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7:05 PM ET, September 18, 2009


 Top Items: 
Ezra Klein:
What's Wrong With the Finance Bill?  An Interview With Sen. Jay Rockefeller.  —  Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) chairs the Finance Committee's Health Care Subcommittee.  His support will be crucial — maybe even decisive - in getting health-care reform out of the Finance Committee.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Snowe: I Haven't Changed, My Party Has  —  It would be easy to over-interpret this statement from Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), but it would be a mistake to dismiss it.  —  “I've always been a Republican for the traditional principles that have been associated with the Republican party since …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Senior Democrat turns healthcare debate into fight over illegal immigration  —  Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is putting Democrats in a bind by seeking to let illegal immigrants benefit from the healthcare overhaul.  —  Menendez, the only Hispanic senator, has considerable leverage …
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Obama: Legalize illegals to get them health care  —  Republicans see a backdoor move toward ‘amnesty’  —  President Obama said this week that his health care plan won't cover illegal immigrants, but argued that's all the more reason to legalize them and ensure they eventually do get coverage.
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Irving Kristol, 1920-2009  —  Irving Kristol, writer, editor, and social philosopher, has died in Washington at the age of 89.  His wisdom, wit, good humor, and generosity of spirit made him a friend and mentor to several generations of thinkers and public servants.  —The Editors
John Podhoretz / Commentary:
Irving Kristol, 1920-2009  —  The intellectual and political life of the United States over the past 60 years was affected in so many important and enduring ways by Irving Kristol that it is difficult to capture in words the extent of his powerful and positive influence.
Barry Gewen / New York Times:
Irving Kristol, Godfather of Modern Conservatism, Dies at 89
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Former CIA Directors Urge Torture Prosecution Reversal  —  The Justice Department investigation into CIA torture allegations may have already jeopardized American intelligence capabilities, seven former CIA directors told President Obama.  In a letter, the spy chiefs urge …
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:   Former CIA Directors: AG's Investigation Could ‘Help al Qaeda’
Fox News:
Ex-CIA Chiefs Decry Holder Interrogator Probe in Letter to Obama
The Note:
Miss California Wows Conservatives  —  ABC News' Teddy Davis and Brittany Crockett Report:  —  The Value Voters Summit heard from potential Republican presidential candidates and GOP congressional leaders on Friday morning.  —  But it was Carrie Prejean—former Miss California—who stole the show.
Discussion: Swampland, The Politico and Shakesville
David Brooks / New York Times:
No, It's Not About Race  —  You wouldn't know it to look at me, but I go running several times a week.  My favorite route, because it's so flat, is from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol and back.  I was there last Saturday and found myself plodding through tens of thousands of anti-government “tea party” protesters.
Kate Andersen Brower / Bloomberg:
Michelle Obama Says Women Are “Crushed” by Health-Care System  —  Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) — First lady Michelle Obama sought support for the administration's health-care plans from family advocacy groups and health-care professionals, saying the treatment of women under the current system is “unacceptable.”
Discussion: and Michelle Malkin
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Washington Sketch: Michelle Obama Gets Her Farmers Market  —  Let's say you're preparing dinner and you realize with dismay that you don't have any certified organic Tuscan kale.  What to do?  —  Here's how Michelle Obama handled this very predicament Thursday afternoon:
Washington Post:
Duo in ACORN Videos Say Effort Was Independent  —  Duo in Sting Video Say Their Effort Was Independent  —  The proposition was outrageous, outlandish, and right up James E. O'Keefe III's alley.  Hannah Giles was on the phone from the District, and she was asking him to dress like her pimp …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
DNC promises ‘rain of hellfire’  —  The increasingly aggressive Democratic National Committee on Friday launched a new “Call 'Em Out” website targeting prominent Republicans for statements they have made about President Barack Obama's health reform plans.  —  “Help debunk the outrageous lies …
Rachel E. Stassen-Berger / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Pawlenty takes a right turn
Discussion: and The Hill
Newt Gingrich / Washington Examiner:
The real ACORN scandal: Its enablers  —  It's hard to know who should be more embarrassed by the revelations about the radical group ACORN, the mainstream media or the politicians who have funneled taxpayer dollars to the group for years.  —  It took two amateur twentysomething filmmakers to do what ABC …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Under fire, Democrats abandon ACORN in droves
Discussion: Big Government and American Power
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
Obama's smart decision to scuttle Bush's European missile-defense plan.  —  President Barack Obama's scuttling of George W. Bush's plan to deploy a missile-defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland—or, more particularly, the way he scuttled it—amounts to a remarkably shrewd bit of politics and statesmanship.
Discussion: Foreign Policy and ATTACKERMAN
New York Post:
Obama feeds allies to bear
Charles Franklin /
Sixty-Five Views of HC Reform, One Big Trend  —  The trend in opinion on health care reform has been a bit tricky of late.  After a long and substantial rise of opposition, and an equally long but less sizable decline in support, we came to August, the month for the strange in politics.
The Politico:
Conservatives use liberal playbook  —  Conservatives are coming for the Democrats on their blind side — the left.  —  The evidence is everywhere.  —  At tea parties and town halls, conservative demonstrators oppose health care reform with signs bearing the abortion-rights slogan …
Wall Street Journal:
Bankers Face Sweeping Curbs on Pay  —  Fed Plans to Limit How Lenders Can Structure Compensation for Executives, Traders, Loan Officers; 5,000 Firms Affected  —  Policies that set the pay for tens of thousands of bank employees nationwide would require approval from the Federal Reserve …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
A REGIONAL PARTY.... I was looking over the new results from the weekly Research 2000 poll conducted for Daily Kos.  Most of the results are about what we've come to expect — President Obama's ratings are more favorable than unfavorable (55% to 38%); neither congressional caucus is popular …
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
GOP Senator Considering Rider to Limit EPA Authority on Greenhouse Gases
David Weininger / Boston Globe:
In this opera production, the pitch is political
Discussion: GOP 12
Chris Ariens / TVNewser:
In Full Page Ad, Fox Asks Where Were Other Media on 9/12.
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
U.S. Taxpayers Fund Empty ‘Airports to Nowhere’
Discussion: Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Publius / Big Government:
‘ACORN Funded Prostitution Zone’
Discussion: RedState
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Most Americans Still Credit Obama for Bipartisan Efforts
Michael Silence / Knoxville News-Sentinel:
Memo to the DNC: What were you thinking?
Discussion: RedState and The Moderate Voice