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10:40 AM ET, August 18, 2009


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Alternate Plan as Health Option Muddies Debate  —  WASHINGTON — The White House has indicated that it could accept a nonprofit health care cooperative as an alternative to a new government insurance plan, originally favored by President Obama.  But the co-op idea is so ill defined …
The Politico:
Liberals revolt over public option  —  The White House's signal that it's willing to back off support for a public health insurance option has sent congressional liberals into full revolt, bluntly warning the administration that no legislation will pass without a government-run plan.
Washington Post:
Some Key Democrats Say Public Option is Essential to Health-Care Reform
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
White House: No change on public option
Chris Stirewalt / Washington Examiner:
Obama fighting for his presidency, not reform
Mark Thoma / Economist's View:
“Public Option versus Co-ops: The Market Test”
CBS News:
Thousands Quit AARP Over Health Reform  —  Tens of Thousands Don't Like the Health Care Overhaul  —  (CBS) CBS News has learned that up to 60,000 people have cancelled their AARP memberships since July 1, angered over the group's position on health care.  —  Elaine Guardiani has been with AARP …
Philip Elliott / Associated Press:
White House says it did send unwanted e-mails … WASHINGTON (AP) - After insisting no one was receiving unsolicited e-mails from the White House, officials reversed their story Monday night and blamed outside political groups for the unwanted messages from the tech-savvy operation.
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Boehner blasts PhRMA's Tauzin over healthcare deal
Discussion: TPMDC and
Los Angeles Times:
Obama Joker artist unmasked: A fellow Chicagoan  —  When cryptic posters portraying President Obama as the Joker from “Batman” began popping up around Los Angeles and other cities, the question many asked was, Who is behind the image?  —  Was it an ultra-conservative grassroots group …
Rachel Slajda / Talking Points Memo:
Twelve Carry Guns — Including Assault Rifle — Outside Obama Event  —  About 12 people were carrying guns, including at least one semi-automatic assault rifle, outside a building where President Obama was speaking today.  —  No one was arrested outside the VFW National Convention in Phoenix …
Obama's MySpace page: I'm 52 years old, not 48  —  Would place president's birth during time Hawaii was a territory  —  If President Obama were indeed born in Hawaii, was it while the islands were a territory of the United States?  —  A new wrinkle in the dispute over his birth …
Christopher Hitchens / Slate:
Yale Surrenders  —  Why did Yale University Press remove images of Mohammed from a book about the Danish cartoons?  —  The capitulation of Yale University Press to threats that hadn't even been made yet is the latest and perhaps the worst episode in the steady surrender to religious extremism …
Wall Street Journal:
Why Obama's Ratings Are Sinking  —  Americans will put up with a lot.  But not with someone who imperils their future.  —  Washington Wire  —  White House Issues Q&A on Health Plan  —  The White House, seeking to reassure allies that it hasn't abandoned plans for a government-sponsored …
Discussion: Blue Crab Boulevard
Kevin Bohn / CNN:
Blue Dog: ‘Excellent idea’ to start over on health care reform  —  PERRY, Florida (CNN) - Acknowledging his amazement at the crowds gathered to debate health care at his town halls, Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Florida, faced three large gatherings on Monday with many questioners voicing skepticism about the proposals being debated in Washington.
Andrew Pollack / New York Times:
DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated, Scientists Show  —  Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence, undermining the credibility of what has been considered the gold standard of proof in criminal cases.  —  The scientists fabricated blood …
Discussion: The Raw Story and QandO
Peter Hermann / Baltimore Sun:
Police-involved marriage proposal draws fire  —  For the record, she said ‘yes’  —  City police are investigating why on-duty marine and helicopter officers helped a Baltimore County state delegate propose to his girlfriend by pretending to raid a boat the couple were aboard, a department spokesman said Monday.
Discussion: Reason
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Supreme Court Orders New Look at Death Row Case  —  WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a federal trial court in Georgia to consider the case of Troy Davis, who is on death row in state prison there for the 1989 murder of an off-duty police officer.
Wall Street Journal:
Obama Underwrites Offshore Drilling  —  Too bad it's not in U.S. waters.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  You read that headline correctly.  Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is financing oil exploration off Brazil.  —  The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
For the Left, war without Bush is not war at all  —  Remember the anti-war movement?  Not too long ago, the Democratic party's most loyal voters passionately opposed the war in Iraq.  Democratic presidential candidates argued over who would withdraw American troops the quickest.
Discussion: Power Line and
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Winning By Losing  —  Charlie Cook just said something very profound (which is unusual.)  Chris Matthews asked whether or not the Democrats would lose the House next year and he said he didn't think so, but that they might lose 20 seats.  And then he said this:
Discussion: Outside The Beltway and TalkLeft
Rasmussen Reports:
Voters Skeptical About Health Care Reform Claims Made By Pelosi and Hoyer  —  Lost in the uproar over a comment in USA Today by the top two House Democrats that those protesting health care reform are “un-American” were several statements aimed at assuring Americans that their access to quality care will be even greater.
Discussion: YID With LID and Don Surber
Rasmussen Reports:
6% Expect Tax Cut During Obama Years
Discussion: Power Line
Bob Herbert / New York Times:
This Is Reform?  —  It's never a contest when the interests of big business are pitted against the public interest.  So if we manage to get health care “reform” this time around it will be the kind of reform that benefits the very people who have given us a failed system, and thus made reform so necessary.
Ernesto Londoño / Washington Post:
Iraq May Hold Vote on Early U.S. Withdrawal  —  As American Focus Turns to North, Troops Could Be Forced to Leave Early  —  U.S. troops could be forced by Iraqi voters to withdraw a year ahead of schedule under a referendum the Iraqi government backed Monday, creating a potential complication …
Discussion: Informed Comment and Needlenose
Kpicket / The washington times Blogs:
Rep. Massa: I will vote against the interests of my district  —  Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) addressed an intimate group of Netroots activists during their annual Netroots Nation gathering in Pittsburgh this weekend.  Mr. Massa reiterated his support for a single-payer health care bill.
Carrie Johnson / Washington Post:
Obama Calls for Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act  —  Justice Dept. Filing Distances Administration From Arguments That Angered Gays  —  The Obama administration distanced itself Monday from legal arguments it had made earlier this summer, taking pains to remove and renounce language …
Discussion: Below The Beltway
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 More Items: 
Anita Kumar Ashley Halsey III / Washington Post:
Virginia Delays I-395/95 HOT Lane Project
Discussion: The Bellows
Roger Ebert / Roger Ebert's Journal:
“Death Panels.” A most excellent term.
Discussion: Corrente
Associated Press:
Fla. population drops for 1st time since 1946
Discussion: RedState
Radley Balko / Reason:
Innocent Man Freed, But Shabby Prosecutor Still Works as Judge
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
Why Digest's Next Excerpt Will Be From Chapter 11
Stu Woo / Wall Street Journal:
Calif. Ills Aid Tom Campbell Campaign
 Earlier Items: 
Scott Horton / Harper's:
Yoo Returns to Berkeley
Benedict Carey / New York Times:
Mental Stress Training Is Planned for U.S. Soldiers
Nick Bryant / BBC:
China ‘angry’ at Australia tour
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Luntz admits he tries to convince focus group attendees to oppose …
Madison Park / CNN:
90 percent of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine
Discussion: and PoliBlog
Katie Baker / Newsweek Blogs:
Why the Ladies Love Jon Hamm of ‘Mad Men’