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11:25 AM ET, August 17, 2009


 Top Items: 
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Administration Official: “Sebelius Misspoke.”  —  An administration official said tonight that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius “misspoke” when she told CNN this morning that a government run health insurance option “is not an essential part” of reform.
Michelle Malkin:
White House public option ploy: A trial balloon, not a white flag  —  Do you believe the Sunday spin on the White House's alleged “retreat” from the Obamacare public option?  —  Video of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's pooh-poohing of the public option provision is here.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Life After the Death of the Public Option  —  From the President on downward, the White House now seems resigned to losing the fight over the “public option”, a government-run insurance plan that would complete against private plans.  It's time to re-assess the playing field in light of this development.
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Obama picks fight with left on health reform  —  In backing away from its support for a public option in healthcare reform, the Obama administration is picking a fight with the liberal wing of the Democratic party.  —  Liberal Democrats have insisted a public insurance option is necessary to ensure competition for private insurers.
Discussion: QandO, and
Ceci Connolly / Washington Post:
Key Feature Of Obama Health Plan May Be Out  —  Administration Hints That Public Option Isn't Only Way to Go  —  Racing to regain control of the health-care debate, two top administration officials signaled Sunday that the White House may be willing to jettison a controversial government-run insurance plan favored by liberals.
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Sorry, Can't Pass Health Care Bill Without a Public Option  —  The headline in The Hill says it loud and clear: … Many people are rightly upset that the White House is sending stronger and stronger signals that they are willing to jettison a public option.
Discussion: TalkLeft and Raw Story
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Latest Twists on the Public Option
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Morning Fix: Creigh Deeds's Presidential Dilemma
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
The Note:
The Note: Pulling Plugs …
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
‘Public Option’ in Health Plan May Be Dropped
Ross Doutha / New York Times:
Telling Grandma ‘No’  —  When Democratic congressmen dream these days, they're tongue-tied in town halls, fumbling with their microphones while they're shouted down by slavering, pitchfork-wielding Limbaugh listeners.  —  But Barack Obama is wiser than most Democratic congressmen, and his nightmares are savvier.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Swiss Menace  —  It was the blooper heard round the world.  In an editorial denouncing Democratic health reform plans, Investor's Business Daily tried to frighten its readers by declaring that in Britain, where the government runs health care, the handicapped physicist Stephen Hawking …
Brad Heath / USA Today:
Poll: 57% don't see stimulus working  —  WASHINGTON — Six months after President Obama launched a $787 billion plan to right the nation's economy, a majority of Americans think the avalanche of new federal aid has cost too much and done too little to end the recession.  —  POLL RESULTS: Six questions
Mike Lupica / NY Daily News:
Lupica: President Obama is the real target of health care protesters  —  The woman went to an airplane hangar in Belgrade, Mont., the other day, prepared to actually listen to President Obama talk about health care reform in America.  —  She has watched, the way the rest of us have watched …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Who are your Milk Carton Politicians?  —  Earlier today, I noted that New Hampshire's media had taken notice that their Congressional delegation had gone missing during the August recess, rather than hold town-hall meetings to face their constituents about the health-care reform package.
Dana Loesch /
Desperately seeking Russ
Discussion: Moe Lane and Hot Air
Jay Cost / HorseRaceBlog:
Obama Misread His Mandate  —  After a rough week for health care reform, Democratic leaders appear to be pulling back on their demand for a public option.  It remains to be seen whether liberal Democrats, especially in the House where they are more numerous, will go along with this.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran / Washington Post:
Pentagon Worries Led to Command Change  —  McKiernan's Ouster Reflected New Realities in Afghanistan — and Washington  —  In mid-March, as a White House assessment of the war in Afghanistan was nearing completion, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen …
The Platform:
Truth and not-quite-truth in the health reform debate  —  As chairman of the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group, Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, knows a thing or two about health care.  But some of what he knows just isn't true.  —  “I'm 59,” Mr. Blunt said last week during a meeting with Post-Dispatch reporters and editors.
Iraq abandons nationwide census  —  Iraq has postponed indefinitely plans to hold its first nationwide census in 22 years over fears it could stoke ethnic and political tensions.  —  The population count in October would have settled arguments over the relative size of Iraq's religious and ethnic communities.
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 More Items: 
Siobhain Butterworth / Guardian:
Open door  —  The readers' editor on ... the British propensity for profanity
Discussion: The Awl
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
ORRIN HATCH, PAINFULLY CONFUSED.... It's frightening to think this guys …
Discussion: The Treatment and ABCNEWS
Arianna Huffington / The Huffington Post:
Your HuffPost Experience Is About to Get A Lot More Social!
Discussion: Mediaite and
Aaron Blake / The Hill:
Recession doesn't stop candidate self-funding
Japan's economy leaves recession
 Earlier Items: 
Rick Rojas / Washington Post:
Self-Described Gypsy Challenges Montgomery County's Ban on Fortunetelling
Andrew Breitbart / Washington Times:
George W. Bush-by-proxy syndrome

From Mediagazer:

Aisha Malik / TechCrunch:
Spotify debuts a new Basic streaming plan in the US for $10.99/month, which includes all the benefits of Premium without the monthly audiobook listening time

Tim Marchman / Wired:
Perplexity scraped a Wired article about Perplexity scraping Wired, apparently ignoring robots.txt; experts say the case might or might not be infringement

Todd Spangler / Variety:
A Las Vegas jury convicts five men for operating Jetflicks, which charged $9.99 per month and officials say was one of the largest illegal streamers in the US

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