I’ll probably have some items to populate the news desk over the weekend, FYI. Here’s a link-fest:

QUICK UPDATE: In something of a Friday news dump, Creigh Deeds’ campaign confirmed via email that Barack Obama would campaign with the VA gubernatorial candidate on October 27. Deeds has Bill Clinton coming in as well.

Ezra Klein takes on HCAN. For the record, I think that HCAN’s playing a little loose with the facts here, but so is the Senate Finance Committee when they say their bill is a deficit reducer without factoring in the Medicare doctor payment fix which would cost $235 billion over ten years. So, nobody’s completely clean on the tax or budget ramifications. Jon Walker has a good piece discussing that doctor fix, BTW.

• The Obama Administration is rethinking two key policy points from his predecessor – the doctrine of pre-emptive war (remember Sarah Palin, the “Bush doctrine”), which is under review at the Pentagon and could be trashed; and the favorable royalty rates for oil shale production on public lands, which conflicts completely with a G20 resolution to end subsidies on fossil fuels.

• It absolutely appears that Texas Governor Rick Perry tried to cover up the state-sanctioned murder of innocent man Cameron Todd Willingham in 2004. Rick Perry, desperate to further the cover-up, called Willingham a “monster” this week. Students Against the Death Penalty has a website and petition up. Ta-Nehisi Coates has more.

• President Obama signed the Pakistan aid bill after smoothing over concerns from Islamabad.

• The budget deficit was officially $1.4 trillion dollars in fiscal year 2009, actually about $400 billion less than originally expected.

• The President released a strong statement about the upcoming gay rights ballot measures in Maine and Washington state, calling them “divisive and discriminatory.” Joe Subday and John Aravosis, both critics of Obama’s policies on gay rights, both approve.

• Sam Stein reports that Democratic activists in Delaware have passed a resolution favoring a public option in any health care reform bill, contra their Senator Tom Carper, who is pushing the opt-in/opt-out compromises in the Senate. This resolution is one of 98 resolutions for a public option in Democratic parties nationwide, according to Charles Chamberlain, Political Director of Democracy for America.

• John Ensign is having serious fundraising problems as he tries to pick up the pieces of his shattered political career. He may be looking at criminal proceedings as well.

• More on the exemptions built into derivatives legislation that I discussed yesterday from The New York Times.

• Not just Alan Greenspan, but Larry Summers is now advocating for “fundamental change in the financial sector of our economy.” I tend to view this as lip service more than anything. Richard Shelby’s proposal (sub. req.) for ending “the practice of bankers choosing the leadership of regional Fed banks” strikes me as much more consequential.

See you on the weekend…

David Dayen

David Dayen

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