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2:00 PM ET, June 13, 2010


 Top Items: 
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Obama pleads for $50 billion in state, local aid  —  President Obama urged reluctant lawmakers Saturday to quickly approve nearly $50 billion in emergency aid to state and local governments, saying the money is needed to avoid “massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters” and to support the still-fragile economic recovery.
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Isn't It Ironic?  —  It's funny how things work out sometimes.  —  The two men running the White House have very different relationships with the press; one is warm and one is frosty.  —  One's relationship is more JFK, and one's has self-pitying echoes of Nixon.
Discussion: NewsReal Blog and Commentary
New York Times:
Obama Presses Congress to Avert Medicare Pay Cuts
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
Obama Plans to Force BP's Hand on Oil Spill Fund  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama for the first time will address the nation about the ongoing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday night and outline his plans to legally force BP executives to create an escrow account reserving billions …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
EXCLUSIVE: Obama to demand third-party panel for BP payouts  —  President Barack Obama plans to use a meeting with BP executives this week to demand that they create and fund an escrow account and accept an independent panel to handle damage claims by individuals and businesses hurt by the Gulf disaster …
Obama to push BP to set up escrow fund to pay damage claims
Discussion: The Politico
New York Times:
The President's Moment  —  If ever there was a test of President Obama's vision of government — one that cannot solve all problems, but does what people cannot do for themselves — it is this nerve-racking early summer of 2010, with oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico and far too many Americans out of work for far too long.
Discussion: Don Surber
Erika Lovley / Politico Live's Blog:
Boehner to Hoyer: Stop Blaming Bush  —  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) expressed frustration on NBC's “Meet the Press” today over partisan fighting as lawmakers try to lift the cap that limits how much oil cleanup BP is responsible for, calling it reminents of the Bush administration's “psychology of neglect.”
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Political Punch:
Boehner: Lift Liability Cap for BP  —  House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called for completely lifting the liability cap on BP so that the company bears the full cost of the economic damage of the oil spill.  —  In an EXCLUSIVE “This Week” debate, Boehner and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer …
Barak Ravid / Haaretz:
Abbas to Obama: I'm against lifting the Gaza naval blockade  —  The Palestinian president reportedly told Obama that lifting the naval blockade of Gaza would bolster Hamas, a move that shouldn't be done at this stage.  —  Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is opposed to lifting …
Belgians vote in poll dominated by separatism  —  Belgium is holding parliamentary elections which could bring the country closer to a constitutional split.  —  The Flemish separatist party the New Flemish Alliance (NVA) is expected to do well in the vote.
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
This Time Is Different  —  My friend, Mark Mykleby, who works in the Pentagon, shared with me this personal letter to the editor he got published last week in his hometown paper, The Beaufort Gazette in South Carolina.  It is the best reaction I've seen to the BP oil spill …
Discussion: The Glittering Eye
Laura Myers / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Angle to meet with GOP leaders, fundraisers  —  Sharron Angle will meet with Republican leaders and fundraisers in Washington this week as the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate seeks support for her Tea Party-backed bid to defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Times of London:
Revealed: Japan's bribes on whaling  —  A SUNDAY TIMES investigation has exposed Japan for bribing small nations with cash and prostitutes to gain their support for the mass slaughter of whales.  —  The undercover investigation found officials from six countries were willing to consider selling …
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 More Items: 
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Gaza, Through Fresh Eyes
Thousands flee Kyrgyzstan unrest
Discussion: Gateway Pundit, Pileus and
Michael Barone / Beltway Confidential:
Social Security cash flow suddenly negative
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Kansas Candidate Proposes an Office of the Repealer
Discussion: Hit & Run
IOZ / Who Is IOZ?:
Routines … This dazzling prose comes from a woman …
Discussion: The Sideshow
Bridget Johnson / The Hill:
Alabama governor: Unified command structure is a drag on fast oil cleanup
Discussion: CNN
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
Think gas is too pricey? Think again.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
 Earlier Items: 
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar / Associated Press:
Obama faces rare defeat on health help for jobless
Associated Press:
Goalkeeper blunder hands U.S. precious point vs. England
Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs:
“I am a Muslim,” Obama Tells Egyptian Foreign Minister Gheit …
Paul Gillespie / The Irish Times:
Merkel has depleted her capital of trust within EU