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1:35 PM 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 …
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 …
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.
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 …
Rasmussen Reports:
Without Public Option, Enthusiasm for Health Care Reform …
Discussion: Power Line and HotAirPundit
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Blue Dog: Votes aren't there to go it alone on public option
Discussion: TPMDC and Salon
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
White House insists it wants bipartisan health bill
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: FiveThirtyEight and The Plum Line
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 …
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 …
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Health-care, Nazism: Fight out of bounds
Discussion: Majikthise
The Huffington Post:
Barney Frank Confronts Woman At Town Hall Comparing Obama To Hitler
Discussion: New York Magazine
James Brown / CBS News:
TV News Giant Don Hewitt Dies At 86  —  CBS News Legend And “60 Minutes” Creator's Career Spanned 60 Years  —  (CBS) Don Hewitt, recognized as a father of modern television news and the creator of the medium's most successful broadcast, “60 Minutes,” died Wednesday after battling pancreatic cancer.
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: JustOneMinute, AmSpecBlog and Hot Air
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 …
Discussion: Think Progress and MyDD
The Note:
Obama to Take Questions on Conservative Talk Radio Show
Discussion: ABCNEWS
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.”
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.
Barry Rubin / RubinReports:
Stop the Presses: Blood Libel Goes Mainstream: Swedish Newspaper …
Discussion: Israpundit
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:
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.
Discussion: Guardian, Vanity Fair and Norwegianity
Pew Research Center:
More See White House and GOP Leaders at Odds  —  Democratic Favorable Ratings Slide  —  Americans are in an increasingly sour mood about Washington.  Barack Obama's approval ratings continue to inch downward and a growing proportion of Americans (63%) think that the president and Republican leaders …
Larry Rohter / New York Times:
New Doubts Raised Over Famous War Photo  —  After nearly three-quarters of a century Robert Capa's “Falling Soldier” picture from the Spanish Civil War remains one of the most famous images of combat ever.  It is also one of the most debated, with a long string of critics claiming that the photo …
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Senate bid dogged by Fiorina's failure to vote  —  (08-18) 19:51 PDT — Republican Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, took her first formal step Tuesday to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer - but does she pass the Citizenship 1o1 test?
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.
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: Florida GOP Senate Primary  —  2010 Florida GOP Primary: Crist 53%, Rubio 31%  —  Conservative Republicans in Florida may be rumbling about Charlie Crist's run for the U.S. Senate, but so far the governor is well ahead of his chief 2010 GOP Primary challenger.
Discussion: TPMDC and Real Clear Politics
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 More Items: 
Warren E. Buffett / New York Times:
The Greenback Effect  —  IN nature, every action has consequences …
John Holmes / Sydney Morning Herald:
Attacks on aid workers harm humanitarian efforts
Discussion: Crooked Timber
Robert Tomsho / Wall Street Journal:
College-Entrance Test Scores Flagging
Discussion: Clusterstock
Katie Nelson / Associated Press:
Attorney: FBI trained NJ blogger to incite others
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Carol E. Lee / The Politico:
‘Grassroots’ notion  —  Michael Steele, the chairman …
Kari Lydersen / Washington Post:
Law Requiring Ultrasounds for Abortions Is Struck Down
Discussion: The New Republic
Ylan Q. Mui / Washington Post:
Whole Foods Devotees Lash Out at CEO
 Earlier Items: 
Aaron Smith /
IRS gets a key to Swiss bank accounts
Frank James / NPR Blogs:
Obama Town-Hall Gun Toters May Have An Upside
Discussion: Washington Post and Raw Story
Mark Leibovich / New York Times:
Baucus, and the Debate on Health Care, Go West
Alice Gomstyn / ABCNEWS:
Luxury Getaways for the President: Martha's Vineyard and Beyond
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Timothy P. Carney / Washington Examiner:
Novak's public service: Exposing the power game
Brian Macker / Washington Examiner:
Discussion: Power Line and AmSpecBlog