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6:15 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
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Glenn Beck and left-right confusion  —  (updated below)  —  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 …
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
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 …
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” …
Kpicket / The washington times Blogs:
NEA Chairman admits mistake on August 10 conference call
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Jerusalem Post:
PM: Israel, PA agreed to begin talks without preconditions  —  Article's topics: Binyamin Netanyahu, Barack Obama, Mahmoud Abbas  —  Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to relaunch peace negotiations without any preconditions, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared on Tuesday.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Obama's message to Abbas, Bibi: 'I'm losing patience'
Discussion: Weekly Standard
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.
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.
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.
Mark Murray /
NBC/WSJ POLL: IS OBAMA OVEREXPOSED?  —  From NBC's Mark Murray  —  With President Obama appearing on five Sunday-morning news programs and with him sitting down with David Letterman last night, the political chattering class has asked this question: Is Obama overexposed?
Discussion: Politics Daily
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 …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Reid gives GOP direct warning on healthcare  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) gave Republicans his most direct warning to date that he is prepared to use a procedural maneuver to pass healthcare reform with a simple majority.  —  Reid told Republicans that he would prefer …
Discussion: The Hill
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
McConnell warns against reconciliation
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.) …
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:
Pelosi nixes healthcare deal with Blue Dogs  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi is nixing a deal she cut with centrists to advance health reform, said a source familiar with negotiations.  —  Pelosi's decision to abandon the agreement that was made with a group of Blue Dogs to get the bill out of committee …
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 More Items: 
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Pawlenty's PAC — Palin has one, too
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Todd Spangler / Detroit Free Press:
Conyers seeks answers on ACORN
Discussion: Hot Air, Don Surber and Pajamas Media
The Huffington Post:
WaPo Critiques Obama With “Expert” Panel Of Five Republicans, Two Dems
Discussion: Washington Post and Commentary
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
Muslim Man Beheads Christian in Egypt
Discussion: The Jawa Report
 Earlier Items: 
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
Justin Elliott / TPMMuckraker:
Flashback: Alleged Fraudster Was Wheeled Out To Defend Hillary Camp …
City Room:
In 4-3 Vote, Court Says Paterson Can Appoint Lt. Governor
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Waning Demographics of Suburbia
Discussion: Greg's Opinion and Eschaton