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11:50 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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Parties point fingers, W.H. goes solo
Discussion: The BLT and Daily Kos
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
CREATING A STRONG INCENTIVE TO LIE.... Following up on the earlier item …
Discussion: The Plum Line
Mike Enzi / USA Today:
Opposing view: Public option is no option
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Blue Dog: Votes aren't there to go it alone on public option
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Salon
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Barney Frank's Townhall  —  Obviously, not all aspects of the Barney Frank Experience are going to play in Peoria, but I think his fighting spirit is something that progressive politicians in jurisdictions of all kinds could learn from:  —  Voters don't have a great deal of knowledge about the issues …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Health-care, Nazism: Fight out of bounds
Discussion: Majikthise
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.
Discussion: Hot Air and FreedomWorks blogs
Michelle Malkin:
Axelrod's profits: Uh, who's on the take from the drug lobby again?!?!  —  I've reported several times over the last few months on Team Obama's hefty funding from the health care industry/drug lobby — see here and here — as well on the deep pockets behind the Astroturf HCAN/SEIU/ACORN campaign.
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.”
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
Baucus, and the Debate on Health Care, Go West  —  BOZEMAN, Mont. — Senator Max Baucus can be hard to decipher at times, and not just because he talks fast and is prone to mumbling.  He was trying to discuss health care in an interview, but kept having to compete with a loud TV set …
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.
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
CNN Fails to Report Woman Comparing Obama to Hitler is a Lyndon LaRouche Democrat  —  CNN's Larry King showed the above video of Barney Frank laying the smack down on a woman at a townhall meeting who compared Obama to Hitler.  CNN left out the fact that this woman is a Lyndon LaRouche Democrat.
Discussion: TPMDC and Ben Smith's Blog
Sam Dagher / New York Times:
At Least 95 Killed in Series of Attacks in Baghdad  —  BAGHDAD — At least 95 people were killed and 563 wounded in a series of truck bombings and other attacks on Wednesday that rocked areas around official buildings in central Baghdad, the Interior Ministry said.
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.
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.
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.
Silla Brush / The Hill:
State AGs back Obama on financial oversight agency  —  State attorneys general are pushing Congress to set up a federal agency to oversee consumer financial products, backing one of the most controversial aspects of President Barack Obama's proposed financial regulatory overhaul.
Discussion: Progress Illinois
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 …
Alice Gomstyn / ABCNEWS:
Luxury Getaways for the President: Martha's Vineyard and Beyond  —  President Obama's Martha's Vineyard Getaway Is Expected to Cost Tens of Thousands; Where Else Could He Go for That Kind of Money?  —  ABC NEWS Business Unit  —  What can tens of thousands of dollars buy for a family vacation?
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
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.
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 More Items: 
Frank James / NPR Blogs:
Obama Town-Hall Gun Toters May Have An Upside
Discussion: Washington Post and The Raw Story
Wall Street Journal:
The Afghan Vote  —  In a troubled country, democracy prevails.
Discussion: Commentary
Larry Rohter / New York Times:
New Doubts Raised Over Famous War Photo
Discussion: normblog
The Note:
Obama to Take Questions on Conservative Talk Radio Show
Richard Fernandez / Pajamas Media:
Sitting in judgment  —  Mark Steyn says the debate over healthcare …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
FreedomWorks not free: $10K to participate in D.C. tea party march
 Earlier Items: 
Brian Macker / Washington Examiner:
Discussion: Power Line
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
Spiegel Online:
Danish Conservatives Call for Burqa Ban
Discussion: Right Wing News
Caroline Baum / Bloomberg:
Obama Goes Postal, Lands in Dead-Letter Office: Caroline Baum

From Techmeme:

Washington Post:
Letter: OpenAI whistleblowers asked the SEC to probe OpenAI's allegedly restrictive NDAs barring staff from warning regulators about the risks its tech may pose

Isabelle Bousquette / Wall Street Journal:
Outspent by tech companies, universities are racing to stay relevant in AI research, as some academics turn their focus to less computing-intensive areas of AI

Ben Cohen / Wall Street Journal:
A look at Polymarket, a crypto-based prediction market with a focus on elections that has raised $70M+ and traded $350M+ in predictions on the US election

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