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12:00 AM ET, October 2, 2009


 Top Items: 
Tom Beaumont / Des Moines Register:
Harkin: No place for GOP at Senate health-bill table  —  Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin said today Republicans will not be at the table when the Senate merges the health-care bills from two committees before sending one to the floor.  —  Harkin, a Democrat and chairman of one of the committees …
Benjamin Spillman / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Reid: Final health bill will have a ‘public option’  —  U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said today there will be a “public option” in whatever health insurance reform bill comes out of Congress.  —  “We are going to have a public option before this bill goes to the president's desk,” …
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Senate Finance Committee approves state-based public options
Discussion: Ezra Klein and Wonk Room
David M. Herszenhorn / Prescriptions:
Washington's Way on Health Care (The Other Washington)
Discussion: The Politico and Swampland
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Grayson Breaks the Rules  —  Representative Alan Grayson's statement that the Republican plan for health care amounts to “don't get sick” and if you do “die quickly” probably doesn't meet a test of literal accuracy.  Reality is I guess closer to “only get sick if you're stably employed in a good …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Kerry blocks DeMint trip to Honduras  —  Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has blocked Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) trip to Honduras slated to begin Friday, according to DeMint's office.  —  DeMint's office informed The Hill of Kerry's decision Thursday afternoon.
Marc Lynch:
What's wrong with muddling through in Afghanistan?  —  I've been hearing two things a lot about the President's choices on Afghanistan strategy: first, that it's time to either “go all in or get out”, the second that he is “dithering” in the face of an urgent decision.
New York Times:
McChrystal Rejects Scaling Down Afghan Military Aims
Tony Romm / The Hill:
Senate votes to summon McChrystal for testimony
Discussion: The Politico
Katha Pollitt / The Nation:
Roman Polanski's Powerful Friends  —  If a rapist escapes justice for long enough, should the world hand him a get out of jail free card?  If you're Roman Polanski, world-famous director, a lot of famous and gifted people think the answer is yes.  Polanski, who drugged and anally raped …
Los Angeles Times:
In Roman Polanski case, is it Hollywood vs. Middle America?
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
A Right-Left consensus building on Polanski
New York Times:
Senator's Aid to Mistress's Husband Raises Ethics Flags  —  WASHINGTON — Early last year, Senator John Ensign contacted a small circle of political and corporate supporters back home in Nevada — a casino designer, an airline executive, the head of a utility and several political consultants …
Michael Schneider / Variety:
Letterman reveals extortion attempt  —  ‘Late Show’ host also admits sex with staffers  —  In an uncharacteristically personal revelation for David Letterman, the host took to his “Late Show” stage Thursday to admit that he was the victim of an extortion attempt — and acknowledge …
Matt Corley / Think Progress:
Kristol Floats ‘Plausible Rumor’ That Hagel Will Replace Gates, Calls Him ‘An Advocate Of Retreat Everywhere’  —  Yesterday, Foreign Policy Initiative co-founder Bill Kristol appeared on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, where he said that he now believes “for the first time that he will not accept …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Weekly Standard:
Rumint: Hagel to Replace Gates By End of Year
Discussion: HotAirPundit
Hugh Store /   Show Transcripts  —  Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol now worried about Obama foreign policy
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Poll: 43% say Olympics trip ‘bad idea’  —  A plurality of Americans thinks President Barack Obama's trip to Copenhagen to lobby International Olympic Committee officials was a “bad idea,” according to a poll released Thursday by Rasmussen Reports.  —  Forty-three percent of the 1,000 adults …
Jonah Goldberg / Commentary:
How Politics Destroyed a Great TV Show  —  Either you are with me, or you are my enemy!" shouted a young Darth Vader in 2005's Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, one of the execrable prequels to the original films by George Lucas.  In response to this all-or-nothing provocation …
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Carter walks back racism charge  —  Former President Jimmy Carter insisted Thursday that he did not say protests against President Barack Obama were driven by racism.  —  Carter touched off a firestorm three weeks ago when he said Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-S.C.) “You Lie!” outburst was …
Support for Abortion Slips  —  Issue Ranks Lower on the Agenda  —  Overview  —  Polls conducted in 2009 have found fewer Americans expressing support for abortion than in previous years.  In Pew Research Center polls in 2007 and 2008, supporters of legal abortion clearly outnumbered opponents …
Richard Allen Greene / CNN:
Abortion support falls sharply, survey finds
Discussion: TalkLeft
Matthew Vadum / Big Government:
EXCLUSIVE: ACORN Legal Memo Confirms Depths of Troubles … ACORN's lawyer warned ACORN 15 months ago to begin fixing its massive internal problems or face certain catastrophe.  It chose to do nothing.  —  The advice from Elizabeth Kingsley of Harmon, Curran, Spielberg Eisenberg LLP came …
Patrick Gavin / The Politico:
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE TAKES THE PRIZE  —  White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee took home the top prize in the 16th annual “D.C.'s Funniest Celebrity” contest on Wednesday evening, and he did so in a very unconventional way.  Instead of adopting a traditional comedic routine of joke buildup and punchline …
Dan Zak / Washington Post:
At D.C. Improv, ‘Celebrities’ Bring the Funny
Discussion: Newsweek Blogs and TPM LiveWire
Brendan Nyhan /
Assessing the GOP brand  —  How weak is the Republican brand right now?  This issue came up yesterday when a Media Matters criticized The Hill for failing to mention the GOP's poor polling numbers in a story on the 2010 elections.  Similarly, I recently suggested that that the damaged …
Mickey McLean /
Palin cover released  —  On Monday night, Harper announced that Sarah Palin's memoir would be hitting the stores early, arriving just in time for Christmas.  —  By yesterday, the book, which was written with the help of WORLD senior writer Lynn Vincent, had already risen to the top …
Kevin Drum / MoJo Blog Posts:
Chart of the Day  —  The Office of the Speaker of the House emails to nominate this for chart of the day.  Sure.  Why not.  It's a good chart.  Bottom line: the public really likes the idea of having a choice between either a private or a public health insurance plan.
Jamie Shreeve / National Geographic:
Oldest “Human” Skeleton Found—Disproves “Missing Link”  —  Move over, Lucy.  And kiss the missing link goodbye.  —  Scientists today announced the discovery of the oldest fossil skeleton of a human ancestor.  The find reveals that our forebears underwent a previously unknown stage …
Austin Walsh / Santa Cruz Sentinel:
Grant gives Grateful Dead archive new life online  —  SANTA CRUZ — The Grateful Dead Archive has taken another step in its long strange trip, from the UC Santa Cruz library to its own Web site, The Virtual Terrapin Station.  —  One of the most popular bands in rock ‘n’ roll history …
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 More Items: 
Fox News:
Odierno: U.S. May Never Declare Victory in Iraq
Eugene Volokh / The Huffington Post:
Is the Obama Administration Supporting Calls to Outlaw Supposed Hate Speech?
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Palin co-author: Evangelical, partisan
Donna St. George / Washington Post:
Census Dispels ‘Opting-Out’ Notion for Stay-at-Home Moms
Chris McGreal / Guardian:
Revealed: millions spent to fight Obama health reforms
Discussion: Truthdig
Court order served over Twitter
Discussion: Mashable!
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Short Takes: RGA Plays Hole Card Against Deeds
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Daddy Factor  —  Something you see a fair amount …
Discussion: A Fistful Of Euros
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
GOP tried to recruit hero pilot ‘Sully’ for 2010 Congress bid
Discussion: Associated Press and On Deadline