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11:20 AM ET, August 20, 2010


 Top Items: 
Byron York / Associated Press:
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.
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Moral myopia at Ground Zero  —  It's hard to be an Obama sycophant these days.  Your hero delivers a Ramadan speech roundly supporting the building of a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York.  Your heart swells and you're moved to declare this President Obama's finest hour, his act of greatest courage.
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 …
AP Standards Center issues staff advisory on covering New York City mosque  —  Associated Press Deputy Managing Editor for Standards and Production Tom Kent sent the following note to the staff about covering the New York City mosque story:  —  Colleagues,
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.)
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
LA TIMES WRITER FORGETS FILIBUSTERS EXIST.... Stopping by the L.A. Times' website this morning, I noticed a bizarre headline: “Obama now blames poor job numbers on congressional inaction.  Wait!  His party runs Congress.”  The emphasis was in the original.  —  This seemed pretty dumb on its face, so, naturally, I click on the link.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
New Dem message: ‘Improve’ health care, don't talk cost  —  Key White House allies are dramatically shifting their attempts to defend health care legislation, abandoning claims that it will reduce costs and deficit and instead stressing a promise to “improve it.”
Sandhya Somashekhar / Washington Post:
Worried Democrats courting elderly voters as midterm elections near
Discussion: The Politico and The Eye
Fhardingj / CNN:
Health care legislation remains unpopular, poll says
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 …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Dems hit at Bush in new cable ad
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Appeasing the Bond Gods  —  As I look at what passes for responsible economic policy these days, there's an analogy that keeps passing through my mind.  I know it's over the top, but here it is anyway: the policy elite — central bankers, finance ministers, politicians who pose as defenders …
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 …
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 …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Jeffrey Goldberg's fabrication on NPR  —  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, claimed I had “retracted” part of what I had written.
Michelle Malkin:
And now: The stealth Obama ocean grab  —  For the past few months, I've been spotlighting the Obama administration's War on the West, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's War on Jobs,  —  and the White House land lock-up (Part 1, Part 2).  Today's column exposes the next Obama environmental power grab — into the sea.
Discussion: Babalú Blog
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Dean: ‘Some’ Dems demonizing N.Y. mosque opponents  —  Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean said Thursday that some members of his party have “demonized” opponents of the Lower Manhattan mosque.  —  Dean — who surprised many political observers this week by saying that the planners should move …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
President Obama's winning streak  —  This is a radical break from journalistic convention, I realize, but today I'd like to give credit where it's due — specifically, to President Obama.  Quiet as it's kept, he's on a genuine winning streak.  —  It's hard to remember that the inauguration was just 19 months ago.
Kathy Kiely / USA Today:
Republican primary bruises not healing quickly  —  Three days after losing a race for a Republican Senate nomination in Washington state, former pro football player and “Tea Party” favorite Clint Didier plans to reveal today whether he'll get behind the winner, Dino Rossi.
Discussion: The Caucus and The Eye
David Perlman / San Francisco Chronicle:
New images indicate moon may be shrinking  —  The moon may be shrinking, scientists say.  —  But not to worry.  It won't disappear anytime soon.  —  NASA scientists studying images sent back to Earth from a spacecraft orbiting the moon have found curving lines of small cliffs on the surface …
Holland Muslim group fined for publishing Holocaust-denying cartoon  —  Court calls cartoon ‘unnecessarily hurtful’ in appeal of a 2006 cquittal of the Arab European League.  —  A Dutch Muslim group was fined 2,500 euros for publishing a cartoon which suggested the Holocaust was made up or exaggerated …
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Spencer Abraham / The Politico:
Obama's energy meltdown  —  The decision by congressional Democrats to not try to pass a major energy bill in this Congress, while receiving a modest amount of media attention, actually constitutes one of the sharpest rebukes to a sitting president in recent memory.
Discussion: The Hill and HotAirPundit
Glen Johnson / Associated Press:
Oil spill and Iraq combat over, Obama takes break  —  VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. - Finally, President Barack Obama can relax on vacation.  —  The Gulf oil leak is plugged.  The last combat troops are out of Iraq.  And Congress is on its own summer break.  —  Still, doubts remain about the strength …
Nicole Allan / The Atlantic Online:
The Most Sexist Ad, Well, Ever  —  In an act of shockingly retro, sexist stupidity, a local unit of the Republican Party of Minnesota has broadcast a new reason you should vote Republican: GOP women are hot, and Democratic women are not.  —  The group has made a web video contrasting photos of attractive …
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 …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Arizona prison escapee, fiancée-cousin caught  —  Pair on lam since July 30, accused of killing elderly Oklahoma couple  —  Escaped inmate John McCluskey and his fiancée-cousin Casslyn Welch were captured in the northeast Arizona's Apache County, the U.S. Marshals Office said late Thursday.
Discussion: Mediaite
Thanassis Cambanis / New York Times:
Head of Mosque Plan Near Ground Zero Visits Mideast  —  CAIRO — Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the organizer of the planned Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan, arrived in Bahrain on Thursday to begin a three-country tour of the Persian Gulf sponsored by the United States State Department.
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
At Treasury, Geithner Struggles to Escape a Past He Never Had  —  WASHINGTON — Timothy F. Geithner has been misidentified as a former Wall Street insider from Goldman Sachs so many times since he became the Treasury secretary that he and his advisers had taken to joking about it.  Then the joke backfired.
Ed O'Keefe / Washington Post:
Obama makes four recess appointments  —  President Obama made four recess appointments Thursday for nominees that have waited an average of 303 days for confirmation, the White House said.  —  “At a time when our nation faces so many pressing challenges, I urge members of the Senate …
Discussion: Politics Daily and Poliglot
David A. Lieb / Business Week:
Carnahan joins Blunt in backing tax cut extension  —  SEDALIA, MO.  —  In a change from her previous position, Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan said Thursday that she now supports the extension of all tax cuts enacted during the administration of President George W. Bush.
Discussion: Ballot Box and Hotline On Call
New York Times:
Foreclosures Grind On  —  There is a lot of grim economic news out there, including Thursday's report that initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to half a million people last week.  The news on housing — where the financial crisis began — is also bad.
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 More Items: 
Kimberly O. Dennis / Wall Street Journal:
Gates and Buffett Take the Pledge
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Cuts in Social Security Weighed by Fiscal Panel
Discussion: Ezra Klein and Erick's blog
Mark Finkelstein /
Grayson On 9-11: Bush ‘Let It Happen’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Susan Pulliam / Wall Street Journal:
Wild Trades Put Focus on Fund Manager
Discussion: Felix Salmon and DealBook
Sarah Palin / Facebook:
Defending the Fight to Cast off a Conservative's “Shackles”
Ian Urbina / New York Times:
BP Oil Spill Settlements Likely to Shield Top Defendants
Jeremy P. Jacobs / Hotline On Call:
DSCC Planning Ads For Carnahan, Conway
 Earlier Items: 
The Daily Mash:
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Ed Tibbetts / Pantagraph:
Thomson prison appraisal, fed's offer differ
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Mike Fleming /
Google Founders Sergey Brin And Larry Page Get Feature Film Treatment
Michael Walsh / Big Hollywood:
The Most Lethal Weapon the United States Returns in ‘Early Warning’
Discussion: Power Line
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
The Deal  —  Bob Somerby is following the latest Social Security …