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3:20 PM ET, November 23, 2009

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Gabor Steingart / Spiegel Online:
Obama's Nice Guy Act Gets Him Nowhere on the World Stage  —  When he entered office, US President Barack Obama promised to inject US foreign policy with a new tone of respect and diplomacy.  His recent trip to Asia, however, showed that it's not working.  A shift to Bush-style bluntness may be coming.
RELATED:
Noel Sheppard / NewsBusters.org:
Chris Matthews Shocker: Obama Making ‘Carteresque’ Mistakes  —  Chris Matthews appears to have lost that loving feeling for Barack Obama.  —  On “The Chris Matthews Show” Sunday, the once smitten MSNBCer called some of Obama's recent mistakes “Carteresque”:
James Fallows:
Manufactured failure #5: views from China  —  I won't go on in this vein forever (previously #1, #2, #3, #4), but the topic is important enough to bear a little more elaboration, IMHO.  Part of the importance: there is no country with whom America's interactions are more consequential, or perpetually more complicated, than China.
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama: The approval gap silently shrinks to a few points  —  Not that it matters politically because obviously she's a female Republican dunce and he's a male Democrat genius.  —  But Sarah Palin's poll numbers are strengthening.  —  And President Obama's are sliding.
RELATED:
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Democrats Step Up Push for Votes on Health Care  —  WASHINGTON — Anxious that Saturday's party-line Senate vote to open debate on a health care overhaul gives them little maneuvering room, Obama administration officials and their Congressional allies are stepping up overtures …
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New York Post:
Marching off a cliff
Discussion: Commentary
Edmund L. Andrews / New York Times:
Wave of Debt Payments Facing U.S. Government  —  WASHINGTON — The United States government is financing its more than trillion-dollar-a-year borrowing with i.o.u.'s on terms that seem too good to be true.  —  But that happy situation, aided by ultralow interest rates, may not last much longer.
Allan Hall / Daily Mail:
Patient trapped in a 23-year ‘coma’ was conscious all along  —  A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night.  —  Student Rom Houben was misdiagnosed after a car crash left him totally paralysed.
Discussion: protein wisdom, Althouse and BLACKFIVE
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Allan Hall / Daily Mail:
‘I screamed, but there was nothing to hear’: Man trapped in 23 …
Derrick Roach / Big Government:
BREAKING: San Diego ACORN Document Dump Scandal  —  On October 1st, 2009 California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced that an investigation had been opened into ACORN's activities in California, resulting from undercover videos showing employees seemingly offering to assist …
Tony Romm / The Hill:
RNC weighing new message strategy in 2010  —  Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Monday hinted his party was assembling a set of guiding political principles in time for the 2010 election.  —  {mosads}While Steele cautioned this morning it would not be a …
RELATED:
Michelle Malkin:
The indelible whiteness of MSNBC  —  MSNBC host Chris Matthews, MSNBC reporter Norah O'Donnell, and MSNBC guest Joan Walsh shamelessly played the race card against Sarah Palin and her book-buying audience last week.  —  In Michigan, O'Donnell smugly noted that Palin's fans were “largely white — almost no minorities in this crowd.”
Discussion: American Power
Steve Kraske / Kansas City Star:
Dennis Moore won't seek re-election  —  U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, a Democrat who confounded the GOP by winning six consecutive elections in a heavily Republican district, will not seek re-election next year, key Democrats said Sunday.  —  Moore, who represented Johnson, Wyandotte and a portion …
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
EXCLUSIVE: Top Dem Threatens War Surtax if Obama Commits More Afghan.  Troops  —  Rep. Obey Warns President Obama He Will Ask Taxpayers to Pay for War, Should More Troops Be Sent  —  The powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Committee has a stark message for President Obama about Afghanistan …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
LEVERAGE.... Jonathan Cohn wrote a good lay-of-the-land piece last night on the state of the health care reform fight, noting, among other things, the “unambiguous.” “unyielding,” and “obstinate” efforts of center-right Democrats undermine the Senate bill.  —  But Cohn's point about reform's champions is the one I keep mulling over.
RELATED:
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
New documents: White House scrambled to justify AmeriCorps firing after the fact  —  Just hours after Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa released a report Friday on their investigation into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, the Obama White House gave …
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Sanford facing impeachment hearing  —  The South Carolina House will hold its first impeachment hearing Tuesday to air the case against Republican Gov. Mark Sanford.  —  The state's speaker of the House announced Monday that a House Judiciary subcommittee will begin hearing arguments …
RELATED:
Tony Romm / The Hill:   S.C. Governor Sanford faces 37 ethics charges
Kristen McQueary / The SouthtownStar:
Low Tea Party moment symbolic of muddy week  —  As a journalist covering Chicago politics, verifying information is like climbing a mountain of sand.  With each step you take, the deeper you sink.  —  Last week while researching claims from a local Tea Party activist …
realtor.org:
Existing-Home Sales Record Another Big Gain, Inventories Continue to Shrink  —  Driven by the first-time buyer tax credit, existing-home sales showed another big gain in October with a strong uptrend established over the past seven months, while inventories continue to decline, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Wayne Slater / TRAIL BLAZERS:
Tom Schieffer quits governor's race, Bill White in the wings  —  Tom Schieffer of Fort Worth is quitting his bid for governor of Texas and will endorse Houston Mayor Bill White, who's expected to get in the race on the Democratic side very soon.  Some Texas Democrats have never warmed …
RELATED:
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Phantom Menace  —  A funny thing happened on the way to a new New Deal.  A year ago, the only thing we had to fear was fear itself; today, the reigning doctrine in Washington appears to be “Be afraid.  Be very afraid.”  —  What happened?  To be sure, “centrists” in the Senate have hobbled efforts to rescue the economy.
St Cloud Times:
(2 of 2)  —  Q: Gov. Tim Pawlenty said on MSNBC that moderates need to fall in line with the conservative base of the Republican Party.  Do you agree?  —  A: I think that he's accurate that they would do well to come over to the conservative position, because that is where the greatest percentage of Americans are today.
Steve Schippert / RapidRecon:
Whispers of Surrender in Afghanistan?  —  It comes to our attention that the MEMRI Blog highlights an article from the Saudi _al-Watan_ in Arabic that - according to an Afghan source - the United States is talking to the Taliban seeking to trade control of 5 provinces in exchange for the cessation of attacks on US bases.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
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Stephen F. Hayes / Weekly Standard:
Cheney: Holder Wants “Show Trial” for KSM
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The Politico:
CLICK FLICK: A ROGUE TRIP
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Bloomberg:
Cuomo Took Campaign Cash From Lawyers With Matters Before Him
Discussion: YID With LID
 Earlier Items: 
ABCNEWS:
Fmr. Staffer on Ensign's Affair With His Wife
Katherine Kersten / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
At U, future teachers may be reeducated
Discussion: Hot Air and Clayton Cramer's BLOG
Charles Duhigg / New York Times:
As Sewers Fill, Waste Poisons Waterways
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Karl Vick / Washington Post:
Support for legalizing marijuana gaining ground rapidly
Discussion: Hit & Run
The Politico:
The White House's climate conundrum
Financial Times:
Microsoft and News Corp eye web pact