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9:55 PM ET, August 31, 2009


 Top Items: 
Mike Allen / The Politico:
George Will calls for pull-out  —  George F. Will, the elite conservative commentator, will call in his next column for U.S. ground troops to leave Afghanistan, according to publishing sources.  —  “[F]orces should be substantially reduced to serve a comprehensively revised policy …
Anthony H. Cordesman / Washington Post:
A Chance to Avoid Defeat in Afghanistan
U.S. Commander to Ask for More Troops to Fight Resurging Enemy in Afghanistan
Discussion: The Politico
William Branigin / Washington Post:
U.S. General Calls for New Strategy Against Taliban
Discussion: Below The Beltway
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:
Gibbs responds: Why is anyone still listening to Dick Cheney?  —  In an interview with Fox News Sunday yesterday, Vice President Cheney aggressively attacked Attorney General Eric Holder for opening preliminary investigation into CIA interrogation abuses.  He called it an “outrageous political act …
Discussion: Associated Press and The Reaction
Ezra Klein:
Chuck Grassley Fundraises Against Health-Care Reform  —  Chuck Grassley is facing a potentially difficult primary challenge in 2010.  As such, he's been working hard to cover his right flank.  That would all be fine except for one thing: As ranking member of the Finance Committee …
Fox News:   White House Fires Back After Cheney Calls CIA Probe ‘Political’
Washington Wire:
Gibbs Tells Off Sen. Enzi Over Health Care Remarks
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Republicans Abandoning Health Care Talks?
Discussion: The Politico
Boston Globe:
Governor sets date for special Senate election, presses for interim appointment  —  Governor Deval Patrick continued today to press for a change to state law to allow him to appoint an interim replacement for Senator Edward M. Kennedy as he announced that a special election for the seat will be held on Jan. 19.
Political Punch:
ABC News Exclusive: National Security Adviser Says President Obama Is Having Greater Success Taking Terrorists Out of Commission Than Bush Did  —  Responding to criticism from former Vice President Cheney that President Obama is making the nation more vulnerable to terrorism …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
A Different Kind of Liberal  —  Only 13 days separated the passing of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of the Special Olympics, from the death of her brother Ted last week.  But amid the wall-to-wall coverage and the stream of retrospectives for the senior senator from Massachusetts …
Discussion: Shakesville
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
Experts see double-digit Dem losses  —  After an August recess marked by raucoustown halls, troubling polling data and widespread anecdotal evidence of a volatile electorate, the small universe of political analysts who closely follow House races is predicting moderate to heavy Democratic losses in 2010.
Anita Kumar / Virginia Politics:
Who is Jennifer?  Another Case of Inter-Campaign Trickery  —  Bob McDonnell's campaign received a call this morning from a woman who called herself “Jennifer” and claimed to be a freelance reporter from the Connection newspapers in Northern Virginia.  She asked for information about McDonnell's schedule.
Big Hollywood:
EXCLUSIVE: Carrie Prejean Takes Legal Action Against Miss California USA Officials  —  RANCHO SANTA FE, CA - Carrie Prejean's attorney, Charles S. LiMandri announced today that the former Miss California USA is filing a complaint in the Superior Court of California against Miss California USA …
Zachery Kouwe / New York Times:
As Banks Repay Bailout Money, U.S. Sees a Profit  —  Nearly a year after the federal rescue of the nation's biggest banks, taxpayers have begun seeing profits from the hundreds of billions of dollars in aid that many critics thought might never be seen again.
Gabriel Sherman / The New Republic:
The Courtship  —  The story behind the Obama-Brooks bromance.  —  In the spring of 2005, New York Times columnist David Brooks arrived at then-Senator Barack Obama's office for a chat.  Brooks, a conservative writer who joined the Times in 2003 from The Weekly Standard, had never met Obama before.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Why Don't Markets Clear in Urban Storefronts?  —  Vacant storefront on 1300 block of U Street; good place for a Wendy's? (cc photo by NCinDC)  —  One of the enduring mysteries of urban life is the prevalence of vacant storefronts.  This is understandable in a truly depressed area where the whole local economy has broken down.
Discussion: Megan McArdle
Felix Salmon:   Empty storefronts  —  Justin Fox has a very good post …
Tory Newmyer / Roll Call:
Burner Helping House Liberals Hold Firm on Public Insurance Option  —  An organizer for liberal House Democrats says the bloc “isn't bluffing” as it prepares to take a reputation-defining stand to protect a public insurance option in the health care overhaul.
Discussion: American Power and Daily Kos
Jon Henke / The Next Right:
Organizing Against WorldNetDaily  —  This is just hideously embarrassing for the Right. … In the 1960's, William F. Buckley denounced the John Birch Society leadership for being “so far removed from common sense” and later said “We cannot allow the emblem of irresponsibility to attach to the conservative banner.”
Gateway Pundit:
New— Pole Dance Doll For Little Girls & Tassle Tees For Tots  —  It's come to this.  —  New for toddlers—  Now your little toddler can own her first tassle T-shirt (I'm assuming it's for girls?).  —  Stroller Derby reported: … And after she outgrows her tassle-T she'll be old enough …
Discussion: Hot Air
Jonathan Allen / Notepad:
Obama Asks Federal Workers to Sacrifice  —  Citing the current economic recession — and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks eight years ago — President Obama says he will use emergency powers to cut the programmed across-the-board January increase in federal employees' pay from 2.4 percent to 2.0 percent …
Howard M. Brandston / Wall Street Journal:
Save the Light Bulb!  —  Compact fluorescents don't produce good quality light.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 will effectively phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2012-2014 in favor of compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Palin gets 1,070+ invitations  —  Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin this week will begin accepting and rejecting the more than 1,070 invitations she has received for paid speeches and political appearances since she resigned as Alaska governor, aides said.  —  Twenty speakers' bureaus made offers to represent her.
Ylan Q. Mui / Washington Post:
Blue Chip, White Cotton: What Underwear Says About the Economy  —  For one answer to the nation's most pressing economic question — when will the recession end? — just take a peek inside the American man's underwear drawer.  —  There may be some new pairs there, judging by recent reports …
Mimi Hall / USA Today:
Ridge backpedals on pressure to raise terror alert level  —  WASHINGTON — Former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge, speaking for the first time about accusations made in his new book, says he did not mean to suggest that other top Bush administration officials were playing politics …
James Pethokoukis:
Dems/unions push new wave of investment taxes  —  American equity investors have suffered a lost decade of portfolio performance — the S&P 500 is about where it was back in 1998 — and trillions of dollars of lost net worth, so it may seem a terrible time to hit them with a $100 billion-a-year investment tax.
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
The Hulk and 4,999 Other Characters for $4 Billion
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Administration Officials to Join ‘First Draft of History’ Gathering
Blue Texan / Firedoglake:
Democratic Staffer: Blue Dogs are “Hell Nos” on Public Option
The Note:
RNC Chairman Steele: Nation Won't be ‘Guilted’ …
Discussion: Think Progress
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Fewer Newspapers Fight to Open Court Proceedings
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
New York Post:
Discussion: Gothamist
 Earlier Items: 
New York Post:
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
The Health Care Map Ahead
Charlotte Allen / Los Angeles Times:
Keep your self-righteous fingers off my processed food