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12:05 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:
Perry Bacon Jr / Capitol Briefing:
Ailing Kennedy Asks for Speedy Replacement Process
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.
RELATED:
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 …
New York Times:
Obama Calls Health Plan a ‘Moral Obligation’
Discussion: Facing South and Althouse
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:
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.
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.
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
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: Sweetness & Light, EconLog and Reason
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 …
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 …
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.
Dan Strumpf / Associated Press:
NY dealers pull out of clunkers program  —  NEW YORK (AP) - Hundreds of auto dealers in the New York area have withdrawn from the government's Cash for Clunkers program, citing delays in getting reimbursed by the government, a dealership group said Wednesday.
RELATED:
Billings Gazette:
Survey: Cash for Clunkers is tapped out
Discussion: Hot Air
Associated Press:
AP source: White House deficit less than projected  —  WASHINGTON — The federal budget picture will look slightly better next week.  Relatively speaking.  —  The White House plans to announce the federal deficit will still be a record breaker, at $1.58 trillion, for the current 2009 fiscal year.
Ed Kilgore / The New Republic:
Don't Sweat It  —  Obama sure looks to be in trouble, but we've seen this summertime hysteria before.  —  As the Dog Days of August descended upon us, there developed across the progressive chattering classes a deep sense of malaise bordering on depression, if not panic …
 
 
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 More Items: 
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
Steven Malanga / RealClearMarkets:
How Free Health Care Got So Expensive
Discussion: Betsy's Page and pandagon.net
 Earlier Items: 
Martin Fletcher / Times of London:
The face of Abbas Kargar Javid — man accused of killing Neda Soltan
Discussion: Wizbang
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Chuck Todd thinks we support the public option just because conservatives don't
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Associated Press:
Mom of Bristol Palin's Ex Cops Plea
Zaid Jilani / Think Progress:
New poll finds that 39 percent of Americans want government …
Discussion: The In Box
Jim Towey / Wall Street Journal:
The Death Book for Veterans
Discussion: Israpundit and Pundit & Pundette