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8:50 PM ET, November 23, 2009


 Top Items: 
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
RNC loses communications director, Castellanos signs on  —  Update 6:03 p.m.: Alex Castellanos, a Republican media consultant, will take over as a senior communications adviser to RNC Chairman Michael Steele, according to a source familiar with the move.  The announcement of Castellanos' role comes hours …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog, FishBowlDC and TPMDC
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
G.O.P. Considers ‘Purity’ Resolution for Candidates  —  The battle among Republicans over what the party should stand for - and how much it should accommodate dissenting views on key issues - looks like it's going to move from the states to the Republican National Committee when it holds its winter meeting this January in Honolulu.
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 …
Domenico Montanaro /
A GOP purity test?
The Huffington Post:
Dean: Dems ‘In Deep Trouble’ On Health Care, The Only Options Are A Bad Bill Or 2010 Losses  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  One of the leading progressive champions of health care reform is pessimistic about the state of the debate in the Senate, saying he sees virtually no path …
Discussion: The Huffington Post and Raw Story
Ezra Klein:
Hostage situation in the United States Senate … That's Steve Benen, describing the dynamic in the Senate.  As I've said before, I think a lot of folks imagine this as a negotiation, in which both sides want to get to yes, and so everyone is involved in a complex game to signal their comfort …
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Wall Street Journal:
Lieberman Digs In on Public Option
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
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.
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 …
Andrew Breitbart / Big Government:
ACORN Scandal, Part 2: The Evidentiary Phase
Discussion: The Jawa Report
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 obviously a male Democrat genius.  —  But Sarah Palin's poll numbers are strengthening.  —  And President Obama's are sliding.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Romney's Drop  —  Mitt Romney is considerably less popular …
Discussion: Hot Air and TPMDC
Michael Saul / NY Daily News:
Ex-CNN anchor Lou Dobbs is considering running for president in 2012  —  Former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has never been elected to any government office, but he said Monday he's considering a run for the White House in 2012.  —  During an interview on WTOP radio in Washington …
Matt Dornic / FishBowlDC:
Fox News Management Fed Up by Mistakes  —  After a few footage mishaps at Fox News like their recent slip-up: “Fox News Uses Old Palin Footage,” the higher ups at the network have had enough.  —  In an email obtained by FishbowlDC, FNC management alerted the Newsroom that they were going to a …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Why I Remain Bullish On Obama  —  He's taking the usual slew of tactical hits as his opponents try every single line of attack and pound every day, squeezing every ounce of agitprop from the news cycle.  His numbers are gliding downward (although not by much), his foreign policy gains …
Discussion: marbury
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Quote of the Day: Are the Old and New Media Missing it on Barack Obama?
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 …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Obama WH scrambled for story to smear Walpin
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Christopher Monckton / Pajamas Media:
Viscount Monckton on Climategate: ‘They Are Criminals’ (PJM Exclusive)  —  The man who challenged Al Gore to a debate is furious about the content of the leaked CRU emails — and says why you should be, too.  —  This is what they did — these climate “scientists” on whose unsupported word …
Discussion: Andrew Bolt
Matthew Moore / Telegraph:
Lord Lawson calls for public inquiry into UEA global warming data ‘manipulation’
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Obey Calls for War Tax  —  Back in October, David Obey floated the radical idea that war spending in Afghanistan should be put in a “normal” budgetary context and put in the same fiscal constraints as health reform.  Today he's taken that idea one step further and said an escalation …
Discussion: Ezra Klein and Top of the Ticket
John Cook / Gawker:
Katie Couric's Forbidden Dance of Gin  —  When CBS News anchor Katie Couric isn't asking Sarah Palin gotcha questions, she's doin' Da Butt, or the Lambada, or whatever white ladies do when the Black Eyed Peas are on the sound system.  More unbelievable images after the jump.
The State:
Panel charges Sanford with 37 ethics violations  —  The S.C. Ethics Commission has charged S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford with 37 counts of breaking state ethics laws.  The commission filed its charges last week but only released them Monday.  —  Those charges allege that, in 18 instances …
Embattled Gov. Sanford faces 37 ethics charges
Discussion: The Politico and Sister Toldjah
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 …
Marist Poll:
11/23: Gillibrand Approval Rating Stagnates  —  Ten months after Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Governor David Paterson, the junior senator from New York has failed to become a household name among registered voters in New York State.
Adam Nagourney / New York Times:
An Unsurprising Slide for Obama  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama returned from his trip to Asia facing some unsettling news: two new public-opinion polls showing that his approval rating has dipped below 50 percent for the first time.  To many of his critics, who chafed …
Jeremy Scahill / The Nation:
Blackwater's Secret War in Pakistan  —  At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the center of a secret program in which they plan targeted assassinations …
Adam Smith / The Buzz:
Could Crist run for re-election, rather than Senate?  —  It's a scenario that we hear raised surprisingly often now that Gov. Crist is in a tougher-than-expected Senate race against Marco Rubio.  So today we asked Crist about the chances of that happening: “Zero.
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 More Items: 
James K. Galbraith / The Huffington Post:
Old Mistakes Die Hard
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Ezra Klein
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: Arizona Governor Election
Michael Slackman / New York Times:
Iran's Death Penalty Is Seen as a Political Tactic
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Hampton dishes more on Ensign
Discussion: TPMMuckraker
Charles Franklin /
Articles and Analysis  —  A quick look at Obama trends with independents.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
BCS hires Fleischer
Discussion: TPM LiveWire
 Earlier Items: 
Megan McArdle:
AIG Pay, Again
Discussion: Outside The Beltway
Exclusive! The REAL reason Obama Fried Chicken was erased from MTV
Discussion: Politics Daily
Michelle Malkin:
The indelible whiteness of MSNBC
Discussion: American Power
Karl Vick / Washington Post:
Support for legalizing marijuana gaining ground rapidly