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10:10 AM ET, August 21, 2009


 Top Items: 
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Obama's Trust Problem  —  According to news reports, the Obama administration — which seemed, over the weekend, to be backing away from the “public option” for health insurance — is shocked and surprised at the furious reaction from progressives.  —  Well, I'm shocked and surprised at their shock and surprise.
Washington Post:
Faith in Obama Drops As Reform Fears Rise  —  Health-Care Effort Is Major Factor, Poll Finds  —  Public confidence in President Obama's leadership has declined sharply over the summer, amid intensifying opposition to health-care reform that threatens to undercut his attempt to enact major changes …
David A. Patten /
Inside Cover  —  Zogby: Obama Hits Record Low in Poll  —  President Barack Obama's popularity has plummeted to a record low, with just 45 percent of voters now approving of his performance, according to the latest Zogby International poll.  —  Asked whether they approve or disapprove …
Pelosi Says She Can't Pass Bill Without Public Option  —  Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she won't be able to pass health-care legislation in her chamber if the measure doesn't include a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:   Americans' faith in Obama fading: Poll
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Obama's lost summer
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Bush Official, in Book, Tells of Pressure on '04 Vote  —  WASHINGTON — Tom Ridge, the first secretary of homeland security, asserts in a new book that he was pressured by top advisers to President George W. Bush to raise the national threat level just before the 2004 election in what he suspected was an effort to influence the vote.
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Liberals And Gut Hatred, Or, Why I'm Sorry I Wrote What I Wrote  —  Both Glenn Greenwald and Marcy Wheeler have written posts eviscerating me for contending that Bush-hatred, not anything else, drove skepticism among liberals about the terrorist threat warnings.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Bush vets dismiss Ridge claims  —  Top officials from the George W. Bush White House are disputing claims in former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's coming book that they pressured him to adjust the terror threat level for political gain.  —  “We went over backwards repeatedly …
Obama fires back at political critics  —  US President Barack Obama launched a mocking counter-attack Thursday at pundits who believe the euphoric early promise of his presidency is evaporating amid bitter political warfare.  —  Obama, who has watched his poll ratings dip sharply over recent months …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
ABC's Charles Gibson to Cindy Sheehan: Thanks for your sacrifice.  Now get lost.  —  In an appearance August 18 on WLS radio in Chicago, ABC News anchor Charles Gibson was asked about anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan's plans to travel to Martha's Vineyard next week, where she will protest …
Gene Lyons / Salon:
You won't win the healthcare debate by calling people stupid racists  —  The folks listening to them are mostly just scared  —  A man speaks at a town hall held by Democratic Reps. Vic Snyder and Mike Ross at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock on Aug, 5.
Charlie Cook / The Cook Political Report:
Special Update from the Cook Political Report  —  For those of you not addicted to the 1:00pm EDT daily release of Gallup's three-night moving average tracking poll, President Obama's job approval rating in both their August 16-18 and August 17-19 averages was just 51 percent, the lowest level of his presidency.
Globe and Mail:
Jennifer MacMillan  —  New passport rules are keeping Americans at home, with June numbers showing that travel to Canada from the United States fell to its lowest level since Statistics Canada started tracking cross-border trips in 1972.  —  The number of same-day car trips from the United States …
Discussion: Megan McArdle and MoJo Blog Posts
Richard N. Haass / New York Times:
In Afghanistan, the Choice Is Ours  —  SPEAKING on Monday to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, President Obama could not have been more definitive.  “We must never forget,” he said of the conflict in Afghanistan.  “This is not a war of choice.  This is a war of necessity.”
Sending The Lockerbie Bomber Home  —  I could have done without Kenny MacAskill talking quite so much about our values “as a people”, if only because, as Fraser writes, we actually often do insist that prisoners die in jail.  That though, is really an argument for showing a degree of compassion more often …
New York Times:
C.I.A. Said to Use Outsiders to Put Bombs on Drones  —  WASHINGTON — From a secret division at its North Carolina headquarters, the company formerly known as Blackwater has assumed a role in Washington's most important counterterrorism program: the use of remotely piloted drones to kill Al Qaeda's leaders …
Discussion: Reuters, NPR Blogs, The Page and
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama to meet with Daschle — McChrystal to give recommendations for Afghanistan strategy — conservative group buys ad to mock Obama vacation  —  BIRTHWEEK: Jenny Backus.  BIRTHDAY: Harry Smith ... Joe Mathieu (hat tip: Patrick Gavin).  BIRTHDAY SUNDAY: Chase Cushman, Obama scheduler. 15th ANNIVERSARY TODAY: Lisa and Eric Simmons.
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Washington Post:
Key Senators Discuss Trimming Health Bill  —  President Calls Public Option a ‘Good Idea’ but Not Essential to Reform Effort  —  Senate health-care negotiators agreed late Thursday to ignore the increasingly strident rhetoric from Republican and Democratic leaders and to keep working toward …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Most Americans Expect Income-Tax Hike Under Obama  —  Even a majority of lower-income Americans expect an increase  —  PRINCETON, NJ — A new Gallup Poll finds that 68% of Americans believe their federal income taxes will be higher by the time Barack Obama's first term as president ends.
Discussion: The Swamp
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Obama would like you to see government as religion.  —  He addresses a group of religious leaders: … Bearing false witness?  Breaking the 9th Commandment?  So his opponents are sinners.  I'm trying to imagine the separation-of-church-and-state freakout if George Bush had taken this approach to arguing for one of his policies.
New York Times:
Rise of the Super-Rich Hits a Sobering Wall  —  The rich have been getting richer for so long that the trend has come to seem almost permanent.  —  They began to pull away from everyone else in the 1970s.  By 2006, income was more concentrated at the top than it had been since the late 1920s.
Brian Doherty / Reason:
Ben Bernanke: His Tragedy is that Not Everyone Sees His Greatness  —  The New York Times on how everyone who matters knows Ben Bernanke is the champ, and yet various doofuses still worry that even his genius won't be enough.  Some excerpts with interpolated crumbled cup tosses from the gallery:
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Newspaper corrects ‘Jackass’ Keith Olbermann mixup  —  Thank goodness, The Times newspaper is the forthright, ethical institution that it is.  —  And when a mistake happens, it rushes to set the journalistic record straight with an honest repair.  —  Here is an actual correction from Page A4 of today's print edition:
Discussion: Moe_Lane's blog
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 More Items: 
Miguel Helft / New York Times:
Google Rivals Will Oppose Book Settlement
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Mitt Romney's fundraising slows
Joseph Curl / Washington Times:
Obama: GOP conspiracy out to kill health reform
Discussion: Moe Lane
Shira Toeplitz / Roll Call:
Senate GOP's Campaign Arm Outraises Democrats in July
Discussion: RedState and Senate Guru
 Earlier Items: 
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Bachmann: No Government Control Over My Body!
The Huffington Post:
New Poll: 77 Percent Support “Choice” Of Public Option
Randal Edgar / Providence Journal:
Rumor has it that Palin's moving to Rhode Island
John H / CNN:
Coleman headed to Harvard
Discussion: Minnesota Independent and TPMDC