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3:35 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
Discussion: Emptywheel
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
‘BIPARTISAN’ GOALPOSTS ARE ON THE MOVE.... You might …
Discussion: Think Progress and Donkeylicious
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Poll Shows GOP Arguments About Health Care May Be Resonating
Discussion: Weekly Standard, Democrats.com and MyDD
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Democrats Eyeing Split Health Reform Strategy
Discussion: TalkLeft
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 and TBogg
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
Righty bloggers slam MSNBC over ‘gun’ clip; network responds
Discussion: Weekly Standard and 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 and Truthdig
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
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:
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 …
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.
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
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: Sister Toldjah
Chris Ariens / TVNewser:
Glenn Beck Off This Week: Vacation or Something More?  —  First on TVNewser: Tipsters inside Fox News tell us Glenn Beck's vacation this week from his Fox News show was not planned.  We hear Beck was told to take this week off to let some of the heat surrounding him die down.
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
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.”
Steve Chapman / Reason:
An Odd Silence on Gay Marriage  —  Why won't leading opponents of same-sex marriage go on the record with their predictions?  —  Opponents of same-sex marriage reject it on religious and moral grounds but also on practical ones.  If we let homosexuals marry, they believe …
Discussion: The Daily Dish
CBS News:
White House To Phase Out Cash for Clunkers  —  Announcement May Come This Week on When Incentives for Trading in Old Vehicles Will End  —  (CBS/AP) The Obama administration is developing plans to wind down the popular Cash for Clunkers program and could announce by Friday when the incentives will no longer be available.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
DNC Admits Barack Obama WAS Collecting Information on People Via Flag@Whitehouse.gov
Philip Elliott / Associated Press:
Electronic Medical Records To Get $1.2B Boost
Discussion: The Politico
Xeni Jardin / Boing Boing:
Afghanistan: graphic novel voting guides for today's presidential elections.
Discussion: Dean's World
Marshall Ackerman / Washington Post:
A Little Respect, Please, for the Doctors
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Anemona Hartocollis / New York Times:
At the End, Offering Not a Cure but Comfort
Aaron Rowe / Wired Science:
New Mosquito Repellents Beat DEET
 Earlier Items: 
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
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
Daniel Bates / Daily Mail:
Paedophile pensioner given Viagra on the NHS - despite string of attacks on children
Michael Cooper / New York Times:
Government Jobs Have Grown Since Recession
Discussion: EconLog and Reason