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12:00 PM ET, August 11, 2009


 Top Items: 
Ezra Klein:
Is the Government Going to Euthanize your Grandmother?  An Interview With Sen. Johnny Isakson.  —  Sarah Palin's belief that the House health-care reform bill would create “death panels” might be particularly extreme, but she's hardly the only person to wildly misunderstand the section …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
CONSERVATIVE SENATOR CALLS PALIN ARGUMENT ‘NUTS’.... The health care reform bills working their way through Congress include a provision that shouldn't be controversial.  Medicare would pay for voluntary counseling sessions on advance care planning between patients and physicians.
Mike Madden / Salon:
The “death panels” are already here  —  Private companies are already doing it, with sometimes fatal results  —  The future of healthcare in America, according to Sarah Palin, might look something like this: A sick 17-year-old girl needs a liver transplant.
Discussion: Blue Virginia, Blog entry and Daily Kos
Kate Snow / ABCNEWS:
Health Care ‘Death Panels’ a Myth  —  Claims That House Health Care Reform Bill Would Create ‘Death Panels’ Are Untrue  —  The accusations are shocking, inflammatory and often incorrect.  —  Shouts of “This is euthanasia!” and questions from angry citizens such as, “Adolph Hitler called his program the Final Solution.
Dorothy Rabinowitz / Wall Street Journal:
Obama's Tone-Deaf Health Campaign  —  The president shouldn't worry about the protestors disrupting town hall meetings.  He should worry about the Americans who have been sitting at home listening to him.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  It didn't take chaotic town-hall meetings …
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Founding Bloggers
Kristin Jensen / Bloomberg:
Obama to Defend Health-Care Plan at Town Hall After Disruptions  —  Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama will defend his efforts to overhaul the U.S. health-care system at a town hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, today after a series of protests met his fellow Democrats in recent days.
Political Punch:
White House Disputes Pelosi Contention that Town Hall Protests are “Un-American”
Specter faces angry crowd at town hall meeting
Discussion: The Politico and Weekly Standard
The Hill:
Obama to enter town hall fray
Discussion: Instapundit
Rasmussen Reports:
32% Favor Single-Payer Health Care, 57% Oppose  —  Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters nationwide favor a single-payer health care system where the federal government provides coverage for everyone.  A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% are opposed to a single-payer plan.
Rasmussen Reports:
Support for Congressional Health Care Reform Falls to New Low  —  Public support for the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats has fallen to a new low as just 42% of U.S. voters now favor the plan.  That's down five points from two weeks ago and down eight points from six weeks ago.
Rasmussen Reports:
45% Rate Obama Good or Excellent As A Leader, Down 19 Points From January
Niall Ferguson / Financial Times:
A runaway deficit may soon test Obama's luck  —  Felix the Cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat!  Whenever he gets in a fix, he reaches into his bag of tricks!  —  President Barack Obama reminds me of Felix the Cat.  One of the best-loved cartoon characters of the 1920s, Felix was not only black.
Political Punch:
Lost in Translation: Clinton Says She, Not Bill, is the Secretary of State  —  ABC News' Kirit Radia reports: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lost her cool Monday after a Congolese student, speaking through a translator, asked her what “Mr. Clinton” thought about a Chinese trade deal …
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW: Sarah Palin Resigned Due To Marital Troubles, Says Levi Johnston  —  Sarah Palin's marriage has been in trouble from the beginning, says Levi Johnston, the father of their grandson Tripp and ex-fiance of daughter Bristol.  —  What's more Levi told …
Carla Baranauckas / New York Times:
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Founder of Special Olympics, Dies at 88  —  Eunice Kennedy Shriver, a member of one of the most prominent families in American politics and a trailblazer in the effort to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, died early Tuesday morning at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Mass. She was 88.
Benjamin Spillman / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Poll: Reid would lose if Lowden were to run  —  Republican Sue Lowden would defeat incumbent Democratic Sen. Harry Reid by 6 percentage points in a head-to-head matchup, according to a poll of likely Nevada voters.  —  Unfortunately for Reid-bashers, Lowden isn't running — at least not yet.
Patrick O'Connor / The Politico:
GOP rebranding effort flames out  —  Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) generated the kind of buzz other politicians covet when he launched his bid to help rebrand the Republican Party last spring.  —  Television crews and reporters wedged themselves among the crowd of party faithful to cover …
Ben Armbruster / Think Progress:
Dingell says town hall mobs remind him of the Ku Klux Klan.  —  Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), currently the longest serving member of the House of Representatives, has been on the receiving end of some rowdy town hall meetings recently.  People in attendance have displayed signs comparing President Obama …
Associated Press:
Productivity surges in the second quarter  —  Rises at fastest rate in six years; labor costs tumble  —  WASHINGTON - Productivity surged in the spring by the largest amount in almost six years while labor costs plunged at the fastest pace in nine years.  —  The Labor Department said Tuesday …
Kiss my APA!  —  I've always been interested in really smart people who are cocksure about really dumb ideas.  Drew Westen's recent presentation at this year's American Psychological Association Conference in Toronto helped me explore this phenomenon even further.  <!—break—>
Discussion: theblogprof
Bill Vlasic / New York Times:
G.M. Says Volt Will Get Triple-Digit City Mileage  —  WARREN, Mich. — General Motors said Tuesday that its Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle, scheduled for release in 2011, will achieve a fuel rating of 230 miles a gallon in city driving.  —  The rating is based on methodology drafted …
Pam Spaulding / Salon:
What if your health insurance company says no?  —  Editor's note: Glenn Greenwald is on vacation this week.  Pam Spaulding is guest-blogging today.  —  With the whole debate about healthcare reform swirling about, for the lay person, the level of misinformation, scare tactics and political posturing on both sides is tiresome.
John Bolton / Wall Street Journal:
Mary Robinson's Medal of Freedom  —  Anti-Americanism and anti-Israel activism win Obama's approbation.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  Barack Obama's decision to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mary Robinson has generated unexpected but emotionally charged opposition.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Morning Fix: Republicans Go After Democratic Base in N.J.  —  National Republicans are going up with television and radio ads targeting two pillars of the Democratic base — Hispanics and environmentally-minded voters — in the New Jersey governor's race, a sign of their increasing confidence …
Discussion: Blue Virginia and
Tom Bevan / Real Clear Politics:
New Poster Reveals the Ugly Face of Racism  —  (SATIRE ALERT: On the heels of the much commented upon Joker poster of President Obama, a new poster has emerged from an another anonymous artist that has people chattering once again...)  —  Don't be misled.  These new posters featuring Barack …
Discussion: American Power
GOP senator wants Sanford to be impeached  —  (CNN) — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, already under fire for an extramarital relationship, should be impeached for abusing state finances, a Republican state senator said Monday.  —  Sen. David Thomas — the chairman of the Senate constitutional …
Discussion: The Page
Megan McArdle:
Rationing By Any Other Name  —  Robert Wright notes that “we already ration health care; we just let the market do the rationing.”  This is a true point made by the proponents of health care reform.  But I'm not sure why it's supposed to be so interesting.  You could make this statement about any good:
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 More Items: 
Stephanie McCrummen / Washington Post:
Congo's Rape Epidemic Worsens During U.S.-Backed Military Operation
Discussion: TalkLeft and Taylor Marsh
Dana Goldstein / American Prospect:
Ken Shepherd /
Sun-Times Columnist: ObamaCare Opponents a 'Fifth Column …
Discussion: Chicago Sun Times
Washington Post:
Obama Web-Tracking Proposal Raises Privacy Concerns
Discussion: Raw Story and Newsalert
Josh Gerstein / The Politico:
Israel clouds Obama's nuclear summit
 Earlier Items: 
Tim Fernholz / American Prospect:
DEFENDING THE BAILOUTS.  —  So Paul Krugman's column today makes …
Wall Street Journal:
The Next Fannie Mae
Discussion: Clusterstock and The Jawa Report
Washington Post:
Ailing States Face Bleak Outlook in Next Fiscal Year
Discussion: Clusterstock
Matt Welch / Reason:
Who's Ready for a New, Race-Based Government Entity Called the …
Jay Bookman:
It doesn't take Stephen Hawking to figure this one out