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12:15 PM ET, September 2, 2009


 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.
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”
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Does Obama plan to spy on social-networking sites?
Discussion: YID With LID and Atlas Shrugs
Rory Cooper / The Foundry:
Obama's Team Crosses the Rhetorical Line
Charles Babington / Associated Press:   White House: Obama may detail health plans soon
CNN Poll: Independents disapprove of Obama
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.
Mark Halperin / The Page:
Excerpts from Levi Johnston's Vanity Fair Interview
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Sanford: Now I know what Palin felt like  —  (CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says that the state Ethics Commission probe into his travel expenses reminds him of the flood of ethics complaints filed against Sarah Palin before she resigned the Alaska governorship.
Valerie Bauerlein / Wall Street Journal:
Shamed Governor Battles to Save Job  —  ORANGEBURG, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, stung by political attacks over his extramarital affair with an Argentine woman, said in his first extended interview since June that he no longer wants to “crawl into a cave” and will fight to keep …
Ralph Z. Hallow / Washington Times:
Gov. Sanford says God on his side
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.
New York Post:   FIRE RANGEL
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 …
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.
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.
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Jules Crittenden:
Pay As We Say  —  Not as we do.  Actually, that probably should be …
Discussion: Snapped Shot
Charles Franklin /
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
Heidi Przybyla / Bloomberg:
Corzine, Deeds Electoral Weakness Reflects Obama's Lower Rating  —  Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama won't be on the ballot in New Jersey and Virginia when those states hold the nation's only governor's races in November.  His policies likely will be.
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.
James Glanz / New York Times:
Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Afghanistan  —  Civilian contractors working for the Pentagon in Afghanistan not only outnumber the uniformed troops, according to a report by a Congressional research group, but also form the highest ratio of contractors to military personnel recorded in any war in the history of the United States.
Discussion: ABCNEWS, Amygdala and Gawker
Nissan Ratzlav-Katz / Arutz Sheva:
Ahmadinejad's Imam: Islam Allows Raping, Torturing Prisoners  —  Follow Israel news on and .  —  ( A highly influential Shi'a religious leader, with whom Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regularly consults, apparently told followers last month that coercion by means of rape …
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
Low-Wage Workers Are Often Cheated, Study Says  —  Low-wage workers are routinely denied proper overtime pay and are often paid less than the minimum wage, according to a new study based on a survey of workers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.  —  The study, the most comprehensive examination …
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 More Items: 
John Lyon / Arkansas News:
Lincoln: Public option too expensive
Discussion: Scorecard's Blog and Salon
The Politico:
Sawyer to replace Gibson at ABC
Andrew Porter / Telegraph:
Britain facing blackouts for first time since 1970s
Peter Suderman / Reason:
TV Medical Dramas Not On Board With Health Reform
Kbh /
Understanding the President's legislative options for health care reform
Rasmussen Reports:
42% Say People Randomly Selected from Phone Book Better Than Current Congress
Tom Coburn / Wall Street Journal:
What I Learned From the ‘Mob’
 Earlier Items: 
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Obama's Political Operation Escalates Attack On Media; Raises …
Los Angeles Times:
Hostages of the Hermit Kingdom
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
“Minor Revolution”