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12:50 PM ET, October 7, 2009


 Top Items: 
Anne / BackyardConservative:
Bill Ayers No Dream  —  There I was, sitting in Reagan National Monday morning, sipping a Starbucks by the United counter before going through security.  I had a little time, so I was browsing through the news.  Some military guys had borrowed a chair from my table.
Bill Ayers admits writing ‘Dreams’ to conservative blogger  —  Last Friday we posted an article on these pages asserting Bill Ayers' authorship of President Barack Obama's ‘Dreams From My Father,’ based on claims made by Obama biographer Christopher Andersen.
Scott / Power Line:
Whose Dreams?  —  In the run-up to the election, Jack Cashill framed a speculative argument that Bill Ayers wrote Barack Obama's Dreams From My Father.  Cashill first ventured his thesis in “Who wrote Dreams From My Father?”  Cashill cited Obama's sophomoric stabs at poetry from his days at Occidental.
Discussion: JustOneMinute and American Thinker
New York Times:
Obama Rules Out Large Reduction in Afghan Force  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama told Congressional leaders on Tuesday that he would not substantially reduce American forces in Afghanistan or shift the mission to just hunting terrorists there, but he indicated that he remained undecided …
Wall Street Journal:
Battle of Books Rages in Afghan Debate  —  WASHINGTON — The struggle to set the future course of the Afghan war is becoming a battle of two books — both suddenly popular among White House and Pentagon brain trusts.  —  The two draw decidedly different lessons from the Vietnam War.
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Approval of U.S. Congress Falls to 21%, Driven by Democrats  —  Lowest rating for Congress since January  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans' approval of the job Congress is doing is at 21% this month, down significantly from last month's 31% and from the recent high of 39% in March.
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Parties Nearly Tied for Congress in 2010  —  Voter preferences for Congress split 46% Democratic vs. 44% Republican  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Roughly a year before the 2010 midterm elections, Gallup finds the Republican and Democratic Parties nearly tied in the congressional ballot preferences of registered voters.
Neil King Jr / Wall Street Journal:
Jobless Rate Is Key to Fate of Democrats in 2010
Discussion: QandO
Washington Post:
White House Gets Republican Backing for Bipartisan Reform  —  Urged by the White House, Republicans Speak Up for Bipartisan Health Fix  —  Seeking to provide fresh evidence of bipartisan support for health-care reform, the White House is orchestrating a series of endorsements from GOP heavyweights around the country.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Key House chairman: Dems ‘arriving at a consensus’ on health bill
Discussion: The Politico
Paul Krugman:
Still chasing shadows?  —  This article on the continued troubles in credit markets was informative.  But it raised a puzzle.  Call me naive, but why does Fed policy seem to assume that the only way to repair credit markets is to return to the status quo ante, circa January 2007?
Discussion: Felix Salmon
Tony Romm / The Hill:
150 Dems to Pelosi: No tax on health insurance  —  More than 150 House Democrats have urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi to quash a new tax on expensive insurance plans.  —  In a letter sent Wednesday to Pelosi (D-Calif.), a broad coalition of Blue Dogs and progressives said the proposed fee …
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Deeds points finger at Washington  —  Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds said in an interview that he was lagging in the polls entering the final weeks of the campaign in part because of voter concerns over his national party's agenda.  —  “Frankly, a lot of what's …
Elizabeth Williamson / Wall Street Journal:
White House Steps Back in Va. Race
Discussion: RedState and Virginia Politics
Mark Preston / CNN:
First on the Ticker: Obama enlists Hollywood in new ad  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama is turning to a handful of Hollywood stars to judge a contest that asks grassroots supporters to create a television commercial promoting health care reform.  —  Musician Will.I.Am, actor John Cho …
Discussion: TPMDC and FishBowlDC
Michael B. Oren / The New Republic:
Deep Denial  —  Toughened by their frontier ethos, steeled by serial wars, Israelis are not prone to flattery.  Most, in fact, eschew using the closest equivalent to the Hebrew word for flattery—chanupa— in favor of the derisive Yiddish-derivative, firgun.
Catherine Rampell / New York Times:
Support Builds for Tax Credit to Help Hiring  —  The idea of a tax credit for companies that create new jobs, something the federal government has not tried since the 1970s, is gaining support among economists and Washington officials grappling with the highest unemployment in a generation.
Jackson Baker / Memphis Flyer:
Finally!  A Mayoral Forum With Character(s)!  —  Of all the mayoral debates and forums that have been held so far this campaign season, perhaps the most bizarre was the one sponsored Tuesday night at the University of Memphis' Rose Theatre by the NAACP.  Three of the 12 candidates on stage …
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Lee Fang / Think Progress:
Rep. Louie Gohmert: Hate crimes bill will lead to Nazism, legalization of necrophilia, pedophilia, and bestiality.  —  Led by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) last night, lawmakers convened for a special session of floor speeches urging a repeal of Don't Act Don't Tell.
Discussion: Law Dork and Shakesville
William Saletan / Human Nature:
The Beauty of Artificial Virginity  —  If you're a woman in a conservative Muslim country, you had better bleed on your wedding night.  If you don't, your husband or his family will know you aren't a virgin.  For that, you could be beaten or killed.  —  If you're a man, on the other hand …
Josh McAuliffe / Scranton Times-Tribune:
Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson coming to Scranton to discuss war in Afghanistan  —  The U.S. military's ongoing conflict in Afghanistan is a movie Charlie Wilson has seen before, and he isn't thrilled with where the plot of this one is going.  —  “I think they're looking at us more and more like occupiers,” he said.
Amanda Carpenter / Washington Times:
A new mommy tax  —  When Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus proposed taxing medical devices to raise $40 billion over the next 10 years for his health care plan, opponents started digging in and looking at what would be taxed.  It turned out feminine products, like tampons …
Discussion: Moe Lane
Aunohita Mojumdar / Christian Science Monitor:
‘Code Pink’ rethinks its call for Afghanistan pullout  —  In Afghanistan, the US women's activist group finds that their Afghan counterparts want US troop presence - as well as more reconstruction.  —  KABUL, AFGHANISTAN -  —  When Medea Benjamin stood up in a Kabul meeting hall this weekend …
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
The Supreme Court mauls the law banning animal-cruelty videos.  —  Witness the American deputy solicitor general in his natural habitat—the Supreme Court.  As Neal Katyal roams softly across the cool marble chamber, he has no idea what awaits him.  He is here to protect his tribe …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Rep. Waters: ‘Many members’ suffer from disclosure problems like Rep. Rangel  —  “Many members” of Congress suffer from the same disclosure issues as the embattled Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), one of his congressional allies suggested Wednesday.  —  Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) …
Cory Doctorow / Boing Boing:
The criticism that Ralph Lauren doesn't want you to see!  —  Last month, Xeni blogged about the photoshop disaster that is this Ralph Lauren advertisement, in which a model's proportions appear to have been altered to give her an impossibly skinny body ("Dude, her head's bigger than her pelvis").
Robert D. Kaplan / New York Times:
Beijing's Afghan Gamble  —  IN Afghanistan's Logar Province, just south of Kabul, the geopolitical future of Asia is becoming apparent: American troops are providing security for a Chinese state-owned company to exploit the Aynak copper reserves, which are worth tens of billions of dollars.
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Partisan Economics in Action  —  Successful economic ideas usually end up being taken too far.  —  Democrats dominated the middle part of the 20th century, thanks in part to their vigorous response to the Great Depression.  They used the government to soften the effects of the Depression and to build the modern safety net.
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 More Items: 
Gateway Pundit:
Nancy Pelosi Squirms When Harry Reid Touches Her (Video)
Discussion: The Greenroom and Redhot
Audrey Hudson / Washington Times:
Firefighters lose large U.S. grant to ACORN
Tom Beaumont / Des Moines Register:
Pawlenty to headline Iowa GOP fundraiser Nov. 7
Discussion: Wonkette
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Weak himself, Obama draws strength from Bush
Pumza Fihlani / BBC:
Five's company?  —  South African businessman Milton Mbele broke …
Discussion: Althouse
 Earlier Items: 
Reid J. Epstein / Newsday:
Shouts, insults fly at Rep. Israel's health care town hall
John McCormick / Bloomberg:
Chicago Violence Haunts Obama as Gun-Control Backers Left Cold
Discussion: The Swamp and The Jawa Report
Marc Morano / Climate Depot:
Inconvenient Censorship: Stanford U. Bans Skeptical Climate Film …
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Democratic Money Mandarins Meet In D.C.
Jake Sherman / The Politico:
Working hard or hardly working?
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
SEC Probing Biggest Hospital Company
Discussion: DailyFinance
Bob Gough /
Durbin's office blacklists STARadio stations