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2:10 PM ET, August 19, 2011


 Top Items: 
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
TRENDING: ‘Idiot’ jab lobbed at Perry  —  (CNN) - Former Treasury official Bruce Bartlett labeled newly-minted Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry “an idiot” Friday.  —  Bartlett, who served at Treasury under former President George H.W. Bush and as a domestic policy adviser …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Perry, parties, and pragmatism  —  This fascinating clip made the rounds yesterday, and with good reason.  To get a sense of how Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) evaluates evidence, it's an illustrative three minutes.  —  I can't find a full transcript, but to offer a flavor …
The Politico:
Perry's loose lips worry Hill Republicans  —  Cut the cowboy talk.  —  That's the message congressional Republicans facing the prospect of sharing a ballot next year with Rick Perry have for the newest GOP presidential candidate.  —  In a series of interviews, uncommitted Republican members praised …
Paul Waldman / TAPPED:
Rick Perry Talks About Sex  —  We sure are talking about Rick Perry a lot.  But why stop now — he's not only new, but interesting in ways that some of his opponents aren't.  Jonathan Chait brings us this video of Perry seemingly flummoxed when confronted with the fact that his preferred policy …
The Politico:
Rick Perry's gifts: Boots, trips, medical tests  —  Cowboy boots — 22 pairs.  Stetson hats.  Belt buckles.  Cuff links.  A TV.  Medical tests for him and his wife.  Nine hunting trips.  Dozens of tickets to sports games and concerts.  —  Rick Perry earns a $150,000 annual salary and has a blind trust.
Feingold says he won't run in 2012  —  He'll continue teaching law, working on book  —  By Craig Gilbert of the Journal Sentinel  —  Democrat Russ Feingold has decided he will not be a candidate for political office next year, taking himself out of the running in 2012 for either U.S. senator …
Aaron Glantz / New York Times:
Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises  —  Flanked by a cadre of local political leaders, Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose used a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a solar power company last week to talk up the promise of the green economy.  —  Mr. Reed called the opening of the new headquarters …
Byron York / Campaign 2012:
Key Dems: Obama's ‘green jobs’ plan a bust
New York Post:
Parking ‘squat’  —  Eleven years ago, Charles Mysak snagged a primo parking spot on the corner of Columbus Avenue and 68th Street — and he hasn't budged since.  —  The sidewalk bookseller keeps his inventory piled up in the beat up green '94 Civic, held partially together with duct tape …
Daily Mail:
Teen girl gang assaults woman in brazen daylight attack outside Philadelphia City Hall  —  An astonishing video has emerged of a vicious gang of teenage girls assaulting a female pedestrian as she walks outside a city hall in broad daylight.  —  The woman, who has not been named …
Discussion: UrbanGrounds
Bruce Horovitz / USA Today:
Burger King freshens fast-food image, kicks King to the curb  —  In the first of many steps to reinvent itself over the next year, the struggling fast-feeder Friday will announce that it's dethroning the creepy King character — and other wacky, teen-targeting stuff — and refocusing on a customer it had all but forgotten: Mom.
Keith Koffler / White House Dossier:
Michelle's Separate Travel Costs Taxpayers Thousands  —  Michelle Obama and President Obama traveled to Martha's Vineyard just hours apart, costing taxpayers thousands in additional expenses so she could have just a bit of extra vacation time.  —  Mrs. Obama and her daughters arrived …
Wall Street Journal:
The President's Island Retreat
Discussion: Althouse and Betsy's Page
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Bad luck?  Bad faith?  —  “We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, got the economy moving again. .   . .  But over the last six months, we've had a run of bad luck.”  —  Decorah, Iowa, Aug. 15  —  A troubled nation wonders: How did we get mired in 9.1 percent unemployment …
Discussion: The New Republic and Betsy's Page
Pat Dooris / KGW-TV:
DeFazio says Obama lacks will to fight, may lose Oregon  —  EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon Congressman Peter Defazio is traveling around his district and leveling verbal body blows at President Obama.  —  In his Eugene office Wednesday, Defazio accused the President of lacking the will to fight for the promises he made to get elected.
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
House liberal says Obama's chances of reelection ‘very tough’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary  —  Technical information:  —  Employment: (202) 691-6559 * *  —  Unemployment: (202) 691-6392 * *  —  Media contact: (202) 691-5902 *
Paul Krugman:
Awesome Wrongness  —  I hear that there was some action in the markets yesterday.  But we were too busy sipping champagne at the Nobel Museum to care.  —  OK, seriously: things are looking really terrible, And crucially, they're looking terrible in the wrong way, at least if you wanted …
Discussion: The Confluence
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
A prime aim of the growing Surveillance State  —  Several weeks ago, a New York Times article by Noam Cohen examined the case of Aaron Swartz, the 24-year-old copyright reform advocate who was arrested in July, after allegedly downloading academic articles that had been placed behind a paywall …
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
Watching Armageddon From an Armchair  —  Watching the world slide slowly back into recession without a fight, even though we know perfectly well how to prevent it, is just depressing beyond words.  Our descendents will view the grasping politicians and cowardly bankers responsible …
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
Obama's Approval Has Dropped 36 Points Among Hispanics, Says Gallup  —  ( - Only 49 percent of Hispanic Americans said last week they approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, according to the Gallup poll.  That is down 36 points from the high of 85 percent …
Ann Carrns / Bucks:
Mortgage Rates Hit 50-Year Low  —  Back in June, in a post about adjustable-rate home loans, Bucks mused about how nice it would be to have a mortgage interest rate that began with a “3.”  The way things are going, that time may not be far off for fixed-rates loans, as well.
Michael C. Bender / St. Petersburg Times:
Gov. Rick Scott's original transition e-mails accidentally deleted, state now says  —  The e-mail accounts of Rick Scott and most of the governor-elect's transition team were deleted soon after he took office, potentially erasing public records that state law requires be kept.
Geneva Sands-Sadowitz / Healthwatch:
VIDEO: Herman Cain says he'd ‘be dead’ under ‘ObamaCare’  —  Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said he would “be dead” if “ObamaCare” had been in place when he was diagnosed with cancer.  —  Speaking at a campaign event Thursday in Lexington, S.C., the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Bachmann on why she worked for IRS: “First rule of war is ‘know your enemy’”  —  This is fun.  Michele Bachmann, on the campaign trail today, offered what seems to be a new explanation for her previous work as a lawyer for the Internal Revenue Service, something that has drawn some ire from the right.
Discussion: TPMDC, Indecision Forever and Hot Air
Michelle Malkin:
Ugh: Greta and Sarah Palin rally behind Tea Party poser Orrin Hatch  —  I just read a very bizarre blog post about entrenched incumbent Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch by Fox News anchor Greta van Susteren and then watched an equally distressing interview van Susteren conducted last night with Sarah Palin regarding Hatch.
Discussion: GOP 12, Mediaite and Human Events
New York Times:
The Wrong Idea  —  Stocks on Wall Street dropped sharply on Thursday, with investors spooked, again, about the euro-zone debt crisis and the sputtering United States economy.  —  Yet, even at this hour, leaders on both sides of the Atlantic seem determined to handcuff fiscal policies …
The White House:
Executive Order—Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce  —  ESTABLISHING A COORDINATED GOVERNMENT-WIDE INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE  —  By the authority vested in me as President …
Windy City Media Group Gay Lesbian Bisexual …:
Court rules against Catholic Charities in foster-care case  —  A circuit court judge ruled Aug. 18 against four Catholic charities in a lawsuit against the state over the right to continue with foster care services.  —  Judge John Schmidt ruled that the state did not violate the rights …
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 More Items: 
John Ellis / Politics:
The Obama Collapse Accelerates
Jeannie Nuss / Associated Press:
Deal for West Memphis 3 may allow innocence claim
Discussion:, Law Blog and Nation Now
Conn Carroll / Campaign 2012:
Obama HHS caught campaigning for Democrats
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Dan Fitzpatrick / Wall Street Journal:
Bank of America Set to Slice Jobs
Adam Peshek / Washington Times:
EPA jumps the gun with job-killing rules
 Earlier Items: 
Michael S. Schmidt / New York Times:
Iraq Leader Says the Arab Spring Benefits Israel
Discussion: Via Meadia
Chrystia Freeland / Reuters:
Remaking Government in a Wiki Age
Discussion: Via Meadia and Greg's Opinion
Fredreka Schouten / USA Today:
Obama outpaces fundraising activity of predecessors
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Weasel Zippers
Rosalind S. Helderman / Washington Post:
Democrats' road tour strikes back at GOP's stand against raising taxes
Jack Doyle / Daily Mail:
Our prison walls are too high to look over, moan terror suspects
Emily Sinovic / Salem News:
Woman's yard sale to pay medical bills gets shut down
Discussion: CARPE DIEM