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8:40 PM ET, June 17, 2010


 Top Items: 
The Politico:
Barton retracts apology to BP  —  Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is apologizing for his apology.  —  After infuriating Democrats and Republicans alike with his public apology to BP and suggesting that a $20 billion escrow fund was a “shakedown” by the White House, Barton is now “retracting” …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
GOP lawmaker demands Barton step down from top committee spot  —  A Republican lawmaker from a district affected by the oil spill called on Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) to step down as the ranking member of his committee.  —  Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), whose Pensacola district is among …
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Top Corporate Donor to Barton Is Partner of BP on Deepwater Horizon  —  Ordinarily, it's not that shocking to see a Republican from Texas defend the petroleum industry.  But Rep. Joe Barton's comments to BP CEO Tony Hayward today, in which he described it as a “tragedy” that a …
Melanie Mason / Dallas Morning News:
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton apologizes to BP CEO for ‘$20 billion shakedown’  —  —  WASHINGTON - Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington, apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward on Thursday morning for the “political pressure” his company is facing.  —  Barton condemned the White House's handling …
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Say What? GOPers Slam White House Over BP Gulf Spill Fund
Chicago-Style Political Shakedown
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
White House smells blood in Barton apology
Daniel Foster / The Corner on National Review Online:
GOP Leaders Respond to Barton Comments — By: Daniel Foster
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Chris Good / The Atlantic Online:
Joe Barton's Apology: A Campaign Meme
Keith Olbermann / Daily Kos:
Check, Please  —  I was checking in tonight to see what was new, came across a diary trashing first me and my colleague Rachel, and scrolled through it shaking my head, sadly, until I got to one comment that leaped off the page. … “Can't verify”... “haven't checked” …
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Olbermann leaves Daily Kos  —  Keith Olbermann announced Wednesday night that he will cease blogging for the liberal Daily Kos over a comment directed at the MSNBC host's coverage.  —  Olbermann and some of his MSNBC colleagues surprised their left-leaning fans on Tuesday with eviscerating critiques …
Steve Krakauer / Mediaite:
Keith Olbermann Checks Out Of Daily Kos After Criticism From Left  —  After taking heat from some of his liberal fans on Twitter over his strong criticism of Pres. Barack Obama's Oval Office speech Tuesday, Keith Olbermann stopped into another of his new media stomping grounds to find more of the same.
Hilary Stout / New York Times:
A Best Friend?  You Must Be Kidding  —  FROM the time they met in kindergarten until they were 15, Robin Shreeves and her friend Penny were inseparable.  They rode bikes, played kickball in the street, swam all summer long and listened to Andy Gibb, the Bay City Rollers and Shaun Cassidy on the stereo.
The Right Scoop:
Hillary Clinton: Yes, Obama is filing a lawsuit against the Arizona law  —  Hillary Clinton was interviewed by NTN24 out of Quito, Ecuador on June 8, and was asked about how the Obama administration was handling the Arizona law.  She answered frankly, that the justice department …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Hillary: Obama will sue Arizona over immigration-enforcement law
Shira Toeplitz / The Politico:
NRSC warns campaigns on video trackers  —  After the second clip in a week hit the web showing a confrontation between a Democratic political campaign and a person shooting video, the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent out a memo to its campaigns Thursday reminding them to be sure staffers …
Discussion: Newsalert
Poll shows Etheridge trailing after video  —  RALEIGH (WTVD) — Days after North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) was seen in a video confrontation with a man with a camera on a Washington street, a new poll seems to indicate the incident has damaged him with voters.
Bniolet / Raleigh News & Observer:
Wrenn says NRCC knows: Who are you?
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Right Now
Alan I. Abramowitz / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Can Republicans Take Back the House?  —  Editor's Note: These days the best D.C. parlor game is guessing November's House results.  We've recently made our own contribution, with a district-by-district analysis that projects—as of early June—a Republican net gain of 32 seats.
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:   The run of Democratic House retirements that wasn't — and what it means
The Huffington Post:
Obama Lunches With Progressive Pundits: Maddow, Robinson, Collins  —  What's Your Reaction: … President Obama met for lunch on Thursday with a group of predominantly progressive columnists to discuss a range of topics, chief among them the oil spill in the Gulf.
Language guru: Obama speech too ‘professorial’  —  (CNN) — President Obama's speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday.  —  Tuesday night's speech from the Oval Office of the White House …
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
Liberal Despair And the Cult Of The Presidency  —  I've been writing for several months about the curious sense of disappointment afflicting liberals  —the belief that they've been let down by a president who is, in fact, racking up historical achievements.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Cult of the House  —  Jon Chait has a nice post …
Rich Miller / The Capitol Fax Blog:
UPDATED x2 *** OK, this is really starting to creep me out  —  * Through the looking glass, straight into the Twilight Zone.  —  As the New York Times reports today, Congressman Mark Kirk has long talked about his experience as a teacher...  Kirk's campaign told the NYT …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
The Obama Effect  —  Democrats are going to have to think really carefully about how they deploy Barack Obama for campaigning this fall.  Polls we've conducted nationally and in several different states over the last few weeks have found that a candidate being endorsed by Obama is much more likely …
Discussion: Don Surber
Mohegan Sun Casino Gets $54M In Stimulus  —  Indian Tribe That Runs Connecticut Casino Earning $1 Billion-Plus Per Year Got Government Check  —  With the support of Sen. Chris Dodd, D.-Conn., the federal government has awarded $54 million to Connecticut's politically well-connected Mohegan Indian tribe …
Jay Cost / HorseRaceBlog:
The Pulpit of a Bully  —  Mike Allen broke this astounding bit of news yesterday: … The 51st Congress (1889-91) was tagged as the Billion Dollar Congress, a profligate Republican-run legislature that raided the Treasury in an effort to pay off all its supporters.
Wall Street Journal:
End Is Seen to Free Checking  —  Bank of America Corp. and other banks are preparing new fees on basic banking services as they try to replace revenue lost to regulatory rules, in a push that is expected to spell an end to free checking accounts for many Americans.
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Pelosi yanks campaign finance bill  —  Following a rebellion by two important factions of rank-and-file House Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has pulled a campaign-finance bill opposed by a broad coalition of special interest groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Palin: Pot is a ‘minimal problem’  —  Former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday night that law enforcement should not focus its energy on the “minimal problem” of marijuana.  —  Palin made the comment during an appearance on the Fox Business Network with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).
Scott Gordon /
Southwest Finds Shipment of Heads on a Plane  —  Southwest Airlines employee finds human heads on their way to Fort Worth  —  A Southwest Airlines employee called police after finding human heads in a package set to be transported to a Fort Worth medical research company, the airline said.
David Hammer / New Orleans Times-Picayune:
BP acknowledges it never followed blowout preventer law, blames MMS  —  In response to a U.S. senator's questions  —  in a letter, BP said it never follows a federal law requiring it to certify that a blowout preventer device would be able to block a well in case of an emergency.
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 More Items: 
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
The Most Important Judicial Nomination You Never Heard Of Set For Vote Today
Discussion: Marathon Pundit
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Americans Back More Stimulus Spending to Create Jobs
Discussion: Firedoglake and Ezra Klein
Wall Street Journal:
Dog at Center of Fight Over Will
Mark Steyn / The Corner on National Review Online:
Correction Sought — By: Mark Steyn
ZIP / Weasel Zippers:
Pic of the Day: Afghan Woman Having Her Picture Taken For Voter Registration Card...
Discussion: The Jawa Report
 Earlier Items: 
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Looming Structural Employment Disaster
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Dale Peterson returns, fires rifle
The Politico:
Exclusive: Hatch introducing new repeal bill in Senate …
Discussion: Wonk Room and Think Progress
Annie Lowrey / The Washington Independent:
‘Too Young Not to Work but Too Old to Work’
Jason Horowitz / Washington Post:
Pollster Scott Rasmussen's numbers are firing up Republicans and Democrats