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4:10 PM ET, February 15, 2011


 Top Items: 
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Chances up for federal shutdown  —  The chances of a government shutdown are on the rise.  —  With less than three weeks to strike a deal before government funding for the year is scheduled to expire, Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are moving in opposite directions.
Patrick O'Connor / Washington Wire:
Boehner: ‘So Be It’ If Federal Workers Are Laid Off  —  House Speaker John Boehner expressed little sympathy Tuesday for federal workers who lose their jobs as the result of Republican budget cutting.  —  “In the last two years, under President Obama, the federal government has added 200,000 …
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Boehner: If Jobs Are Lost As A Result Of GOP Spending Cuts ‘So Be It’  —  If House Republicans succeed in cutting tens of billions of dollars in discretionary spending over the next six months, some of the most immediate victims will be federal employees, many of whose jobs will be slashed as their agencies pare back.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
QUOTE OF THE DAY.... As of this morning, the official Republican line …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
GOP vows its budget will include plans for entitlement reform
Discussion: The Note
The Note:
Speaker Irritated By Lack of Leadership in President's Budget Proposal
Discussion: The Politico
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 …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
South Dakota legislator defends bill to make killing to defend fetuses a “justifiable homicide”  —  An incendiary story by Mother Jones making the rounds on the Web reports that a law being considered in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to apply to killings intended to prevent harm to unborn children.
‘I lied about WMD to topple Saddam’  —  • 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  —  Read the full story of how the US was duped
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Romney and the Birthers  —  Birtherism is alive and well within the GOP ranks, and their 2012 nominee preferences tell a story about the difficulty Mitt Romney faces in trying to appeal to an electorate that's a whole lot further out there than he is.  —  Birthers make a majority among …
Ezra Klein:
How penicillin fooled us  —  Perhaps it's the mark of a good book that after you read it, you begin seeing evidence for its thesis in lots of different areas.  Since reading Tyler Cowen's “The Great Stagnation,” I've been seeing a lot of support for a claim that I'd initially resisted …
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Experience Economy  —  Tyler Cowen's e-book, “The Great Stagnation …
Discussion: Paul Krugman, EconLog and Daily Kos
Huma Khan / ABCNEWS:
Obama Defends Budget: Not Going to Run Up the Credit Card Anymore  —  In First News Conference of the Year, President Tackles Criticism of his 2012 Budget  —  President Obama today defended his 2012 budget proposal amid criticism from Republicans that it does too little to rein …
Wall Street Journal:
The Cee Lo Green Budget
Charles Riley /
Left is livid over budget safety net cuts  —  NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — It doesn't come as a shock that Republicans aren't thrilled with President Obama's budget proposal.  But Democrats aren't exactly jumping for joy either.  —  Obama's budget targets community block grants …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL  —  NPR thanks Obama for budget ‘vote of confidence’
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.
Zaid Jilani / ThinkProgress:
KS GOP Rep. Connie O'Brien Says She Can Tell Who Is ‘Illegal’ Because They Have ‘The Olive Complexion’  —  One week ago, the Kansas House Federal and State Committee held a hearing about in-state tuition being granted to the children of undocumented immigrants, which has been the policy in the state since 2004.
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.
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 …
Amie Parnes / The Politico:
Michele Bachmann swipes at Michelle Obama  —  Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann ripped Michelle Obama on Tuesday, speculating that the first lady might one day run for office, and accusing her of trying to implement a “nanny state” based on her newest push to get mothers to breastfeed their children …
John / Power Line:
More Racism on the Left  —  On Friday, AlterNet—you know, the organization that “confront[s] the failures of corporate media, as well as the vitriol and disinformation of right wing media, especially ‘hate talk’ media”—published a vile attack on conservative businessman Herman Cain, who was the last speaker at CPAC:
Sasha Volokh / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Asteroid defense and libertarianism  —  I agree with Jonathan below that the Constitution (through the spending power) allows Congress to spend tax money to protect the Earth from an asteroid.  —  On the other hand — and at the risk of confirming Mark Kleiman in his belief that libertarians are loopy …
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 …
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 …
Andrew Ross Sorkin / DealBook:
Vanishing Act: ‘Advisers’ Distance Themselves From a Report  —  Correction Appended  —  A new study backed by pro-business groups takes a harsh stance on rules intended to bring transparency to the $600 trillion derivatives market.  The report, published on Monday, claims that proposed regulation …
Devin Dwyer / ABCNEWS:
Obama's Media Machine: State Run Media 2.0?  —  White House Hones Online Messaging Operation Ahead of 2012 Campaign  —  As the 2012 presidential campaign kicks into gear, President Obama's White House media operation is demonstrating an unprecedented ability to broadcast its message through social media …
Trudy Muller / Apple:
Apple Launches Subscriptions on the App Store  —  Apple® today announced a new subscription service available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store℠, including magazines, newspapers, video, music, etc.  This is the same innovative digital subscription billing service …
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.
Myglesias / Yglesias:
The Base and Bloggers  —  One of the most important facts about present-day American politics is that poor people have essentially no political “voice” in Washington.  They do, however, vote.  And they're also human beings with moral worth and interests who count.
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.
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 More Items: 
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva / The Hill:
Stop putting off structural budget decisions
Discussion: Firedoglake
Beth Reinhard /
Trump's Flip-Flop on Abortion
Torey Van Oot / Capitol Alert:
Debra Bowen announces bid for Jane Harman's seat
Fawn Johnson /
White House Proposes $556 Billion Highway Bill
Discussion: Moe Lane
Evan McMorris-Santoro / TPMDC:
MoveOn Accuses GOP Of Taking Women ‘Back To The Back Alley’ (VIDEO)
Discussion: News Hounds and Weasel Zippers
David Franke / The American Conservative:
Young Americans for Foolishness
Discussion: American Spectator
National Review:
Mitch Daniels Is No Panderer
Discussion: GOP 12 and FrumForum
 Earlier Items: 
The Fix:
Dean Heller poll shows 15 point lead over John Ensign in Nevada
Discussion: Roll Call, Ballot Box and The Politico
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Tough-talking Chris Christie plans D.C. rollout
Discussion: Hot Air
William Glaberson / New York Times:
A Legal Manual for an Apocalyptic New York
Lisa Riley Roche / Deseret News:
Chaffetz within 10 points of Hatch in new poll