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5:55 PM ET, August 18, 2009


 Top Items: 
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.
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 …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Kyl: Concessions won't win over GOP  —  Sen. Jon Kyl just confirmed the suspicions of most liberals fearful that the White House is giving away too much in the health care debate.  —  The Senate Republican whip, speaking to reporters on a conference call from his home state of Arizona …
The Huffington Post:
Kyl: Co-Ops A “Trojan Horse” For Public Option, GOP Won't Support  —  A key member of Republican leadership in the Senate declared on Tuesday that a cooperative approach to health insurance was merely a “Trojan horse” for a government-run system.  —  In a conference call with reporters …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
The left, energized  —  Opposition always seems to be more energizing than power, and even as the White House struggles to flip the switch on the old campaign apparatus, the left is clearly gathering steam around its frustrations with the possible abandonment of the public option in health care reform.
Discussion: Daily Kos, TalkLeft and The Plum Line
The Politico:
Liberals revolt over public option
Noam Scheiber / The New Republic:
Why the Public Option S**t Storm is Great News
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
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 …
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” …
Adam Bernstein / Washington Post:
Robert Novak, Long-Time Conservative Columnist, Dies at 78
Eleanor Clift / Newsweek:
The Ultimate Insider Journalist
Columnist Robert Novak dies at 78
Mark Murray /
NBC POLL: PLURALITY OPPOSES PUBLIC OPTION  —  From NBC's Mark Murray  —  The question of whether or not the eventual health-care reform legislation will include a public/government option to compete with private insurers has dominated the health-care debate over the past two days.
Discussion: TalkLeft, NOW! Blog, RSC and Hot Air
Ezra Klein:
The Evolution of the Public Option
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Video: Dem wants to eliminate private health insurance altogether
Jazz Shaw / The Moderate Voice:
Anthony Weiner Tears off the Mask
Discussion: Hot Air
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 …
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.
Discussion: Firedoglake, Hullabaloo and Gawker
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice:
Remembering Rose Friedman  —  Rose Director Friedman passed away Tuesday, August 18, 2009, in her home in Davis, California, of heart failure.  While the exact date of her birth is uncertain, she is believed to have been 98 years old.  —  She will be remembered both as a talented economist and an influential advocate of freedom.
Vivien Lou Chen / Bloomberg:
Rose Friedman, Economist Partner of Husband Milton, Dies at 97
Discussion: Cato @ Liberty and The Foundry
Brian Doherty / Reason:
Rose Friedman, R.I.P.
Discussion: Below The Beltway
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 and The Awl
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.
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: Flopping Aces and Commentary
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: The Enterprise Blog and Macsmind
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 …
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.
Brian Maloney / The Radio Equalizer:
Howard Dean Says Senate Republicans Want Obama Dead  —  A QUIET SCREAM  —  Former DNC Head Plays Games With Incendiary Language  —  Apparently, libtalkers aren't the only ones asserting that conservatives want Obama dead.  After a week of reckless rhetoric from the left side of the dial …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Troubled History  —  As we track the escalating number of incidents of right-wing fringers bringing guns to Obama events or other health create town hall events, we are, unsurprisingly, seeing various conservative websites mocking the public concern.  “Oh, those Dems, they go all wobbly …
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:
Martin Kramer / Sandbox:
Fear-mongering at Yale  —  Flash back to 2006.  Professor Marcia Inhorn, a medical anthropologist and director of the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan, is invited to lecture in Tehran on her field of expertise, infertility and assisted reproductive technologies in Muslim countries.
David Owens / Hartford Courant:
Lawyer: FBI Trained Hal Turner As An “Agent Provocateur”  —  HARTFORD — Internet blogger Harold “Hal” Turner's attorney said today that Turner's background as an FBI informant will be a key part of his defense to charges that he incited violence against two state legislators and a state ethics official.
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and Emptywheel
Victor Zapanta / Think Progress:
Rep. Markey Reveals Five More Forged Astroturf Letters  —  Last month, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) announced a congressional investigation of the DC lobbying firm Bonner & Associates.  The firm, which has a long history of astroturfing, was caught forging anti-clean energy reform letters …
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 More Items: 
William Booth / Washington Post:
U.S. to Free More Money for Mexico to Fight Drug Trafficking
Discussion: Cato @ Liberty
New York Times:
New Chief at A.I.G. to Be Paid at Least $7 Million a Year
Discussion: Hullabaloo
David Roberts / Grist:
Netroots Nation frustration and the impediments to progressive change
Steve Gorman / Reuters:
Building block of life found on comet
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Fiorina takes formal step toward challenging Boxer
Discussion: Senate Guru and AmSpecBlog
Judith Burns / BBC:
Methane seeps from Arctic sea bed
Discussion: The Strata-Sphere and Shakesville
Amy Taxin / Associated Press:
ICE boss says he suspended use of arrest quotas
Jim O'Hara / Syracuse Post-Standard:
Dwight DeLee gets the maximum in transgender slaying
Discussion: #gay
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Klavan / Wall Street Journal:
The Panel  —  What death by bureaucratic fiat might look like.
Dana Goldstein / American Prospect:
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Christie stumbles again in closely watched NJ gubernatorial fight
Terence Chea / Associated Press:
Protesters want UC Berkeley law professor fired
Peter Hermann / Baltimore Sun:
Police-involved marriage proposal draws fire
Discussion: Wonkette