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2:30 PM 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.
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.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
White House disables e-tip box  —  Following a furor over how the data would be used, the White House has shut down an electronic tip box — — that was set up to receive information on “fishy” claims about President Barack Obama's health plan.
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Anthony Weiner: Not Including Public Plan Will Cost Reform “100 Votes” in the House  —  [Jane will be appearing on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports today at 1pm EDT.  —Ed.]  —  When I wrote that 64 Democrats in the House had pledged to vote against a health care bill with no public plan …
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.
Michelle Malkin:
White House public option ploy: A trial balloon, not a white flag
Matt Taibbi / Taibblog:
Obama's Pre-emptive Health Care Surrender
Discussion: The Awl
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:   Weiner: Senate healthcare deal could cost 100 House votes
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Obama picks fight with left on health reform
Row 2, Seat 4:
White House responds to Major Garrett's questions about unsolicited emails
Discussion: Mediaite and RedState
The Note:
The Note: Pulling Plugs …
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.
Jennifer Graham / Canadian Press:
Overhauling health-care system tops agenda at annual meeting of Canada's doctors  —  SASKATOON — The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country's health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.  —  Dr. Anne Doig says patients …
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
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 …
Emily Miller / Politics Daily:
Tom DeLay on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ — It's Hammer Time!  —  Tom DeLay, the former Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives, will be a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars” when the popular ABC show premieres Sept. 21.  And, before you laugh or think this is going to be a joke …
Discussion: The Note and Don Surber
Bill Rankin / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Court says Troy Davis can present evidence  —  Condemned killer on death row for murder of off-duty police officer  —  The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday gave Troy Anthony Davis the chance to present evidence in court that the condemned man has said for years will clear him of the murder of a Savannah police officer.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Hearing on innocence claim ordered
Discussion: Associated Press and TalkLeft
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 …
Conservatives Now Outnumber Liberals in All 50 States, Says Gallup Poll  —  ( - Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states of the union, according to the Gallup Poll.  —  At the same time, more Americans nationwide are saying this year …
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.
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.
Washington Post:
Time to Legalize Drugs  —  Undercover Baltimore police officer Dante Arthur was doing what he does well, arresting drug dealers, when he approached a group in January.  What he didn't know was that one of suspects knew from a previous arrest that Arthur was police.  Arthur was shot twice in the face.
Discussion: Reason
National Review:
Rationing and Rationality  —  Defined at a high level of abstraction, rationing is inevitable in medicine.  Not everything that might be in a patient's best interest can be done in a world of finite resources, and some constraint has to limit his treatment.  Thus the left-wing jibe that the market features “rationing by price.”
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 More Items: 
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Exclusive: New Poll Finds Majority Of Republicans Either Believes …
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Reader's Digest plans to file for US bankruptcy
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Obama underlines DOMA opposition
Chris Bowers / Open Left:
Democratic Elites Urge Progressive Block To Fold
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and TalkLeft
Michael Yon:
The Kopp-Etchells Effect
Tom DeLay / ABCNEWS:
‘Dancing With the Stars’ New Season Cast Revealed on ‘Good Morning America’
Discussion: Shakesville
 Earlier Items: 
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Israelis sour on Rahm
Discussion: Salon, Israel Matzav and Israpundit
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
The Press Loves a Hero, but . . .
Discussion: Gawker and Firedoglake
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
ORRIN HATCH, PAINFULLY CONFUSED.... It's frightening to think this guys …
Discussion: The Treatment and ABCNEWS
Mike Lupica / NY Daily News:
Lupica: President Obama is the real target of health care protesters