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3:10 PM ET, February 17, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
JSOnline:
Senate Democrats boycott Thursday vote on Walker's budget plan  —  Joint Finance Committee approves package late Wednesday  —  By Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel  —  Madison — Law enforcement officers are searching for Democratic senators boycotting a Senate vote …
RELATED:
Mary Katharine Ham / The Daily Caller:
Wisconsin budget fight escalates as Dems flee Madison to avoid vote  —  A three-day-long stand-off at the Wisconsin state capitol between union supporters and those backing the Republican governor's budget cuts just went to another level Thursday as Democratic senators apparently fled the state …
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 …
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Wisconsin Gov. Walker Ginned Up Budget Shortfall To Undercut Worker Rights
Discussion: Oliver Willis
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
Discussion: CNN, Booman Tribune and The Hill
Jake Sherman / The Politico:
Boehner ups chance of shutdown
Discussion: Swampland and USA Today
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.
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
Are Democrats Negotiating A Monumentally Stupid Deficit Deal?
Discussion: Guardian
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Grand Bargain Would Be Tilted Toward Spending Cuts
Discussion: The Huffington Post
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.
Blue Texan / Firedoglake:
Chris Christie's Idea of “Doing Big Things”  —  I continue to be baffled by all the love New Jersey's Republican governor Chris Christie's getting among the chattering class.  Here's a typically fawning piece about his speech at AEI yesterday. … “Big things” to Christie simply means less money …
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
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:
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
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.
Binyamin Appelbaum / New York Times:
As U.S. Agencies Put More Value on a Life, Businesses Fret  —  WASHINGTON — As the players here remake the nation's vast regulatory system, they have been grappling with a subject that is more the province of poets and philosophers than bureaucrats: what is the value of a human life?
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: The Gateway Pundit and Instapundit
 
 
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 More Items: 
Aljazeera:
‘Day of rage’ kicks off in Libya
Karen McVeigh / Guardian:
David Kato was ‘mocked’ at UN seminar
P.J. Orvetti / NBC Washington:
NPR's Take on D.C. Angers Locals
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Weasel Zippers
Dan Froomkin / The Huffington Post:
Government Spending Goes From Hero To Goat
Discussion: Mock, Paper, Scissors
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Urban Planning in South Sudan
Discussion: Sudan Votes
 Earlier Items: 
Jay Nordlinger / National Review:
The Thugs Come Out in Wisconsin
Gail Collins / New York Times:
Mrs. Bush, Abstinence and Texas
Scott Turow / New York Times:
The One-Man Political Machine
Discussion: Lynn Sweet