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12:20 PM ET, October 20, 2009


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Most support public option for health insurance, poll finds  —  Americans still divided on overall packages  —  A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded from its summertime lows and wins clear majority support from the public.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Morning Fix: A premature celebration for the GOP  —  Republicans in Washington can barely contain their glee at the turn of President Obama's political fortunes in the first nine months of the year but a new Washington Post/ABC News poll suggests the GOP still faces serious perception problems in the eyes of the American public.
Wall Street Journal:
Public Option Gets New Life in Senate  —  WASHINGTON — The idea of creating a government-run health-insurance plan, once on life support in the Senate, is making a recovery among Democrats writing health-care legislation.  —  So far, no one is talking about a nationwide Medicare-like plan …
Karen Ignagni / Washington Post:
Defending the insurance industry's report on health reform's cost impact
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Scozzafava Calls the Cops  —  Lowville, N.Y.  —  Tonight, Dede Scozzafava, the Republican candidate for the November 3 special election in the 23rd congressional district, spoke to about 100 Republicans at the Lewis County GOP dinner at the Elks Lodge 1605.
Robert Bernstein / New York Times:
Rights Watchdog, Lost in the Mideast  —  AS the founder of Human Rights Watch, its active chairman for 20 years and now founding chairman emeritus, I must do something that I never anticipated: I must publicly join the group's critics.  Human Rights Watch had as its original mission …
Wall Street Journal:
Does Obama Believe in Human Rights?
Discussion: Maggie's Farm and Commentary
David M. Halbfinger / New York Times:
Christie May Have Gotten Improper Aid  —  When news broke in August that the former United States attorney, Christopher J. Christie, had lent $46,000 to a top aide in the federal prosecutor's office, he said he was merely helping a friend in need.  He also said the aide, Michele Brown …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Reid offers doctors a deal  —  The White House and Democratic leaders are offering doctors a deal: They'll freeze cuts in Medicare payments to doctors in exchange for doctors' support of healthcare reform.  —  At a meeting on Capitol Hill last week with nearly a dozen doctors groups …
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Financial Giants Donating Little to Obama Party  —  WASHINGTON — The Wall Street giants that received a financial lifeline from Washington may have no compunction about paying big bonuses to their dealmakers and traders.  But their willingness to deliver “thank you” gifts to President Obama …
Nancy Dillon / NY Daily News:
Ex-Miss Cali owes us boob job payback: lawsuit  —  LOS ANGELES - Deposed beauty queen Carrie Prejean still owes $5,200 for breast implants floated by pageant organizers in January, a new lawsuit claims.  —  Ex-Miss California Carrie Prejean stiffed pageant organizer K2 Productions even though …
Lenny Ben-David / Pajamas Media:
Showdown on J Street  —  Pointed questions for director Jeremy Ben-Ami before the new “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby's first big conference.  —  J Street's director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, published an open letter to Israel's Ambassador Michael Oren in the Jerusalem Post this week insisting …
Associated Press:
Gates: Legitimate Afghan gov't could take months  —  ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY JET (AP) — The Obama administration needs to decide on a war strategy for Afghanistan without waiting for a government there to be widely accepted as legitimate, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday.
Discussion: USA Today and Brave New Films blog
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Obama: Afghan runoff ‘important step’
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
David Rohde / New York Times:
‘You Have Atomic Bombs, but We Have Suicide Bombers.’  —  A NERVOUS-LOOKING Pakistani soldier pointed a rocket-propelled grenade at our pickup truck in late January.  The Taliban guard beside me loaded his rifle and ordered me to put a scarf over  —  my face.
DeMint watches out for all of us  —  Recently your newspaper published a letter from state Rep. Bakari Sellers attacking U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint and his opposition to congressional earmarks.  —  There is a saying that the Jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars …
Ben Conery / Washington Times:
Justice concludes black voters need Democratic Party  —  U.S. blocks N.C. city's nonpartisan vote  —  Voters in this small city decided overwhelmingly last year to do away with the party affiliation of candidates in local elections, but the Obama administration recently overruled the electorate …
Laura Rozen / Laura Rozen's Blog:
Maryland scientist arrested for attempted espionage for Israel  —  The FBI has arrested a former senior NASA space scientist who worked in the George H.W. Bush White House space office for attempted espionage for Israel, the Justice Department announced today.
Del Quentin Wilber / Washington Post:
Maryland scientist Nozette is accused of spying for Israel
Discussion: Sic Semper Tyrannis
Tomoeh Murakami Tse / Washington Post:
At rescued banks, perks keep rolling  —  Bosses benefit after bailout Fringe compensation rose 4 percent last year  —  NEW YORK — Even as the nation's biggest financial firms were struggling and the federal government was spending hundreds of billions of dollars to save many of them …
Discussion: Politics Daily and Felix Salmon
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Prospects for Bipartisanship  —  Reihan Salam talks to the Economist: … On space colonization, I'm afraid I have to strenuously disagree.  The problem is that the Spacers will inevitable become politically independent of earth, and then use their command over superior natural resources and robots to oppress us.
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Govt.-Run Health Care Isn't the Answer  —  Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D., and GOProud's Christopher R. Barron say that the inefficiencies of the Ryan White CARE Act suggest that a government-run program is not the key to quality health care.  —  COMMENTARY: Right now, there are hundreds of patients …
Discussion: The Hill
Wall Street Journal:
Employers Hold Off on Hiring  —  Companies across the economy are holding off on hiring even as the profit outlook improves, amid economic uncertainty and their own success at raising productivity in rough waters.  —  Hiring always lags behind in economic recoveries, but the outlook this time is worse, many economists say.
Anne Schroeder Mullins / The Politico:
GET TO KNOW A CONGRESSMAN  —  Gregg Harper says at the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, ‘we hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition.’ |  Why do you think the majority of congressional representatives are lawyers, like yourself?
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blog
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 More Items: 
Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit:
Good Grief... ANOTHER Mao-Praising Obama Czar Caught on Tape (Video)
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Sanford impeachment resolution likely next week
Discussion: The Hill
Matthew Continetti / Weekly Standard:
Cut the Payroll Tax
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Biden says he first said no to being VP
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Reid Wilson / The Hill:
Clinton debt under $1M
 Earlier Items: 
The Hill:
Gutierrez letter shows efforts to save a bank
Discussion: Sunlight Foundation
Poll: 1989 McDonnell thesis has had minimal impact on voters
Patricia Cohen / New York Times:
Field Study: Just How Relevant Is Political Science?
John / Power Line:
Iran Double-Crosses Obama
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Exclusive: U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm That Monitors Blogs, Tweets
Discussion: TechFlash, Mashable! and Boing Boing