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Mike Allen's Playbook gives a play-by-play of President Obama's decision to fire Gen. Stanley McChrystal, from Vice President Biden's learning of the Rolling Stone profile on Air Force 2, to Obama calling a late-night meeting in the Oval Office, to the suggestion of Gen. David Petraeus as a replacement. The consensus, it seems, was always that McChrystal had to go.

ABC's The Note links to a Wall Street Journal write-up of a new poll showing Americans to be more pessimistic about the state of the country and less confident in President Obama's leadership than they have been since Obama assumed office. 62 percent of adult respondents felt the country was on the wrong track, and, for the first time, more people disapproved of Obama's performance than approved of it.

Chris Cillizza's Morning Fix reports that four environmental groups are launching an $11 million ad campaign to pressure individual senators into voting for a climate bill. The TV ads will target senators who voted for Lisa Murkowski's resolution to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

The Daily Beast's Cheat Sheet cites the Washington Post's report that the CIA has offered Xe -- the notorious private contractor formerly known as Blackwater -- a $100 million contract to guard the CIA's Afghanistan facilities. Xe is currently being investigated for an incident in Baghdad in 2007 in which its guards were accused of killing 17 civilians.

Ezra Klein's Wonkbook notes a story from The Hill teeing up tensions going into this weekend's G-20 summit. While Germany, France, and the U.K. have launched austerity plans to reduce national debt, the U.S. is urging more deficit spending to spur economic growth.  

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Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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