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12:00 PM ET, October 1, 2010


 Top Items: 
Byron York / Beltway Confidential:
Obama: 'I'd appreciate a little break'  —  It's often remarked that President Obama has enjoyed a number of getaways, vacations, and mini-vacations during his 20 months in office.  But at a Democratic fundraiser Thursday night, the president said, “I'd appreciate a little break.”
The Politico:
Hill worries Rahm's exit changes little
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Filling an Aide's Shoes With Very Different Feet
Laura Berman / Detroit News:
Assistant AG suspended over gay-bashing blog  —  Attorney General Mike Cox changed his stance Thursday, suspending Andrew Shirvell after the assistant attorney general attracted national attention for a controversial blog that ridicules and denounces a University of Michigan student leader …
UPDATED: Assistant AG takes leave of absence after national attention over blog against U-M student body president  —  One would expect that the current Republican attorney general contender, along with Rick Snyder and other major GOP state candidates, had a word or two with Mike Cox.
Robert Shrum / The Week Magazine:
Democrats will hold the House and Senate  —  For Democrats, it's Rove time: rally the base and save Congress  —  Maybe I'm wrong.  —  In fact, maybe I'm really, really wrong, which is the reaction I hear when I dare even to broach this notion to commentators and political strategists in both parties.
Ezra Klein:
The demographics of 2010  —  Some nice demographic polling out from Gallup today.  Over the past seven months, middle-age voters have been pretty stable in their preferences between Democrats and Republicans.  It's the young and the old who've diverged, with the young swinging toward …
Discussion: Suburban Guerrilla
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
In Midterms, Dems Gain With Young Voters, Slip With Hispanics
Discussion: Firedoglake and Hot Air
Coalition Picks Maliki in Move That May End Iraq Stalemate  —  An alliance of Iraq's Shiite political blocs has chosen the incumbent, Nuri al-Maliki, as its nominee for prime minister, alliance officials said on Friday, ending months of wrangling that had stalled formation of a government.
Discussion: The Page
Leila Fadel / Washington Post:
Still struggling to form government, Iraq breaks a world record
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Report gives stimulus package high marks  —  The massive economic stimulus package President Obama pushed through Congress last year is coming in on time and under budget - and with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse - according to a White House report to be released Friday.
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Why is Obama sending troops to Afghanistan?  —  From the beginning, the call to arms was highly uncertain.  On Dec. 1, 2009, commander in chief Barack Obama orders 30,000 more Americans into battle in Afghanistan.  But in the very next sentence, he announces that an American withdrawal will begin after 18 months.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:   Armed Services chairman: Obama must not budge on Afghan withdrawal date
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
TARP Bailout to Cost Less Than Once Anticipated  —  WASHINGTON — Even as voters rage and candidates put up ads against government bailouts, the reviled mother of them all — the $700 billion lifeline to banks, insurance and auto companies — will expire after Sunday at a fraction of that cost …
Reed Abelson / New York Times:
Insurer Cuts Health Plans as New Law Takes Hold  —  The Principal Financial Group announced on Thursday that it planned to stop selling health insurance, another sign of upheaval emerging among insurers as the new federal health law starts to take effect.  —  The company, based in Iowa …
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
The Uncanny Accuracy of Polling Averages*, Part 2: What the Numbers Say  —  This is the second article in a three-part series in which I'm addressing a question from a reader whom I'm calling Skeptical Sam.  —  Sam wondered why our election forecasts seem so confident.
Discussion: National Review
Aaron Favila / Associated Press:
Dozens of NATO oil tankers attacked in Pakistan  —  SHIKARPUR, Pakistan - Suspected militants in southern Pakistan set ablaze more than two dozen tankers carrying fuel for foreign troops in Afghanistan on Friday, highlighting the vulnerability of the U.S.-led mission a day after Pakistan closed a major border crossing.
Seema Mehta / PolitiCal:
Whitman's husband says ‘it is possible’ handwriting on letter is his [Updated]  —  Dr. Griff Harsh, Meg Whitman's husband, just released a statement saying that it may be his handwriting on a 2003 letter that raised the possibility that their housekeeper was undocumented.
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Document shows Meg Whitman lying, attorney says
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Austerity Caucus  —  If I had as much money as Meg Whitman, I'd probably have a more exuberant house.  Hers is perfectly nice.  But at a time when other Silicon Valley moguls were installing underground squash courts, arcade-size game rooms and other gewgaws, she stuck with a New England-style colonial.
Wall Street Journal:
The Twister of 2010  —  America's political landscape will never be the same.  —  On a recent trip to Omaha, Neb., I found a note prominently displayed in my hotel room warning of the possibility of “extreme weather” including “tornadic activity.”  The clunky euphemism was no doubt meant …
Robert Bazell /
U.S. to apologize for STD experiments in Guatemala  —  Government researchers infected patients with syphilis, gonorrhea without their consent in the 1940s  —  U.S. government medical researchers intentionally infected hundreds of people in Guatemala, including institutionalized mental patients …
Andrew Taylor / Associated Press:
Senate votes to turn down volume on TV commercials  —  WASHINGTON - Legislation to turn down the volume on those loud TV commercials that send couch potatoes diving for their remote controls looks like it'll soon become law.  —  The Senate unanimously passed a bill late Wednesday …
Ben Smith / The Politico:
News Corp. gave $1 million to pro-GOP group  —  News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, contributed $1 million this summer to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the business lobby that has been running an aggressive campaign in support of the Republican effort to retake Congress, a source close to the company told POLITICO.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
“You Elected Me To Do What Was Right”  —  Obama's speech to Gen44 tonight knocked my socks off.  It's streaming on CSPAN here.  If you've forgotten why many of you worked your ass off for this guy, and felt hope for the first time in many years, watch it.  He deserves criticism when necessary …
Stand UP!:
CNN's Rick Sanchez Calls Jon Stewart ‘Bigot’  —  Cuban-American anchor Rick Sanchez came on Stand Up! with Pete Dominick today for a loose exchange on current events, media, and journalism.  Throughout much of the interview, the discussion touched on race.  To our surprise, at various points …
Sam Hananel / The Huffington Post:
Feds Sue Fox News Over Reporter Catherine Herridge's Charges Of Discrimination, Retaliation  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  WASHINGTON — Federal authorities are suing the Fox News Network for allegedly retaliating against a reporter after she complained about unequal pay and job conditions based on her gender and age.
John Podhoretz / Commentary:
The Meltdown Accelerates — at the Very Top  —  Here are some things Barack Obama said this evening to Democratic donors (I quote from Mark Knoller's Twitter feed):  —  “Now's not the time to took time to free the slaves...ultimately we'll make progress.”  —  “I need you to be fired up.”
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
A GOP unknown is in striking range of Barney Frank  —  Sean Bielat, the Republican candidate for Congress in Massachusetts' 4th District, has had just one conversation with his Democratic opponent, Rep. Barney Frank.  —  It was in August, at a parade in New Bedford.
Discussion: Commentary and sisu
Glenn Davis / Mediaite:
Obama In Full-On Fiery Campaign Mode In Speech To Under-40 Crowd  —  President Barack Obama spoke to Generation 44, a group of under-40 supporters, tonight in Washington.  CSPAN televised the proceedings, which proved that Obama still has his fierce supporters - and still has a fierce way with words, when he summons it.
Discussion: Liberty Pundits Blog and The Page
Anthony Watts / Watts Up With That?:
O...M...G - Video explodes skeptical kids in bloodbath  —  My Inbox exploded with tips today, this one in particular.  This unbelievably vile video from the 10:10 campaign takes the award for the most disgusting climate and carbon reduction video ever.  It is in a class by itself, which is off the scale.
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 More Items: 
Project Syndicate:
Economics for Parrots  —  print recommend Send link clip secure rights
Brad Reed / Crooks and Liars:
The bealach to serfdom  —  While things look pretty bleak in America …
Discussion: Wonk Room and BBC
American Enterprise Institute:
High Schools, Civics, and Citizenship
Discussion: Joanne Jacobs and Eduwonk
Rick Pearson / Chicago Tribune:
Quinn gains on Brady in new Tribune poll
Bin Laden an environmentalist? Tape says so
Discussion: Gateway Pundit and Weasel Zippers
Brendan Scott / New York Post:
Paladino: Uh, what smear??
 Earlier Items: 
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
Foreclosures Slow as Document Flaws Emerge
Discussion: naked capitalism
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Michele Bachmann raises $3.4M for quarter
Discussion: Liberty Pundits Blog
The Hill:
2012 hopefuls are not showing the Tea Party candidates the money
Discussion: Think Progress and GOP 12
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
G.O.P. Stays on Upswing in Senate Forecast
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Angry Voters  —  Republicans in Congress are incredibly unpopular.
Discussion: The New Republic
Kagan to be invested into Supreme Court
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Chambliss fires staffer over posting of anti-gay slur