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8:35 AM ET, August 21, 2009


 Top Items: 
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.
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.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Bush vets dismiss Ridge claims
Discussion: Front Row Washington and The Page
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.
The Note:
Obama Ally: Dem Majority Is History If Health Reform Fails  —  ABC News' Teddy Davis reports:  —  A top Obama ally predicted Wednesday in an interview with ABC News that Democrats will lose their congressional majority in next year's midterm elections if they fail to put a health-care reform bill on President Obama's desk.
Big Tent Democrat / TalkLeft:
The Madman Theory Of Political Bargaining: Part 4  —  Matt Yglesias does not like being equated with Blue Dogs: … I do not think Matt, or Ezra Klein, or Kevin Drum, or Paul Starr are closet Blue Dogs, but I DO think, in terms of political bargaining, they DO represent well why Democrats …
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Daily Kos
John Avlon / Blogs and Stories:
The Coming Liberal Suicide
Discussion: Majikthise
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
If Progressive Members of the House Think We'll Accept Co-Ops …
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
‘One way or another,’ Obama guarantees reform
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 …
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Obama's lost summer
Discussion: American Power
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 …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Obama: everything gets ‘wee-weed’ up in D.C. in August  —  President Obama is betting on a more successful September than August, when it comes to his bid for healthcare reform.  —  At an online forum on healthcare held Thursday at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) …
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.
Scorecard's Blog:
Charlie Cook: Dem situation has ‘slipped completely out of control’
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.
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.
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 …
The Huffington Post:
New Poll: 77 Percent Support “Choice” Of Public Option  —  Read More: Poll Public Option, Public Option Poll.  Nbc Poll, Public Plan, Survey Usa, Survey Usa Poll, Politics News  —  More than three out of every four Americans feel it is important to have a “choice” between …
Peter Finn / Washington Post:
Lawyers Showed Photos of Covert CIA Officers to Guantanamo Bay Detainees  —  Justice Dept. Looking Into Whether Attorneys Broke Law at Guantanamo  —  By Peter Finn, Page A01  —  The Justice Department recently questioned military defense attorneys at Guantanamo Bay about whether photographs …
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
Righty bloggers slam MSNBC over ‘gun’ clip; network responds  —  Several conservative bloggers, including Hot Air, RedState, and NewsBusters, have taken MSNBC to task for not identifying a man with a gun at an Obama event as an African-American in a segment that discussed the “racial overtones” …
Ronald Dworkin / Wall Street Journal:
An Anesthesiologist's Take on Health-Care Reform  —  Expect a two-tier medical system and needless ER deaths if Congress and the White House have their way.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  Every medical student learns an old adage: You can skimp on some medicine, but you can't skimp on obstetrics or anesthesiology.
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
On Health Care, Democrats Lack Passion  —  Here's the least surprising news of the week: Americans are souring on the Democratic Party.  The wonder is that it's taken so long for public opinion to curdle.  There's nothing agreeable about watching a determined attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Discussion: Prairie Weather and Scared Monkeys
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Bachmann: No Government Control Over My Body!  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who is a a staunch champion of the religious right and an opponent of President Obama on all things under the sun, has a new line against the Democrats on health care: Keep the government off my body!
Discussion: Minnesota Independent
Jeff Poor / The Business & Media Institute:
Looking for a Health Care Scapegoat: Networks Try to Marginalize Talk Radio  —  Media blame ObamaCare struggles on conservative stations, reminiscent of 2007 immigration reform failure.  —  Business & Media Institute  —  If you can't beat them, ban them.  That's the new model for CNN, “the most trusted name in news.”
Michael Goldfarb / Weekly Standard:
Flashback: FDR and Johnson Got Republican Votes  —  The president whined today on Michael Smerconish's show: … President Obama might not be aware of this but FDR passed Social Security with massive Republican support — 81 Republicans voted in favor of the measure in the House and only 15 …
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 More Items: 
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Mitt Romney's fundraising slows
Michael O'Brien / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Bayh will have to ‘evaluate’ card check stance
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: 
Randal Edgar / Providence Journal:
Rumor has it that Palin's moving to Rhode Island
Ben Rooney /
Credit card relief: Phase one
Discussion: and DailyFinance
John H / CNN:
Coleman headed to Harvard
Discussion: Minnesota Independent and TPMDC