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3:15 PM ET, October 28, 2009


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Brother of Afghan Leader Is Said to Be on C.I.A. Payroll  —  KABUL, Afghanistan — Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country's booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years …
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Don't Build Up  —  It is crunch time on Afghanistan, so here's my vote: We need to be thinking about how to reduce our footprint and our goals there in a responsible way, not dig in deeper.  We simply do not have the Afghan partners, the NATO allies, the domestic support …
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
The CIA Is In Afghanistan
Matthew Mosk / Washington Times:
EXCLUSIVE: Democratic donors rewarded with W.H. perks  —  Offered access to bowling alley, movie theater  —  During his first nine months in office, President Obama has quietly rewarded scores of top Democratic donors with VIP access to the White House, private briefings with administration advisers …
Bonnie Erbe:
Obama Not Comfortable With Women in Basketball, Golf ... or Anywhere Else  —  By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog  —  President Obama drew heat last week for a story that surfaced outing his private White House male-only b-ball games.  The story was that even though two female members …
David Zurawik / Z on TV:
Another bad moment for White House in war on Fox  —  The White House keeps up its attack on Fox News as biased in this video with Valerie Jarrett, another senior adviser to President Obama making the claim.  But watch how fast Jarrett folds when CNN anchor Campbell Brown asks her if pro-administration MSNBC isn't just as biased.
Discussion: Riehl World View and AmSpecBlog
CNN Poll: 7 in 10 say Palin not qualified to be president  —  WASHINGTON (CNN) - More than seven in 10 Americans think Sarah Palin is not qualified to be president, according to a new national poll.  —  Seventy-one percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey …
Domenico Montanaro /
FIRST THOUGHTS: BUSINESS AS USUAL  —  From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg  —  *** Business as usual: We're soon coming up on the one-year anniversary of Barack Obama's presidential win.  And one of the messages he used during the two-year campaign …
Craig Robinson / The Iowa Republican:
Palin Headed to Iowa?
San Francisco Chronicle:
Did Schwarzenegger drop 4-letter bomb in veto?  —  Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross, Chronicle Columnists  —  (10-27) 19:19 PDT SACRAMENTO — Did Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office use a coded veto message to send the f-bomb to Tom Ammiano, soon after the San Francisco assemblyman made news by telling the governor to “kiss my gay ass”?
Amanda Terkel / Think Progress:   Schwarzenegger's secret message to the state Assembly: ‘F*ck you.’
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
On Healthcare, Americans Trust Obama More Than Congress  —  By 48% to 37%, more trust the Democrats than the Republicans in Congress  —  PRINCETON, NJ — As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tries to advance a healthcare reform bill onto the Senate floor, just under half of Americans, 48% …
Mary Katharine Ham / Weekly Standard:
Pew Political IQ Poll: Republicans Consistently More Knowledgeable  —  You likely won't see this poll result elsewhere, so I thought I'd highlight it here.  This is a Pew Political IQ test conducted over the phone with 1,002 adults from Oct. 1-4.  They were asked 12 questions …
Discussion: Outside The Beltway and Don Surber
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Cheney backs Hutchison  —  How much more fun could the Texas governor's race get?  —  The latest from AP:  —  Former Vice President Dick Cheney will throw his support behind U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's campaign for Texas governor.  —  Hutchison's campaign confirmed Wednesday …
Discussion: The Page
Associated Press:
Cheney to campaign for Kay Bailey Hutchison
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:   Cheney to campaign for Hutchison
Wall Street Journal:
Obama Is Right About Fox News  —  Journalism has a special, hallowed place for stories of its practitioners' persecution.  There is no higher claim to journalistic integrity than going to jail to protect a source.  And the Newseum in Washington, D.C., establishes the profession's legitimacy …
Discussion: TVNewser and Mediaite
John Koblin / New York Times:
Times Buyout Package Reveals More than Expected  —  Just over a week ago, every person in the Times newsroom was sent out a buyout package via UPS Next Day Air.  If 100 staffers don't raise their hands by Dec. 7, there will be layoffs.  —  We got our hands on one of the thickish brown envelopes that went to employees' homes.
Discussion: Mediaite, Gawker and The Awl
Michael Calderone / The Politico:
News gets worse for the MSM  —  There have been a lot of bad days recently for what's come to be known as the mainstream media — or MSM — but Monday was one of the worst.  —  New circulation figures showed that big city papers had lost as much as a quarter of their circulation in the past six months.
Jason Horowitz / Washington Post:
To find right PR guru, Beck looked to his left  —  A few weeks after Sept. 11, 2001, Glenn Beck, a young Tampa-based disc jockey eager to break into conservative talk radio, called his new Manhattan agent, George Hiltzik, to help arrange a visit to Ground Zero.
Noel Sheppard /
‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’: Larry David Urinates on Picture of Jesus  —  HBO's hit series “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has pushed the comedic envelope for many years, but what happened in Sunday's episode was so disgraceful it's already received comment from the Catholic League's Bill Donohue.
John E. Kramer / Institute for Justice:
Cancer Patients Sue U.S. Attorney General in Bid to Save Lives  —  Institute for Justice Seeks to Remove Federal Criminal Ban On Compensating Bone Marrow Donors  —  Arlington, Va.—Every year, 1,000 Americans die because they cannot find a matching bone marrow donor.  Minorities are hit especially hard.
Discussion: Megan McArdle and Hit & Run
Michael Hirsh / Newsweek:
Converting the Preachers  —  George Soros launches a $50 million effort to purge economics of its free-market zeal.  —  “Large swaths of economics are going to have to be rethought on the basis of what's happened.”  So said Larry Summers, President Obama's chief economic adviser …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Palin created company while in office  —  A small mystery in Sarah Palin's personal financial disclosure: In April, while still governor, she founded what she describes as a “marketing” business, called “Pie Spy.”  —  Palin lists herself as the owner of the limited liability corporation …
Discussion: The Awl and Gawker
Bruce Drake / Politics Daily:
For First Time Under Obama, Majority Says U.S. Is on Wrong Track  —  While the stock market has picked up and the country appears to be pulling out of the recession, a majority of Americans - for the first time in the Obama presidency - says the U.S. is headed down the wrong track …
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2009: Virginia Governor Election  —  Virginia Governor: McDonnell Stretches Lead To 13  —  Republican Robert F. McDonnell has now opened a 13-point lead over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds with less than a week to go in the race for governor of Virginia.
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
The phony quotes keep coming — and they go viral before even very quick corrections.  —  Yesterday, Yale lawprof Jack Balkin had to backtrack: … Although Professor Balkin picked up the story and wrote about it, to his credit, from the start, he hedged with phrases like “[i]f the current report is accurate.”
Discussion: Balkinization, AmSpecBlog and ACS Blog
Paul Begala / Blogs and Stories:
Traitor Joe  —  Blogs and Stories  —  The ex-Democrat now says he'll join the GOP in a health-care filibuster.  Paul Begala on Lieberman's latest and most shameless betrayal.  —  It's journalistic shorthand to note a politician's party identification and state after his or her name.
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blog
Cindi Leive /
On the C.L.: Michelle Obama's Inspiring Mission (Hail the Mentor in Chief!)  Plus Her Answers to Your Questions  —  Putting together this magazine's annual Women of the Year issue generally involves lots of nail-bitingly tricky decisions (this politician or that?  Which athlete?  Which actress?).
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
BAYH ENDORSES MCCONNELL LINE ON CLOTURE.... Democrats and other supporters of health care reform have a very simple message for center-right Dems who oppose fixing the system: just let the Senate vote.  —  The issue, of course, is cloture.  Reform proponents don't need 60 senators to pass a bill …
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 More Items: 
Geoff Mulvihill / Associated Press:
Turnpike World Series may hurt NJ campaigns
Adam Lisberg / NY Daily News:
Thompson, Bloomberg pull out all stops in final debate
Rory Carroll / Guardian:
UN to condemn American embargo on Cuba
Discussion: Politics Daily
 Earlier Items: 
David Carr / Media Decoder:
Grim Math at Forbes
Discussion: DailyFinance and Gawker
Tom Matzzie / The Huffington Post:
Meet Wall Street's Man in the Adirondacks
Discussion: Glenn Thrush's Blog
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Krauthammer: Obama attacks on Bush “disgusting”
Discussion: and
John Meroney / The Atlantic Online:
A Conversation With Gore Vidal
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Ken Blackwell / American Spectator:
Playing for Keeps  —  When President Obama was asked …
Discussion: Washington Wire
John McCain / CNN:
McCain: Why we can — and must — win in Afghanistan
Discussion: Boston Globe and TPM LiveWire