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11:20 AM ET, February 15, 2011


 Top Items: 
John / Power Line:
“Steep Cuts?”  Even the Left Is Starting to Notice  —  Liberal press outlets are reporting, generally without criticism, the Obama administration's claim that its FY 2012 budget embodies “steep cuts” in federal spending over the coming decade.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words …
Directorblue / Doug Ross:
One Chart to Rule Them All: the Obama Budget Apocalypse  —  I modified an excellent Wall Street Journal graphic to illustrate just how tragic and ineffectual President Obama's proposed budget cuts are.  —  Consider the anticipated spending trajectory over the next decade as entitlement spending and interest payments balloon.
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Lucky Duckies  —  I don't think we should cut Social Security benefits.  But if we are going to cut Social Security benefits, I think it doesn't make sense to do what the Obama administration has done and make “No current beneficiaries should see their basic benefits reduced” one of the bargaining points.
Discussion: Suburban Guerrilla
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Obama To The Next Generation: Screw You, Suckers
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Obama Budget Escapes Liberal Backlash, for Now
Discussion: Yglesias and The Page
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
THE PROSPECTS OF A ‘GRAND BARGAIN’.... Rumors occasionally make the rounds about a “grand bargain” between Democrats and Republicans.  The idea is based on the notion of an all-inclusive compromise that would encompass deficit reduction, tax reform, the debt ceiling, and giving entitlements some sort of haircut.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Rep. Ryan: GOP won't allow shutdown due to budget impasse  —  Republicans will pass short-term measures to keep funding the government rather than allow a shutdown, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday.  —  Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, said that if the GOP-held House …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Chances up for federal shutdown
Discussion: The Note
The Hill:
GOP expects chaotic House debate over party's planned $61B in cuts
Discussion: New York Times, USA Today and Grist
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Truth or Consequences  —  What if Justice Scalia sued the New York Times for libel?  —  The following letter to the editor appeared in the New York Times Friday: … If this is true, Scalia's misconduct is even worse than Fein suggests.  Not only has Congress considered legislation to repeal ObamaCare …
Lance M. Bacon / Army Times:
‘Punisher’ gets its first battlefield tests  —  XM25 ‘performs flawlessly’ in Afghanistan  —  The XM25 has changed the battlefield with only 55 rounds, and earned a new name among soldiers.  They call it “the Punisher.”  —  Since its first contact Dec. 3, the XM25 has been in nine engagements …
Discussion: Pajamas Media and Weasel Zippers
Kate Sheppard / Mother Jones:
South Dakota Moves To Legalize Killing Abortion Providers  —  A bill under consideration in the Mount Rushmore State would make preventing harm to a fetus a “justifiable homicide” in many cases.  —  Post Comment  —  A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Standard Washington cowardice  —  In late 2008, former federal prosecutor Neil Barofsky was appointed to oversee the Treasury Department's administration of the $700 billion Wall Street/TARP bailout, and in that position, he has easily been one of the most impressive and courageous political officials in Washington.
Discussion: TalkLeft
Brady Dennis / Washington Post:   Neil Barofsky, TARP's outspoken overseer, will resign
Rachel Maddow /
Closed captioning of: Prosecutors gear up to charge Edwards in criminal case  —  >> for two years a federal grand jury has been in fact investigating john edwards and whether he break campaign finance laws to try to cover up an affair with rielle hunter.  now the investigation reached a decisive point.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Should Republicans Fret Over Their Presidential Field?  —  Republican insiders, reports the Washington Post's plugged-in Jennifer Rubin, are worried about the quality of their slate of presidential candidates for 2012.  Indeed, it has become the conventional wisdom to assert that the Republican field is a fairly weak one.
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
House Votes to Extend Patriot Act Provisions  —  WASHINGTON — The House on Monday voted to reauthorize and extend through Dec. 8 three ways in which Congress expanded the Federal Bureau of Investigation's counterterrorism powers after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Experience Economy  —  Tyler Cowen's e-book, “The Great Stagnation,” has become the most debated nonfiction book so far this year.  Cowen's core point is that up until sometime around 1974, the American economy was able to experience awesome growth by harvesting low-hanging fruit.
Jennifer Yachnin / Roll Call:
Ethics Board Eyes Schmidt  —  The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating Rep. Jean Schmidt's receipt of legal assistance from a Turkish-American interest group that has represented her in a host of proceedings in Ohio, one of the Republican's counsels confirmed Friday.
Discussion: Booman Tribune and TPMMuckraker
Apple to expand iPhone screen size to 4-inches  —  Apple reportedly will change the screen size of iPhone to 4-inch for its fifth generation iPhone to compete with the Google Android platform in the 4- to 7-inch smartphone market, according to upstream component suppliers.
Critics and supporters turned out for event featuring Huckabee  —  Former Arkansas Governor and Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee was a guest at a fundraiser held at the Knoxville Convention Center.  —  The event benefits an anti-abortion group called the Center for Bioethical Reform.
Discussion: CNN and GOP 12
The Politico:
Liberals launch anti-Darrell Issa crusade  —  Democrats are understandably obsessed with Darrell Issa — he's built himself up as a one-man investigative machine aimed straight at the Obama presidency.  —  But a handful of liberal political operatives in California — including …
The Politico:
Key 2012 early states cool to Palin  —  A new poll of New Hampshire voters is the latest in a string of surveys suggesting that if Sarah Palin chooses to run for president, she'll struggle in the crucial early states.  —  The WMUR Granite State Poll released late Monday afternoon puts Palin close …
Eric Lichtblau / New York Times:
Common Cause Asks Court About Thomas Speech  —  WASHINGTON — Discrepancies in reports about an appearance by Justice Clarence Thomas at a political retreat for wealthy conservatives three years ago have prompted new questions to the Supreme Court from a group that advocates changing campaign finance laws.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood seeks political party status  —  Cairo, Egypt (CNN) — Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood will apply to become a political party, it announced Tuesday.  —  The Brotherhood “envisions the establishment of a democratic, civil state that draws on universal measures …
Juana Summers / The Politico:
Trump: Gays yes, gay marriage no  —  Donald Trump may have some New Yorkers doing a double-take, after he expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage while also saying he digs the city's robust gay population.  —  “New York is a place with lots of gays, and I think it's great.
Discussion: CNN, Wonkette, Riehl World View and The Page
Karen DeYoung / Washington Post:
Clinton to announce new ‘AfPak’ envoy  —  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has chosen a new special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, after months of delay and disagreements between the White House and the State Department over the parameters of the job that became vacant …
Andrew Ross Sorkin / DealBook:
Vanishing Act: ‘Advisers’ Seek Distance From a Report  —  A new study backed by pro-business groups takes a harsh stance on rules intended to bring transparency to the $600 billion derivatives market.  The report, published on Monday, claims that proposed regulation could cost 130,000 jobs …
Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war  —  • Man codenamed Curveball ‘invented’ tales of bioweapons  —  • Iraqi told lies to try to bring down Saddam Hussein regime  —  • Fabrications used by US as justification for invasion  —  Live Q&A with our reporter Martin Chulov
Discussion: The Raw Story and TPMMuckraker
Iran unrest: MPs call for death of Mousavi and Karroubi  —  Inside Iranian Parliament as a group of conservative MPs called for the execution of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi  —  Members of Iran's parliament have called for opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi to be tried and executed.
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
New WH spokesman ready to brief the press, colleague says  —  New White House press secretary Jay Carney has yet to hold a formal press briefing, but one of his colleagues says he is certainly ready to do so.  —  White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer took to Twitter on Tuesday …
Discussion: The Politico
Squathole / Obalesque:
Oh Say Can Vee Dee?  —  Well, today's the big day.  VD.  Valentine's Day.  Or, as we say around here, “Viagra Day.”  —  Guido is pretty direct about it.  “Get me flowers,” she says.  “Or get yourself some bandages and a place to spend the night.”  —  Ha!  What a kidder.  But then I read my email.
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
New York Times:
Companies Warn That Higher Prices Are Looming  —  A package of Oscar Mayer cold cuts.  A pair of Nine West boots.  A Whirlpool washing machine.  —  By the fall, people will most likely be paying more for each of them, as rising prices hit most consumer goods, say retailers, food companies and manufacturers of consumer products.
Discussion: Politics and Balloon Juice
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
'America's toughest sheriff' considering Arizona Senate run  —  Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Monday he is open to the possibility of running for the seat of retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) in 2012.  —  Arpaio, the conservative sheriff famous for his hard-line anti-immigration stances …
Peter Suderman / Wall Street Journal:
ObamaCare and the Medicaid Mess  —  States need relief from the program's inflexible rules and escalating costs.  —  Facing growing resistance to Medicaid costs, the Obama administration's Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, sent a letter to states last week noting the …
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Hit & Run
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 More Items: 
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
Time to Get Serious About the Deficit
Discussion: The Hill, and Moe Lane
Riazat Butt / Guardian:
Mosque school arrest following Channel 4 documentary
Las Vegas Sun Blogs:
Rep. Dean Heller takes poll, leads Sen. John Ensign by 15 …
Discussion: Hotline On Call
Laura Myers / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Romney visits Las Vegas, meets with GOP backers, business
William Glaberson / New York Times:
A Legal Manual for an Apocalyptic New York
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Poll: Bill Nelson vulnerable to GOP challenger
Discussion: Hot Air, CNN and Taegan Goddard's …
Lisa Riley Roche / Deseret News:
Chaffetz within 10 points of Hatch in new poll
 Earlier Items: 
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
More facts emerge about the leaked smear campaigns
Discussion: Daily Kos and Bay Area BizTalk
President George H.W. Bush among those to receive Medal of Freedom
Discussion: Parker Spitzer and The Page
Roni Caryn Rabin / New York Times:
Report Details Sabotage of Birth Control
Glenn Beck:
Muslim Brotherhood at CPAC?
Allison Hantschel / Firedoglake:
Late Night: Possibly We Should Stop Sucking So Much