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3:20 PM ET, February 14, 2011


 Top Items: 
David Rogers / The Politico:
The hard choices: President Obama's 2012 budget  —  Long on tough choices, short on final answers, President Barack Obama's new 2012 budget goes to Congress on Monday in what many hope is only an opening bid before he and Republicans come to the table on a bipartisan deficit reduction plan.
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Debt now equals total U.S. economy  —  President Obama projects that the gross federal debt will top $15 trillion this year, officially equalling the size of the entire U.S. economy, and will jump to nearly $21 trillion in five years' time.  —  Amid the other staggering numbers in the budget …
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Deficit Expected to Spike  —  WASHINGTON—The White House projected Monday that the federal deficit would spike to $1.65 trillion in the current fiscal year, the largest dollar amount ever, adding pressure on Democrats and Republicans to tackle growing levels of debt.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Discussion: The Hill
Alyson Klein / Politics K-12:
House GOP Looks to Slash Education Spending
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Wonk Room
Ezra Klein:
The U.S. Government: An insurance conglomerate protected by a large, standing army  —  American politics is one long argument about what government should or shouldn't be doing, and how it should or shouldn't be doing it.  It's rare that we step back, take in the larger picture and ask what it is doing.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Eat The Future  —  On Friday, House Republicans unveiled their proposal for immediate cuts in federal spending.  Uncharacteristically, they failed to accompany the release with a catchy slogan.  So I'd like to propose one: Eat the Future.  —  I'll explain in a minute.
Ezra Klein:
The Defense Department won the future, or at least the budget
Discussion: Mother Jones
Kevin McCullough / Fox News:
Disrespectful Libertarians Hijack CPAC Poll — And Its Mission  —  The top three winners of this weekend's CPAC straw poll will not win the 2012 presidential nomination.  And if any of the top three do break through to prove that prediction wrong, none of them will go on to win the White House in 2012.
Discussion: Blog
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
The Ron Paul Divide
Discussion: Eunomia and Wonkette
Matt Schneider / Mediaite:
Ron Paul To Donald Trump: Don't Criticize Me, How Many Elections Have You Won?
New York Times:
Word and Lyric, Giffords Labors to Speak Again  —  PHOENIX — Representative Gabrielle Giffords, an eloquent speaker before she was shot in the head last month, is relearning the skill — progressing from mouthing words and lip syncing songs to talking briefly by telephone to her brother-in-law in space.
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Birther debate alive across U.S.  —  The opening of 2011 state legislative sessions has been accompanied by a spate of birther-related bills, the clearest indication yet that the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama's place of birth will continue to simmer throughout his reelection campaign.
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Wait, Who's Cutting Pell Grants?  And Why?  —  Reports that President Obama's budget request would cut Pell Grant funding first began to circulate over the weekend.  —  If you happened to see those stories, you may have reacted the way I did: What?  Wasn't the whole point of the Obama budget to spend more money on education?
Iran police fire tear gas at opposition rally in Tehran  —  Security services have kept a high profile in Tehran to try to prevent rallies  —  Iranian police have fired tear gas at opposition demonstrators gathering in central Tehran in support of the protests in Egypt.
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Journalists angry over the commission of journalism  —  (updated below)  —  Over the weekend, The Los Angeles' Times James Rainey mocked CNN's Anderson Cooper for repeatedly using the word “lie” to describe the factually false statements of Egyptian leaders.
Discussion: The Daily Dish, L.A. Times and Mediaite
David Carr / New York Times:
At Media Companies, a Nation of Serfs  —  Some of the fizz, if not a great big bubble, seems to have returned to media, depending on how you define “media.”  —  There have been reports in The New York Times and elsewhere that Facebook is now valued at $50 billion, and The Wall Street Journal reported …
Michael Barbaro / City Room:
Morley Safer Ruffles Feathers at Century Club  —  At the height of a messy internal dispute a few weeks ago, members of the exclusive Century Association in Manhattan traded unusually tart and testy e-mail messages.  —  But the words of a single member stood out for their harsh tone …
Discussion: Gawker, TVNewser and Poynter
James Pethokoukis:
Obama budget reveals Obama's core  —  Here's what President Barack Obama's new budget tells me: He hasn't shifted to the center, he's shifted into 2012 campaign mode, one that let's him be who is really is.  —  The budget is a political document that bets voters really don't care much about deficits.
Michael Scherer / Swampland:
What Haley Barbour Didn't Tell Fox News: He Lobbied For Mexico On “Amnesty”  —  Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour made the case Sunday on Fox News that his career as a high-powered federal lobbyist for domestic corporations and foreign governments would be an asset if he ran for President in 2012.
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
Housing Crash Is Hitting Cities Once Thought to Be Stable  —  SEATTLE — Few believed the housing market here would ever collapse.  Now they wonder if it will ever stop slumping.  —  The rolling real estate crash that ravaged Florida and the Southwest is delivering a new wave of distress …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Democrats claim political victory from CPAC  —  Democrats and President Obama gathered the most momentum from this past weekend's gathering of conservative activists, the party claimed Monday.  —  The Democratic National Committee (DNC) sought to spin the now-concluded Conservative Political …
David Gardner / Daily Mail:
‘A weapon of mass destruction was found in the U.S.’: Shock confession of Customs officer  —  A port official has admitted that a ‘weapon of mass effect’ has been found by ‘partner agencies’ in the U.S., raising major questions over a possible government cover-up.
Paul Waldman / American Prospect:
Boehner and the Birthers.  —  Sigh: … I guess there are a couple of ways to look at this.  One is that Boehner is so cynical that he won't repudiate ideas based on even the most blatant bigotry and hatred if he thinks they might provide the smallest political benefit to his party.
Discussion: The Plum Line, Lean Left, Salon and The Fix
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 More Items: 
Robert Samuelson / Real Clear Politics:
The Enemies of Good Government  —  WASHINGTON — Vice President …
Discussion: Power Line and National Review
Common Dreams:
Egypt's New Military Rulers To Ban Unions, Strikes
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Chicago News and Weather:
Carol Moseley Braun Under Fire for Comments About Emanuel …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's … and FrumForum
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
The Hill Poll: Voters troubled over future of Social Security
Discussion: Hullabaloo
New York Times:
A Tunisian-Egyptian Link That Shook Arab History
Pilar Marrero /
Latino voters continue supporting Obama
Charlotte Allen / Los Angeles Times:
Stick a fork in it, we're done
Discussion: Hot Air and Instapundit
 Earlier Items: 
Robert Stacy McCain / American Spectator:
New Media, Old Bias
Serene Branson 'hospitalised after Grammy's speech problems'
Felix Salmon / New York Times:
Wall Street's Dead End
Ssumner / TheMoneyIllusion:
The wheel of politics  —  You've all seen the 4-quadrant diagram used …
Discussion: Modeled Behavior and EconLog
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Flake to announce Senate run