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3:00 PM 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.
Alex Seitz-Wald / Think Progress:
GOP House Candidate On Obama: 'I Don't Have A Position On Whether He's A Muslim'
Discussion: TalkLeft, The Hill, TPMDC and The Politico
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 …
Alana Semuels / Los Angeles Times:
California unemployment rate holds steady at 12.3%
Discussion: Economix and GayPatriot
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
Biden to Dems: GOP offers ‘more of the past, but on steroids’
Discussion: CNN
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Dems hit at Bush in new cable ad
Kathy Kiely / USA Today:
Republican primary bruises not healing quickly
Discussion: The Caucus and The Eye
DNC deploys George W. Bush in new ad
Discussion: Politics Daily and Mediaite
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 …
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.
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 …
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.
The Fading Glory of the Television and Telephone
Discussion: Engage, Economix and Free exchange
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 …
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 …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Counterterrorism adviser: No evidence mosque opposition has fueled extremists  —  There is no evidence that overseas Islamic extremists are using opposition to the planned Lower Manhattan mosque to fuel anti-American propaganda, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Friday.
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Dean: ‘Some’ Dems demonizing N.Y. mosque opponents
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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?
Discussion: The Huffington Post, CNN and Daily Kos
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 …
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.
Mark Gillispie / Metro:
High-tech carts will tell on Cleveland residents who don't recycle ... and they face $100 fine  —  CLEVELAND, Ohio — It would be a stretch to say that Big Brother will hang out in Clevelanders' trash cans, but the city plans to sort through curbside trash to make sure residents are recycling — and fine them $100 if they don't.
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
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
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: Hot Air, TalkLeft, Daily Kos and The Foundry
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: Wonkette and Babalú Blog
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: Pajamas Media and Commentary
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 More Items: 
Lisa Faye Petak / New York Times:
Young Lawyers Turn to Public Service
Discussion: Joanne Jacobs and Gawker
Stephen Budiansky / New York Times:
Math Lessons for Locavores
Discussion: Eater National
Sam Bahour / Congress Blog:
Economic emptiness in Palestine and Israel
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Pain Caucus  —  National Review takes on the similar trajectories …
Discussion: Rortybomb and National Review
Felix Salmon:
401(k) plans aren't just for retirement
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
The Washington Independent:
Good Government Groups Raise Questions About New White House Ethics Czar
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
People Should Talk on the Record!
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Things People Believe
 Earlier Items: 
Dennis Woltering / WWL-TV:
WWLTV poll shows Vitter leading Melancon by double digits
Discussion: The Eye and Taegan Goddard's …
Kimberly O. Dennis / Wall Street Journal:
Gates and Buffett Take the Pledge
Discussion: National Review and Betsy's Page
Ed O'Keefe / Washington Post:
Obama makes four recess appointments
Discussion: Politics Daily and Poliglot
Ranger who spotted Ariz. fugitives hailed as hero
Discussion: Mediaite