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1:20 AM ET, October 6, 2009


 Top Items: 
Publius / Big Government:
Breaking: Louisiana Attorney General: Rathke Embezzled $5 Million From ACORN  —  From NOLA.COM: … Whole blockbuster story here.  —  Update: According to the new subpoena issued by the Louisiana Attorney General, it seems ACORN leadership was aware of the full extent of the embezzlement.
Robert Travis Scott / New Orleans Times-Picayune:
ACORN embezzlement was $5 million, La. attorney general says  —  An internal review by the board of directors of the community organization ACORN determined that the amount allegedly embezzled from the community organization was $5 million, well more than the previously reported amount of nearly $1 million …
Robert Fisk / The Independent:
The demise of the dollar  —  In a graphic illustration of the new world order, Arab states have launched secret moves with China, Russia and France to stop using the US currency for oil trading  —  In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning …
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Taking Their Time: Finance Committee May Delay Vote As It Awaits CBO Analysis  —  The Senate Finance Committee was supposed to convene for a vote on its controversial health care bill tomorrow.  Now, that's looking doubtful.  —  Early in the amendment process, the panel agreed not to hold …
Christina Bellantoni / TPMDC:
Six Dem Governors Hold Out On Health Care Letter
Discussion: The Politico
Ceci Connolly / Washington Post:
2 Democratic Senators Withhold Support of Health Bill
Jonathan Cohn / Kaiser Health News:
To Be Effective, Exchanges Need Bargaining Power
Dana Loesch /
FTC meddles in blogger content, free speech  —  More big government.  The FTC says basically anyone receiving anything (due to broad, poorly-written regulations) must pay an $11,000 fine. … Because Uncle Sam think the public is too stupid to make decisions alone or to recognize endorsements verses common reviews.
Discussion: QandO
Caroline McCarthy / CNET News:
FTC to bloggers: Fess up or pay up
Discussion: Concurring Opinions
Patrick Tuohey / Big Government:
AMA Endorses Largest Denier of Health Care Claims  —  What appears to be the official blog of President Obama's administration is all aflutter because the President will welcome, “doctors from across the United States to the White House to share their unique perspective on the struggles …
The Hill:
President summons congressional leaders on Afghanistan strategy  —  The meeting comes amid mounting casualties in the eight-year war and as President Barack Obama weighs a pending request for 40,000 more troops from the leading commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
Gates Urges Confidentiality in Advising Obama on Afghan War
Michelle Cottle / The New Republic:
No Exit  —  The never-ending lunacy of Betsy McCaughey.  —  On an ordinary day, Henry Aaron, senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, comes across as the quintessential policy wonk: knowledgeable, thoughtful, measured, perhaps even a tad boring.
Not Larry Sabato:
SHEILA JOHNSON'S PARTY FOUL  —  At a rally for Bob McDonnell's campaign, Sheila Johnson mock-stutters when talking about Bob's “o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-opponent” Creigh Deeds.  When Bob comes up to speak he says nothing.  —  Pathetic.  We deserve more class than this in the Governor's mansion.
Peter Hamby / CNN:   Top McDonnell backer mocks Deeds' speaking problems
Kate Galbraith / Green Inc.:
Apple Resigns From Chamber Over Climate  —  Apple has become the latest company to resign from the United States Chamber of Commerce over climate policy.  —  “We strongly object to the chamber's recent comments opposing the E.P.A.'s effort to limit greenhouse gases,” wrote Catherine A. Novelli …
Brian W. Walsh / Washington Times:
Criminalizing everyone  —  Needed: A ‘clean line’ to determine lawfulness  —  “You don't need to know.  You can't know.”  That's what Kathy Norris, a 60-year-old grandmother of eight, was told when she tried to ask court officials why, the day before, federal agents had subjected her home to a furious search.
Meir Javedanfar / Guardian:
Ahmadinejad has no Jewish roots  —  Rumours that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's family converted to Islam from Judaism are false.  In fact, they are proud Shias  —  In June 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's meteoric rise from mayor of Tehran to president of one of the most influential countries in the Middle East took everyone by surprise.
Alex Spillius / Telegraph:
Barack Obama cancels meeting with Dalai Lama ‘to keep China happy’  —  President Barack Obama has refused to meet the Dalai Lama in Washington this week in a move to curry favour with the Chinese.  —  The decision came after China stepped up a campaign urging nations to shun the Tibetan spiritual leader.
Gary Farber / Amygdala:
ARE YOU “THE UNKNOWN LIBERAL”?  Pick me, pick me!  —  Jerry Falwell's offspring of Liberty University, the Liberty Counsel has a wonderful new idea! … How does it work, you ask? … I nominate myself as “The “Unknown Liberal.  No, really, that's a choice.  You can't make this crap up.
Discussion: Pharyngula and Liberal Values
Think Progress:
GOP Senate candidate: My campaign is like fighting the Nazis in World War II.  —  In an interview with the Washington Post yesterday, former Ron Paul economic adviser Peter Schiff, who is now running as a Republican for Connecticut's U.S. Senate seat, feigned modesty when asked about his candidacy …
Steve Krakauer / Mediaite:
Red Eye Resurgence: More Demo Viewers Watch Fox At 3am Than CNN at 8pm  —  Fox News' 3amET comedy/news hybrid Red Eye is in a league of its own when it comes to cable news shows.  But that doesn't mean it isn't a player in the ratings.  —  Despite its late (or early, depending on your sleep habits) …
Chuck Todd /
ROVE FOR RUBIO  —  From NBC's Chuck Todd  —  Over the past few weeks, Florida GOP Gov. Charlie Crist has found himself being put on the defensive more and more in the primary thanks to the challenge by ex-state House Speaker Marco Rubio.  While Crist has financially overwhelmed Rubio to date …
Andrew Ross Sorkin / Vanity Fair:
Wall Street's Near-Death Experience  —  With the implosion of Lehman Brothers, in September 2008, the realization dawned: Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs could be next.  In an excerpt from his new book, the author reveals the incredible scramble that took place—desperate phone calls …
Digest / BPS Research Digest:
One nagging thing you still don't understand about yourself  —  The email edition of the British Psychological Society's Research Digest has reached the milestone of its 150th issue.  That's over 900 quality, peer-reviewed psychology journal articles digested since 2003.
Anne Bayefsky / Weekly Standard:
You Can't Say That  —  At the UN, the Obama administration backs limits on free speech.  —  The Obama administration has marked its first foray into the UN human rights establishment by backing calls for limits on freedom of expression.  The newly-minted American policy was rolled …
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: Kentucky Senate  —  2010 Kentucky Senate: Early Match-ups Suggest Tight Race for GOP Vacancy  —  Republicans look like they're in for a tough fight in Kentucky to maintain the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Jim Bunning.  —  The first Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 survey …
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Steele applauded ACORN leader in speech  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - Like other GOP leaders, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele took a harsh tone toward ACORN last month after several of the group's employees were caught on tape offering financial advice to activists posing undercover as a pimp and prostitute.
Discussion: Wonkette and Hot Air
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Fox News Corrects False Claims About Gay Obama Education Adviser — Will Hannity Do The Same?  —  Okay, so Fox's news division, such as it is, has now quietly issued an online correction of the false claims the outlet had been making while waging a high-profile assault on Kevin Jennings …
Eric Zimmermann / The Hill:
Obama, Biden to meet with lawmakers on Afghanistan  —  President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will meet with lawmakers tomorrow to discuss Afghanistan policy.  The meeting will take place in the State Dining Room at the White House, but is closed to the press.
Discussion: The Nation
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 More Items: 
The Huffington Post:
WellPoint Subsidiary Fights Maine Over Big Rate Hike (VIDEO)
Discussion: Firedoglake
Hugh Hewitt / The Hugh Hewitt Show:
Fun With “Journalists”: Sacramento Bee Edition
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Jennifer Bendery / Roll Call:
Democrats Chafe Under Gitmo Delays
Discussion: Weekly Standard and American Glob
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Morning Fix: RGA Unloads in Virginia
 Earlier Items: 
Scott Whitlock /
MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan: Conservatives Don't Care If 'Half the …
Discussion: Nice Deb
Michael Yon:
Two Firefights: One Video  —  In July, British soldiers …
Discussion: Hot Air and The Jawa Report
Wall Street Journal:
Clunkers in Practice  —  One of Washington's all-time dumb ideas.