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10:50 AM ET, October 2, 2009


 Top Items: 
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.
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.
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Online:
Steve Schmidt: Palin Would Be “Catastrophic” For GOPers in 2012  —  Steve Schmidt, John McCain's former chief campaign strategist, said today that if former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin were to be the Republican nominee, it would be “catastrophic” for the Republican Party.
The Huffington Post:
McCain Campaign Manager: Palin In 2012 Would Be Catastrophe for GOP  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  If Sarah Palin is her party's nominee for president in 2012 it will be a “catastrophic election” for the GOP, Sen. John McCain's 2008 campaign manager predicted on Friday.
Discussion: The Swamp, Ben Smith's Blog and GOP 12
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 …
NY Daily News:
David Letterman reveals $2M extortion plot; CBS News producer busted in scheme to reveal sex secrets  —  A top CBS News producer was busted Thursday for trying to shake down David Letterman - threatening to expose the late-night funnyman's affairs with several female staffers in a movie and book.
Lynn Elber / Associated Press:
Letterman creates brilliant hour of TV from woes
Chicago-Rio Olympic battle ‘close as hell’
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Obama, enroute to Denmark, hails Mahatma Gandhi
Discussion: Erick's blog
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama, Afghanistan commander meet
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 …
Jack Healy / New York Times:
Jobless Report Is Worse Than Expected; Rate Rises to 9.8%  —  The American economy lost 263,000 jobs in September and the unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent, the government reported on Friday, dimming the prospect of any meaningful job growth by the end of the year.
Maya Jackson Randall / Wall Street Journal:
Jobs Cuts Unexpectedly Accelerate
Discussion: New Deal 2.0
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
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.
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,” …
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 …
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: and Althouse
David Corn / Politics Daily:
The New Right-Wing Hit Job: Kevin Jennings  —  Is the right-wing hit squad going cruel?  —  After chasing both Van Jones, a White House green jobs adviser, and Yosi Sergant, the communications director of the National Endowment for the Arts, out of their jobs, they have a new target in the crosshairs …
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.
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Pawlenty to host first fundraiser in Washington  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will hold the first fundraiser for his new political action committee on Oct. 22 at the Capitol Hill home of lobbyist John Milne and his wife Deb Anderson, according to a copy of the invitation provided to CNN.
Discussion: GOP 12
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 …
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: 
Joshua Rhett Miller / Fox News:
Muslims Not ‘Free of Being Mocked,’ Danish Cartoonist Says
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Ylan Q. Mui / Washington Post:
New Economic Reports Show We're Still Hurting
Discussion: The Money Game and Calculated Risk
Bob Willis / Bloomberg:
U.S. Employers Cut More Jobs Than Forecast; Unemployment Rises
Discussion: The Page
Steve Hayward / The Corner on National Review Online:
What About Mark!?! — By: Steve Hayward
Discussion: The American Scene
Roy Appleton / Dallas Morning News:
Dallas judge paves way for gay couple to get divorce
Discussion: Law Blog and Off the Kuff
A. O. Scott / New York Times:
Calls to God: Always a Busy Signal
Discussion: Awards Daily
 Earlier Items: 
National Enquirer:
Discussion: Salon
Eugene Volokh / The Huffington Post:
Is the Obama Administration Supporting Calls to Outlaw Supposed Hate Speech?
Matthew Vadum / Big Government:
EXCLUSIVE: ACORN Legal Memo Confirms Depths of Troubles
Jamie Shreeve / National Geographic:
Oldest “Human” Skeleton Found—Disproves “Missing Link”