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3:10 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:
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Mark Halperin / The Page:   Excerpts from Levi Johnston's Vanity Fair Interview
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 …
RELATED:
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:
ABCNEWS:
READ: Gibson's Email to ‘World News’ Staff
Discussion: Mediaite
The Politico:   Sawyer to replace Gibson at ABC
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
Pew Research Center:
Congressional Favorability at 24-Year Low  —  Midterm Voting Intentions Evenly Divided  —  Americans are extremely displeased with Congress, and there are already some signs that this could take a toll on the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections.  Currently, 37% express a favorable opinion …
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 …
RELATED:
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Axelrod hits Grassley and Enzi for not ‘negotiating in good faith.’
Discussion: The Note
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.
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
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.
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.
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 …
Julian E. Barnes / Los Angeles Times:
U.S. to boost combat force in Afghanistan  —  Support units will be replaced by up to 14,000 ‘trigger-pullers,’ and noncombat posts will be contracted out, Defense officials say.  The swap will allow the U.S. to keep its troop level unchanged.  —  U.S. troops patrol in Kunar province.
RELATED:
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Roll the Dice on Afghanistan
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.
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.
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Deleting the Bush Personality Cult from history  —  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, and — for a fleeting second — Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher vow to “serve Obama.”
 
 
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 More Items: 
Ed Pilkington / Guardian:
CIA doctors face human experimentation claims
Discussion: TalkLeft
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Price of Kennedy seat: $3 million-plus
Robert Hardman / Daily Mail:
Why can't Dave and Gordon learn a few lessons from Britain's …
Richard D. Fisher Jr / Wall Street Journal:
China Puts Up a Fighter
Wall Street Journal:
Cap and Tax Delay
 Earlier Items: 
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 …
Tom Coburn / Wall Street Journal:
What I Learned From the ‘Mob’