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9:50 AM 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 …
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 …
Fox News:
‘Green Jobs’ Adviser's Past Could Stir Trouble for White House at Critical Time  —  White House green jobs adviser Van Jones' past associations and remarks are stirring controversy at a time when the Obama administration is trying to keep controversy at a minimum.  —
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.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:   THE FABRIC IS STRONG, BUT IT'S NOT INDESTRUCTIBLE. …
Amanda Carpenter / Washington Times:
Green jobs ‘czar’ signed ‘truther’ statement in 2004
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:
Fewer Job Losses Than Expected, but Rate Rises in August  —  Employers eliminated 216,000 jobs in August even as the larger economy showed signs of turning around, suggesting that while the pace of job losses continues to slow, American workers will still be among the last to benefit from a recovery.
Maya Jackson Randall / Wall Street Journal:
Job Losses Moderate, but Unemployment Rate Hits 9.7%  —  WASHINGTON — U.S. job losses softened last month but the unemployment rate soared to its highest level since June 1983, proving that it will take some time for the ailing labor market to recover from the worst financial crisis in decades.
Discussion: and Scared Monkeys
Timothy R. Homan / Bloomberg:
U.S. Payroll Losses Slow, Unemployment Rises to 9.7% (Correct)
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.
Associated Press:
Obama speech to students draws conservative ire  —  DALLAS — President Barack Obama's back-to-school address next week was supposed to be a feel-good story for an administration battered over its health care agenda.  Now Republican critics are calling it an effort to foist a political agenda on children …
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 …
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.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
White House to routinely release visitor logs ... Joel Benenson polling: ‘When voters learn about the composition of the plan, support grows considerably’ ... Charlie Cook: ‘Dangerous slide’ for House Ds  —  SIREN — NBC's David Gregory on “Today”: “The president is preparing to tell liberals …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
House Liberals Write Directly To Obama: No Public Option, No Support  —  In a letter delivered to the White House moments ago, the two leaders of the bloc of House progressives bluntly told President Obama that they will not support any health care plan without a public option in it — and demanded a meeting to inform him face to face.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Pelosi: A Bill Without a Strong Public Option Will Not Pass the House
Discussion: AMERICAblog News and Open Left
Ed Hornick / CNN:   Sen. Snowe not afraid to buck her party
Cspanjunkie / Crooks and Liars:
Interview With Man Who Had Finger Bitten Off At Town Hall (Bill Rice)  —  (Nicole) KTLA: … The finger-biter fled the scene and is still at large.  I don't know if I buy the whole “he punched me, so it's okay that I bit the guy's finger off” alibi, but isn't it nice to know that the guy …
Mary Katharine Ham / Weekly Standard:
Obama Critic Gives MoveOn the Finger — Doesn't Get It Back
Karoli / odd time signatures:
Health Care Vigil in Thousand Oaks: Provocation to violent response
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
MSNBC removes Buchanan column from site  —  Pat Buchanan has received a lot of criticism recently for his column marking the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland, where the conservative pundit questions whether Hitler has gotten a bum rap.  —  By extension, MSNBC …
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: and RedState
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 …
Discussion: Commentary and RedState
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Discussion: YID With LID and Riehl World View
Dan / Riehl World View:
Steele Busts O-bot Plant At Howard U.  —  Update: Figures.  If you notice, she starts shouting just as Steele prepares to make the Republican's case to people who actually might want to hear an honest discussion.  Her mind was made up going in.  She went to shout down an opposing viewpoint, not foster actual debate.
Discussion: Top of the Ticket
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
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Obama's Magic Evaporates in the Heat of the Health-Reform Debate  —  What happened to President Obama?  His wax wings having melted, he is the man who fell to earth.  What happened to bring his popularity down further than that of any new president in polling history save Gerald Ford (post-Nixon pardon)?
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Commentary
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 York Times:
At Least 80 Die in NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan  —  KABUL, Afghanistan — A NATO airstrike early Friday killed at least 80 people, many of them civilians, in a once-calm region of northern Afghanistan that has recently slipped under control of insurgents, Afghan officials said.
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 More Items: 
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
Ezra Klein's Most Cracked Spin Yet?
Wall Street Journal:
Obama Urged to Rally Support for War
Discussion: Dennis the Peasant
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Labor Unions See Sharp Slide in U.S. Public Support
Rasmussen Reports:
51% Say Congress is Too Liberal, 22% Say It's Too Conservative
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Orlando Sentinel:
Fathima Rifqa Bary: Judge keeps girl in Florida, seals investigative findings
 Earlier Items: 
Carol J. Williams / Los Angeles Times:
WellPoint, United Healthcare accused of illegal actions
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Too many Democratic congressmen behaving like jackasses for bloggers …
Robert Quigley / Mediaite:
Anti-Beck Backlash Hits Nauseating Extreme with “Murder and Rape” …
Discussion: TVNewser
Helen Kennedy / NY Daily News:
Khadafy to United Nations: Abolish Switzerland!
Adam Fogle / The Palmetto Scoop:
Senator: Sanford behind rumors that Bauer is gay