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3:05 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:
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:
Republicans Calling for Super-Supermajority for Health Care  —  In order to become law, a health care bill needs to secure a majority on the House Ways & Means Committee and also the House Energy & Commerce Committee and also the House Education & Labor Committee and, of course, the full United States House of Representatives.
The Note:   Obama Ally: Dem Majority Is History If Health Reform Fails
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Poll Shows GOP Arguments About Health Care May Be Resonating
Discussion: Weekly Standard, Democrats.com and MyDD
Abby Goodnough / New York Times:   Kennedy Asks for Quicker Procedure to Pick His Successor
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Democrats Eyeing Split Health Reform Strategy
Discussion: TalkLeft and Grasping Reality …
Kevin Drum / MoJo Blog Posts:
Healthcare Maneuvering  —  The latest trial balloon …
Discussion: Megan McArdle
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:
Megan McArdle:
Who's Crazy Now?  —  A series of posts at Reason illustrates that the liberal rage at right-wing loonies is starting to sound, well, a little loonie:  —  From Jesse Walker: “The social construction of the brownshirt menace, chapter DXXIII: … Here's the video:
Discussion: Reason
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.”
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Don't Cry For Tom Ridge
Discussion: Emptywheel
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.
RELATED:
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:
Left flexes muscles on healthcare reform  —  The fury from the left about President Barack Obama's shift on a public option has raised the prospect of House liberals joining together to defeat a healthcare bill that doesn't meet their standards.  —  Heading into the August recess …
RELATED:
AETN:   Barnes and... A Conversation with Rep. Mike Ross
Joe Klein / Time:
The GOP Has Become a Party of Nihilists  —  In one of those awful collisions between public policy and real life, I was in the midst of an awkward conversation about end-of-life issues with my father when Sarah Palin raised the remarkable idea that the Obama Administration's attempt to include …
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Hatch and Kennedy  —  In principle, there's something ridiculous about the fact that Ted Kennedy's possible medical incapacitation could play a role in the outcome of the health care debate.  Even if Kennedy is too sick to travel to Washington without endangering his health …
Discussion: Fox News and Hullabaloo
RELATED:
Ezra Klein:
Ted Kennedy's Vote
Discussion: Washington Monthly
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.”
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
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
CNN:
Elizabeth Edwards: I expect a paternity test on Hunter's child  —  (CNN) — Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, told CNN she believes a DNA test will be conducted to confirm the paternity of the child of Rielle Hunter, with whom her husband conducted an affair.
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Marshall Ackerman / Washington Post:
A Little Respect, Please, for the Doctors
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Steve Chapman / Reason:
An Odd Silence on Gay Marriage
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Anemona Hartocollis / New York Times:
At the End, Offering Not a Cure but Comfort
Aaron Rowe / Wired Science:
New Mosquito Repellents Beat DEET
Watts Up With That?:
UK Arrests in Carbon Credit Trading Scam - organized crime said to be involved
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
God and Gog: It's Like Christ and Anti-Christ Join Forces on Super Best Friends
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Weekly Standard
 Earlier Items: 
CBS News:
White House To Phase Out Cash for Clunkers
Discussion: Wonkette
postandcourier.com:
DeMint offers his take on hot issues
Discussion: The Fix, Wonkette and The Plum Line
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
Michael Cooper / New York Times:
Government Jobs Have Grown Since Recession
Discussion: EconLog and Reason