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2:50 PM ET, September 4, 2009


 Top Items: 
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.
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 …
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
White House stands by ‘truther’ Van Jones  —  The White House would not say whether the White House's green jobs czar, who has been linked to Sept. 11 conspiracy theorists, continues to enjoy the confidence of the president, but an official said he is still a part of the administration.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Michael Goldfarb / Weekly Standard:
Meg Whitman Blasts Van Jones  —  Yesterday Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for governor in California and former eBay CEO, got caught up in the growing controversy over the statements made by White House green jobs czar Van Jones.  A tape surfaced of Whitman praising the “marvelous job” …
Amanda Carpenter / The washington times Blogs:
Another apology may be coming from Van Jones
Discussion: TBogg
Washington Examiner:   John M.  —  Total words about the Van Jones controversy on CNN: 0.
Political Punch:
Another Possible Link Emerges Between Top Obama Official and …
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Quote of the Day: Where Is America's Partisan Political Ugliness Heading?  —  Our political Quote of the Day comes from Time's Joe Klein, who attended a health care reform town hall in Arkansas and asks the question I've asked here at TMV many times: just where is America's accelerating trend towards political ugliness headed?
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
IT'S COME TO THIS.... In 1988, then-President Reagan spoke to students nationwide via C-SPAN telecast.  Among other things, he talked about his positions on political issues of the day.  Three years later, then-President Bush addressed school kids in a speech broadcast live to school classrooms nationwide.
Rachel E. Stassen-Berger / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Pawlenty sides with critics
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Pawlenty blasts school speech
Discussion: The Hill, The Hill and The Page
Political Punch:
School Districts in Six States to Refrain from Showing Presidential …
New York Times:
Some Parents Oppose Obama Speech to Students
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
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Gates: AP decision ‘appalling’  —  Defense Secretary Robert Gates is objecting “in the strongest terms” to an Associated Press decision to transmit a photograph showing a mortally wounded 21-year-old Marine in his final moments of life, calling the decision “appalling” and a breach of “common decency.”
Associated Press:
AP picture shows pain of Afghan war
Discussion: The Huffington Post
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: TalkLeft, Firedoglake and RedState
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Ben Nelson Threatens to Blow Up Health Reform
Domenico Montanaro /
Discussion: D-Day and FiveThirtyEight
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 …
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 …
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 …
David Folkenflik / NPR:
Why ‘GQ’ Doesn't Want Russians To Read Its Story … text sizeAAA  —  For war journalist Scott Anderson, the most confounding part of his recent assignment for GQ magazine to explore the root of terrorist acts in Russia a decade ago wasn't the suggestion of treachery and subterfuge he found.
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 …
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
Resurfacing, a Critic Stirs Up Health Care Debate  —  WASHINGTON — The author Erica Jong first became socially acquainted with former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey of New York in the late 1990s, a dark time for Ms. McCaughey.  —  Ms. McCaughey had just lost her bid to unseat her former boss …
Discussion: Grasping Reality …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Conservatives back Obama on Afghanistan  —  Prominent conservative foreign policy thinkers and activists who backed the Iraq war are circulating a letter to President Obama supporting his engagement in Afghanistan against criticism from left and right, and urging him to stay the course.
Discussion: and MoJo Sections
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 More Items: 
Nick Chambers / Reuters:
Audi Chief Calls Chevy Volt “A Car For Idiots”
Michael Kinsley / Washington Post:
Newspaper Corrections Run Amok With Trivia
Discussion: New York Times and MoJo Blog Posts
Jerusalem Post:
‘PM to OK building, then mull freeze’
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Israel Matzav
Jordan Rau / Kaiser Health News:
Health Bills Might Not Protect Some Needy Americans, Experts Say
Discussion: Wonk Room, Swampland and TPMDC
 Earlier Items: 
George Stephanopoulos / George's Bottom Line:
GOP Asks Nets for Response to Obama
Discussion: The Hill and The Plum Line
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Americans Divided on Investigating Bush-Era Interrogations
Discussion: The Hill and The Plum Line
New York Post:
Discussion: Weekly Standard, Gothamist and Gawker
Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: CIA asks Justice to probe leaks of secrets
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Hot Air
Rick Pearson / Chicago Tribune:
Barack Obama support a bit shaky in Illinois, Tribune poll finds
Mickey Kaus / Kausfiles:
Ezra Klein's Most Cracked Spin Yet?
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and QandO