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3:40 PM ET, August 24, 2009


 Top Items: 
Obama White House v. CIA; Panetta Threatened to Quit  —  Tensions Lead to CIA Director's “Screaming Match” at the White House  —  A “profanity-laced screaming match” at the White House involving CIA Director Leon Panetta, and the expected release today of another damning internal investigation …
David Johnston / New York Times:
Justice Dept. Report Advises Pursuing C.I.A. Abuse Cases  —  WASHINGTON — The Justice Department's ethics office has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, potentially exposing Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors …
Carrie Johnson / Washington Post:
Holder to Appoint Prosecutor to Investigate CIA Terror Interrogations  —  Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes …
Anne E. Kornblut / Washington Post:
Obama Approves New Team to Question Key Terror Suspects  —  Move Shifts Interrogation Oversight From the CIA to the White House  —  President Obama has approved the creation of an elite team of interrogators to question key terrorism suspects, part of a broader effort to revamp U.S. policy …
Leon E. Panetta / Fox News:
RAW DATA: Panetta Letter to CIA Staff on Release of Interrogation Report  —  CIA Director Leon Panetta sent the following note to the agency's workforce Monday on the release of a report on interrogation practices.  —  —  Message from the Director: Release of Material on Past Detention Practices
Michael S. Steele / Washington Post:
GOP Would Protect Health Care for Seniors  —  Americans are engaged in a critical debate over reforming our health-care system.  While Republicans believe that reforms are necessary, President Obama's plan for a government-run health-care system is the wrong prescription.
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Don't Blame Obama  —  Throughout the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama's most loyal constituencies were the national press corps and the left wing of the Democratic Party.  —  Those on the left loved him because they thought he was one of them.  They tolerated all the happy talk about bipartisanship …
Jim Seckler / Mohave Daily News:
Franks goes on the attack  —  Congressman critical of Obama's policies  —  KINGMAN - A big, boisterous crowd largely supported an Arizona Congressman, who lambasted the Democratic president and his policies.  —  Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican representing Arizona's 2nd Congressional District …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Report: Arizona Rep. considering birther lawsuit UPDATE
Rich Calder / New York Post:
BERNIE ‘DYING’ IN JAIL  —  ‘20 PILLS FOR CANCER’  —  Bernie Madoff had little to lose by confessing to masterminding the world's biggest Ponzi scheme — he's dying of cancer, sources told The Post.  —  Madoff, who is serving 150 years at a North Carolina federal lockup after pleading guilty …
Los Angeles Times:
Healthcare insurers get upper hand  —  Obama's overhaul fight is being won by the industry, experts say.  The end result may be a financial ‘bonanza.’  —  Reporting from Washington - Lashed by liberals and threatened with more government regulation, the insurance industry nevertheless rallied …
Discussion: D-Day, and MyDD
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
All the President's Zombies  —  The debate over the “public option” in health care has been dismaying in many ways.  Perhaps the most depressing aspect for progressives, however, has been the extent to which opponents of greater choice in health care have gained traction — in Congress …
Detroit Free Press:
$10B aimed at union retirees  —  Provision called welfare by some, not enough by others  —  WASHINGTON — Antilabor forces say it's welfare for the UAW and Democrats' union allies.  Labor supporters say it falls short of what's needed as tens of thousands of union members are pushed …
Discussion: Hot Air and theblogprof
David Shepardson / Detroit News:
UAW backs reform, cites $10B to defray costs for retirees
Discussion: Reviews & Ratings … and Moe Lane
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Scaled-Back Health Reform?  —  Jonathan Cohn has an excellent explanation of why Senator Kent Conrad's notion that we ought to reduce our ambitions in health reform is daft: … Obviously one answer could be that some Democrats prefer to see health reform defeated, but owing …
Greg Veis / The Treatment:
Scaling Back Reform: Dumb Policy, Dumber Politics
Discussion: D-Day and Washington Monthly
Nouriel Roubini / Financial Times:
The risk of a double-dip recession is rising  —  The global economy is starting to bottom out from the worst recession and financial crisis since the Great Depression.  In the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009 the rate at which most advanced economies were contracting was similar …
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
If Not Health Care, What?  —  The idea of postponing health care reform—until, say, the economy improves— doesn't seem appealing to many Democrats now.  ** But it might soon.  The problem, as Michael Goodwin's recent column points out, is that the issues waiting in the wings …
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Journalists, Left Out of The Debate  —  Few Americans Seem to Hear Health Care Facts  —  For once, mainstream journalists did not retreat to the studied neutrality of quoting dueling antagonists.  —  They tried to perform last rites on the ludicrous claim about President Obama's death panels …
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Senate Democrats Consider Tactic to Push Through Government Health Plan  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats said Sunday that they were fleshing out plans to pass health legislation, particularly the option of a new government-run insurance program, with a simple majority …
Geoff Earle / New York Post:
SEX-STUDY ‘STIMULUS’  —  WASHINGTON - The stimulus package is living up to its provocative name by funding a bacchanalia of behavioral sex research, a Post analysis reveals.  —  The next fiscal year is set to be one of the friskiest ever in the nation's science labs, as researchers probe …
Discussion: ProPublica and Don Surber
Montanamaven / Firedoglake:
Breaking: Baucus: “I Want a Public Option”  —  The press release today:  —  FOLLOWING RANCOR AMONG THE RANKS,  —  BAUCUS ASSURES MONTANA CONSTITUENTS:  —  “I WANT A PUBLIC OPTION TOO”  —  U.S. Senator Max Baucus has finally broken his silence regarding his personal position on including …
Nat Ives / AdAge:
Where Five Magazines Are Finding Revenue  —  With Print Advertising Looking Less Likely to Rebound After Recession, These Titles Are Taking Advantage of Other Opportunities  —  NEW YORK ( — It wasn't so long ago that almost every magazine chased ever larger circulation, even if it meant losing money in the process.
Madeleine Bunting / Guardian:
In control?  Think again.  Our ideas of brain and human nature are myths  —  The notion of individual autonomy underpins our society, yet new research suggests this guiding principle is an illusion  —  It was browsing in a bookshop that got me started.  I was confronted by a bank …
Discussion: Dr. Sanity, Dr. Helen and Tim Worstall
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
U.S. Military Says Its Force in Afghanistan Is Insufficient  —  BAGRAM, Afghanistan — American military commanders with the NATO mission in Afghanistan told President Obama's chief envoy to the region this weekend that they did not have enough troops to do their job, pushed past their limit by Taliban rebels who operate across borders.
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Jim Cooper: 16% Approval On Health Care Among Democrats  —  If any primary challengers in TN-04 were waiting for a signal that Jim Cooper was vulnerable, the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of his district should be a welcome signal: … A whopping 80% of Democrats in his district favor creating a public option — which cooper opposes.
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Pentagon Hires Controversial Firm To Screen Whether Embedded Reporters Wrote ‘Positive’ Stories  —  Stars and Stripes reports that the Pentagon has hired The Rendon Group to screen journalists seeking to embed with U.S. forces.  Specifically, the contractor will examine whether these reporters gave …
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 More Items: 
David Freddoso / Washington Examiner:
UPDATED: Obama's VA pulls so-called ‘Death Book’ from website
Angel Gonzalez / Wall Street Journal:
Oil Industry Details Costs of Climate Bill
Discussion: Hot Air and Shopfloor
Jed Babbin / Human Events:
Discussion: Power Line
David Neiwert / Crooks and Liars:
Now the Birthers are demanding to know: Was Obama circumcised?
Discussion: Pam's House Blend
Washington Wire:
Obama Slips Into Vacation Mode
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Driving the fake news
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Is The White House Ready To Ditch Republicans And Turn to Reconciliation?
Manuel Roig-Franzia / Washington Post:
Heather Podesta, The Insider's Insider
 Earlier Items: 
Laura Secor / New Yorker:
THE IRAN SHOW  —  In the grotesque pageant of Iran's show trials …
The New Republic:
The Schiavo Saga and “Death Panels”
The Huffington Post:
Jeremy Scahill Slams Chuck Todd, Media, Congress Over Blackwater On …
Discussion: TVNewser
Rebecca Hall / WTVD-TV:
Edwards opens furniture store
Thomas Erdbrink / Washington Post:
Iranians to Fund Opposition Research