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1:45 PM ET, February 17, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:
Rove: Confront birthers now  —  Savvy GOP strategist Karl Rove says a poll signaling that a majority of likely GOP primary voters have questions about Barack Obama's birthplace is “lousy”.  —  But last night, he urged prominent conservatives to stand up forcefully (and quickly) to kill birther talk.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
RELATED:
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Bachmann on Obama's birthplace: 'That isn't for me to state'  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said Thursday it's not for her to say whether President Obama is a citizen of the United States — or a Christian.  —  “That isn't for me to state; that's for the president to state,” Bachmann …
Russell Berman / The Hill:
GOP escalates showdown with Obama over funding measure  —  House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday ruled out a short-term government-funding bill that maintains “current levels” of federal spending, escalating a showdown with Democrats and President Obama.
Discussion: CNN, Booman Tribune and The Hill
Jonathan Weisman / Wall Street Journal:
Deficit Plan Details Emerge  —  Bipartisan Senate Group Mulls Spending Caps That Could Trigger Tax Increases  —  A bipartisan group of senators is considering legislation that would trigger new taxes and budget cuts if Congress fails to meet a set of mandatory spending targets and other fiscal goals aimed at reducing federal deficits.
RELATED:
New York Times:
Out of Control in the House  —  Are there any adults in charge of the House?  Watching this week's frenzied slash-and-burn budget contest, we had to conclude the answer to that is no.  —  First Speaker John Boehner's Republican leadership proposed cutting the rest of the 2011 budget by $32 billion.
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Grand Bargain Would Be Tilted Toward Spending Cuts
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
Are Democrats Negotiating A Monumentally Stupid Deficit Deal?
Discussion: Guardian
Ken Jennings / Slate:
My Puny Human Brain  —  Jeopardy! genius Ken Jennings on what it's like to play against a supercomputer.  —  When I was selected as one of the two human players to be pitted against IBM's “Watson” supercomputer in a special man-vs.-machine Jeopardy! exhibition match, I felt honored, even heroic.
RELATED:
John Markoff / New York Times:
Computer Wins on ‘Jeopardy!’:  Trivial, It's Not  —  YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. — In the end, the humans on “Jeopardy!” surrendered meekly.  —  Facing certain defeat at the hands of a room-size I.B.M. computer on Wednesday evening, Ken Jennings, famous for winning 74 games in a row on the TV quiz show, acknowledged the obvious.
Colum Lynch / Foreign Policy:
In major reversal, U.S. agrees to rebuke Israel in Security Council  —  The U.S. has informed Arab governments that it will support a U.N. Security Council statement reaffirming that the 15-nation body “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity,” …
RELATED:
Jennifer Rubin / Right Turn:
U.S. ‘compromise’ offer to condemn Israel
JSOnline:
Unions want to overturn election result  —  Say you generally liked Gov. Scott Walker's move to rein in government labor costs but had a few doubts on his method.  The last few days should have cleared that up nicely.  —  The public-sector union tantrums, meant to make lawmakers wobble …
RELATED:
Phil Gast / CNN:
Wisconsin teachers give labor bill an ‘F’  —  Read more about this story from CNN affiliate WISC.  —  (CNN) — At least 15 school systems in Wisconsin canceled Thursday's classes because teachers and other public employees will continue protests at the state Capitol over a bill that would strip …
Eric Lach / TPMDC:
Paul Ryan On Wisconsin Protests: 'It's Like Cairo Has Moved To Madison' (VIDEO)
Kendra Marr / The Politico:
Experts: His 2012 moment is now  —  With just one impressive speech, Chris Christie put three full days of CPAC speakers to shame.  —  That's the bottom line from a bipartisan panel of experts, who watched the New Jersey governor's address on Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute for POLITICO …
RELATED:
Maggie Haberman / The Politico:
The Christie speech: We must fix America
Discussion: UrbanGrounds
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Chris Christie isn't pretty, and he tells ugly truths
Discussion: CNN and Yglesias
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Nameless Republican Ties Obama in 2012 Election Preferences  —  Young voters less supportive of his re-election than of his election in 2008  —  PRINCETON, NJ — U.S. registered voters are evenly split about whether they would back President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012 (45%) or “the Republican Party's candidate” (45%).
RELATED:
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:   Obama 2012 support slips; Now, any generic Republican ties him
Guardian:
Colin Powell demands answers over Curveball  —  Former US secretary of state asks why CIA failed to warn him over Iraqi defector who has admitted fabricating WMD evidence  —  Colin Powell, the US secretary of state at the time of the Iraq invasion, has called on the CIA and Pentagon to explain …
RELATED:
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Powell: C.I.A. should answer for faulty WMD intel
Discussion: Guardian
New York Times:
Bahrain's Military Takes Control of Key Areas in Capital  —  MANAMA, Bahrain — The Bahrain military, backed by tanks and armored personnel carriers, took control of most of this capital on Thursday hours after hundreds of heavily armed riot police officers fired shotguns …
RELATED:
ABCNEWS:
Click HERE or on video in upper left to listen to Marquez's report.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Shy U.S. Intellectual Created Playbook Used in a Revolution  —  BOSTON — Halfway around the world from Tahrir Square in Cairo, an aging American intellectual shuffles about his cluttered brick row house in a working-class neighborhood here.  His name is Gene Sharp.
Reuters:
Baghdad wants U.S. to pay $1 billion for damage to city  —  (Reuters) - Iraq's capital wants the United States to apologize and pay $1 billion for the damage done to the city not by bombs but by blast walls and Humvees since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
How much respect did the demonstrators show for the State Capitol grounds?  —  Here are some photographs taken yesterday by Meade (my husband) at the demonstration against Gov. Scott Walker's budget plan:  —  “If I'm a GREAT worker WHY are you treating me THIS WAY?”  — an abandoned sign pleads.
Discussion: Instapundit
Scott Turow / New York Times:
The One-Man Political Machine  —  On a brutally cold morning in mid-December, Rahm Emanuel, hatless and wearing a glove on only his left hand, stood for an hour in front of the turnstiles at the Paulina el station, which sits in his old Congressional district on Chicago's North Side.
Discussion: Lynn Sweet
Gail Collins / New York Times:
Mrs. Bush, Abstinence and Texas  —  Today, let's discuss choices, starting with Barbara Bush raising an alarm and Gov. Rick Perry's personal experience with sexual abstinence.  —  I did throw in the last one to keep you interested.  Sue me.  —  This month, The Houston Chronicle published …
Discussion: Daily Kos and Pam's House Blend
Steven Mufson / Washington Post:
Obama budget plan shows interest owed on national debt quadrupling in next decade  —  Interest payments on the national debt will quadruple in the next decade and every man, woman and child in the United States will be paying more than $2,500 a year to cover for the nation's past profligacy …
P.J. Orvetti / NBC Washington:
NPR's Take on D.C. Angers Locals  —  Residents feel story misportrayed city  —  NPR aired an eight-minute feature on D.C.'s Anacostia neighborhood on Tuesday morning.  The website version was titled “D.C., Long ‘Chocolate City,’ Becoming More Vanilla” — but even with the flavorful name, it left a bad taste in many locals' mouths.
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Weasel Zippers
Javier C. Hernandez / New York Times:
Bloomberg's Budget to Include Teacher Layoffs  —  Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, escalating his battle with Albany over cuts to city programs, will announce plans to lay off nearly 4,700 teachers as part of a bleak budget to be released on Thursday.  —  Mr. Bloomberg will portray the reductions …
Discussion: New York Magazine
Bassem Mroue / Associated Press:
‘Prepare to Invade Israel,’ Hezbollah Leader Tells Followers  —  Beirut (AP) - Hezbollah's leader told his Shiite guerrilla group Wednesday to be prepared to invade northern Israel, a day after Israel's defense minister warned that the quiet along the tense border could erupt into violence.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
John R. Guardiano / AmSpecBlog:
Pro-Mubarak Barbarians, Not Egyptian Muslims, Attacked Lara Logan  —  I'm glad that Aaron Goldstein has drawn attention to the unconscionable savagery and sexual violence that pro-Mubarak thugs masquerading as protesters inflicted upon 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Tamar Lewin / New York Times:
Bucking Trend, College Will Cut Price
Robert Reich:
Budget Baloney (1): Why Social Security Isn't a Problem for 26 Years, and the Best Way to Fix It Permanently
Discussion: Economist's View and The Hill
Dan Froomkin / The Huffington Post:
Government Spending Goes From Hero To Goat
Brendan O'Neill / TheAustralian:
Palestine an obsession of radical West, not Arabs
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Urban Planning in South Sudan
Discussion: Sudan Votes
 Earlier Items: 
Jay Nordlinger / National Review:
The Thugs Come Out in Wisconsin
Investor's Business Daily:
The Tyrants Lunge  —  Foreign Policy: Amid President Obama's vow …
Discussion: Power Line
Jake Tapper / Political Punch:
Borrowing to Pay Interest on a Debt Isn't Creating Debt?: Today's Q's for O's WH - 2/16/2011
BBC:
Libya protests: Activists call for ‘day of anger’