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5:55 PM ET, September 22, 2009


 Top Items: 
Jim Geraghty / National Review Online:
Democrats Never Meant What They Said About Afghanistan — By: Jim Geraghty  —  An astonishingly honest assessment — one that I fear is accurate — from the lefty blog Hullabaloo: … The average Democrat doesn't like fighting wars.  They don't like using military force.
Leslie H. Gelb / Wall Street Journal:
Obama's Befuddling Afghan Policy  —  Why is the president hesitating on more troops to fight his ‘war of necessity’?  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  I'm lost on President Barack Obama's Afghanistan policy—along with most of Congress and the U.S. military.
D.B. Grady / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Obama's FDR Moment
Discussion: Weekly Standard and RedState
Boston Globe:
Dukakis is the best choice to fill Senate vacancy  —  THE MASSACHUSETTS Senate could vote as early as today on a bill to let Governor Patrick name an interim replacement for Senator Edward Kennedy.  State senators should pass the measure, and Patrick should be ready to make an appointment quickly.
Matt Viser / Boston Globe:
Senate passes successor bill  —  The state Senate passed a bill this afternoon that would allow Governor Deval Patrick to name an interim successor to Edward M. Kennedy, potentially paving the way for appointment of a new US senator later this week.  —  The Senate approved the measure by a 24-16 vote …
Hillary Chabot / Boston Herald:
Senate approves Kennedy successor bill
Discussion: TPMDC, D-Day and Open Congress
Abby Goodnough / New York Times:
State Senate to Take Up Bill on Kennedy Seat
Discussion: MyDD
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Glenn Beck and left-right confusion  —  Last night during his CBS interview with Katie Couric, Glenn Beck said he may have voted for Hillary Clinton and that “John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama.”  This comment predictably spawned confusion among some liberals and anger among some conservatives.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Obama's message to Abbas, Bibi: 'I'm losing patience'  —  President Obama's central message to the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in New York today was simple, a U.S. official said: He's running out of patience.  —  “The President of the United States is impatient,” said the senior U.S. official.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
The Huffington Post:
Whoops: Anti-ACORN Bill Ropes In Defense Contractors, Others Charged With Fraud  —  Going after ACORN may be like shooting fish in a barrel lately — but jumpy lawmakers used a bazooka to do it last week and may have blown up some of their longtime allies in the process.
Project On Government Oversight / The Project …:
If Congress Attacks the Mighty Oak of Contractor Misconduct …
Ian Talley / Environmental Capital:
Steven Chu: Americans Are Like ‘Teenage Kids’ When It Comes to Energy  —  This post was updated Monday evening.  —  When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons.
Wall Street Journal:
When Speechwriters Kiss and Tell  —  A man I hired was not the star he thought he was.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  When the sun rises over our capital city this morning, its denizens will awake to a truly novel tale: The aggrieved ex-staffer—wait for it!—disillusioned by Washington.
Marcus Stern / ProPublica:
Mike Ross Raises Eyebrows With Healthy Haul  —  Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross — a Blue Dog Democrat playing a key role in the health care debate — sold a piece of commercial property in 2007 for substantially more than a county assessment (PDF) and an independent appraisal (PDF) say it was worth.
Marcus Stern / The Politico:
Mike Ross raises eyebrows with healthy haul
Discussion: Firedoglake
Political Punch:
After ‘Inappropriate’ NEA Conference Call, White House Pushes New Guidelines  —  An August 10, 2009 National Endowment for the Arts conference call in which artists were asked to help support President Obama's agenda — a call that at least one good government group called “inappropriate” …
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Byrd admitted to hospital after fall  —  Ambulances and fire trucks were dispatched to the Northern Virginia home of Sen. Robert Byrd Tuesday morning, and the senator was later admitted to the hospital, where he is expected to be treated for a few days.  —  A neighbor of the 91-year-old …
John Tierney / New York Times:
To Explain Longevity Gap, Look Past Health System  —  If you're not rich and you get sick, in which industrialized country are you likely to get the best treatment?  —  The conventional answer to this question has been: anywhere but the United States.  With its many uninsured citizens …
David Corn / MoJo Sections:
Clinton on Gore: “I Thought He Was in Neverland”  —  On Monday, USA Today ran a front-page article on the soon-to-be-released book chronicling a series of secret interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch held with President Bill Clinton throughout the Clinton presidency.
Stephen Labaton / New York Times:
F.D.I.C. May Borrow Funds From Banks  —  WASHINGTON — Tired of the government bailing out banks?  Get ready for this: officials may soon ask banks to bail out the government.  —  Senior regulators say they are seriously considering a plan to have the nation's healthy banks lend billions …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THEY'RE LAUGHING AT HIM, NOT WITH HIM.... We've seen plenty of examples of health care reform opponents trying to mislead the public at town-hall events.  We haven't, however, seen many examples these opponents getting mocked by their audiences.  —  In this video, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) …
Nina Easton / Fortune:
Condi: The should-be face of the GOP  —  She's smart.  She's experienced.  She's worldly.  Republican strategists worried about their party's future should take heed.
Hank Johnson / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
‘Fringe element’ could easily upend America's racial progress  —  When I invoked the Ku Klux Klan in my remarks supporting a resolution to rebuke Congressman Joe Wilson for his outburst during the president's health care address, I expected it to ignite a national debate.  And it did.
Radley Balko / Reason:
The “Tenther” Smear  —  The American Prospect, The New Republic, and other left-of-center outlets are pushing the “Tenther” smear, aimed at lumping those who, horrors!, still take seriously the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in with the Obama birth certificate deniers and 9/11 truthers.
New York Times:
The Rights of Corporations  —  The question at the heart of one of the biggest Supreme Court cases this year is simple: What constitutional rights should corporations have?  To us, as well as many legal scholars, former justices and, indeed, drafters of the Constitution …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Walpin scandal update: Grassley blocks nomination, accuses administration of stonewalling  —  Republican Sen. Charles Grassley has blocked the ambassadorial nomination of Alan Solomont, currently chairman of the board of the government agency that oversees AmeriCorps, in retaliation …
Todd Spangler / Detroit Free Press:
Conyers seeks answers on ACORN  —  WASHINGTON - House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers - a Detroit Democrat - is weighing into the controversy involving a much-maligned national community organization, asking congressional researchers whether any laws may have been broken by surreptitious recording of the group's employees.
Discussion: Hot Air, Don Surber and Pajamas Media
Andrew Pierce / Telegraph:
Prince Charles urges people to abandon car in favour of walking and public transport  —  The Prince of Wales is urging people to give up their cars in favour of walking and public transport to try to reduce carbon emissions.  —  The Prince, who has two Jaguars, two Audis …
Scott / Power Line:
Nothing to fear but Fears himself  —  We have not heard anything from Washington Post reporters Darryl Fears and Carol Leonnig in response to “Sliming James O'Keefe: A case study.”  I think it's fair to conclude that Fears and Leonnig have no quote from O'Keefe to support their imputation …
The Huffington Post:
Gaddafi On Donald Trump Estate?  —  | Sam Stein, Marcus Baram, and Nico Pitney  —  Muammar Gaddafi is making preparations to stay at the Bedford, New York, estate owned by Donald Trump during the Libyan leader's visit to the United States this week, a source with direct knowledge of the arrangement tells the Huffington Post.
Muslim Man Beheads Christian in Egypt  —  Egypt (AINA) — Osama Araban, a Muslim man riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, went on a rampage last week in Egypt, killing 63-year old Coptic Christian Abdo George Younan, in the village of Bagour, before traveling onwards and stabbing with intention …
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
REDSTATE EXCLUSIVE: A Review of ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis's Rolodex Suggests Strong White House Ties … On Sunday, Barack Obama played ignorant on the situation with ACORN.  Obama told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, “Frankly, it's not really something I've followed closely.
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Pawlenty's PAC — Palin has one, too  —  Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty may be packing up the governor's office next year, but he is opening up a national PAC, potentially positioning for a 2012 presidential bid.  —  The retiring Republicans' “Freedom First” political action committee …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
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 More Items: 
The Huffington Post:
WaPo Critiques Obama With “Expert” Panel Of Five Republicans, Two Dems
Discussion: Washington Post and Commentary
Mark Murray /
Discussion: Politics Daily
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Paterson blames weak Obama record for friction
Discussion: Politicker NY and Gothamist
Mike Shields / Mediaweek:
NYT Explores New Twitter Search Products
Discussion: Mediaite, BuzzMachine and Media Decoder
The E&P Pub:
Shadid of ‘Washington Post’ Jumps to ‘New York Times’
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Biden eats cake in Senate UPDATED
 Earlier Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Reid gives GOP direct warning on healthcare
Discussion: The Politico and The Hill
Justin Elliott / TPMMuckraker:
Flashback: Alleged Fraudster Was Wheeled Out To Defend Hillary Camp …
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Senate Dems bolster 2012 coffers early
Discussion: Think Progress and
KMGH Denver's Channel 7:
ACORN Worker In Video Reported Couple
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Waning Demographics of Suburbia
Discussion: Greg's Opinion and Eschaton