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2:50 PM ET, November 23, 2009

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 Top Items: 
Gabor Steingart / Spiegel Online:
Obama's Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage  —  When he entered office, US President Barack Obama promised to inject US foreign policy with a new tone of respect and diplomacy.  His recent trip to Asia, however, showed that it's not working.  A shift to Bush-style bluntness may be coming.
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Noel Sheppard / NewsBusters.org:
Chris Matthews Shocker: Obama Making ‘Carteresque’ Mistakes  —  Chris Matthews appears to have lost that loving feeling for Barack Obama.  —  On “The Chris Matthews Show” Sunday, the once smitten MSNBCer called some of Obama's recent mistakes “Carteresque”:
James Fallows:
Manufactured failure #5: views from China  —  I won't go on in this vein forever (previously #1, #2, #3, #4), but the topic is important enough to bear a little more elaboration, IMHO.  Part of the importance: there is no country with whom America's interactions are more consequential, or perpetually more complicated, than China.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama: The approval gap silently shrinks to a few points  —  Not that it matters politically because obviously she's a female Republican dunce and he's a male Democrat genius.  —  But Sarah Palin's poll numbers are strengthening.  —  And President Obama's are sliding.
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Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Wave of Debt Payments Facing U.S. Government  —  WASHINGTON — The United States government is financing its more than trillion-dollar-a-year borrowing with i.o.u.'s on terms that seem too good to be true.  —  But that happy situation, aided by ultralow interest rates, may not last much longer.
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Democrats Step Up Push for Votes on Health Care  —  WASHINGTON — Anxious that Saturday's party-line Senate vote to open debate on a health care overhaul gives them little maneuvering room, Obama administration officials and their Congressional allies are stepping up overtures …
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Allan Hall / Daily Mail:
Patient trapped in a 23-year ‘coma’ was conscious all along  —  A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night.  —  Student Rom Houben was misdiagnosed after a car crash left him totally paralysed.
Discussion: protein wisdom, Althouse and BLACKFIVE
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Allan Hall / Daily Mail:
‘I screamed, but there was nothing to hear’: Man trapped in 23 …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
LEVERAGE.... Jonathan Cohn wrote a good lay-of-the-land piece last night on the state of the health care reform fight, noting, among other things, the “unambiguous.” “unyielding,” and “obstinate” efforts of center-right Democrats undermine the Senate bill.  —  But Cohn's point about reform's champions is the one I keep mulling over.
RELATED:
Derrick Roach / Big Government:
BREAKING: San Diego ACORN Document Dump Scandal  —  On October 1st, 2009 California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced that an investigation had been opened into ACORN's activities in California, resulting from undercover videos showing employees seemingly offering to assist …
Michelle Malkin:
The indelible whiteness of MSNBC  —  MSNBC host Chris Matthews, MSNBC reporter Norah O'Donnell, and MSNBC guest Joan Walsh shamelessly played the race card against Sarah Palin and her book-buying audience last week.  —  In Michigan, O'Donnell smugly noted that Palin's fans were “largely white — almost no minorities in this crowd.”
Discussion: American Power
Steve Kraske / Kansas City Star:
Dennis Moore won't seek re-election  —  U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, a Democrat who confounded the GOP by winning six consecutive elections in a heavily Republican district, will not seek re-election next year, key Democrats said Sunday.  —  Moore, who represented Johnson, Wyandotte and a portion …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
New documents: White House scrambled to justify AmeriCorps firing after the fact  —  Just hours after Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa released a report Friday on their investigation into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, the Obama White House gave …
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Sanford facing impeachment hearing  —  The South Carolina House will hold its first impeachment hearing Tuesday to air the case against Republican Gov. Mark Sanford.  —  The state's speaker of the House announced Monday that a House Judiciary subcommittee will begin hearing arguments …
RELATED:
Tony Romm / The Hill:   Sanford faces 37 ethics charges
Kristen McQueary / The SouthtownStar:
Low Tea Party moment symbolic of muddy week  —  As a journalist covering Chicago politics, verifying information is like climbing a mountain of sand.  With each step you take, the deeper you sink.  —  Last week while researching claims from a local Tea Party activist …
realtor.org:
Existing-Home Sales Record Another Big Gain, Inventories Continue to Shrink  —  Driven by the first-time buyer tax credit, existing-home sales showed another big gain in October with a strong uptrend established over the past seven months, while inventories continue to decline, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
R.G. Ratcliffe / Texas Politics:
Schieffer out, Bill White in Texas governor's race  —  Fort Worth businessman Tom Schieffer is expected to drop out of the Texas governor's race later today, and Houston Mayor Bill White then will join the fray, according to a reliable source.  —  We now have a second reliable source telling us …
Discussion: Eye on 2010
RELATED:
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Phantom Menace  —  A funny thing happened on the way to a new New Deal.  A year ago, the only thing we had to fear was fear itself; today, the reigning doctrine in Washington appears to be “Be afraid.  Be very afraid.”  —  What happened?  To be sure, “centrists” in the Senate have hobbled efforts to rescue the economy.
Bloomberg:
Cuomo Took Campaign Cash From Lawyers With Matters Before Him  —  Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) — New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's campaign fund took tens of thousands of dollars from law firms representing clients his office investigated or accused of wrongdoing, state records show.
Discussion: YID With LID
Steve Schippert / RapidRecon:
Whispers of Surrender in Afghanistan?  —  It comes to our attention that the MEMRI Blog highlights an article from the Saudi _al-Watan_ in Arabic that - according to an Afghan source - the United States is talking to the Taliban seeking to trade control of 5 provinces in exchange for the cessation of attacks on US bases.
Tony Romm / The Hill:
RNC weighing new message strategy in 2010  —  Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Monday hinted his party was assembling a set of guiding political principles in time for the 2010 election.  —  {mosads}While Steele cautioned this morning it would not be a …
Robert J. Samuelson / Washington Post:
Robert J. Samuelson on the health bill's burdens for the young  —  One of our long-running political stories is the economic assault on the young by the old.  We have become a society that invests in its past and disfavors the future.  This makes no sense for the nation, but as politics it makes complete sense.
 
 
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 More Items: 
The Politico:
CLICK FLICK: A ROGUE TRIP
Discussion: Townhall.com
ABCNEWS:
Fmr. Staffer on Ensign's Affair With His Wife
Katherine Kersten / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
At U, future teachers may be reeducated
Discussion: Hot Air and Clayton Cramer's BLOG
 Earlier Items: 
Charles Duhigg / New York Times:
As Sewers Fill, Waste Poisons Waterways
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Karl Vick / Washington Post:
Support for legalizing marijuana gaining ground rapidly
Discussion: Hit & Run
The Politico:
The White House's climate conundrum
Financial Times:
Microsoft and News Corp eye web pact
 

 
From Techmeme:

Brian Krebs / Krebs on Security:
Sources confirm Sony hackers hail mainly from North Korea, and include Japan-based group of ethnic North Koreans

Mike Beasley / 9to5Mac:
Apple Pay claimed 1% of November's digital payment dollars, new report says

The Reddit Admins / reddit:
Reddit to distribute equity to active users by lottery with ‘reddit notes’ in 2015

 
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