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2:15 PM ET, October 18, 2009


 Top Items: 
Jacob Weisberg / Newsweek:
Fox News isn't just bad.  It's un-American.  —  From the magazine issue dated Oct 26, 2009  —  Last week, when White House Communications Director Anita Dunn charged the Fox News Channel with right-wing bias, Fox responded the way it always does.  It denied the accusation with a straight face …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Fox ‘not really news,’ says Axelrod  —  White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday that the Fox News Channel is “not really a news station” and that much of the programming is “not really news.”  —  “I'm not concerned,” Axelrod said on ABC's “This Week” when George Stephanopoulos asked …
David Carr / New York Times:
The Battle Between the White House and Fox News  —  The Obama administration, which would seem to have its hands full with a two-front war in Iraq and Afghanistan, opened up a third front last week, this time with Fox News.  —  Until this point, the conflict had been mostly a one-sided affair …
Robert Thomas / Gawker:
Exclusive: I Helped Richard Heene Plan a Balloon Hoax  —  For the first time, 25-year-old researcher Robert Thomas reveals to Gawker how earlier this year he and Richard Heene drew up a master plan to generate a massive media controversy using a weather balloon.  To get famous, of course.
Washington Post:
Mr. Deeds for Governor  —  A LEGACY of sound policies, coupled with the proximity of the federal government, has partially protected Virginia from the harsh retrenchments that the recession has forced on many states.  Yet the commonwealth faces a daunting crisis in the form of a drastic shortfall …
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Dems see path for Deeds in Virginia  —  With just over two weeks left until Virginia's gubernatorial election, Democrat Creigh Deeds is left with a narrow path to victory, one that hinges on energizing key demographic groups and the durability of the Old Dominion's new politics.
Discussion: RedState
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
David Rohde's insights into what motivates the Taliban  —  (updated below)  —  The New York Times' David Rohde writes about the seven months he was held hostage by a group of extremist Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan and conveys this observation about what motivates them:
Discussion: Politics Daily
Faiz Shakir / Think Progress:
Specter rips GOP: ‘A Party of obstructionism.’  —  Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), who until late April of this year was a lifelong Republican, castigated his former party this morning on Fox News.  Specter ripped the GOP for refusing to be a good-faith negotiator in the health care debate:
Carrie Budoff Brown / Politico Live's Blog:
Thune: Public option compromises still public option
Discussion: TalkLeft
Kevin G. Hall / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
How Moody's sold its ratings — and sold out investors  —  WASHINGTON — As the housing market collapsed in late 2007, Moody's Investors Service, whose investment ratings were widely trusted, responded by purging analysts and executives who warned of trouble and promoting those who helped Wall Street plunge …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Jon Walker / Firedoglake:
White House ‘Official’ Badmouths Labor Leader For Expecting Obama To Keep His Promises  —  Gerry McEntee is president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  He leads the largest union in America and has been one of the most vocal advocates for progressive health care reform.
Bryan Bender / Boston Globe:
Secret Service strained as leaders face more threats  —  Report questions its role in financial investigations  —  WASHINGTON - The unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama, a rise in racist hate groups, and a new wave of antigovernment fervor threaten to overwhelm …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Mike Florio / NBC Sports:
First paper to run Limbaugh “slavery” quote issues retraction  —  In the wake of the news that radio host Rush Limbaugh was hoping to buy a chunk of the St. Louis Rams, Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote a column containing the now-infamous quote, supposedly from Limbaugh …
Discussion: Vox Popoli and Wake up America
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Harris poll puts Obama approval at 45%  —  Barack Obama might have hoped that an unexpected Nobel Peace Prize might halt his slide in the polls.  Not so, says the latest Harris interactive poll, conducted over the last week.  The survey contacted over 2200 adults on line …
Associated Press:
Artist Admits Using Other Photo for ‘Hope’ Poster  —  NEW YORK (AP) — The artist who designed the famous Barack Obama “HOPE” poster has admitted he didn't use the Associated Press photo he originally said his work was based on but instead used a picture the news organization has claimed was his source.
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Perry Bacon Jr / Washington Post:
Small Group Now Leads Closed-Door Reform Negotiations
Joseph Cirincione / Washington Post: > Opinions > Outlook & Opinions