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9:20 AM ET, October 2, 2009

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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 …
RELATED:
Michael S. James / ABCNEWS:
David Letterman Confession: I Had Sex With Staffers, Got Targeted by Extortionist  —  Tells Fans of Scandal During Thursday Night Show  —  David Letterman told the audience of his late night talk show that he had sexual relationships with female members of his staff, and added he forked …
TMZ.com:
Letterman Says Someone's Extorting Him  —  David Letterman says someone has demanded $2 million from him in return for not blowing the lid on Letterman's sexual liaisons in his office.  —  Letterman said on his show tonight he received a package 3 weeks ago from someone claiming to have info …
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.
RELATED:
The Note:
DeMint Trip to Honduras Back On? …
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,” …
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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 …
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
McCain's mission: A GOP makeover  —  Fresh from a humbling loss in last year's presidential election, Sen. John McCain is working behind-the-scenes to reshape the Republican Party in his own center-right image.  —  McCain is recruiting candidates, raising money for them and hitting the campaign trail on their behalf.
Discussion: The Page
RELATED:
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Wizard of Beck  —  Let us take a trip back into history.  Not ancient history.  Recent history.  It is the winter of 2007.  The presidential primaries are approaching.  The talk jocks like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the rest are over the moon about Fred Thompson.
Discussion: PoliBlog and NewsBusters.org
Washington Post:
House, Senate Leaders Prepare for Floor Debate  —  The long quest to reform the nation's health-care system entered uncharted legislative territory early Friday when a key Senate panel wrapped up work on its bill and House and Senate leaders prepared for historic floor debates.
Discussion: New York Times, Swampland and The Page
RELATED:
Jeffrey Young / The Hill:
Senate Finance Committee approves state public options
Discussion: The Swamp, Ezra Klein and Wonk Room
CNN:
Chicago-Rio Olympic battle ‘close as hell’  —  COPENHAGEN, Denmark (CNN) — As First Lady Michelle Obama and talk show host Oprah Winfrey wrapped up a day of furious behind-the-scenes lobbying of International Olympic Committee members here, two sources close to the process tell CNN …
Discussion: Washington Wire
RELATED:
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Obama, enroute to Denmark, hails Mahatma Gandhi
Discussion: Erick's blog
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
What Michelle Obama told the Olympics Committee about her Chicago (and father)
Discussion: Political Punch
New York Times:
Senator's Aid After Affair Raises Flags Over Ethics  —  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 …
Steven F. Hayward / Washington Post:
Is Conservatism Brain-Dead?  —  Over his decades as a columnist, lecturer, TV host and debater, William F. Buckley Jr. lost his cool in public only once — when he threatened to sock Gore Vidal “in your goddamn face” on the third night of their joint appearances on ABC during the ill-fated 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
Discussion: Power Line and Hot Air
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
RELATED:
Weekly Standard:   Rumint: Hagel to Replace Gates By End of Year
Hugh Store / hughhewitt.com:
Show Transcripts  —  Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol now worried about Obama foreign policy
Discussion: Power Line
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 …
Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Blog:
The Truth About Jobs That No One Wants To Tell You  —  Unemployment will almost certainly in double-digits next year — and may remain there for some time.  And for every person who shows up as unemployed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' household survey, you can bet there's another either …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Mission Not Accomplished  —  Stocks are up.  Ben Bernanke says that the recession is over.  And I sense a growing willingness among movers and shakers to declare “Mission Accomplished” when it comes to fighting the slump.  It's time, I keep hearing, to shift our focus from economic stimulus to the budget deficit.
Wall Street Journal:
Springtime for Mullahs  —  The Geneva talks rehabilitate Iran's beleaguered regime.  —  Printer  —  Friendly  —  From Geneva yesterday come all kinds of good diplomatic vibrations.  Iran may allow U.N. inspectors into a recently unveiled uranium-enrichment plant “within two weeks.”
Washington Post:
White House Considers Narrower War Effort in Afghanistan  —  Top Officials Challenge General's Assessment  —  Senior White House officials have begun to make the case for a policy shift in Afghanistan that would send few, if any, new combat troops to the country and instead focus …
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 …
Eugene Volokh / The Huffington Post:
Is the Obama Administration Supporting Calls to Outlaw Supposed Hate Speech?  —  That's what it looks like, with this Joint U.S./Egypt draft U.N. Human Rights Council resolution (dated Sept. 2005).  The resolution generally seems to be an attempt to urge more protection for free speech throughout the world …
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 …
Roy Appleton / Dallas Morning News:
Dallas judge paves way for gay couple to get divorce  —  rappleton@dallasnews.com  —  In a first for Texas, a judge ruled Thursday that two men married in another state can divorce here and that the state's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.
Discussion: Law Blog and Off the Kuff
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Sarkozy Snubs Obama on Nuclear Threat Stance  —  “President Obama, I support the Americans' outstretched hand.  But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue?  Nothing.”  —  When France chides you for appeasement, you know you're scraping bottom.
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Washington Sketch  —  Helen Thomas is 89 years old and requires some assistance to get to and from the daily White House briefing.  Yet her backbone has proved stronger than that of the president she covers.  —  On Thursday afternoon, Thomas gave a clinic in fortitude to President Obama's spokesman, Robert Gibbs, during the briefing.
Discussion: NewsBusters.org and Althouse
A. O. Scott / New York Times:
Calls to God: Always a Busy Signal  —  Did you hear the one about the guy who lived in the land of Uz, who was perfect and upright and feared God?  His name was Job.  In the new movie version, “A Serious Man,” some details have been changed.  He's called Larry Gopnik and he lives in Minnesota …
Discussion: Awards Daily
Fox News:
Odierno: U.S. May Never Declare Victory in Iraq  —  Army Gen. Ray Odierno's comments came one day after he announced at a congressional hearing that he will send home about 4,000 additional troops by the end of October.  —  FOXNews.com  —  The top American commander in Iraq said Thursday …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Steve Hayward / The Corner on National Review Online:
What About Mark!?! — By: Steve Hayward
Discussion: The American Scene
National Enquirer:
JOHN AND ELIZABETH EDWARDS $53 MILLION DOLLAR DIVORCE
Discussion: Salon
Matthew Vadum / Big Government:
EXCLUSIVE: ACORN Legal Memo Confirms Depths of Troubles
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Short Takes: RGA Plays Hole Card Against Deeds
Discussion: Weekly Standard and TPMDC
Katha Pollitt / The Nation:
Roman Polanski's Powerful Friends