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12:15 PM ET, February 11, 2010


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Poll finds most Americans are unhappy with government  —  Two-thirds of Americans are “dissatisfied” or downright “angry” about the way the federal government is working, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.  On average, the public estimates that 53 cents of every tax dollar they send to Washington is “wasted.”
David S. Broder / Washington Post:
Sarah Palin displays her pitch-perfect populism  —  The snows that obliterated Washington in the past week interfered with many scheduled meetings, but they did not prevent the delivery of one important political message: Take Sarah Palin seriously.  —  Her lengthy Saturday night keynote address …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Voters Divided Over Obama vs. Republican Candidate in 2012  —  Republicans most often mention Romney, Palin as preferred candidate  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Registered voters are about equally divided as to whether they would more likely vote to re-elect Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election, or vote for the Republican candidate.
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
What fuels the grass-roots rage  —  So what exactly is the Tea Party movement and why has it risen up?  —  The ferocity of its opposition to President Obama is mystifying to political progressives.  Most of the left simply doesn't see him as especially liberal, let alone “socialist.”
Gary Langer / ABCNEWS:
Will Tea Parties End Up Hurting Sarah Palin?  —  35 Percent of Americans Express a Favorable Opinion of the Tea Party Movement  —  The Tea Party movement has the potential for significant political clout, but with challenges: high negatives, a fuzzy image and broader-than-ever skepticism …
Joe Klein / Time:
Sarah Palin Populism: Savvy Speech to Tea Party Movement  —  “How's that hopey-changey stuff workin' out for ya?”  Sarah Palin asked the anti-élitist Tea Party élites — those who could pay $549 for a ticket — gathered in suffocating self-righteousness at the Opryland Hotel on the first weekend of February.
Discussion: Bloomberg and The Page
Chris Good / The Atlantic Politics Channel:
A Nadir For Palin; Tea Party Not So Extreme?
Discussion: Politics Daily, CBS News and Sadly, No!
Matthew Weaver / Guardian:
Protests in Iran - LIVE  —  Protesters have clashed again with the Iranian security forces amid official celebrations to mark the 31st anniversary of the revolution.  Follow live updates  —  8.00am:  —  The Iranian opposition has been gearing up for another day of protests amid mounting …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Joe Biden update: Iraq one of Obama's ‘great achievements’  —  Who knew?  —  Thank goodness, Vice President Joe Biden went on CNN to chat with Larry King Wednesday night.  So many think things are not going so well for the Democrat administration, as The Ticket chronicled here.
Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit:
It Has Begun... Biden Says Iraq One of the Great Accomplishments …
Discussion: Commentary
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Mark Silva / The Swamp:
Joe Biden: ‘Two-state solution’ for D.C.
Discussion: and The Page
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Lincoln Diaz-Balart to retire  —  Florida Republican Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart will call it quits today, retiring after nine terms representing a heavily Cuban-American district in the Miami area, according to a source briefed on the decision.  —  Diaz-Balart, whose younger brother, Mario …
Josh Kraushaar / The Politico:
Diaz-Balart won't seek reelection
Discussion: CNN and The Washington Independent
Hotline On Call:
Diaz-Balart To Retire
Rich Miller / Bloomberg:
Obama ‘Agnostic’ on Deficit Cuts, Won't Prejudge Tax Increases  —  Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama said he is “agnostic” about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.  —  Obama, in a Feb. 9 Oval Office interview …
Roland S. Martin / CNN:
Time for Obama to go ‘gangsta’ on GOP  —  Editor's note: Roland S. Martin, a CNN political analyst, is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of “Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith,” and the forthcoming book, “The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House.”
Elizabeth Edwards Threatens Husband's Ex-Aide With Lawsuit  —  Andrew Young May Be Sued for Allegedly Contributing to Failure of Edwards' Marriage  —  Elizabeth Edwards may be preparing to sue her husband's longtime aide for allegedly contributing to the demise of her marriage.
Discussion: Gawker
Wendy Button / The Huffington Post:
My Story of John Edwards's Mess
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:   Speechwriter: Edwards cut ‘I lied’ from statement
Steven T. Dennis / Roll Call:
Pelosi Makes Her Case: A Majority Is 51 Votes  —  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pinning the blame on Republicans for a lack of bipartisanship in Congress and plans to bypass them if they continue to oppose efforts to enact near-universal health care.
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
2 ex-employees say Blackwater billed government for prostitute  —  Two former employees of Blackwater Worldwide have accused the private security contractor of defrauding the government for years with phony billing, including charging for a prostitute, alcohol and spa trips.
Ezra Klein:
Food stamps  —  I can't get over the fact that one in eight Americans are on food stamps.  —  Graph credit: The New York Times.
Discussion: Outside The Beltway and Eschaton
New York Times:
Once Stigmatized, Food Stamps Find Acceptance
Discussion: Kausfiles
The Politico:
Left frets over fate of 'don't ask'  —  Congressional liberals were heartened when Barack Obama pledged to repeal “don't ask, don't tell,” but their initial elation has given way to concerns the repeal will stall in the penalty box of presidential promises: the U.S. Senate.
Steven Shepard / Hotline On Call:
Obama Only Up 2 On Generic GOPer  —  A generic GOP candidate would run virtually even with Pres. Obama in a hypothetical WH '12 matchup, according to a new Gallup poll released today.  —  The poll was conducted from Feb. 1 to Feb. 3, surveying 942 registered voters for a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.
Discussion: Riehl World View
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Poll shows Obama with slight lead over generic Republican for 2012 campaign
Discussion: CNN
David E. Sanger / New York Times:
Obama Takes Several Gambles in Bid to Defuse Nuclear Standoff With Iran  —  WASHINGTON — As President Obama adds economic pressure and military containment to force Iran's leadership to negotiate on its nuclear program, he is taking three big bets on his ability to defuse an increasingly tense confrontation.
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 More Items: 
Ezra Klein:
The Senate Finance Committee's jobs bill
Discussion: TalkLeft
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Freedom's Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose
Discussion: Ezra Klein
Gail Collins / New York Times:
The Biggest Losers
Laura M. Holson / New York Times:
The Politician's Wife Claims No Baggage
Discussion: New York Magazine
Michael Calderone / Michael Calderone's Blog:
Ana Marie Cox joins GQ
 Earlier Items: 
Tunku Varadarajan / The Daily Beast:
The Right's Top 25 Journalists
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Dodd will negotiate financial reform with GOP Sen. Corker
Discussion: The Politico