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11:30 AM ET, October 7, 2009


 Top Items: 
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 …
Scott Wilson / Washington Post:
Afghan Strategy Divides Lawmakers  —  Obama Tells Bipartisan Meeting He Has No Plans to Lower Troop Levels  —  Congressional leaders left a rare bipartisan meeting with President Obama on Tuesday divided over what strategy the administration should adopt to fight an increasingly unpopular war …
Wall Street Journal:
Battle of Books Rages in Afghan Debate
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.
Michael Scherer / Swampland:
The Cup of Coffee: White House's David Axelrod Meets With Fox News' Roger Ailes  —  On a recent visit to New York, White House adviser David Axelrod met over coffee with Roger Ailes, the president of the Fox News network, which President Obama has described as a “television station …
Patrick O'Connor / The Politico:
House feels left out on health care
Eli Saslow / Washington Post:
With White House Rally, Antiwar Protesters Hope to Spark Groundswell
Discussion: RedState and
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
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Dems let Rockefeller ponder vote
Discussion: AMERICAblog News
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Senate moderates echo GOP call for 72-hour disclosure
Wall Street Journal:
Fed Frets Over Commercial Real Estate  —  With Banks Slow to Take Losses, Fears of a Residential-Bust Repeat; ‘More Pain Likely Lies Ahead’  —  Banks in the U.S. “are slow” to take losses on their commercial real-estate loans being battered by slumping property values and rental payments …
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
John McCormick / Bloomberg:
Chicago Violence Haunts Obama as Gun-Control Backers Left Cold  —  Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) — At least 47 school-age children in Chicago have been killed in homicides, mostly by guns, since the month President Barack Obama took office.  —  The latest youth homicide in his adopted hometown …
Discussion: The Swamp and The Jawa Report
Newsdesk / Clout St:
Holder, Duncan in Chicago on Wednesday to discuss youth violence with Daley
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
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Pawlenty to Iowa  —  Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) will headline an Iowa Republican party event this fall, a trip that will mark his visit to the politically crucial state since he has made clear his interest in pursuing a presidential bid in 2012.  —  Pawlenty will be the featured guest at the …
Glenn Thrush / Glenn Thrush's Blog:
Dem: House GOP is “80 percent male, 100 percent white”  —  The National Republican Congressional Committee is urging Gen. Stanley McChrystal to put House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “in her place” for weighing in on Afghanistan — prompting one female Pelosi ally to blast the House GOP as …
Bob Gough /
Durbin's office blacklists STARadio stations  —  A spokesman for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) says the senator's office will no longer send media information to Quincy's oldest radio station because the station decided to let the public know he was coming to town.
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Weak himself, Obama draws strength from Bush  —  Senior Political Analyst  —  In trying to understand what is happening in the nation and world, we all employ narratives — story lines that indicate where things are going and what is likely to happen next.
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").
Discussion: MoJo Blog Posts
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
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.
Discussion: EconLog and Economix
Catherine Rampell / New York Times:
Support Builds for Tax Credit to Encourage 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.
New York Times:
Ensign Says He Won't Step Down  —  WASHINGTON — Even as fellow Republicans continued to withhold public support for him, Senator John Ensign of Nevada said Tuesday that he had done nothing improper on behalf of a former aide with whose wife he had an affair and that he would not resign his seat.
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 More Items: 
Pumza Fihlani / BBC:
Five's company?  —  South African businessman Milton Mbele broke …
Discussion: Althouse
Reid J. Epstein / Newsday:
Shouts, insults fly at Rep. Israel's health care town hall
William Saletan / Human Nature:
The Beauty of Artificial Virginity
Marc Morano / Climate Depot:
Inconvenient Censorship: Stanford U. Bans Skeptical Climate Film …
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and
Ezra Klein:
Should America Copy the Dutch?
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
Democratic Money Mandarins Meet In D.C.
 Earlier Items: 
Robert D. Kaplan / New York Times:
Beijing's Afghan Gamble
Geoff Earle / New York Post:
Charlie sneaks $3M in pork for CCNY
Discussion: YID With LID and JammieWearingFool
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