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12:40 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:
Democrats Eyeing Split Health Reform Strategy
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Republicans Calling for Super-Supermajority for Health Care
Perry Bacon Jr / Capitol Briefing:
Ailing Kennedy Asks for Speedy Replacement Process
Bkrueger / Raleigh News & Observer:
Etheridge considering Senate bid
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.”
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:
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.
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
Thinking Through the ‘Public Option’  —  Getting to Know the Public Option As It Disappears: Steven Pearlstein argues that the “public option” isn't necessarily a good way to keep down health costs.  He notes that, unlike Medicare, “public” insurers would have to bear the costs of collecting premiums, managing care and marketing.
Discussion: Shopfloor and Ezra Klein
RELATED:
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.
Discussion: Marginal Revolution
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
Jordan Fabian / The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:
Leading Blue Dog: Covering uninsured not top priority of health reform  —  Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) said on Wednesday that providing healthcare to uninsured Americans is “not what this healthcare reform debate is about.”  —  In making his comments, Ross, who is the centrist Blue Dogs' health …
RELATED:
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
The Baucus Caucus: PhRMA, Insurance, Hospitals and Rahm
Discussion: The Hill and New York Times
Christian Brose / Shadow Government:
The worst case scenario for the Afghan election  —  August is always the worst month for surprises, which often take the form of wars: World War I, the Gulf War, and more recently, the Lebanon War and the Russia-Georgia War.  For fear of jinxing a good thing, I shudder to say that we're halfway through August, and so far so good.
Discussion: The Daily Dish
RELATED:
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
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: Obsidian Wings
RELATED:
Ezra Klein:   Americans Hate Everyone, Believe Everything
Peter Finn / Washington Post:
Obama Administration Making Progress on Transferring Guantanamo Bay Detainees  —  The Obama administration has secured commitments from nearly a dozen countries willing to accept detainees from Guantanamo Bay and is increasingly confident about its ability to transfer a large majority …
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 …
postandcourier.com:
DeMint offers his take on hot issues  —  EDITOR'S NOTE: U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint has raised his national profile by battling President Barack Obama's health care reform plans.  He sat down Tuesday with reporter Robert Behre to talk about that and other topics.  —  P&C: The S.C. Small Business Chamber …
Discussion: The Fix
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ed Kilgore / The New Republic:
Don't Sweat It  —  Obama sure looks to be in trouble …
Susie Madrak / Crooks and Liars:
Hypocritical Insurance Companies: Stop Us Before We Kill Again!
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
D.C. delegate calls for ban on guns near Obama
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
AP source: White House deficit less than projected
Steven Malanga / RealClearMarkets:
How Free Health Care Got So Expensive
Discussion: Betsy's Page and pandagon.net
Martin Fletcher / Times of London:
The face of Abbas Kargar Javid — man accused of killing Neda Soltan
Discussion: Wizbang
Daily Express:
SICK FANATICS CHEER BODY BAGS
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Atlas Shrugs