The New Pirate Bay: Fees Subsidized By Your Computing Power [The Pirate Bay] . The Pirate Bay may not actually be dead, but major changes are on their way. Details on the new management's legit business model have surfaced, and it will involve subsidizing your monthly fees in...
   Bose SoundLink Streams Music From Your PC via USB [Speakers] . Following the trend of pretty much every other audio company, Bose's SoundLink is their first wireless streaming speaker. But oddly enough, instead of using Bluetooth or wi-fi, Bose opted to go with...
   Blu-ray Sales Up 91 Awesome Percent [Blu-Ray] . Blu-ray disc sales are up 91 percent so far this year, with player sales up 25 percent, so that there's around 11 million Blu-ray players in the US, including PS3s. What up haters??? Right? Right?...
   Images of the Apollo Landing Sites from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter [Apollo 11] . At last! NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has sent photos of the Apollo lunar landing sites, the first images ever since the Apollo missions. I will say it once again, one last time: Moon landing...
   Cigarette Lighter Cellphone Gives You An Excuse To Continue Smoking [Smoking] . This cellphone comes from a dubious Chinese website, so there is no telling whether it is legit enough not to quit. However, a cellphone with a cigarette lighter built-in would certainly be a boon to...
  First Read, 7/17/09; 10:45:32 AM. 
  Mel Martinez also backs Sotomayor. From NBC's Mark MurrayWell, add another Senate Republican who says he'll/she'll vote for Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation: Florida Sen. Mel Martinez. Martinez, who isn't running for re-election in 2010 and who is the sole minority GOPer in the Senate, becomes the second Republican to say he'll vote for her, joining Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar. Here's Martinez's statement:"Given her judicial record, and her testimony this week, it is my determination that Judge Sotomayor is well-qualified to serve as...(read more)

  DSCC links Palin to Ayotte, Crist. From NBC's Mark MurrayA brand-new Web ad from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is tying Sarah Palin's upcoming resignation as Alaska governor to Kelly Ayotte giving up her position as New Hampshire attorney general to explore a Senate bid. It also ties Palin's resignation to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to run for the Senate. But there's one BIG difference between Ayotte/Crist and Palin: Ayotte and Crist are officially (or close to it) running for a different office. We don't...(read more)

  Lugar says he'll vote for Sotomayor. From NBC's Mark Murray and James RankinIndiana Sen. Dick Lugar appears to have become the first Republican to officially say he'll be voting for Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Lugar doesn't sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, so his vote won't come until the nomination reaches the full Senate. There are other Republicans who may end up voting for Sotomayor --  including Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe; Florida Sen. Mel Martinez; and perhaps...(read more)

  NYT > Home Page, 7/17/09; 10:45:28 AM. 
  Climbers Don’t Touch Tour’s Leaders. Heinrich Haussler of Germany led almost the entire race and won his first stage of the Tour while Rinaldo Nocentini retained the yellow jersey.

  AP Top U.S. News At 1:36 p.m. EDT, 7/17/09; 10:45:26 AM. 
  Spokesman for embattled SC gov to leave state job. COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The spokesman for the philandering governor of South Carolina plans to leave his state job.... By .

  EPA plan for Missouri lead waste worries residents. LEADWOOD, Mo. (AP) -- For generations, people in Leadwood have lived near huge piles of dangerous, lead-contaminated mining waste. Now the EPA has decided the answer to the problem is to pile on more lead-tainted earth.... By By JIM SALTER.

  Witness: Nervous Alamo cut up explicit photos. TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) -- A woman who says she was "married" to evangelist Tony Alamo at age 8 testified at his sex-crimes trial Friday that the minister likely cut into tiny pieces the explicit photos of her he took of her around that time.... By By JON GAMBRELL.

  Blogometer, 7/17/09; 10:45:23 AM. 
  7/17: Good News & Bad News. Since both liberal and conservative bloggers think it's a near certainty that SCOTUS nominee Sonia Sotomayor will be confirmed, they're focusing most of their attention on the health care reform debate. Yesterday provided good news for both supporters and opponents...

  Wired Top Stories, 7/17/09; 10:45:21 AM. 
  Air Force Plans for an All-Drone Future. So long, Top Gun? A new Air Force "flight plan" envisions a future in which every warplane is a drone -- from speedy, air-to-air dogfighters to lumbering nuclear bombers.

  Daily Kos, 7/17/09; 10:45:13 AM. 
  Majority Sign-Up Dropped from Employee Free Choice Act.

We've been saying for a while that there would be a compromise on the Employee Free Choice Act, and one that unions supported. Now it's starting to take shape. The first big news is that the majority sign-up provision has been dropped. Unionization votes, though, would come much more quickly than they currently do, allowing employers less time to harass, intimidate, and fire union-friendly workers.

SEIU President Andy Stern issued a statement indicating he doesn't believe majority sign-up has been permanently dropped.

"As we have said from day one, majority signup is the best way for workers to have the right to choose a voice at their workplace. The Employee Free Choice Act is going through the usual legislative process, and we expect a vote on a majority signup provision in the final bill or by amendment in both houses of Congress."

Meanwhile, AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale didn't suggest that provision would be kept, but expressed strong optimism about the compromise bill:

As School House Rock taught us this is the normal process of how a bill becomes a law. We are very optimistic about passing the strongest labor law reform since the Wagner Act -- one that lets workers choose to join a union without intimidation or harassment, ensures that workers who join a union get a first contract, and has meaningful penalties for violations.

That's the bottom line: Majority sign-up was one way, probably the best way, to ensure that workers would be able to choose to form a union without fear of retribution. It's unfortunate but not unexpected if it isn't in the final bill, but major labor law reform remains in the works. Whatever's coming won't be perfect, but there's a good chance it will be a huge step forward.

With this compromise, the Chamber of Commerce and other mouthpieces for big business will have to be that much more blatant about the fact that they were never concerned about workplace democracy -- they just want to prevent workers from having any power in the workplace. Be prepared to hear next how awful it will be to have elections held quickly, and how terrible arbitration would be (even though when businesses control the arbitration process, they think it's a great thing). When you hear it, know it for the Chamber of Commerce/Wal-Mart propaganda it is.

By Laura Clawson .
  Sanford spent $44k in public funds for premium-class air travel.

Mark Sanford, fiscal conservative:

A POLITICO analysis of hundreds of pages of state travel records requested to explore the circumstances of his affair found that in his 6 1/2 years as governor, Sanford traveled frequently and in a style markedly at odds with his political persona.

The records detail more than $468,000 worth of state-funded travel for Sanford and show that he routinely billed taxpayers for high-end airline seats, racking up more than $44,000 on business- and first-class tickets. He often stayed in pricey hotels that far exceeded the rates he imposed on other state employees.

On one overseas trip, the state appears to have spent more than $12,000 for the GOP governor's business-class tickets for a September 2007 trade mission to China, while his aides flew in economy class for airfares as low as $1,900.

When it came to stimulus funds designed to help the unemployed get through the recession, Mark Sanford said no. When it came to using federal money to build better schools for impoverished children, Mark Sanford said no. When it came to helping people put food on the table as they struggle through these tough economic times, Mark Sanford said no.

But when it came to using taxpayer moneys to fly in the luxury of first-class, Mark Sanford finally said yes.

What a callous, selfish prick.

By Jed Lewison .
  Crooks and Liars, 7/17/09; 10:44:47 AM. 
  The Daily Show explores Sonia Sotomayor's 'lily brown' background.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c

The Daily Show sent out its crack ambush squad to Sonia Sotomayor's exclusive "lily brown" neighborhood to explore her nakedly racist background -- including her "intellectual" gang affiliation, how she learned to hate via Dora the Explorer, her membership in an organization loosely translated as "The Race," and whether or not you want to mess with her.

Taking notes, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh?

Jon Stewart, on the same show, also tackled Lindsey Graham's methods of interrogating Sotomayor -- particularly his reliance on anonymous critics. So Stewart decided to apply the same technique to Graham by pulling up slams of Graham from blog commenters -- including one from C&L:

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