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1:00 PM ET, August 20, 2010

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
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.)
RELATED:
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.
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.
RELATED:
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.
RELATED:
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 …
New York Times:
U.S. Persuades Israel That Iran's Nuclear Threat Is Not Imminent  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, citing evidence of continued troubles inside Iran's nuclear program, has persuaded Israel that it would take roughly a year — and perhaps longer — for Iran to complete …
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.
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
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PewResearch.org:
The Fading Glory of the Television and Telephone
Discussion: Engage, Free exchange and Economix
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.”
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Sandhya Somashekhar / Washington Post:
Worried Democrats courting elderly voters as midterm elections near
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 …
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Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Dems hit at Bush in new cable ad
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.
RELATED:
Spencer Abraham / The Politico:
Obama's energy meltdown
Discussion: The Hill and HotAirPundit
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
A year to peace in the Middle East?  —  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this morning announced a resumption of direct Middle East peace talks — and said she expects the resolution of the bitter conflict by this time next year.  —  The new round of talks, the fanfare and summitry …
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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 …
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 …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Jeffrey Goldberg's fabrication on NPR  —  (updated below Update II)  —  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.
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 …
Discussion: Mediaite and THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS
ABCNEWS:
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 …
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
Discussion: TalkLeft, Daily Kos and The Foundry
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
The lost promise of Barack Obama  —  The most destructive gap for President Obama is not the Republican lead on the generic congressional ballot or even a job disapproval that has surpassed approval — it is the gap between aspiration and reality.  —  The Manhattan mosque controversy showed the problem in compressed form.
Discussion: Commentary
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.
Ian Urbina / New York Times:
BP Oil Spill Settlements Likely to Shield Top Defendants  —  WASHINGTON — People and businesses seeking a lump-sum settlement from BP's $20 billion oil spill compensation fund will most likely have to waive their right to sue not only BP, but also all the other major defendants involved with the spill …
The Washington Independent:
Good Government Groups Raise Questions About New White House Ethics Czar  —  The New White House Ethics and Transparency Czar Argued For Soft Money, Against Campaign Finance Reform  —  When the Obama administration announced last month that Norm Eisen, the specially appointed White House …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Felix Salmon:
401(k) plans aren't just for retirement  —  One of the reasons that banks made so much money from overdraft fees is that people are naturally optimistic: they never think, when they open a checking account, that they're going to go overdrawn very often.  So overdraft fees aren't a big deal to them at the time.
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
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
 
 
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 More Items: 
Reuters:
Wyclef Jean reportedly excluded from list of Haiti presidential candidates
Discussion: Colorlines and The Awl
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
People Should Talk on the Record!
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Things People Believe
Dennis Woltering / WWL-TV:
WWLTV poll shows Vitter leading Melancon by double digits
Discussion: The Eye and Taegan Goddard's …
Reuters:
Holland Muslim group fined for publishing Holocaust-denying cartoon
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Kimberly O. Dennis / Wall Street Journal:
Gates and Buffett Take the Pledge
Discussion: National Review and Betsy's Page
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Cuts in Social Security Weighed by Fiscal Panel
Discussion: Ezra Klein, Hit & Run and Erick's blog
 Earlier Items: 
Kathy Kiely / USA Today:
Republican primary bruises not healing quickly
Discussion: The Caucus and The Eye
Ed O'Keefe / Washington Post:
Obama makes four recess appointments
Discussion: Politics Daily and Poliglot
David Perlman / San Francisco Chronicle:
New images indicate moon may be shrinking
New York Times:
Foreclosures Grind On  —  There is a lot of grim economic news …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Dean: ‘Some’ Dems demonizing N.Y. mosque opponents
msnbc.com:
Arizona prison escapee, fiancée-cousin caught
Discussion: Mediaite
Jeremy P. Jacobs / Hotline On Call:
DSCC Planning Ads For Carnahan, Conway