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2:20 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.
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Ken Boehm / National Legal and Policy Center:
Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites  —  NLPC has uncovered a plan by the White House New Media operation to hire a technology vendor to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans from social networking websites.
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 …
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.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Does Obama plan to spy on social-networking sites?  —  Today's rumor of presidential overreach starts at the National Legal and Policy Center and the Drudge Report, which has launched a slew of e-mails about official spying on social-networking sites.  The NLPC found an RFP from FedBizOpps …
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:
Mark Halperin / The Page:   Excerpts from Levi Johnston's Vanity Fair Interview
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Levi's latest  —  A Palin partisan points out that Levi Johnston …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Ralph Z. Hallow / Washington Times:
Gov. Sanford says God on his side  —  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 on for conservative causes and for …
Discussion: FITSNews, The Hill and Shakesville
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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 …
Discussion: Real Clear Politics and TPMDC
RELATED:
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:   Behind Bob McDonnell's ‘Macaca’ Moment
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:
The Politico:   Sawyer to replace Gibson at ABC
ABCNEWS:
READ: Gibson's Email to ‘World News’ Staff
Discussion: Mediaite
Wall Street Journal:
Democrats Try Tougher Tone on Health Plan  —  White House Aide Criticizes GOP Negotiators as New Strategy Emerges in Response to Public Outcry and Senate Wrangling  —  WASHINGTON — A top White House adviser said Tuesday he doubts two Senate Republicans at the center of health-care talks …
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Boston Globe:
Health overhaul may ride on tactic
Discussion: CNN, TalkLeft and The Huffington Post
RELATED:
Washington Wire:   Poll Points to Dangers Ahead for Congressional Democrats
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.
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 …
RELATED:
Kate Phillips / The Caucus:
Supreme Court Watch on Justice Stevens
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.
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.
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.
Boston Herald:
Pol nabbed on New Hampshire booze run  —  A Westport lawmaker who voted to hike the state sales and alcohol taxes was spotted brazenly piling booze in his car - adorned with his State House license plate - in the parking lot of a tax-free New Hampshire liquor store, the Herald has learned.
RELATED:
Jules Crittenden:
Pay As We Say  —  Not as we do.  Actually, that probably should be …
Discussion: Snapped Shot
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 …
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.
Richard Sisk / NY Daily News:
Afghan U.S. Embassy patrol in ‘deviant’ parties with booze, hookers - report  —  WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Clinton ordered an investigation on Tuesday into the Animal House revels of private guards at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan - including booze, hookers and other “deviant behavior.”
Discussion: Mediaite and Don Surber
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 More Items: 
Richard D. Fisher Jr / Wall Street Journal:
China Puts Up a Fighter
Wall Street Journal:
Cap and Tax Delay
Kpicket / The washington times Blogs:
Official dishonesty from the National Endowment for the Arts
Discussion: Reason and AmSpecBlog
Michael J. Totten:
How to Get Your Name in My Book  —  I am now almost half …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Vitter thanks activist for raising death panels
 Earlier Items: 
Tom Coburn / Wall Street Journal:
What I Learned From the ‘Mob’