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8:00 PM ET, October 21, 2009


 Top Items: 
The Politico:
Obama strategy: Marginalize critics  —  This is the first of a two-part look at the marginalization of the GOP.  Tomorrow: GOP officials fear that the party's image is being defined increasingly by boisterous conservative commentators.  —  President Obama is working systematically …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Dems spell GOP ‘S-P-A-M’  —  Republican critics pilloried the White House for making it too easy to request e-mail updates about health reform, but it turns out the GOP could have spam problems of its own.  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) sent a tweet this morning from her @michelebachmann account saying …
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Fate of White House Counsel Is in Doubt  —  WASHINGTON — Every morning, Gregory B. Craig, the White House counsel, sits at the conference table of the Roosevelt Room with the rest of the president's senior staff.  —  His colleagues greet him, friendly as always.
Discussion: Law Blog, marbury and Truthdig
Peter Wehner / Commentary:
It's the Media Intimidation, Stupid  —  The exchange that Jake Tapper of ABC News had with Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, was significant because of the locution used by Tapper.  Several commentators have criticized the White House for going to war with Fox News …
David Corn / Politics Daily:
Why the White House Shouldn't Play Chicken With Fox  —  It's war!  A rumble in Washington.  Two titanic political forces locked in a bloody battle to the very end.  A confrontation between good and evil.  A clash of civilizations.  Of course, I'm talking about the scuffle between the White House and Fox News.
Eric Boehlert / Media Matters for America:
Jake Tapper can't figure out how Fox News is different from ABC News?  —  At Tuesday's White House briefing Tapper seemed completely baffled, and quite insulted, by the White House's claim that Fox News is not a real news organization.  Tapper demanded WH spokesman Robert Gibbs back up the claim [emphasis added]:
Discussion: PostPartisan, The Sideshow and Gawker
Mimi Hall / USA Today:
Report: White House neglecting bioterrorism
Discussion: Politics Daily
Stephen Labaton / New York Times:
U.S. to Order Steep Pay Cuts at Firms That Got Most Aid  —  WASHINGTON — Responding to the growing furor over the paychecks of executives at companies that received billions of dollars in federal bailouts, the Obama administration will order the companies that received the most aid to deeply slash …
USA Today:
Watchdog excoriates execution of TARP  —  A Treasury Department watchdog is warning that a key $700 billion bailout program has damaged the government's credibility, won't earn taxpayers all their money back and has done little to change a culture of recklessness on Wall Street.
Discussion:, QandO and RedState
David Weigel / The Washington Independent:
NY-23: Scozzafava Photo-Op Goes Horribly Wrong  —  Michael Patrick Leahy, the Tea Party activist who has been going after NY-23 GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava with hammer and tongs, produces this photo of the candidate stumping today outside of one of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman's offices.
James O'Keefe / Big Government:
BREAKING** ACORN Video: Prostitution Scandal in Philadelphia, PA Part I  —  *UPDATE Below*  —  Alinsky Rule #1: “Power isn't only what you have, it's what the enemy thinks you have.”  —  [There is a video that cannot be displayed in this feed.  Visit the blog entry to see the video.]
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
‘Doc fix’ collapses, Reid tells colleagues AMA led him astray  —  A group of Democrats joined all Republicans in blocking a 10-year freeze of scheduled cuts to doctors' Medicare payments, legislation that was considered important to getting a broader healthcare bill through later this year.
The Hill:
‘Die quickly’ congressman creates; GOP cries foul  —  Rep. Alan Grayson, whose “die quickly” remark gained him much attention, has created a new website based on his meme called “”  —  On the site, visitors can log the names and stories of friends …
Coffee-making naked guy rebuffed by exposure charge  —  SPRINGFIELD, Va. - Eric Williamson faces an indecent exposure charge after a passerby saw him in the buff in his own home making coffee.  —  It happened at 5:30 a.m. Monday.  —  Channel 5 reports the woman and 7-year-old boy who saw …
Discussion: Hit & Run and The Awl
John Cook / Gawker:
They All Look Alike: MSNBC Mistakes Jesse Jackson for Al Sharpton  —  Reverends!  All reverends look alike.  Jesse Jackson was on MSNBC today to help poor people, and Contessa Brewer introduced him as “the Rev. Al Sharpton.”  If Fox News did this, there would be sit-ins.
Steven Rattner / Fortune:
The auto bailout: How we did it  —  The man who led the effort gives an inside look at the bankruptcies that shook America. … Reporting for my first day of work on the auto task force, I lingered outside a guard shack on Pennsylvania Avenue.  My clearance into the fortress-like Treasury building …
Morgen Richmond / Big Government:
The Public Option Deception  —  The public option has been a political football since early summer.  The President has said more than once that he prefers it but will not demand it.  This was considered capitulation by many on the left who see the public option as necessary for “real” reform.
Mike Soraghan / The Hill:
House Dems want Medicare for everyone
Caroline Binham / Bloomberg:
Goldman Sachs's Griffiths Says Inequality Helps All  —  Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) — A Goldman Sachs International adviser defended compensation in the finance industry as his company plans a near-record year for pay, saying the spending will help boost the economy.
Washington Wire:
Senators Express Discomfort With Health Overhaul  —  Greg Hitt reports on the politics of health care legislation.  —  With floor debate over health care looming, Republican and Democratic senators in the political middle are becoming more assertive about their concerns.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
Snowe's lonely GOP heresy on health reform
Jesse McKinley / New York Times:
San Francisco Alters When Police Must Report Immigrants  —  SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco board of supervisors voted Tuesday to overturn a city policy that has been at the center of a national debate over offering illegal immigrants sanctuary.  —  The policy, ordered by Mayor Gavin Newsom …
Zaid Jilani / Think Progress:
Franken Schools Right-Wing Analyst On Medical Bankruptcies In Countries With Universal Care: 'It's Zero'  —  Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled “Medical Debt: Can Bankruptcy Reform Facilitate a Fresh Start.”  The hearing examined medical bankruptcies in America …
Louis Uchitelle / New York Times:
Volcker Fails to Sell a Bank Strategy  —  Listen to a top economist in the Obama administration describe Paul A. Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who endorsed Mr. Obama early in his election campaign and who stood by his side during the financial crisis.
Ezra Klein:
Will lower health-care costs mean higher wages?  —  As we went over yesterday, the theory of the excise tax is that employers will buy less costly health-care plans and put the money they save into wages.  Most of you had one question in response to that, which was well expressed …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Michelle Obama Hula-Hooping our way to health  —  First, the buff first arms.  Then the First Lady's White House playground.  Then the First Lady's White House victory garden.  Then the First Lady's patronage of farmer's markets for things that grow in the filthy ground or hang on trees where birds perch and do things.
Discussion: Stephen Kruiser
Jim Geraghty / National Review Online:
It's Time for the RNC and NRCC to Ask for Their Money Back — By: Jim Geraghty  —  Earlier this week, I was noting that it was unrealistic for conservatives to expect national Republican committees, like the RNC and National Republican Congressional Committee, to do anything but back the Republican …
Gary A. Harki / Charleston Gazette:
Megan Williams to recant Logan County sex-torture testimony  —  CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Seven people pleaded guilty for their part in abusing Megan Williams — but now Williams says that abuse never happened.  —  She will hold a press conference Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio, to recant her claims of abuse …
David E. Sanger / New York Times:
Iran Agrees to Draft of Deal on Exporting Nuclear Fuel  —  VIENNA — The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday that Iranian negotiators had agreed to a draft of a deal to ship much of Iran's stockpile of nuclear fuel to Russia, but cautioned that it would still …
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Obama hits opponents with Chicago brass knuckles  —  Senior Political Analyst  —  “His father was a great friend of my father.”  The reference to William Ayers' father was how Mayor Richard J. Daley began his defense of Barack Obama for his association with the unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Anill / Think Progress:
John Stossel: 'I Don't Subscribe To Lou Dobbs-Kind Of Rants About Immigrants Wrecking America'  —  Latino and pro-immigrant activists have launched two campaigns, Drop Dobbs and Basta Dobbs, which are aimed at pressuring CNN to “to hold Mr. Dobbs to journalistic standards” or dump him altogether.
Moe Tkacik / New York Magazine:
The Financial-Crisis Lit Cheat Sheet  —  This week marks the official publication of the longest, most comprehensive, and highest-priced ($32.95!) work of Crisis Lit yet, New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin's epic Too Big to Fail, which clocks in at a whopping 539 pages (minus the index).
Discussion: Dealbreaker, Clusterstock and The Awl
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
The New Untouchables  —  Last summer I attended a talk by Michelle Rhee, the dynamic chancellor of public schools in Washington.  Just before the session began, a man came up, introduced himself as Todd Martin and whispered to me that what Rhee was about to speak about — our struggling public schools …
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 More Items: 
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
House committee votes to repeal antitrust protections for health insurers
Jon Kyl / Wall Street Journal:
Why We Need to Test Nuclear Weapons
Discussion: American Power
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Issa: Countrywide hearing to again be delayed
Discussion: The Politico and The Greenroom
Sen. Patrick Leahy / The Hill:
Pass the Uniting American Families Act
Discussion: Roll Call and The Huffington Post
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Audio released of GOP challenger at DUI stop
 Earlier Items: 
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Obama Takes a Health Care Hiatus