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7:55 PM ET, August 20, 2010


 Top Items: 
Samuel Goldsmith / NY Daily News:
They won't build it!  Hardhats vow not to work on controversial mosque near Ground Zero  —  The site of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero.  Many construction workers are vowing not to work on the controversial project.  —  A growing number of New York construction workers are vowing …
Andrew Grossman / Metropolis:
For Strippers Near Ground Zero, It's Business as Usual Amid Mosque Uproar … After the World Trade Center towers fell, a stripper named Chris went to volunteer in the recovery effort for the Red Cross.  Nearly 10 years later, she dances just down the street from Ground Zero at the Pussycat Lounge.
New York Post:
Muslim-born Miss USA says she opposes Ground Zero Islamic center  —  The reigning Miss USA has come out against the Ground Zero mosque, saying “it shouldn't be so close” to Ground Zero.  —  The 24-year-old Rima Fakih, is the first Muslim winner of the Miss USA contest and is preparing …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Hot Air
Karen Hughes / Washington Post:
Move the New York City mosque, as a sign of unity
Discussion: Beltway Confidential
The Huffington Post:
Howard Dean's Democracy For America Breaks With Him On Mosque Debate
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Sally Quinn / Washington Post:
Daisy Khan: “When will Muslims be accepted?”
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Obama has himself to blame for Muslim problem  —  In 1985, Barack Obama had just arrived in Chicago for his new job as a community organizer when he headed to Smitty's Barbershop, a tiny storefront on the South Side.  As Smitty cut his hair, Obama listened to the men in the shop talk politics and racial grievance.
Bradley Blackburn / ABCNEWS:
The Rev. Franklin Graham Says President Obama was ‘Born a Muslim’
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Treasury Admits HAMP Expectations Not Met, Thinks “Extend and Pretend” Is a Virtue  —  The Latin inscription reads: “We shall attain the excellence of virtue with the grace of God and the effort of our will.”  Federal government seems to be relying on similar methods to avert mortgage crisis.
Daniel Indiviglio / The Atlantic Online:
July Marks Another Ugly Month For Government Mortgage Modifications
The Huffington Post:
Critics Target Housing Policy
Wall Street Journal:
Why Political Sage Sees GOP Romp in November  —  In the panoply of political prognosticators populating Washington, few have painted a bleaker picture of Democrats' 2010 election prospects than Charlie Cook.  —  And he doesn't see that picture getting any brighter.
Rich Miller / The Capitol Fax Blog:
This just in... Quinn's media firm fired, fires shots  —  * 10:30 am - More really bad campaign news for Gov. Pat Quinn.  His media firm, AKPD, has just exited the campaign [it was fired].  And check out this harsh goodbye statement...  Oh, man, what a shot that was.
Clout St:   Quinn parts ways with longtime political consultant months before election
Boston Herald:
Will bacteria count beach Barack Obama?  —  WEST TISBURY - Welcome to Martha's Vineyard, Mr. President - but don't go in the water!  —  President Obama, who took a plunge in the Gulf last week to show Americans it was safe to swim the oil spill-plagued area, arrived on this supposedly …
The Politico:
The new battle: What it means to be American  —  It's a classic case of be careful what you wish for.  President Barack Obama wanted to end the baby boomer-era culture wars — and he's done it.  —  But along the way, Obama has sparked an even more visceral values debate about whether he's moving …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Jeffrey Goldberg's fabrication on NPR  —  (updated below Update II - Update III - Update IV)  —  This is really quite strange.  Yesterday, my inbox began filling up with email telling me that Jeffrey Goldberg had gone on NPR and, when asked about my critiques of his Atlantic article on bombing Iran …
Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary  —  Technical information:  —  Employment: (202) 691-6559 * *  —  Unemployment: (202) 691-6392 * *  —  Media contact: (202) 691-5902 *
Alana Semuels / Los Angeles Times:
California unemployment rate holds steady at 12.3%
Discussion: American Power, Economix and GayPatriot
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Obama now blames poor job numbers on congressional inaction.  Wait!  His party runs Congress  —  Just a few minor things to catch up on for the weekend now that the Fundraiser-in-Chief has gone on another vacation (Don't worry though.  White House chef Sam Kass went along, so the first family need not eat ordinary human food.)
Blago Says, Like Winston Churchill, He Can Mount Dramatic Comeback  —  Rod Blagojevich Hints That Feds Were After Barack Obama  —  Former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich recognizes that daunting challenges await as prosecutors prepare to mount a new effort to convict him on corruption charges …
Discussion: Don Surber
Mark Niquette / DispatchPolitics:
Obama had facts wrong about visit here  —  Finance director: Stimulus dollars didn't aid project  —  A local project that President Barack Obama cited during a visit Wednesday to Columbus as an example of how the federal stimulus package has worked isn't actually being funded with stimulus dollars.
John Avlon / The Daily Beast:
The Palin Twitter Backlash  —  Black Republicans tell John Avlon that Sarah Palin's tweet in defense of Dr. Laura was ridiculous and indefensible—and that she may be “no longer fit to lead.”  —  Sarah Palin's post-VP nominee career has so far benefitted from bomb-throwing.
The Huffington Post:
In First 2010 TV Ad, DNC Raises Specter Of Bush Once Again  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  The Democratic National Committee is once again using the imagery and words of former President George W. Bush to present a stark “choice” to voters heading into November in what an aide said is the DNC's …
Adam Serwer / American Prospect:
BioShock Takes On American Exceptionalism.  —  I've written before about the horror/shooter BioShock series of video games being about the closest thing I've ever seen to narrative art in the genre, in part because the games tend to wrestle with political high concepts.
Discussion: The Confluence and Balloon Juice
Ezra Klein:
Luxuries and necessities in one graph  —  I'd say people are underestimating the importance of computers given the evolving nature of the economy, overestimating the importance of appliances, and the centrality of cars doesn't bode well for pricing carbon.  —  Source.  Hat tip.
Heather / Crooks and Liars:
Franklin Graham: President Obama Was Born a Muslim  —  We've got an economy that's a mess, people who have been unemployed forever that need jobs, massive flooding in Pakistan, millions of gallons of oil and dispersants still floating in the water in the Gulf of Mexico and what is the media spending hours upon hours covering?
New York Times:
At the Far Edge  —  For months, it has been clear that Republican Congressional candidates would benefit from independent voters' dissatisfaction with President Obama.  With the Republican field now largely in place, all voters might want to take a close look at who those candidates are.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Be More Aggressive’: Tom DeLay Says GOP Needs to Go After ‘Obama Agenda’ Even Harder  —  Former GOP Leader Says He Still Speaks to Abramoff; Won't Rule Out Return to Politics  —  Despite the corruption and lobbying scandals that ensnared Republicans in Congress and triggered …
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
That 20%  —  Allahpundit says all that needs to be said about new polling on the perception of Obama's religion: … South Park put it more succinctly.  —  (Cable news fail via Pareene)  —  Christianity - United States - Barack Obama - South Park - President
Joseph Stiglitz / Financial Times:
Needed: a new economic paradigm  —  The blame game continues over who is responsible for the worst recession since the Great Depression - the financiers who did such a bad job of managing risk or the regulators who failed to stop them.  But the economics profession bears more than a little culpability.
Discussion: MyDD
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Why won't the Pentagon help WikiLeaks redact documents?  —  (updated below - Update II)  —  When the controversy first arose over the lack of redactions in the war documents released by WikiLeaks, the website insisted that, using the New York Times as an intermediary, it had asked …
Discussion: The Agonist
Mitch Daniels / Economist:
The right stuff  —  Indiana's governor is a likeable wonk.  Can he save the Republicans from themselves and provide a pragmatic alternative to Barack Obama?  —  CLAY COUNTY  —  THE governor does not like to keep people waiting.  On a recent morning this small man leapt out of a trooper's Toyota …
Los Angeles Times:
Target feels backlash from shareholders  —  Institutions with stakes in the retail giant are demanding that the company revamp its donation process after a $150,000 contribution backed an anti-gay-rights candidate.  —  Reporting from Washington — After weeks of public protest …
Discussion: TPMDC, Prairie Weather and Advocate
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
CON AIR.... It was hard to imagine the Brent Furer story getting worse for Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) — but it has.  —  To briefly recap, Furer is the aide Vitter kept on his taxpayer-financed payroll, despite Furer having held his ex-girlfriend hostage, threatening to kill her, and attacking her with a knife.
Discussion: TPMDC and
David Broder / The Fix:
The expanding Senate playing field  —  As we sat down to rank which ten Senate races are most likely to flip party control on November 2, it became immediately clear that our Line wasn't big enough.  —  The simple truth is that over the past six to nine months, the Senate playing field …
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 More Items: 
FreeThinkerNY / Weasel Zippers:
True Face of Imam Rauf to be Revealed by Newly Discovered Audio Tapes...
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
VIDEO surfaces of Ron Johnson blaming climate change on “sunspot activity”
Calculated Risk:
HAMP data for July
Discussion: New York Times
Ed Hornick / CNN:
Biden: Democrats will keep the House and Senate
Discussion: The Hill and Pajamas Media
Ramesh Ponnuru / National Review:
Mosque Politics, Ctd.
Discussion: Hullabaloo
The White House:
President Obama Announces Recess Appointments to Key Administration Posts
 Earlier Items: 
Nicole Allan / The Atlantic Online:
Campaign Scandals Are Weirder in Florida
Adam Smith / The Buzz:
Was Jeff Greene too cheap to beat Kendrick Meek?
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Salon
Stephen Budiansky / New York Times:
Math Lessons for Locavores
Mark Gillispie / Metro:
High-tech carts will tell on Cleveland residents who don't recycle …
Discussion: Hit & Run and Michelle Malkin
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Things People Believe
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
President Obama's winning streak
Discussion: Hot Air, Commentary, TalkLeft and Daily Kos
New York Times:
U.S. Persuades Israel That Iran's Nuclear Threat Is Not Imminent