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8:25 PM ET, October 1, 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 …
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.
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Carper quietly devises third option  —  Sen. Tom Carper bided his time on health care reform.  —  Rarely in the spotlight, and unfailingly restrained, the Delaware Democrat never staked out a public position on the government insurance option, solidifying his status as the model of an undecided moderate in need of persuading.
Benjamin Spillman / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Reid: Final health bill will have a ‘public option’
Discussion: Salon
Jake Sherman / The Politico:   Senate Dems will push public option
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
NV-Senate: Lowden Announces Against Reid
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Can States Do the Public Option?
Discussion: Ezra Klein
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Talking Points For Obama's Political Operation Describe Public Option …
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 …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Grayson aide: Inaction is “murdering the uninsured”  —  In his floor speech the other day, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) more or less suggested that failing to enact health care reform was the moral equivalent of manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide — saying the GOP wanted sick people to “die quickly.”
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:
Pelosi: No Grayson apology needed  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says there's no reason for Rep. Alan Grayson to apologize for his “Die quickly” remark, since Republicans have made statements just as outrageous as his.  —  “If anybody's going apologize, everybody should apologize …
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?  —  Reactions to the extradition of the fugitive filmmaker show a sharp divide.  —  Roman Polanski (Getty Images)  —  From Michael Moore's politics to on-screen sex and violence, the movie business is constantly being assailed for not sharing the country's values.
Matt Welch / Hit & Run:
Polanski's Many Detractors  —  If the impression you have from reaction to the Roman Polanski extradition case (see Nick Gillespie's great posts here and here) is that the media and the broad Left are overwhelmingly rallying around the weird little Polack, please do think again.
Discussion: Daily Mail and Big Hollywood
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
A Right-Left consensus building on Polanski
New York Times:
McChrystal Rejects Scaling Down Afghan Military Aims  —  LONDON — The top military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, rejected calls for scaling down military objectives there on Thursday and said Washington did not have unlimited time to settle on a new strategy to pursue the eight-year-old war.
Tony Romm / The Hill:
Senate votes to summon McChrystal for testimony
Discussion: The Politico
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 …
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 …
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
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 …
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.
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 …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:   Support for abortion rights slips
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 …
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: and Weekly Standard
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Pawlenty preps 2012 campaign team  —  Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been quietly assembling the blueprint of a presidential campaign and will announce Thursday the support of a group of high-level political strategists and donors, complemented by a handful of top new media consultants, POLITICO has learned.
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: Delaware Senate  —  2010 Delaware Senate: Castle 47%, Biden 42%  —  The 2010 U.S. Senate race in Delaware is all about the candidates who haven't decided whether to run yet.  —  The first Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 survey in the state finds that longtime Republican …
Rasmussen Reports:
43% View Obama's Olympic Trip As Bad Idea, 36% Disagree
Discussion: Don Surber
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
GOP tried to recruit hero pilot ‘Sully’ Sullenberger for 2010 bid  —  Sullenberger, a registered Republican and commercial airline pilot whose textbook landing in the Hudson River in January was labeled a miracle, made it clear through his business manager that he was not interested …
Discussion: On Deadline and Associated Press
James Pethokoukis:
Obama's not-so-secret plan to raise taxes  —  Does President Obama have a secret plan to raise taxes on middle-class Americans — and,well, pretty much everybody else — with a European-style, value-added tax?  Actually, it's not such a big secret.  Connect the dots:
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UK court serves first ever injunction via Twitter
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Short Takes: RGA Plays Hole Card Against Deeds
Discussion: Weekly Standard and TPMDC
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Daddy Factor  —  Something you see a fair amount …
Discussion: A Fistful Of Euros
An interesting deal (in principle)
John O'Connor / The State:
Governor: Don't release ethics report
Discussion: Politics Daily
Mikkel Fishman / The Moderate Voice:
My Algorithm Proves You're Gay!
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
FBI Ordered to Release Cheney Interview
Political Punch:
President Obama Signs Executive Order Banning Federal Employees …