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1:50 PM ET, August 20, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Frank Phillips / Boston Globe:
Kennedy, looking ahead, urges that Senate seat be filled quickly  —  Seeks law change for interim post  —  Senator Edward M. Kennedy, in a poignant acknowledgment of his mortality at a critical time in the national health care debate, has privately asked the governor and legislative leaders …
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
New Rx for Health Plan: Split Bill  —  The White House and Senate Democratic leaders, seeing little chance of bipartisan support for their health-care overhaul, are considering a strategy shift that would break the legislation into two parts and pass the most expensive provisions solely with Democratic votes.
Washington Post:
Grassley Urges Scaling Back on Health-Care Reform Plan, Citing Town Hall Anger  —  Republican Grassley Cites Town Hall Anger  —  Sen. Charles E. Grassley, a key Republican negotiator in the quest for bipartisan health-care reform, said Wednesday that the outpouring of anger at town hall meetings …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Republicans Calling for Super-Supermajority for Health Care  —  In order to become law, a health care bill needs to secure a majority on the House Ways & Means Committee and also the House Energy & Commerce Committee and also the House Education & Labor Committee and, of course, the full United States House of Representatives.
Perry Bacon Jr / Capitol Briefing:
Ailing Kennedy Asks for Speedy Replacement Process
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Poll Shows GOP Arguments About Health Care May Be Resonating
Discussion: Weekly Standard, Democrats.com and MyDD
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Democrats Eyeing Split Health Reform Strategy
Discussion: TalkLeft
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Unreal: MSNBC edits clip of man with gun at Obama rally to support racism narrative  —  I missed this yesterday at Newsbusters but Treacher, rightly aghast, tipped me to it this afternoon.  Never will you see a starker example of MSNBC getting away with the sort of deception for which Fox News …
RELATED:
Ace of Spades HQ:
Oh, My: MSNBC Carefully Crops Shot of Black Man Carrying AR-15 at Healt Care Rally to Avoid Skin Color, So They Can Then Rant and Rave About “White People” Showing Up With Guns When a “Person of Color” is President  —  Oh yes they did.  —  Allah is outraged, as is the Newsbusters which found this (or rather their partner/parent MRC).
US News:
Tom Ridge on National Security After 9/11  —  Tom Ridge, the first head of the 9/11-inspired Department of Homeland Security, wasn't keen on writing a tell-all.  But in The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege...and How We Can Be Safe Again, out September 1, Ridge says he wants to shake “public complacency” over security.
RELATED:
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Ridge admits Bush administration pushed to raise security alert for political reasons on eve of re-election.  —  Former Bush Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is releasing a book on September 1 titled, “The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege...and How We Can Be Safe Again.”
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Don't Cry For Tom Ridge
Discussion: Emptywheel
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:
Left flexes muscles on healthcare reform  —  The fury from the left about President Barack Obama's shift on a public option has raised the prospect of House liberals joining together to defeat a healthcare bill that doesn't meet their standards.  —  Heading into the August recess …
Discussion: Firedoglake, Blog entry, Daily Kos and TPMDC
RELATED:
Jordan Fabian / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Leading Blue Dog: Covering uninsured not top priority of health reform
Roll Call:   Public Option Support Used as Fundraising Tool
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Limits of Incrementalism  —  A disheartened Ezra Klein looks at a WSJ/NBC poll showing that people have lots of false beliefs about the president's health care agenda and offers the following chart:  —  My first thought is “reform opponents are lying like crazy and it's working.”
Discussion: JustOneMinute and Obsidian Wings
RELATED:
Ezra Klein:   Americans Hate Everyone, Believe Everything
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
C.I.A. Sought Blackwater's Help in Plan to Kill Jihadists  —  WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired outside contractors from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda, according to current and former government officials.
CBS News:
White House To Phase Out Cash for Clunkers  —  Announcement May Come This Week on When Incentives for Trading in Old Vehicles Will End  —  (CBS/AP) The Obama administration is developing plans to wind down the popular Cash for Clunkers program and could announce by Friday when the incentives will no longer be available.
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Poll Shows Most Americans Oppose War in Afghanistan  —  A majority of Americans now see the war in Afghanistan as not worth fighting, and just a quarter say more U.S. troops should be sent to the country, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.  —  Most have confidence in the ability …
RELATED:
New York Times:
Scotland Lets Lockerbie Convict Return to Libya  —  LONDON — Despite strenuous American opposition, the Scottish government on Thursday ordered the release on compassionate grounds of the only person convicted in the Lockerbie bombing, permitting Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi …
RELATED:
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Lockerbie Bombing Suspect Released and Controversy Grows (UPDATED)
Discussion: Fox News, CNN and Outside The Beltway
Joe Klein / Time:
The GOP Has Become a Party of Nihilists  —  In one of those awful collisions between public policy and real life, I was in the midst of an awkward conversation about end-of-life issues with my father when Sarah Palin raised the remarkable idea that the Obama Administration's attempt to include …
Steven Erlanger / New York Times:
A Good-News Photo Op Embarrasses 2 French Ministers  —  PARIS — It was apparently just a little summertime spinning with the aid of a grocery chain, but Luc Chatel, the education minister and government spokesman, found himself in some hot water over a supposedly staged visit to a quiet supermarket on Monday.
Mike / The Baseline Scenario:
Has Mortgage Modification failed?  —  Obama's mortgage modification plan, HAMP (Home Afforable Modification Program), isn't working very well.  Designed to help prevent foreclosures by incentivizing and giving legal protection to previously indifferent middle-men servicers it isn't producing anywhere near …
Discussion: Felix Salmon
Michael Cooper / New York Times:
Government Jobs Have Grown Since Recession  —  While the private sector has shed 6.9 million jobs since the beginning of the recession, state and local governments have expanded their payrolls and added 110,000 jobs, according to a report issued Thursday by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.
Discussion: Reason and EconLog
Ed Kilgore / The New Republic:
Don't Sweat It  —  Obama sure looks to be in trouble, but we've seen this summertime hysteria before.  —  As the Dog Days of August descended upon us, there developed across the progressive chattering classes a deep sense of malaise bordering on depression, if not panic …
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Bernanke, a Hero to His Own, Can't Shake Critics  —  WASHINGTON — Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, no longer looks sleep-deprived.  —  He still works seven days a week, but earlier this month he took two days off — for the first time in two years — to attend his son's wedding.
Daniel Bates / Daily Mail:
Paedophile pensioner given Viagra on the NHS - despite string of attacks on children  —  A paedophile with a 30-year history of abusing children is being prescribed Viagra on the NHS - and there is nothing the authorities can do to stop him.  —  Roger Martin, 71, merely has to visit his GP …
 
 
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 More Items: 
David Wood / Politics Daily:
Afghanistan Elections and the Long War
Discussion: Op For and Washington Post
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Huckabee continues to come closest for 2012
Discussion: The Tolbert Report
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
God and Gog: It's Like Christ and Anti-Christ Join Forces on Super Best Friends
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Weekly Standard
postandcourier.com:
DeMint offers his take on hot issues
Discussion: The Fix, Wonkette and The Plum Line
Susie Madrak / Crooks and Liars:
Hypocritical Insurance Companies: Stop Us Before We Kill Again!
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
Thinking Through the ‘Public Option’
 Earlier Items: 
Fox News:
Health Insurers Fear Probe By House Dems Is Reprisal for Opposing Part …
Associated Press:
AP source: White House deficit less than projected
Martin Fletcher / Times of London:
The face of Abbas Kargar Javid — man accused of killing Neda Soltan
Daily Express:
SICK FANATICS CHEER BODY BAGS
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Atlas Shrugs
Mike Scarcella / The BLT:
Harriet Miers Takes Another Crack at the U.S. Supreme Court