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3:50 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:
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.
CNN:
Obama considering major health care speech
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Axelrod hits Grassley and Enzi for not ‘negotiating in good faith.’
Discussion: The Note
Washington Wire:
Picnic Fare: Obama to Talk About Health Care at Union Lunch
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
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?
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Mark Halperin / The Page:   Excerpts from Levi Johnston's Vanity Fair Interview
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:
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 …
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:
The Politico:   Sawyer to replace Gibson at ABC
Michael Starr / New York Post:
DIANE SAWYER TO REPLACE CHARLIE GIBSON ON ABC'S ‘WORLD NEWS’
ABCNEWS:
READ: Gibson's Email to ‘World News’ Staff
Discussion: Mediaite
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
Discussion: Gawker and Power Line
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
RELATED:
Ruth Marcus / Washington Post:
Behind Bob McDonnell's ‘Macaca’ Moment
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.
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.
Discussion: The Mahablog, Neptunus Lex and The Page
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.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Mimi Hall / USA Today:
AARP raises its voice in health care debate
Discussion: Don Surber, YID With LID and Commentary
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Deleting the Bush Personality Cult from history
Discussion: Eschaton
Ed Pilkington / Guardian:
CIA doctors face human experimentation claims
Discussion: TalkLeft
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Price of Kennedy seat: $3 million-plus
Richard D. Fisher Jr / Wall Street Journal:
China Puts Up a Fighter
 Earlier Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Cap and Tax Delay
Discussion: Betsy's Page and The New Republic
Kpicket / The washington times Blogs:
Official dishonesty from the National Endowment for the Arts
Discussion: Reason
Tom Coburn / Wall Street Journal:
What I Learned From the ‘Mob’