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12:00 PM ET, September 23, 2010


 Top Items: 
Erick Erickson / RedState:
Perhaps the Most Ridiculous Thing to Come Out of Washington Since George McClellan  —  The House Republicans' “Pledge to America” is out.  A thrill will run up the leg of a few Chris Matthews' types on the right.  As Dan noted on Twitter, the Contract with America was 869 words and this is 21 pages.
CBS News:
“Pledge to America” Unveiled by Republicans (Full Text)  —  CBS News has obtained a final draft of House Republicans' legislative agenda for the next Congress, a 21-page “Pledge to America” that they will formally unveil Thursday morning at a Virginia hardware store.
Ezra Klein:
The GOP's bad idea  —  “America is more than a country,” begins the GOP's ‘Pledge to America.’ America, it turns out, is an “idea,” an “inspiration,” and a “belief.”  And the GOP wants to govern it.  —  Their policy agenda is detailed and specific — a decision they will almost certainly come to regret.
National Review:
We'll Take the Pledge  —  All year long, conservatives have been pressuring Republicans to release a Contract with America for 2010 — an updated version of the campaign platform that the party unveiled before its 1994 sweep of Congress.  Thursday morning, Republican congressmen are responding …
Marc Ambinder / The Atlantic Online:
Why Republicans Don't Need a ‘Pledge’  —  Today, something unusual will happen.  Democrats will happily call attention to a new set of Republican proposals, and Republicans ... well, they'll sort of shrug them off.  The “Pledge to America” is supposed to be this year's version of 1994's …
Directorblue / Doug Ross:
A Critique of the GOP's New ‘Pledge to America’: Dudes. …
Jordan Fabian / Ballot Box:
Poll shows Sen. Gillibrand in close race
Discussion: CNN
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:   Gillibrand Leads by 1 Point in SurveyUSA Poll, 6 Points in Q Poll
Washington Post:
Two of Obama's closest advisers among those likely to leave in White House shuffle  —  In his nearly two years in office, President Obama has relied on a very small clique of advisers that serves as his most trusted sounding board on politics and policy.  —  Members of his staff describe Obama …
Bill Plante / CBS News:
Axelrod Leaving WH; Emmanuel Likely Next  —  Sources say President's 2 Closest Advisors Heading for Other Pursuits in Latest News on Pending D.C. Shakeup  —  (CBS) President Obama's inner circle will likely be losing some key players.  CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante reports …
Discussion: and Sweetness & Light
David Rogers / The Politico:
Democrats may back off tax vote
Wcbsmark / CBS New York:
Cuomo Caught Lying About Voting For Bloomberg?  —  NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There has been a dramatic development in the race for New York governor.  —  A new poll has Republican Carl Paladino within striking distance of Democrat Andrew Cuomo as voters say they want to elect someone who will stop the circus in Albany.
Voice of America:
Text of President Barack Obama's Address to the UNGA  —  Remarks of President Barack Obama-As Prepared for Delivery  —  Address to the United Nations General Assembly  —  New York, N.Y.  —  Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen …
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Obama asks UN for support in Middle East peace process
David Bernstein / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Dahlia Lithwick: It's “Weird” for a Senator to Consider the Constitutionality of Legislation  —  Lithwick in Slate: … Short answer: Senators swear an oath to uphold the Constitution.  Of course they are obligated to determine whether a bill they are considering is constitutional.
Discussion: The Other McCain
Decoding Christine O'Donnell
Discussion: Power Line
Harriet Johnson Brackey / Sun-Sentinel:
Man's home sold out from under him in foreclosure mistake  —  (Robert Duyos, Sun Sentinel / September 22, 2010)  —  When Jason Grodensky bought his modest Fort Lauderdale home last December, he paid cash.  But seven months later, he was surprised to learn that Bank of America had foreclosed on the house …
Discussion: Fortune and Calculated Risk
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:   Man without Mortgage Loses Home in Foreclosure
John / Power Line:
Another Democrat's Shameful Racism  —  Democrats are generally high-minded—can't we all just get along?—until they are in danger of losing.  Then the truth comes out.  Loretta Sanchez is a liberal California Democrat who poses as a moderate.  This year, she faces a strong challenge from Republican Van Tran.
Keith Bradsher / New York Times:
Amid Tension, China Blocks Vital Exports to Japan  —  HONG KONG — Sharply raising the stakes in a dispute over Japan's detention of a Chinese fishing trawler captain, the Chinese government has blocked exports to Japan of a crucial category of minerals used in products like hybrid cars, wind turbines and guided missiles.
Kevin Sack / New York Times:
For Many, Health Care Relief Begins Today  —  Sometimes lost in the partisan clamor about the new health care law is the profound relief it is expected to bring to hundreds of thousands of Americans who have been stricken first by disease and then by a Darwinian insurance system.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Senate Forecast: Republican Takeover Chances Improved, but Democrats Are Building Pacific Firewall  —  Polls show the Republican candidate having gained ground in a key Senate race, Wisconsin — and Republicans have put another Senate race, in West Virginia, squarely into play.
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
The Tea Party: Tempest in a very small teapot  —  Is the Tea Party one of the most successful scams in American political history?  —  Before you dismiss the question, note that word “successful.”  Judge the Tea Party purely on the grounds of effectiveness and you have to admire …
Justin Elliott / Salon:
The militias' man in the Senate?  —  Joe Miller's supporters have been known to carry assault rifles in public — and he's favored to win a Senate seat  —  Back in July, before Joe Miller won a stunning upset over Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's GOP Senate primary, national attention briefly focused …
James C. McKinley Jr / New York Times:
A Claim of Pro-Islam Bias in Textbooks  —  HOUSTON — Some conservative members of the Texas Board of Education assert that the history books used in this state have a pro-Islamic bias, and they are upset about it.  —  Never shy about wading into the culture wars, they are planning …
Discussion: Gawker, Wonkette,, Jihad Watch and Ò"
Bruce Horovitz / USA Today:
KFC pays college women for ad space on buns  —  KFC wants folks to watch its backside.  —  Or, more precisely, the backsides of female college students it's recruiting to promote its hot new bunless Double Down sandwiches.  —  Women on college campuses are being paid $500 each to hand …
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 More Items: 
David Axelrod / Washington Post:
The election campaigners we can't see
Kevin Sack / New York Times:
Chronically Ill, and Covered
Discussion: Matthew Yglesias
Wall Street Journal:
SEC Blasted on Goldman
Bob Willis / Bloomberg:
Jobless Claims in U.S. Increased 12,000 to 465,000 Last Week
Discussion: Hot Air and The Page
Timothy P. Carney / Washington Examiner:
Tea Partiers oppose abortion, not just deficits
Discussion: protein wisdom
Biden helps Maryland Democrat
Associated Press:
AP-GfK Poll: Independents as upset as Republicans
 Earlier Items: 
Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit:
Socialist Member on Obama's Debt Commission: If We Reduce Spending …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Flopping Aces
(2 of 2)  —  Asked for reasons he was weighing against running …
Discussion: Ballot Box and TPMDC
Israel used ‘incredible violence’ …
Discussion: Guardian and normblog
William Bender /
In Bucks County, a bitter poll for Murphy to swallow
Discussion: Ballot Box, Capitol Ideas … and CNN
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Poll surprise of the day: Barney Frank in trouble?