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2:45 PM ET, August 31, 2009


 Top Items: 
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
It's time to embrace American royalty  —  (updated below - Update II - Update III - Update IV)  —  We're obviously hungry to live with royal and aristocratic families so we should really just go ahead and formally declare it: … They should convene a panel for the next Meet the Press …
Jules Crittenden:
American Royalty  —  The lefty sockpuppet also known as Glenn Greenwald is right.  This nation might as well embrace royalty and be done with it.  The only part I don't get, is how he can get snarky about the fact that Jenna Bush just got a part-time TV gig, without once mentioning …
Frank Phillips / Boston Globe:
Senate field hinges on Kennedy decision  —  With Massachusetts having paid its final respects to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the politics of succession begins in earnest this week - candidates will emerge, a race will take shape, and the Kennedy clan will have to reveal whether it wants to keep the seat in the family.
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.
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 …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Missing Richard Nixon  —  Many of the retrospectives on Ted Kennedy's life mention his regret that he didn't accept Richard Nixon's offer of a bipartisan health care deal.  The moral some commentators take from that regret is that today's health care reformers should do what Mr. Kennedy balked …
Associated Press:
Sarah Palin plans first trip to Asia  —  Former Alaska governor set for initial commercial speaking engagement  —  HONG KONG - Former U.S. vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, once questioned about her lack of foreign policy experience, will make her first trip to Asia in September.
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.
Chris Good / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Palin Goes To Hong Kong...What Will She Say?
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Zachery Kouwe / New York Times:
As Big 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.
DPA / Haaretz:
EU Foreign Policy Chief Solana arrives in Syria for peace talks  —  EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana arrived on Sunday in Damascus for talks with Syrian President Bashar al Assad and Foreign Minister Walid al Muallim to discuss means to resume the peace process in the region.
Discussion: Commentary
Mary Kissel / Wall Street Journal:
Japan Throws the Bums Out
Discussion: Eunomia
Ben-Ami Shillony / Haaretz:
Will the Japanese Obama put pressure on Israel?
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Israel Matzav
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
HURTING DICK CHENEY'S FEELINGS.... Dick Cheney offered quite a bit of nonsense on Fox News yesterday, but perhaps the most entertaining thing was hearing him talk about how the Obama White House has hurt his feelings.  Apparently, the current president was supposed to seek out the former vice president …
Bruce Bartlett / The New Majority:
Why I Am Anti-Republican  —  I got an e-mail from a prominent Republican asking why I am so anti-Republican these days.  Since many of my friends ask the same thing I thought I would share my reply:  —  I think the party got seriously on the wrong track during the George W. Bush years, as I explained in my Impostor book.
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.
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 …
Anthony H. Cordesman / Washington Post:
A Chance to Avoid Defeat in Afghanistan  —  The United States cannot win the war in Afghanistan in the next three months — any form of even limited victory will take years of further effort.  It can, however, easily lose the war.  I did not see any simple paths to victory while serving …
George F. Will / Newsweek:
An Ivy League Huey Long  —  Washington is seriously unserious.  —  From the magazine issue dated Sep 7, 2009  —  In August our ubiquitous president became the nation's elevator music, always out and about, heard but not really listened to, like audible wallpaper.
Katharine Q. Seelye / New York Times:
Fighting Health Care Overhaul, and Proud of It  —  SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Senator Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican who predicted that President Obama's effort to overhaul the health care system would become his “Waterloo,” is doing his best to make that happen.
Dan / Riehl World View:
Goodbye War In Afghanistan?  —  A leaked report by General McChrystal to be presented to Obama this week looks like the beginning of a crucial turning point when it comes to Afghanistan.  It labels the overall strategy basically a complete failure as it exists.
Discussion: Guardian
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.
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 …
Discussion: Gawker
Rasmussen Reports:
29% Confident That Congress Knows What It's Doing on Economy  —  Two-out-of-three American voters (67%) lack confidence that Congress knows what it's doing when it comes to the economy.  —  The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 29% are at least somewhat confident …
Michael Powell / New York Times:
A ‘Little Judge’ Who Rejects Foreclosures, Brooklyn Style  —  The judge waves you into his chambers in the State Supreme Court building in Brooklyn, past the caveat taped to his wall — “Be sure brain in gear before engaging mouth” — and into his inner office, where foreclosure motions …
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
Et Tu, Lefty?  Allies Critical Of President  —  Waffling on Health Care Riles His Loyal Pundits  —  It is as inevitable in Washington as sweltering summers and steamy sex scandals.  —  A president is going to be smacked around from the moment he takes office and the uplifting rhetoric …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
AFL-CIO, Dems push new Wall Street tax  —  The nation's largest labor union and some allied Democrats are pushing a new tax that would hit big investment firms such as Goldman Sachs reaping billions of dollars in profits while the rest of the economy sputters.
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 …
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 More Items: 
The Hill:
Dem split on the public option casts doubt on reform of healthcare
Discussion: Firedoglake
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
The Health Care Map Ahead
Hamas resists Holocaust lessons
Discussion: Biased BBC, Atlas Shrugs and normblog
Elizabeth Benjamin / NY Daily News:
The Daily Politics
Albert R. Hunt / Bloomberg:
'Sam's Club' Republican Pawlenty Bids for 2012: Albert R. Hunt
Times of London:
Downing Street approved Lockerbie bomber deal
Discussion: Guardian
 Earlier Items: 
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
New Ad Hits Grassley for Ties to Special Interests, Opposing Public Option
Honore dismisses talk of Senate run
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog
Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times:
Marijuana's new high life
Wall Street Journal:
Obama vs. Honduran Democracy
Discussion: Commentary and Fausta's Blog
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
Note to Orszag: You're Still Digging
Carol E. Lee / Politico Live's Blog:
Dodd says Obama needs to ‘step up’
Discussion: QandO
Charlotte Allen / Los Angeles Times:
Keep your self-righteous fingers off my processed food
Rod Nordland / New York Times:
Remnants of Iraq Air Force Are Found