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5:30 PM ET, September 4, 2010


 Top Items: 
Jamie Stiehm / Washington Post:
Oval Office rug gets history wrong  —  A mistake has been made in the Oval Office makeover that goes beyond the beige.  —  President Obama's new presidential rug seemed beyond reproach, with quotations from Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
In defense of Alan Simpson  —  The President's Deficit Commission is designed to be as anti-democratic and un-transparent as possible.  Its work is done in total secrecy.  It is filled with behind-the-scenes political and corporate operatives who steadfastly refuse to talk to the public about what they're doing.
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Loving Their Grandkids To Death — sacrificing them to the Market Gods  —  Loving Their Grandkids To Death  —  Howie has a great post up today about the social security con game which you should in full.  I just wanted to riff on one little piece of it because it struck me that we haven't been clear about what's going on.
Discussion: Open Left and Suburban Guerrilla
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
America has a cow over Alan Simpson's candor on deficits  —  There was a time, not too long ago, when a politician could talk about tits in public.  —  In 1992, Sen. Alan Simpson, a Wyoming Republican, complained in a speech to the National Conference of State Legislatures about how Social Security …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
NO ONE SHOULD BE SURPRISED BY THE SHUTDOWN.... Josh Marshall had an item yesterday that I suspect represents the way many observers consider reports of a government shutdown next year: “When I first heard this talk of another ‘government shutdown’ in 2011, I figured it was just Democrats whipping it up as a cudgel for the election.
Tony Blair pelted with eggs at book signing in Dublin  —  Activists clashed with Irish police as they tried to push down a security barrier outside the bookshop  —  Eggs, bottles and shoes have been thrown at the former prime minister Tony Blair as he attended a book signing in Dublin.
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
Democrats add fiscal austerity as a campaign issue  —  The candidate was outraged - just outraged - at the country's sorry fiscal state.  —  “We have managed to acquire $13 trillion of debt on our balance sheet,” he fumed to a roomful of voters.  “In my view, we have nothing to show for it.”
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
On Economy, Democrats Face a Lack of Unity
New York Times:
30 False Fronts Won Contracts for Blackwater  —  WASHINGTON — Blackwater Worldwide created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq …
Gail Collins / New York Times:
The Ungreat Debate  —  We do not generally look to gubernatorial debates for excitement.  But this week there was a fascinating one in Arizona, where Gov. Jan Brewer gave a bad performance of epic proportions.  Really, Richard Nixon in 1960 was Demosthenes in Athens compared with this one.
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Paul Krugman:
Rahmism  —  Jon Cohn's post about what the administration may be considering, and what it isn't considering, makes we want to cry.  —  Look: early on the administration had a political theory: it would win bipartisan legislative victories, and each success would make Republicans who voted no feel left out …
Mark Hyman, MD / The Huffington Post:
Millions Die Due to Withheld Medical Treatment  —  What's Your Reaction:  —  Imagine we found the cure for heart disease or diabetes, but as a society chose to withhold that treatment from those who need it most.  Would it be ethical to withhold effective treatments when the result …
Discussion: protein wisdom
Salahi in Playboy?  Just ‘another rumor.’  —  Michaele Salahi (right) has not received an offer to appear in Playboy, her spokesman told CNN on Saturday.  —  (CNN) - A spokesman for Michaele Salahi of White House party-crasher fame batted down on Saturday morning a story that claims the …
New York Times:
Endorsements for New York  —  Like voters around the country, New Yorkers are angry at people in office, and they tend to be most peeved at anybody who works in Albany.  —  That bad mood has even touched two veteran Democratic congressmen who normally coast to re-election in November.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Sen. Graham reaches out to Tea Party  —  Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is playing defense against conservatives in his state angry with his record.  —  Graham has reached out to the Tea Party movement in the Palmetto State this week and appeared on conservative radio in a bid to explain his record to right-leaning voters.
Aharding / CNN:
Tea Party candidate sparks backlash in Delaware
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 More Items: 
Robin Abcarian / Los Angeles Times:
The man behind the Sherrod affair
Kathleen Lucadamo / NY Daily News:
Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel's legal tab is $1.8 million and rising
Discussion: The Hill and JammieWearingFool
New Zealand Herald:
Mayor: Quake hit city ‘like an iceberg’
Discussion: Crooks and Liars, CNN and This Just In
Yasir Ghazi / At War:
Punk'd, Iraqi-Style, at a Checkpoint
Discussion: Gawker and Hot Air
Rob Crilly / Telegraph:
Pakistan Taliban threaten attacks on US and Europe
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Taxpayers likely to face initial loss on GM IPO: sources
 Earlier Items: 
Samuel Goldsmith / NY Daily News:
Former President Bill Clinton: Democrats need more time to undo …
Jerusalem Post:
US envoy Oren warns: Hizbullah has 15,000 rockets on border
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Power Line
William Yardley / New York Times:
Alaska Winner, Lover of Privacy, Loses His Own
Jeff Stein / SpyTalk:
Israeli spies wooing U.S. Muslims, sources say
Brian Maloney / The Radio Equalizer:
Libtalker, Guest Ponder Glenn Beck Torture Methods