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5:15 PM ET, September 2, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
The Politico:
Under fire, Obama shifts strategy  —  Aides to President Barack Obama are putting the final touches on a new strategy to help Democrats recover from a brutal August recess by specifying what Obama wants to see in a compromise health care deal and directly confronting other trouble spots, West Wing officials tell POLITICO.
RELATED:
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Obama to address Congress on reform  —  President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress on health care reform in prime time on Wednesday, Sept. 9, a senior official tells POLITICO.  —  Obama plans to give lawmakers a more specific prescription for health care legislation than he has in the past, aides said.
George Stephanopoulos / George's Bottom Line:
The 5 key Strategy Questions the White House is Considering on Health Care  —  White House officials are signaling publicly that they're ready to take charge of the health care debate while strategizing privately (including a meeting with the president yesterday afternoon) about how to do it.
Political Punch:
The Precipitous Slide  —  President Obama's job approval ratings …
Discussion: Hot Air
CNN:
Obama considering major health care speech
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Political Punch:
Axelrod: Obama is Ready to ‘Close’ on Health Care
Discussion: The Hill and AMERICAblog News
Charles Babington / Associated Press:
Obama to deliver health care address to Congress
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Axelrod hits Grassley and Enzi for not ‘negotiating in good faith.’
Discussion: The Note
Vanity Fair:
Levi Johnston: “Me and Mrs. Palin”  —  Left, photograph by Nigel Parry/CPi Syndication.  Right, photograph by Mark Seliger.  —  Three days after Sarah Palin was announced as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, the McCain campaign released a statement saying that her 17-year-old unwed daughter, Bristol, was pregnant.
RELATED:
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Levi's latest  —  A Palin partisan points out that Levi Johnston has said previously — contrary his Vanity Fair claim — that there was never discussion of giving away the baby:  —  KING: Levi, was abortion ever considered?  —  L. JOHNSTON: No.  —  KING: Giving up for adoption ever considered?
Tony Romm / The Hill:
Obama adviser: Republicans are “a**holes”  —  A video in which White House green jobs adviser Van Jones calls Congressional Republicans (and himself) “a**holes” is quickly making the rounds on the Internet this morning.  —  Jones made the off-the-cuff remark in February …
RELATED:
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2009: Virginia Governor Election  —  Virginia Governor: McDonnell 51% Deeds 42%  —  In the race to become the next Governor of Virginia, Republican Robert F. McDonnell retains a steady lead over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds.  —  The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey …
RELATED:
Scott Whitlock / NewsBusters.org:
WaPo Ratchets Up Attacks on Republican Bob McDonnell; Six Articles in Four Days
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
Behind Bob McDonnell's ‘Macaca’ Moment
Discussion: The New Republic and msnbc.com
Scott Mayerowitz / ABCNEWS:
Charles Gibson to Retire from ‘World News’  —  Diane Sawyer Will Replace ‘World News’ Anchor in January  —  Charles Gibson, who has served as anchor of “World News” since May of 2006, announced this morning that he will step down from the post at the end of this year and retire from full-time employment at ABC News.
RELATED:
Chris Ariens / TVNewser:
Breaking: Charlie Gibson To Step Down from ABC ‘World News’ …
ABCNEWS:
READ: Gibson's Email to ‘World News’ Staff
Discussion: Mediaite
Ralph Z. Hallow / Washington Times:
Sanford, invoking Palin, vows to fight on  —  Shaken by absence of GOP support  —  Embattled South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford acknowledged Tuesday that he has been shaken by the failure of a single fellow Republican to back him in his fight to save his job, but vowed to fight …
Mark Sherman / Associated Press:
Justice Stevens slows his hiring at high court  —  WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has hired fewer law clerks than usual, generating speculation that the leader of the court's liberals will retire next year.  —  If Stevens does step down, he would give President Barack Obama …
Michelle Malkin:
“I pledge to be of service to Barack Obama”  —  As if I needed any more evidence to bolster today's column about the Obama junior lobbyist campaign in America's schools, here's another item fresh from the headlines in Utah:
RELATED:
Lisa Schencker / Salt Lake Tribune:   Parents upset over ‘leftist propaganda’ video
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Pelosi will let Rangel hold post despite latest allegations  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi will let Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) keep his chairmanship despite his failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets on federal disclosure forms, according to Democratic aides.
Deborah Solomon / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Economy Gets Lift From Stimulus  —  WASHINGTON — Government efforts to funnel hundreds of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy appear to be helping the U.S. climb out of the worst recession in decades.  —  But there's little agreement about which programs are having the biggest impact.
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Deleting the Bush Personality Cult from history  —  (updated below - Update II - Update III)  —  National Review's Jay Nordlinger — and others at that magazine — are upset that a school is showing a year-old video in which various celebrities spout feel-good platitudes about public service …
Charles Franklin / Pollster.com:
How Fast Does Approval Fall?  —  David Brooks commented in his column yesterday “All presidents fall from their honeymoon highs, but in the history of polling, no newly elected American president has fallen this far this fast.”  Mostly right, sort of.  But some context would help.
Peter Baker / New York Times:
A Real Fairy-Tale Wedding  —  WASHINGTON - Here's a newsflash: Chelsea Clinton did not get married last month in a swank, celebrity-laden wedding on Martha's Vineyard attended by the president of the United States.  —  For four months, the Clintons have told anyone who would listen …
Discussion: Shakesville
Joseph Brean / National Post:
Hate speech law unconstitutional: rights tribunal  —  The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that Section 13, Canada's much maligned human rights hate speech law, is an unconstitutional violation of the Charter right to free expression because of its penalty provisions.
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Conservative Democrats Expect a Health Deal  —  WASHINGTON — Like her colleagues, Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, a South Dakota Democrat and leader of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, has been weathering the summer of health care discontent.
Washington Monthly:
Rankings  —  Below are the Washington Monthly's 2009 national university college rankings.  We rate schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs) …
Mimi Hall / USA Today:
AARP raises its voice in health care debate  —  WASHINGTON — AARP, which has lost tens of thousands of members over its support for efforts to revamp the health care system, is preparing a post-Labor Day blitz to try to cast itself as a politically impartial advocate on health care issues.
Discussion: YID With LID, Don Surber and Commentary
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
Taliban Surprising U.S. Forces With Improved Tactics  —  The Taliban has become a much more potent adversary in Afghanistan by improving its own tactics and finding gaps in the U.S. military playbook, according to senior American military officials who acknowledged that the enemy's resurgence this year has taken them by surprise.
Christian Davenport / Washington Post:
Get a Gun in D.C. — Do You Feel Lucky?  —  Not Just Strict Rules Test Your Decision  —  It took $833.69, a total of 15 hours 50 minutes, four trips to the Metropolitan Police Department, two background checks, a set of fingerprints, a five-hour class and a 20-question multiple-choice exam.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Democratic Advantage in Party Affiliation Shrinks  —  Gap now 5 points, down from 17 in January  —  PRINCETON, NJ — In August, an average of 45% of Americans identified as Democrats or leaned to the Democratic Party, while 40% identified as Republicans or leaned to the Republican Party.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Boston Globe:
Senate hopeful of the day: Curt Schilling
Discussion: The Hill
PNJ:
Scarborough: Kennedy transcended the coldness of politics
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
First on the CNN Ticker: DNC takes aim at Cheney
Ed Pilkington / Guardian:
CIA doctors face human experimentation claims
Discussion: TalkLeft
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Price of Kennedy seat: $3 million-plus
 Earlier Items: 
Kpicket / The washington times Blogs:
Official dishonesty from the National Endowment for the Arts
Discussion: RBO and Reason
Tom Coburn / Wall Street Journal:
What I Learned From the ‘Mob’