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1:40 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 …
Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Obama And Progressives  —  Paul Krugman unloads: … I don't quite understand why progressives would feel punked.  Perhaps, I'm just a cynic but I voted for Obama in the primaries, because I thought he was most likely to beat John McCain—not because I thought he was to the left of Hillary Clinton.
The Note:
Wee-Wee'd Up: Health care debate slips further from White House control  —  ABC News' Rick Klein reports:  —  Fired up, meet wee-wee'd up.  —  For those seeking definitions, maybe it has something to do with the way that the more President Obama talks about health care reform …
Wall Street Journal:
Pull the Plug on ObamaCare
Discussion: Don Surber and The Other McCain
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Fierce Cynicism of Naiveté  —  Ta-Nehisi Coates …
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Americans' faith in Obama fading: Poll
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:
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
‘Wee-weed up:’ White House explains it  —  So what did the president mean when he said this week that everyone's getting all “wee-weed up” in Washington?  —  “It's a phrase I use,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said today, hesitating at his press briefing to offer a physical demonstration of the phraseology.
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 …
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.
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.
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Honest Debate Needed on End-of-Life Talk  —  Let's see if we can have a reasoned discussion about end-of-life counseling.  —  We might start by asking Sarah Palin to leave the room.  I've got nothing against her.  She's a remarkable political talent.  But there are no “death panels” …
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.
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.
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.
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
Gun rights, control groups find fight in health debate  —  A Virginia-based gun rights group has taken issue with the Democrat-led healthcare proposals, saying that the proposed plans could strip citizens of their rights to own a gun.  —  The Gun Owners of America group …
Discussion: Don Surber
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 …
Rashad Hussain / Blog:
Ramadan Kareem  —  As the new crescent moon ushers in Ramadan, the President extends his best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world.  —  Each Ramadan, the ninth month on the lunar calendar, Muslims fast daily from dawn to sunset for 29 or 30 days.
Raw Story:
Mexico legalizes drug possession  —  Mexico decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin on Friday — a move that prosecutors say makes sense even in the midst of the government's grueling battle against drug traffickers.  —  Prosecutors said the new law sets clear limits …
Discussion: The Reaction
New York Times:
C.I.A. Said to Use Outsiders to Put Bombs on Drones  —  WASHINGTON — From a secret division at its North Carolina headquarters, the company formerly known as Blackwater has assumed a role in Washington's most important counterterrorism program: the use of remotely piloted drones to kill Al Qaeda's leaders …
Brad / Think Progress:
Caught in fraud, dirty coal group dumps one of its Astroturf contractors.  —  The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is dumping Bonner & Associates, the Astroturf firm that forged letters to Congress attacking clean energy legislation on its behalf.
US wiretapping challenge rejected  —  A US judge has rejected a challenge to a law that allows intelligence services to eavesdrop on overseas conversations to gather intelligence.  —  The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the US to monitor the calls and emails of non-US citizens abroad.
Discussion: Truthdig
Wall Street Journal:
No Maine Miracle Cure  —  Another state ‘public option’ that failed.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  Want a preview of ObamaCare in action?  Sneak a look at what has happened in Maine.  In 2003, the state to great fanfare enacted its own version of universal health care.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Washington Post:
Democrat Deeds Struggling in N.Va., a Must-Win in Governor's Race  —  Conservatism, Low Visibility Hinder Democrat on What Should Be Friendly Turf  —  Democratic gubernatorial candidate R. Creigh Deeds is running behind his Republican opponent in a recent Washington Post poll in large part …
Discussion: Moe_Lane's blog
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 More Items: 
Daily Show Videos:
Betsy McCaughey Pt. 1
Michelle Malkin:
Corporate Shills for Hope and Change
Discussion: The Sundries Shack
 Earlier Items: 
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Bloggers, Take a $300,000 Victory Lap
Discussion: TalkLeft and Delaware Way
Katherine Eban / Fortune:
Las Vegas' medical mafia
Discussion: protein wisdom and Overlawyered
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama to meet with Daschle …
Richard N. Haass / New York Times:
In Afghanistan, the Choice Is Ours
Discussion: and Abu Muqawama

From Mediagazer:

Lauren Feiner / The Verge:
The US Senate passes the TikTok divestment bill by a margin of 79-18; the legislation now heads to President Biden, who has committed to sign it into law

Chris Morris / Fortune:
Taylor Swift's new album smashed streaming records; Spotify says it had 300M+ streams on launch day and became 2024's most-streamed album within just 12 hours

Ashley Carman / Bloomberg:
Spotify Q1: revenue up 20% YoY to €3.6B, MAUs up 19% to 615M, vs. 617.9M est., subscribers up 14% to 239M, and a €168M operating income; SPOT closes up 11.41%

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