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12:40 PM ET, August 19, 2010


 Top Items:
Growing Number of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim  —  Religion, Politics and the President  —  OVERVIEW  —  A substantial and growing number of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim, while the proportion saying he is a Christian has declined.  More than a year and a half into his presidency …
Washington Post:
Poll: 1 in 5 Americans thinks Obama is a Muslim  —  The number of Americans who believe — wrongly — that President Obama is a Muslim has increased significantly since his inauguration and now account for nearly 20 percent of the nation's population.  —  Those results, from a new Pew …
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
In Defining Obama, Misperceptions Stick  —  WASHINGTON — Americans need only stand in line at the grocery checkout counter to glimpse the conspiracy theories percolating about President Obama.  “Birthplace Cover-Up,” screams the current issue of the racy tabloid Globe.  “Obama's Secret Life Exposed!”
Adam Serwer / American Prospect:
Tribalism And Constitutional Rights, Ctd.  —  The Economist has a disturbing new poll on the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero, and it has some rather disturbing numbers.  Among them, only 50% “think that Muslims have a constitutional right to build a mosque there,” 57% of Democrats and only 32% of Republicans.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Evan McMorris-Santoro / TPMDC:
Poll: Number Of Americans Who Think Obama Is A Muslim Nearly Doubles
Amy Sullivan / Swampland:
Barack Obama is Not a Muslim
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Howard Dean: “Mosque” should move  —  (Updated below - Update II - Update III - Update IV [Dean's response] - Update V)  —  Certain things are disappointing and surprising even for the most hardened cynics.  Hearing Howard Dean — the former liberal standard-bearer …
New York Post:
The shame of New York  —  The real story of the Ground Zero mosque is that the project only became feasible because of the appalling and astonishing fecklessness of the officials who were charged with the reconstruction of the site and the neighborhood all the way back in 2001.
Alex Altman / Time:
TIME Poll: Majority Opposes Mosque, Many Distrust Muslims
Discussion: TPMDC, Gateway Pundit and The Page
Bobby Ghosh / Time:
Does America Have a Muslim Problem?
Margaret Carlson / Bloomberg:
Smart President Fails Test at Ground Zero: Margaret Carlson
Weekly Jobless Claims Post Surprise Jump, Hit 500,000  —  New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week, yet another setback to the frail economic recovery.  —  Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 500,000 …
Bob Willis / Bloomberg:
Jobless Claims in U.S. Rose to Highest Since November
Christine Hauser / New York Times:
Jobless Filings at Highest Point Since November
Discussion: Prairie Weather and Truthdig
Ace / Ace of Spades HQ:
Breaking: Blago Holdout Retired State Employee Who Once Handed Out Campaign Literature For Relative Seeking Office; NPR and Liberal Talk Radio Listener  —  Here's what Fox local news in Chicago reports: … Note that that is not yet confirmed.  It is now confirmed by CBS local news Chicago.
Larry Yellen / Chicago News and Weather:
Speculation Abounds on ‘Holdout’ Blago Juror  —  Other jurors support retrial  —  Chicago - The wait continues for the “holdout” juror to explain herself.  She is the lone juror who, on some counts at least, prevented the Blagojevich jury from reaching unanimous verdicts to convict.
Last U.S. combat convoy has left Iraq  —  Mosul, Iraq (CNN) — The last U.S. brigade combat team in Iraq has left the country, a move that helps U.S. President Barack Obama reach his goal of 50,000 troops in the country by September 1.  —  Their departure leaves about 56,000 U.S. troops in the country, according to the U.S. military.
Ernesto Londoño / Washington Post:
Operation Iraqi Freedom ends as last combat soldiers leave Baghdad
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:   McCain says Bush administration deserves ‘some credit’ for Iraq troop exit
Quinnipiac University:
Sink Inching Up In Close Florida Gov Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Crist Leads Three-Way Senate Race  —  Apparently bolstered by the civil war for the Republican nomination for Governor in Florida, State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the Democrat, is on the plus side …
Glynnis MacNicol / Mediaite:
Sarah Palin Supports Dr. Laura In N-Word Controversy, Wants Her To ‘Reload’  —  Apparently Sarah Palin fully supports Dr. Laura, who announced Tuesday she would be quitting radio following controversy over her numerous use of the N-word on her show earlier this week.
Joan Walsh / Salon:
Sarah Palin defends Dr. Laura
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Ezra Klein:
If only Obama had ...  See if this structure seems familiar to you: Over the past two years, Barack Obama has done X. Now, his poll numbers have slipped to 44 percent.  His party is slated to lose a lot of seats in the 2010 midterms.  Obama's decision to do X is to blame.  —  “X” can be a lot of things.
The Politico:
Mosque a long shot to be built  —  When President Barack Obama turned the battle over a planned New York Islamic center into a national debate over religious freedom, he unwittingly allied himself and his party with an ill-planned, long-shot development project described by one of its most prominent allies as “amateur hour.”
Christina Bellantoni / TPMDC:
Anti-'Mosque' Geller: 'Strip Clubs Didn't Bring Down The Towers'
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
NRSC: ‘The Next Time Democrats Call You Extreme, Show Them This Video.’  —  You see it here first, folks: the new web video from the NRSC about just whose views are “extreme” around here.  —  Their closing sequence, showcasing that the so-called extreme candidates are either leading or in dead heats …
Washington Post:
Federal prosecutors should not retry Rod Blagojevich  —  U.S. ATTORNEY Patrick J. Fitzgerald should back off his vow to retry former governor Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.).  With moral thunder in December 2008, the aggressive prosecutor declared that the state's chief executive was nabbed …
Wall Street Journal:
Blagojevich 23, Fitzgerald 1  —  Chicago's jester politician humiliates …
Discussion: Commentary and Don Surber
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Skip the lecture on Israel's ‘risks for peace’  —  In the intifada that began in 2000, Palestinian terrorism killed more than 1,000 Israelis.  As a portion of U.S. population, that would be 42,000, approaching the toll of America's eight years in Vietnam.  During the onslaught …
Discussion: Commentary and Betsy's Page
New York Post:
Nancy's nefarious conspiracy theory  —  Is Nancy Pelosi making a bid to join Rob ert Welch, longtime leader of the John Birch Society, as a truly great conspir acy theorist?  —  It would seem only an inspired paranoic could find it so unaccountably strange — cue the “Twilight Zone” …
Jennifer A. Kingson / New York Times:
Home Aquariums as Decorating Elements  —  KARIN WILZIG has a hard time choosing a favorite color from among the 64 that she and her husband can use to illuminate the 14 1/2- foot, 450-gallon aquarium in their TriBeCa town house.  The default is fuchsia, which turns the dozen koi a deep pink.
Discussion: Ezra Klein and The Awl
Ryan Reynolds / The Huffington Post:
The Gulf Disaster Is Far From Over  —  A few weeks ago, I flew over the Deepwater Horizon site and saw what looked like the opposite of all the news reports: it looked more like somebody had spilled water into a Gulf filled with oil.  —  You don't have to make a personal trip to the Gulf …
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Police looking into damage to senator's home
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Marsha Shuler / WBRZ-TV:
Former Vitter aide traveled for court dates
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Rick Santorum: Farther down 2012 path than he expected
Eric Boehlert / Media Matters for America:
When does Fox News' ugly Muslim bashing become the story?
Discussion: News Hounds
Frank Thadeusz / Spiegel Online:
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Randall Chase / Associated Press:
Beau Biden back on the campaign trail after stroke
Discussion: The Hill and POLISING
Jacob Davies / Obsidian Wings:
Adult Supervision Required
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
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Sarah Tully / Orange County Register:
Muslim employee accuses Disney of discrimination
Murray Wardrop / Telegraph:
Young will have to change names to escape ‘cyber past’ warns Google's Eric Schmidt
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Coup of 2011  —  It occurred to me today that there's …