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10:55 AM ET, August 19, 2009


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Democrats Seem Set to Go Alone on a Health Bill  —  WASHINGTON — Given hardening Republican opposition to Congressional health care proposals, Democrats now say they see little chance of the minority's cooperation in approving any overhaul, and are increasingly focused on drawing support for a final plan from within their own ranks.
Nat Hentoff / Jewish World Review:
I am finally scared of a White House administration  —  The members of that ultimate federal board will themselves not have examined or seen the patient in question.  For another example of the growing, tumultuous resistance to “Dr. Obama,” particularly among seniors, there is a July 29 …
Washington Post:
White House Is Seeking to Repair Intraparty Rift About Public Option  —  Public Option Wasn't Intended as Major Focus  —  President Obama's advisers acknowledged Tuesday that they were unprepared for the intraparty rift that occurred over the fate of a proposed public health insurance program …
Mark Murray /
NBC poll: Doubts over Obama health plan  —  NBC poll: Misperceptions abound on president's health overhaul initiative  —  WASHINGTON - Two weeks since raucous congressional town-hall meetings on health care became a national story — and days after President Barack Obama began holding his own town halls …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
TIPPING POINT.... By all appearances, Democrats have gone above and beyond in trying to secure at least some Republican support for health care reform.  GOP leaders have gotten a lot of face time at the White House.  Dems have signaled a willingness to make all kinds of concessions.
The Huffington Post:
Kyl: Co-Ops A “Trojan Horse” For Public Option, GOP Won't Support
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Axelrod's ties targeted in health fight  —  Critics of President Obama's health-care overhaul are zeroing in on his senior adviser David Axelrod, whose former partners at a Chicago-based firm are the beneficiaries of huge ad buys—now at $24 million and counting—by White House allies in the reform fight.
Hugh Hewitt /
David Axelrod's Very Big Problem  —  The allegations in this Bloomberg story —if true— pose a huge problem for a senior advisor to the president, David Axelrod.  This is the heart of the problem: … The problem is that Axelrod's former firm is currently receiving huge fees …
Jo Becker / New York Times:
A Conservative's Road to Same-Sex Marriage Advocacy  —  Theodore B. Olson's office is a testament to his iconic status in the conservative legal movement.  A framed photograph of Ronald Reagan, the first of two Republican presidents Mr. Olson served, is warmly inscribed with “heartfelt thanks.”
Martin Feldstein / Wall Street Journal:
ObamaCare Is All About Rationing  —  Overspending is far preferable to artificially limiting the availability of new procedures and technologies.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  Although administration officials are eager to deny it, rationing health care is central to President Barack Obama's health plan.
Sam Dagher / New York Times:
Massive Explosions Kill Dozens in Baghdad  —  BAGHDAD — At least 45 people were killed and 300 wounded in a series of truck-bomb and other attacks on Wednesday that rocked areas around official buildings in central Baghdad, the interior ministry said.  —  The explosions, at least …
Discussion: Norwegianity
BBC:   Dozens killed in Baghdad attacks
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
It's Time to Give Up On the Public Option  —  Enough already with the public option!  —  It is not the be-all and end-all of health-care reform.  It is not the long-awaited safety net for the uninsured.  And if, as many liberals hope, it turns out to be nothing more than Medicare for All …
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Woman yells ‘Heil Hitler’ to Jewish man praising Israel's national health care system.  —  Conservatives have strenuously denied that there is any anti-Semitism on display by anti-health reform protesters at town hall meetings nationwide — despite all the evidence to the contrary.
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
In Appraisal Shift, Lenders Gain Power and Critics  —  Mike Kennedy, a real estate appraiser in Monroe, N.Y., was examining a suburban house a few years ago when he discovered five feet of water in the basement.  The mortgage broker arranging the owner's refinancing asked him to pretend it was not there.
Discussion: Clusterstock and The Big Picture
Sweden newspaper: Israel kills Palestinians, harvests their organs  —  A leading Swedish newspaper reported this week that Israeli soldiers are abducting Palestinians in order to steal their organs, a claim that prompted furious condemnation and accusations of anti-Semitic blood libel from a rival publication.
Versha Sharma / Talking Points Memo:
Assault Rifle Interview Outside Obama Event In Phoenix Was Planned  —  Ernest Hancock, the online radio host who interviewed the man with the assault rifle outside yesterday's Obama event in Arizona, today stated that the whole event was actually planned in advance.  Watch the video below.
Rachel Slajda / Talking Points Memo:   Man With Assault Rifle Outside Obama Event: ‘We Will Forcefully Resist’
Ryan Sager / New York Times:
Keep Off the Astroturf  —  WITH the “public option” part of President Obama's health care reform plan looking dead in the water, many of its supporters are taking issue with the legitimacy of its opposition.  “We call it ‘Astroturf,’ ” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said of the protesters at town-hall meetings.
Domenico Montanaro /
FIRST THOUGHTS: OBAMA'S GOOD, BAD NEWS  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg  —  *** Good news and bad news: The (relatively) good news for the Obama White House in the new NBC News poll is that the contours of the health-care debate haven't really changed …
Timothy P. Carney / Washington Examiner:
Novak's public service: Exposing the power game  —  Bob Novak wrote columns because it was the only vocation he ever had.  Though he never would have called his work “public service” — he laughed at the idea — he undoubtedly served his country by exposing the machinations of power and showing how government actually operated.
Discussion: The Note, Clusterstock and AmSpecBlog
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Fiorina takes initial step to challenge Boxer  —  (CNN) — Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is taking the initial steps to challenge California Democrat Barbara Boxer for her Senate seat, a move that could lay the groundwork for one of the most high profile and expensive contests of 2010.
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Mike Zapler / Mercury News:
Fiorina takes a step toward challenging Boxer in 2010
Discussion: GayPatriot and Instapundit
Barney Frank goes toe to toe at health care town hall  —  (CNN) — Most Congress members conducting town hall meetings this month have chosen a noncombative posture to deal with angry participants who disrupt the proceedings.  Not Rep. Barney Frank.  —  At a lively two-hour meeting Tuesday night …
North Korean envoys, Richardson to meet  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two top North Korean diplomats were traveling to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to hold talks with Gov. Bill Richardson, the governor's spokesman said.  —  Kim Myong Gil and Taek Jong Ho, senior diplomats with the North Korean mission …
Brian Macker / Washington Examiner:
RHO1953  —  I can't say that I agree with her about anything, but at least she's consistent and not a hypocrite, unlike the vast majority of democrats.  They were anti-war until their man decided to be a war-monger.  Now they are silent.  I suppose they will go back to being anti-war after Obama leaves office.
Discussion: Power Line
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 More Items: 
Chris Isidore /
GM bringing back 1,350 workers
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
FreedomWorks not free: $10K to participate in D.C. tea party march
Duke Helfand / Los Angeles Times:
Obama to preach his healthcare message to religious leaders
Discussion: Hot Air and The Page
Natasha Singer / New York Times:
Senator Moves to Block Medical Ghostwriting
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Richard A. Posner / Atlantic Correspondents:
Honesty about the Stimulus  —  On August 6, Christina Romer …
Discussion: Economist's View and RADAMISTO
 Earlier Items: 
The Huffington Post:
Labor Warns Dems: We'll Sit Out Election If You Oppose Public Plan
Discussion: Politics Daily
Spiegel Online:
Danish Conservatives Call for Burqa Ban
Caroline Baum / Bloomberg:
Obama Goes Postal, Lands in Dead-Letter Office: Caroline Baum
Poll: Was Palin's resignation a smart move?
Chris Bowers / Open Left:
I Am Vaguely Calling You Out
Discussion: Taylor Marsh