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1:50 PM ET, August 15, 2009


 Top Items: 
Rick Perlstein / Washington Post:
In America, Crazy Is a Preexisting Condition  —  Birthers, Town Hall Hecklers and the Return of Right-Wing Rage  —  In Pennsylvania last week, a citizen, burly, crew-cut and trembling with rage, went nose to nose with his baffled senator: “One day God's going to stand before you …
Glenn Reynolds / Instapundit:
THIS ROBERT REICH COLUMN ON THE HEALTH CARE DEBATE is supposed to make you feel bad about the “right wing hate machine,” but instead it's a stunning admission of incompetence: … Hmm.  So it's like this: … Remember how Bush was supposed to be the idiot who went into Iraq without a plan …
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
Health Debate Fails to Ignite Obama's Grass Roots  —  MUSCATINE, Iowa — At her home on Tom Sawyer Road here the other night, Bonnie Adkins agreed to begin spreading the word that President Obama's embattled health care plan needed help.  —  Ms. Adkins, who for the past two years devoted hundreds …
Associated Press:
Shopkeeper 'didn't want to shoot' robbers  —  2 suspects dead, 2 injured after 72-year-old opens fire in New York City  —  NEW YORK - The sidewalk outside the Harlem store still was smeared with blood Friday, and the glass on the door still was blown out.  —  Above the entrance …
Daily Mail:
‘We were duped’: Two British women tricked into becoming stars of campaign to sabotage Obama's healthcare reforms  —  Two British women have claimed they were duped into becoming the stars of a campaign to sabotage Barack Obama's healthcare reforms.  —  Furious Kate Spall and Katie Brickell claim …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Eschaton
Jim Pickard / Financial Times:
UK defends its healthcare  —  The fractious British political classes have united in defence of the UK's healthcare system after it has become a byword for the failings of universal, state-funded provision among the US Republican right.  —  Gordon Brown, prime minister, and David Cameron …
Discussion: NO QUARTER
Murtha differs from Obama on health care timeline  —  (CNN) - A bill to overhaul the nation's ailing health-care system may not pass until January or later, Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania said Friday.  —  His comment to CNN affiliate WJPA differed from President Barack Obama's …
Discussion: BrianFaughnan's blog
The Moderate Voice:
Whole Foods Boycott Picks Up Steam (Guest Voice)  —  Whole Foods Boycott Picks Up Steam  —  by Richard Blair  —  Whole Foods CEO John Mackey shot his company in the face the other day with an anti-health care op-ed screed in the Wall Street Journal.  He's managed to piss off …
Rasmussen Reports:
54% Say Passing No Healthcare Reform Better Than Passing Congressional Plan  —  Thirty-five percent (35%) of American voters say passage of the bill currently working its way through Congress would be better than not passing any health care reform legislation this year.
Discussion: and Don Surber
Gila Courier and AZ 8th:
Jesse Kelly town hall a great success  —  Rep. Giffords canceled her town hall in Sahuarita/Green Valley and Jesse Kelly scheduled an appearance in the same venue at the same time and place.  From the looks of the video below it was very successful.  Both sides were allowed to speak for two hours and with no problems.
J. Taylor Rushing / The Hill:
Kennedy absences raise concern for health vote  —  Sen. Edward Kennedy's absence from two high-profile public events is raising worries that the country's longest congressional champion for health reform may not be available to shepherd it through the Senate this fall.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Anthony Colarossi / Orlando Sentinel:
Clermont police interview suspect in Obama ‘Joker’ posters  —  (TOM BENITEZ, ORLANDO SENTINEL / August 12, 2009)  —  CLERMONT - Clermont police have interviewed one suspect who is admitting to putting up the dozens of posters pasted around the city depicting President Obama as the Joker character …
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Drug Firms Cost Lobbyist His Position  —  WASHINGTON — Dick Armey, the former House Republican leader, has quit his job with the lobbying firm DLA Piper amid complaints from its drug company clients about his work opposing President Obama's health care overhaul.
Discussion: Political Insider and AmSpecBlog
David Mark / The Politico:
Armey leaves firm amid health care flap
Charles Mahtesian / The Politico:
Sestak big winner in Netroots straw poll  —  PITTSBURGH—Progressive online activists prefer Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) over Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) by a landslide margin, according to results of a Netroots Nation straw poll released Saturday.  The poll also showed significant resistance …
Discussion: Hot Air
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Senators use Twitter to argue about ‘death panels’  —  Sens. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) took to Twitter Friday to clash over comments the latter made regarding end-of-life provisions included in healthcare reform legislation.  —  Specter initiated the tussle, tweeting about a call he made to Grassley's office.
Discussion: The Reaction
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Septuagenarian Twitter Flame War: Grassley Warns Specter He Never …
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 More Items: 
Victor Zapanta / Think Progress:
Grassley brings Glenn Beck's book to town hall meeting to ‘pass it on.’
Discussion: MyDD, Washington Monthly and Hullabaloo
Justin McCurry / Guardian:
US senator visits Burma
Discussion: Truthdig
Matt Glazer / Burnt Orange Report:
Kirk Watson's Statement on Running for Re-Election
Discussion: Daily Kos and Centerfield Blog:
Jonathan Martin / Ben Smith's Blog:
Obama embraces the new “exception not the rule” strategy on town halls
 Earlier Items: 
Scot Lehigh / Boston Globe:
When the kooks take the stage  —  IT'S HARD TO SAY what's …
Ed Henry / CNN:
Obama's big problem in Big Sky country
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Pace of stimulus spending plummets
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
Nazis for Me, but Not for Thee  —  It's this week's fashion …
Discussion: Right Pundits
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Palin continues Facebook attacks on healthcare