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12:10 PM ET, September 4, 2009


 Top Items: 
Political Punch:
Controversial Obama Administration Official Denies Being Part of 9/11 “Truther” Movement, Apologizes for Past Comments  —  A top environmental official of the Obama administration issued a statement Thursday apologizing for past incendiary statement and denying that he ever agreed …
Gateway Pundit:
Busted.  Van Jones Linked to 9-11 Truther Movement Back in **January 2002**  —  Yesterday, news broke out that Barack Obama's communist Green Czar was a 9-11 Truther.  The administration much later in the day released a statement saying Van Jones was “not now or ever” involved in the 9-11 Truther movement.
Joe Klein / Swampland:
It Gets Worse  —  I was at a Blanche Lincoln town hall meeting in Russellville, Arkansas, yesterday—and the number of people who believe that the President has larded the government with communists (!) was astonishing.  One woman said there were four known communists in the government and that she'd researched it on the internet.
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Unbelievable: Van Jones says 9/11 petition didn't reflect his views; Update: Jones didn't “carefully review” petition  —  Note well: He doesn't deny that he signed it.  He denies that he agrees with it.  Which means, I guess, that he's asking us to create a new standard for public officials …
Amanda Carpenter / The washington times Blogs:
Another apology may be coming from Van Jones  —  White House green jobs czar Van Jones had apologized twice this week for making regrettable statements and there may be another one coming.  —  His name is posted online in support of an October 2006 petition to stop police brutality posted …
Discussion: RedState
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Quote of the Day: Where Is America's Partisan Political Ugliness Heading?
Discussion: JustOneMinute and The New Republic
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Jones apologizes for statements, denies 9/11 doubts
Political Punch:
Another Possible Link Emerges Between Top Obama Official and “9/11 Truther” Movement
Nia-Malika Henderson / The Politico:
School speech backlash builds  —  School districts from Maryland to Texas are fielding angry complaints from parents opposed to President Barack Obama's back-to-school address Tuesday - forcing districts to find ways to shield students from the speech as conservative opposition to Obama spills into the nation's classrooms.
New York Times:
Some Parents Oppose Obama Speech to Students  —  HOUSTON — President Obama's plan to deliver a speech to public school students on Tuesday has set off a revolt among conservative parents, who have accused the president of trying to indoctrinate their children with socialist ideas …
Political Punch:
School Districts in Six States to Refrain from Showing Presidential …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
IT'S COME TO THIS.... In 1988, then-President Reagan spoke …
Richard Wolf / USA Today:
White House to reveal visitor names  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to change White House policy by releasing the names of thousands of visitors whose comings and goings traditionally are kept secret by presidents.  —  President Obama's announcement scheduled for today follows a lengthy legal review.
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts and Swampland
Norm Eisen / Blog:
Opening Up the People?s House
Rex Nutting / MarketWatch:
US unemployment rate jumps to 26-year high of 9.7%  —  WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. unemployment rate jumped to a 26-year high of 9.7% in August as nonfarm payrolls fell by 216,000, the 20th consecutive monthly decline, the Labor Department estimated Friday.
Jack Healy / New York Times:
Unemployment Hits 9.7%, but Job Loss Slows in August  —  Employers eliminated 216,000 jobs in August even as the larger American economy showed signs of turning around, suggesting that while the pace of job losses continues to slow, workers will still be among the last to benefit from a recovery.
David Brooks / New York Times:
Let's Get Fundamental  —  If I were magically given an hour to help Barack Obama prepare for his health care speech next week, the first thing I'd do is ask him to read David Goldhill's essay, “How American Health Care Killed My Father,” in the current issue of The Atlantic.
New Jersey Online:
GOP gov. candidate Chris Christie not issued traffic ticket after accident that injured motorcyclist in 2002  —  Adding to Chris Christie's campaign trail headaches over his driving record, officials in Elizabeth confirmed tonight the Republican gubernatorial candidate was in a traffic accident …
Discussion: The Huffington Post and TPMDC
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
A Bit of a Menace?  —  Looks like more evidence that New Jersey …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Holly Rosenkrantz / Bloomberg:
Public Option Not Vital to Health Reform, Teamsters' Hoffa Says  —  Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) — Teamsters President James Hoffa said dropping the so-called public option wouldn't be a “deal killer” for health-care legislation, signaling a split among leaders of unions that are a core constituency of President Barack Obama.
Discussion: RedState, The Page and TPMDC
National Review:
Despite Best Efforts, Rep. Baron Hill Ends Up on YouTube In a Compromising Position  —  Rep. Baron Hill (D., Ind.) cannot possibly be this big a jerk all the time.  At a recent town hall, a young woman raised her hand and identified herself as a journalism student working on a school project …
Discussion: RedState and
Matt Viser / Boston Globe:
Order to close office strands constituents  —  The secretary of the US Senate yesterday officially instructed aides to Edward M. Kennedy that they had to halt work on hundreds of requests from Massachusetts constituents and instead focus on shutting down the Senate office.
Discussion: The Hill
Wall Street Journal:
Loan Losses Spark Concern Over FHA  —  The Federal Housing Administration, hit by increasing mortgage-related losses, is in danger of seeing its reserves fall below the level demanded by Congress, according to government officials, in a development that could raise concerns about whether the agency needs a taxpayer bailout.
Charlie Cook / National Journal Online:
Bleeding Independents  —  OBAMA'S AGENDA HAS FANNED FEARS THAT GOVERNMENT IS EXPANDING TOO FAR, TOO FAST.  —  Listening to two briefings — one by a Democratic pollster who had just conducted a survey for a group favoring health care reform, the other by a Republican pollster more skeptical …
Jordan Rau / Kaiser Health News:
Health Bills Might Not Protect Some Needy Americans, Experts Say  —  Patrick Gilbert, an uninsured lumber company worker in upstate New York, is in a predicament that President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats believe they can solve.  Gilbert and his wife have two children …
Discussion: Swampland and TPMDC
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
Ezra Klein's Most Cracked Spin Yet?  —  Delusion Watch: Ezra Klein thinks the good news is that Obama “hasn't given a speech on health-care reform ...” You could have fooled me.  The problem, Klein reports, is that … You mean they weren't attempts to set the agenda?  That explains it! ...
Patrick Ruffini / The Next Right:
Can We Have Buckley Back?  —  Over the last few days, Jon Henke has laid out the case for the Right more strongly disavowing outfits like WorldNetDaily that actively peddle Birther nonsense.  To the extent the mainstream Right has weighed in, it has been to urge Jon to ignore WND and move on …
Hillary Chabot / Boston Herald:
Rep. Stephen Lynch pulls papers to run for Kennedy's seat  —  U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch pulled nomination papers for the late Edward M. Kennedy's seat this morning, becoming the second candidate to jump in the race for the highly-coveted senate spot.  —  Attorney General Martha Coakley pulled nomination papers earlier this week.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
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 More Items: 
The Politico:
Petraeus, Scarborough eyed for '12
James Surowiecki / The Balance Sheet:
It's Results That Matter to Voters, Not Process
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias and Neuroworld
George Stephanopoulos / George's Bottom Line:
GOP Asks Nets for Response to Obama
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Americans Divided on Investigating Bush-Era Interrogations
Discussion: The Hill and The Swamp
New York Post:
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Gothamist
Joseph Curl / Washington Times:
Biden fills vacationing Obama's void
Discussion: Pat Dollard
Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: CIA asks Justice to probe leaks of secrets
Discussion: Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Lisa Black / Chicago Tribune:
Organized labor recruits in-home caregivers
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Columns
Rick Pearson / Chicago Tribune:
Barack Obama support a bit shaky in Illinois, Tribune poll finds
Discussion: Politics Nation
Jules Crittenden:
How To Live Forever Part 2
Peter Baker / The Caucus:
Bush Hires Ex-Journalist to Run Think Tank
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Obama's Magic Evaporates in the Heat of the Health-Reform Debate
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Labor Unions See Sharp Slide in U.S. Public Support
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Black Caucus warns Obama on speech
Discussion: YID With LID and Weasel Zippers
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
House Liberals Write Directly To Obama: No Public Option, No Support