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1:20 AM ET, June 18, 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 …
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
Republican, Under Pressure, Backpedals From Apology to BP
Discussion: Truthdig
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Top Corporate Donor to Barton Is Partner of BP on Deepwater Horizon
Daniel Foster / The Corner on National Review Online:
GOP Leaders Respond to Barton Comments — By: Daniel Foster
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Say What? GOPers Slam White House Over BP Gulf Spill Fund
Jana Winter / Fox News:
EXCLUSIVE: Alert Issued for 17 Afghan Military Members AWOL From U.S. Air Force Base  —  FILE: Air traffic controllers from the 37th Operations Support Squadron prepare to navigate F-16 Falcons down the runway on Lackland Air Force Base.  —  A nationwide alert has been issued for 17 members …
WHO'S IN CHARGE?:  Against Gov. Jindal's Wishes, Oil-Sucking Barges Stopped by Coast Guard  —  59 Days Into Oil Crisis, Gulf Coast Governors Say Feds Are Failing Them  —  Eight days ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state's oil-soaked waters.
Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit:
More Incompetence... Crude-Sucking Barges Ordered By Gov. Jindal Shut Down By Feds  —  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal looks on as barges loaded with vacuums to clean oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill depart a marina in Empire, Louisiana June 17, 2010.  (REUTERS/Lee Celano)
Discussion: Liberty Pundits Blog
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
Aharding / CNN:
S.C. Dems keep Greene as Senate nominee  —  Democratic Party officials in South Carolina voted Thursday to uphold the result of their controversial Senate primary.  —  Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - Democratic Party officials in South Carolina voted Thursday to uphold the result …
Discussion: The Politico
Wayne Washington / The State:
Greene will be Democrats' U.S. Senate nominee
Discussion: Time, The Politico, Raw Story and Swampland
Shira Toeplitz / The Politico:
NRSC warns campaigns on vid 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
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
That '30s Feeling  —  Suddenly, creating jobs is out, inflicting pain is in.  Condemning deficits and refusing to help a still-struggling economy has become the new fashion everywhere, including the United States, where 52 senators voted against extending aid to the unemployed despite …
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.
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
Philip Klein / AmSpecBlog:
Obama Admin. Argues in Court That Individual Mandate Is a Tax  —  In order to protect the new national health care law from legal challenges, the Obama administration has been forced to argue that the individual mandate represents a tax — even though Obama himself argued the exact opposite while campaigning to pass the legislation.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Right Wing News
Arizona governor: Government planning to sue over immigration law  —  (CNN) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is fuming over a comment by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to an Ecuadorean television station that the government will file a lawsuit against Arizona's new immigration law.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
The Right Scoop:
Hillary Clinton: Yes, Obama is filing a lawsuit against the Arizona law
The Huffington Post:
White House Flip Flops On Reining In CEO Pay  —  WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?  —  The White House is intervening at the last minute to come to the defense of multinational corporations in the unfolding conference committee negotiations over Wall Street reform.  —  A measure that had been generally agreed …
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.
Discussion: Snowflakes in Hell
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.
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: Hot Air, Weasel Zippers and Don Surber
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).
David Rogers / The Politico:
Budget crisis freezes Senate  —  Washington's summer budget crisis got only hotter Thursday as the Senate drifted toward weekend deadlines with both parties talking past one another on how to restore jobless benefits for a swelling tide of workers and avoid major disruptions in Medicare payments to physicians.
Discussion: The Note
ZIP / Weasel Zippers:
Pic of the Day: Afghan Woman Having Her Picture Taken For Voter Registration Card...  Every ACORN workers dream...  We have disabled pinging on this post.
Robert J. McCarthy / Buffalo News:
Cuomo brushes aside Lazio's claims  —  Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew M. Cuomo today dismissed as “silly” his Republican rival's accusations that he failed to proactively pursue a pattern of election law violations uncovered in an investigation by the counsel to Gov. David A. Paterson.
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 …
The Global Language Monitor:
Obama Oil Spill Speech Echoes Elite, Aloof Ethos  —  When Obama is at his best (such as the Grant Park 'Yes, We Can speech), the President has a direct and emotional connection with the American people.  This speech, simply, did not live up to that high standard — and the numbers reflect it.
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 More Items: 
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Sessions: Kagan discriminated against military, sat silent for Saudi gift
Discussion: Newsalert
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
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Cult of the House  —  Jon Chait has a nice post …
David Hammer / New Orleans Times-Picayune:
BP acknowledges it never followed blowout preventer law, blames MMS
Wall Street Journal:
Dog at Center of Fight Over Will
Mark Steyn / The Corner on National Review Online:
Correction Sought — By: Mark Steyn
 Earlier Items: 
John Cole / Balloon Juice:
This … And when you point that out, you are hippie-punching …
Discussion: The Impolitic
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
The Looming Structural Employment Disaster
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
The run of Democratic House retirements that wasn't — and what it means
Annie Lowrey / The Washington Independent:
‘Too Young Not to Work but Too Old to Work’