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2:50 PM ET, August 18, 2009


 Top Items: 
Kenneth Y. Tomlinson / Human Events:
Robert Novak (1931-2009)  —  The Evans-Novak column ran under the title “the Sonnenfeldt Doctrine.”  When I finished reading that early spring day in 1976, I remember thinking, this is quintessential Bob Novak.  —  State Department Counselor Helmut Sonnenfeldt had told a London gathering …
Lynn Sweet / Chicago Sun Times:
Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak dead at 78  —  WASHINGTON — Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak, one of the nation's most influential journalists, who relished his “Prince of Darkness” public persona, died at home here early Tuesday morning after a battle with brain cancer.
Timothy P. Carney / Human Events:
Remembering Bob Novak  —  Bob Novak hired me away from HUMAN EVENTS in late 2001.  “Poaching,” HE Editor-in-Chief Tom Winter called it.  I was not the first early-20s reporter Novak would pluck from HE's newsroom.  Nor would I be the last.  —  Work for us Novak reporters …
Conservative columnist Robert Novak dies  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Conservative columnist and former CNN “Crossfire” co-host Robert Novak has died after a yearlong battle with cancer, his family said Tuesday.  He was 78.  —  Novak died at home, over a year after doctors diagnosed him with a malignant brain tumor in August 2008.
Chicago Sun Times:
Robert Novak: Innovator's life marked by passion  —  BY SUN-TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD  —  Most people know the late Sun-Times columnist Robert D. Novak, who died this morning [Tuesday] from complications of a brain tumor, as a journalist.  And indeed he was among the best this country has produced.
Lynn Sweet:
Robert Novak, Chicago Sun-Times Columnist, “Prince of Darkness” died Tuesday  —  Please check back here; I am updating through the day.  —  WASHINGTON—Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak, one of the nation's most influential journalists, who relished his “Prince of Darkness” …
Timothy P. Carney / Washington Examiner:
Columnist Robert D. Novak dies after battle with cancer  —  Robert D. Novak, who began covering Washington during the Eisenhower administration and later achieved fame as a columnist and television commentator, died in his home Tuesday morning after a year-long battle with cancer.  He was 78.
Adam Bernstein / Washington Post:
Robert Novak, Long-Time Conservative Columnist, Dies at 78
New York Times:
Robert Novak, Columnist, Dies at 78
Discussion: Sweetness & Light
Eleanor Clift / Newsweek:
The Ultimate Insider Journalist
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.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Sixty House Liberals To White House: No Public Option, No Health Care Reform  —  One interesting side plot in the health care wars: The debate over the public option has suddenly reminded us that there are in fact two houses of Congress, something that's been easy to forget amid the media obsession with the …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Kyl: Concessions won't win over GOP
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
White House downplays outcry over public option
Discussion: The Nation and TPMDC
Washington Post:
Some Key Democrats Say Public Option is Essential to Health-Care Reform
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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
Martin Kramer / Sandbox:
Fear-mongering at Yale
Ezra Klein:
The Evolution of the Public Option  —  Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy  —  Monday, on Dylan Ratigan's “Morning Meeting,” I had the opportunity to chat health care with Gov. Howard Dean.  Dean's point was simple: “If you're not going to have a public option …
Dana Goldstein / American Prospect:
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: Raw Story
Paul Krugman:
Black cats  —  I really had no intention of writing more about Niall Ferguson.  Regular readers may recall that he wrote an article in the Financial Times that began, … I asked, are there no editors?  —  But Professor Ferguson demands that I (and James Fallows) print his response:
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: Macsmind
Marist Poll:
8/18: 2012 Prospects: Palin a Force in GOP But Not General Electorate  —  Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin may still be making news headlines, but the U.S. electorate has news for her.  If the 2012 presidential election were held today and she were the Republican candidate, Palin would not defeat President Barack Obama.
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.
Daily Mail:
Woman gives birth on pavement ‘after being refused ambulance’  —  A young mother gave birth on a pavement outside a hospital after she was told to make her own way there.  —  Mother-of-three Carmen Blake called her midwife to ask for an ambulance when she went into labour unexpectedly with her fourth child.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Huck accused of America-bashing  —  Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee defended himself Tuesday against accusations from liberal bloggers that he has been “bashing America” during his ongoing visit to Israel.  —  “Don't minimize the idea that some in the left wing of the press are capable …
Wall Street Journal:
Harry Reid's ‘Evil’ Moment  —  And Democrats wonder why their health plan isn't selling.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  Remember when polite society treated a politician's use of the word “evil” as a sign that the old boy was dangerously lacking upstairs?
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Flopping Aces
Los Angeles Times:
Despite fumbles, Biden's a player  —  Cementing his value to Obama, the vice president has been tapped to take on key issues.  Next up: healthcare.  —  Reporting from Washington  —  The gaffes keep piling up: the untimely comments stoking fears of swine flu, dismissals of Russia that seem straight out of the Cold War.
Andrew Klavan / Wall Street Journal:
The Panel  —  What death by bureaucratic fiat might look like.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels.  And that's part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance.
Discussion: The Anchoress
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 More Items: 
Newsdesk / Clout St:
Chris Kennedy won't run in 2010 for Senate or governor
Jim O'Hara / Syracuse Post-Standard:
Dwight DeLee gets the maximum in transgender slaying
Discussion: Joe. My. God. and #gay
Jon / Exurban League:
MSM Quote of the Day!  —  “For some reason I keep thinking of the deficit.”
Discussion: Arizona Republic
Jazz Shaw / The Moderate Voice:
Anthony Weiner Tears off the Mask
Discussion: Hot Air and Pajamas Media
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Christie stumbles again in closely watched NJ gubernatorial fight
 Earlier Items: 
Tina Dupuy / FishBowlLA:
Jay Rosen on the Term “Blogger”
Terence Chea / Associated Press:
Protesters want UC Berkeley law professor fired
Bill could be major hurricane, close to land
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
The Lanny Davis disease and America's health care debate
Peter Hermann / Baltimore Sun:
Police-involved marriage proposal draws fire
Discussion: Wonkette