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12:05 PM ET, August 21, 2009


 Top Items: 
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Obama's Trust Problem  —  According to news reports, the Obama administration — which seemed, over the weekend, to be backing away from the “public option” for health insurance — is shocked and surprised at the furious reaction from progressives.  —  Well, I'm shocked and surprised at their shock and surprise.
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 …
Zogby Interactive Poll: Obama's Job Approval Sinks to Record Low 45%  —  UTICA, New York - President Barack Obama's job approval rating has sunk to a record low of just 45%, the latest Zogby Interactive poll shows.  Fifty-one percent of likely voters now say they disapprove of the President's job performance.
Wall Street Journal:
Pull the Plug on ObamaCare  —  It's the best cure for what ails the Obama presidency.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  Looking back, this must have been the White House health-care strategy:  —  Health care as a subject is extraordinarily sticky, messy and confusing.  It's inherently complicated, and it's personal.
Discussion: Don Surber and The Other McCain
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 …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Americans' faith in Obama fading: Poll
Discussion: Wake up America
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  —  Top officials from the George W. Bush White House are disputing claims in former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's coming book that they pressured him to adjust the terror threat level for political gain.  —  “We went over backwards repeatedly …
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.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Newspaper corrects 'Jackass'-Keith Olbermann mix-up  —  Thank goodness The Times is the forthright, ethical institution that it is.  —  And when a mistake happens, it rushes to set the journalistic record straight with an honest repair.  —  Here is an actual correction from Page A4 of today's print edition:
New York Times:
Rise of the Super-Rich Hits a Sobering Wall  —  The rich have been getting richer for so long that the trend has come to seem almost permanent.  —  They began to pull away from everyone else in the 1970s.  By 2006, income was more concentrated at the top than it had been since the late 1920s.
Washington Post:
Key Senators Discuss Trimming Health Bill  —  President Calls Public Option a ‘Good Idea’ but Not Essential to Reform Effort  —  Senate health-care negotiators agreed late Thursday to ignore the increasingly strident rhetoric from Republican and Democratic leaders and to keep working toward …
Sarah Palin / Facebook:
No Health Care Reform Without Legal Reform  —  President Obama's health care “reform” plan has met with significant criticism across the country.  Many Americans want change and reform in our current health care system.  We recognize that while we have the greatest medical care in the world …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
REMEMBER, HE LOST.... Chris Cillizza let readers know this morning about what to watch on Sunday morning. … Cillizza described McCain's appearance as “Must Watch TV.”  I have no idea why.  —  First, let's note that John McCain is not a key senator right now.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Morning Fix: Ted Kennedy and Succession Politics
Discussion: Boston Globe and YID With LID
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 …
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.
Anger at Lockerbie bomber welcome  —  Megrahi was welcomed by well-wishers on his arrival in Tripoli  —  The jubilant welcome in Libya for the man convicted of the bombing of a US plane over Lockerbie has been strongly condemned by Britain and the US.  —  British Foreign Secretary David …
John Miller / Associated Press:
Idaho GOP leader who helped spur coup arrested  —  BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho Republican Party leader who helped oust the state GOP chairman in 2008 faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after an altercation escalated while he photographed a home with a delinquent mortgage.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Tort Reform Won't Fix Healthcare?, Ctd  —  A reader writes: … Another reader writes: … States have different laws, and punitive damages are capped in some states, but this lawyer isn't entirely correct.  The tort reform I know best is California's Malpractice Injury and Compensation Reform Act …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Huckabee: Evangelicals more supportive of Israel than Jews  —  Mike Huckabee, a longtime Christian Zionist wrapping up a trip to Israel, tells CBN that he was struck by firmer support for Israel — as he sees it — from American Christians than from American Jews.
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Bloggers, Take a $300,000 Victory Lap  —  We just crossed the $300,000 mark in our effort to thank the progressive members of Congress who signed the August 19 letter, pledging to vote against any health care bill that does not have a public plan.  —  I just want to take a moment to thank …
Discussion: TalkLeft and Delaware Way
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.
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 …
Fox News:
GOP Chief Steele Dares Democrats to Pass Health Overhaul On Their Own  —  Michael Steele told reporters that he thinks if Democratic senators think they have the votes, they should try a tactic that would allow them to get around a bill-killing filibuster without the 60 votes usually needed
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama to meet with Daschle — McChrystal to give recommendations for Afghanistan strategy — conservative group buys ad to mock Obama vacation  —  BIRTHWEEK: Jenny Backus.  BIRTHDAY: Harry Smith ... Joe Mathieu (hat tip: Patrick Gavin).  BIRTHDAY SUNDAY: Chase Cushman, Obama scheduler. 15th ANNIVERSARY TODAY: Lisa and Eric Simmons.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Who do the birthers love?  —  We decided to break down the birthers by their opinions of Barack Obama and the various leading 2012 contenders.  Here's what we found:  —Not surprisingly only 16% of them approve of Obama's job performance while 75% disapprove.
Discussion: TPMDC
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
No Maine Miracle Cure
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Washington Post:
Democrat Deeds Struggling in N.Va., a Must-Win in Governor's Race
Discussion: Moe_Lane's blog
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Obama's healthcare defense in Smerconish interview
Discussion: Don Surber
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Vitter: Destroying Canada's Prescription Drug System Will Lower Prices For Americans
Kevin Sack / New York Times:
Where Elderly Back Obama, Health Bill Anxiety
Discussion: and Prescriptions
Katherine Eban / Fortune:
Las Vegas' medical mafia
Discussion: protein wisdom and Overlawyered
 Earlier Items: 
Richard N. Haass / New York Times:
In Afghanistan, the Choice Is Ours
Discussion: and Abu Muqawama
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Most Americans Expect Income-Tax Hike Under Obama
Discussion: The Swamp

From Mediagazer:

Michael Msika / Bloomberg:
PE firm Blackstone offers ~$1.5B to purchase Hipgnosis, about 7% higher than the bid made earlier this week by Concord to which Hipgnosis' board had agreed

Robert Simmon / Global Investigative Journalism Network:
A look at the use of satellite imagery for investigative journalism by outlets including Reveal, Bellingcat, The New York Times, and ProPublica

Clara Aberneithie / Press Gazette:
A look at The Cool Down, a climate-focused news outlet that makes $5M in programmatic advertising per year and aims to increase it to $12M per year in 2025

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