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4:35 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.
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.
Discussion: Weekly Standard and MyDD
CNN:
Obama considering major health care speech
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Political Punch:
Axelrod: Obama is Ready to ‘Close’ on Health Care
Charles Babington / Associated Press:
Obama to deliver health care address to Congress
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?
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:
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
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:
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.
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
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Deleting the Bush Personality Cult from history  —  (updated below - Update II)  —  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 …
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 and MoJo Blog Posts
RELATED:
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Roll the Dice on Afghanistan
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: Don Surber, YID With LID 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.
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: 
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Democratic Advantage in Party Affiliation Shrinks
Ed Pilkington / Guardian:
CIA doctors face human experimentation claims
Discussion: TalkLeft
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Price of Kennedy seat: $3 million-plus
Michelle Malkin:
Obama's classroom campaign: No junior lobbyist left behind
Wall Street Journal:
Cap and Tax Delay
Discussion: Betsy's Page and The New Republic
 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’