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2:25 PM ET, September 23, 2009


 Top Items: 
Nile Gardiner / Telegraph:
The UN loves Barack Obama because he is weak  —  It is not hard to see why a standing ovation awaits Barack Obama when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly today, writes Nile Gardiner.  —  Barack Obama's Gallup approval rating of 52 percent may well be lower at this stage …
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Obama's time warp: The U.S. is still the bad guy  —  Senior Political Analyst  —  In the early 1980s, while planning a vacation in Latin America, I went to bookstores to find histories of the region.  All I could find were Marxist tracts arguing that “the people” were exploited …
Washington Times:
Worst foreign policy ever
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and Power Line
Jonathan Weisman / Wall Street Journal:
Obama, at U.N., Sets New Tone for U.S.
Helene Cooper / New York Times:
At U.N., Obama Sets New Tone, but Problems Are Familiar
Discussion: Below The Beltway and The Page
New York Times:
Obama Considers Strategy Shift in Afghan War  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama is exploring alternatives to a major troop increase in Afghanistan, including a plan advocated by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to scale back American forces and focus more on rooting out Al Qaeda there and in Pakistan, officials said Tuesday.
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
At Pentagon's Request, Washington Post Delayed Story on Afghanistan Report  —  To Bob Woodward, it was the modern-day equivalent of the Pentagon Papers.  But to Obama administration officials, the classified assessment of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, if disclosed by The Washington Post …
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
It's Not About the Troops  —  Only a legitimate Afghan government can beat the Taliban.  —  The push is on for President Barack Obama to send more troops to Afghanistan, perhaps as many as 40,000 more.  Boxing in Obama was almost certainly the aim of whoever gave the Washington Post's Bob Woodward …
Mark McDonald / New York Times:
Palin Speaks to Investors in Hong Kong  —  HONG KONG — Sarah Palin, in what was billed as her first speech overseas, spoke on Wednesday to Asian bankers, investors and fund managers.  —  A number of people who heard the speech in a packed a hotel ballroom, which was closed to the media …
Palin slams Obama's spending in debut speech in Asia  —  Former US vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin said the US government was wasting taxpayers' money and could aggravate poverty, said delegates at her first speech outside North America on Wednesday.  —  Palin, the former governor of Alaska …
Washington Wire:
Excerpts From Palin's Speech to Investors in Hong Kong
Discussion: FP Passport and Wonkette
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THE GOP REVERSAL ON INDIVIDUAL MANDATES.... In many cases, Republican lawmakers asked Democratic leaders to make specific concessions on health care reform.  When Dems like Max Baucus agreed, the GOP balked anyway.  —  But there are other areas in which Democrats simply embrace policy ideas endorsed, or even created by, the right.
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
72-hour delay? Eh, Dems say
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
James Joyner / Outside The Beltway:
Health Insurance Mandates
Discussion: TalkLeft and Daily Pundit
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Washington Sketch: On Health Care, Republicans Aren't Listening
Discussion: Think Progress and Daily Kos
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Glenn Beck, Post-Modern Conservative  —  Buried in the cross-tabs of the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll is a question that takes a temperature reading of Glenn Beck.  Beck actually makes out pretty well.  While just 24 percent of Americans have a favorable view of him (13 percent strongly so) …
Mike Lux / The Huffington Post:
Triggering a Democratic Civil War  —  Media reports and insider buzz make it increasingly clear that key people at the White House have become obsessed with Olympia Snowe on health care, and are willing to do pretty much whatever she demands in order to get her on board.
Erica Werner / Associated Press:
Budget chief contradicts Obama on Medicare costs  —  WASHINGTON — Congress' chief budget officer is contradicting President Barack Obama's oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn't see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul.  —  The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office …
Fox News:
Up to 24 More People Sought as NYC Tightens Security in Terror Probe  —  NEW YORK — Police in New York City stepped up their patrols and increased their random searches on subways and buses Wednesday following reports that as many as 24 more people are being sought in a suspected cross-country terror plot.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
New poll: Democrat lead over GOP is smallest in five years; doubts about Obama continue to grow  —  The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll asked respondents whether they would prefer to see next year's elections result in a Congress controlled by Democrats or a Congress controlled by Republicans.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Jon Walker / Firedoglake:
Carper Publicly Defends Secret PhRMA Pact; Deal Made in Exchange for Support Ads  —  In a stunning moment during the Senate Finance Committee markup Sen. Tom Carper defended a secret deal that the White House, Baucus, and PhRMA had reached.  The White House has long denied the deal.
New York Post:
Khadafy booted from Camp Trump  —  W'chester foils Trump guest  —  Unwelcome Libyan thug Moammar Khadafy briefly found a comfy spot to rest his foul head yesterday — at Donald Trump's palatial estate in suburban Westchester.  —  But town officials in tony Bedford put the kibosh …
Discussion: BBC, The New Republic and On Deadline
Amanda Carpenter / Washington Times:
U.S. ‘diversity czar’ takes heat over remarks  —  Lloyd lauded Chavez's rise  —  President Obama's diversity czar at the Federal Communications Commission has spoken publicly of getting white media executives to “step down” in favor of minorities, prescribed policies to make liberal talk radio …
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 More Items: 
Dallas Morning News:
Giuliani: Free enterprise in America is ‘under assault’
Emily Miller / Politics Daily:
Dancing Tom DeLay on Infighting in the ‘Leaderless’ …
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blog
Bill Carter / New York Times:
Obama Leads Letterman to Ratings Win
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
A New Bubble Of the Fed's Creation
Stephen Moore / Wall Street Journal:
Our $2 Trillion Bridge to Nowhere
 Earlier Items: 
Ashley Womble / Conversation Starters …:
Senator Is the Centerfold
Discussion: Wonkette, Ben Smith's Blog and Gawker
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
On Human Rights, Liberals Paralyzed by Internal Struggles
Discussion: Commentary
McCain blasts ‘disconnect’ between WH and military leaders
Ryan Young / The Politico:
Cap-and-trade will depress home prices
Derrick Nunnally /
State rules Montco pool discriminated by banning campers
Discussion: Pam's House Blend