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5:30 PM ET, February 18, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Obama joins Wisconsin's budget battle, opposing Republican anti-union bill  —  MADISON, WIS. - President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin's broiling budget battle, mobilizing opposition Thursday to a Republican bill that would curb public-worker benefits …
RELATED:
Joe Klein / Swampland:
Wisconsin: The Hemlock Revolution  —  Revolutions everywhere—in the middle east, in the middle west.  But there is a difference: in the middle east, the protesters are marching for democracy; in the middle west, they're protesting against it.  I mean, Isn't it, well, a bit ironic …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Wis. governor: GOP won't be ‘bullied’ by union bill protesters  —  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) says his party has been emboldened by massive protests against his controversial budget plan.  —  Walker said demonstrators who filled the state Capitol building in Madison and the boycott …
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
Showdown in Wisconsin  —  The circus in Wisconsin is rapidly blowing up into the national issue of the moment, thanks in no small part to President Obama and of course Organizing for America, the group that grew out of his 2008 campaign, which seems to be playing a prominent role in building up the protests.
Ezra Klein:
Unions aren't to blame for Wisconsin's budget  —  Let's be clear: Whatever fiscal problems Wisconsin is — or is not — facing at the moment, they're not caused by labor unions.  That's also true for New Jersey, for Ohio and for the other states.  There was no sharp rise in collective bargaining …
Ezra Klein:
What is actually being proposed in Wisconsin?  —  Reading the commentary, I think a lot of people are confused about what's actually being proposed in Wisconsin.  So let's go through it.  —  You can find Gov. Scott Walker's proposal here.  It's called “the Budget Repair bill.”
Devin Dwyer / ABCNEWS:
Obama, DNC Fuel State Employee Protests
Wall Street Journal:
Athens in Mad Town
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
DNC Expands Role In Labor Protests To Ohio, Indiana
Matthew Cooper / The Atlantic Online:
Wisconsin: A Critical Fight for the Labor Movement
Discussion: Indecision Forever
Monica Davey / New York Times:   Wisconsin Bill in Limbo as G.O.P. Seeks Quorum
WISC-TV:
Erpenbach Gives Reasons For Leaving State
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
The Politico:
House votes to defund Planned Parenthood  —  The House just approved Rep. Mike Pence's amendment to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, checking off a hot-button social issue even as it set up a bigger showdown over defunding the health care law.  —  The vote was 240-185 with 11 Democrats voting …
RELATED:
ABCNEWS:
Planned Parenthood Funding Voted Down  —  Amendment Passes Despite Stunning Personal Testimony From Rep. Jackie Speier  —  The House of Representatives Friday passed a measure to end federal funding for abortion provider Planned Parenthood a day after Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif. …
First Read / msnbc.com:
House passes measure stripping Planned Parenthood funding
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Jeff Bingaman to retire  —  New Mexico Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman is expected to announce his retirement today, according to a source close to the decision, a move that further complicates his party's efforts to hold their Senate majority in 2012.  —  Bingaman had been mulling whether …
RELATED:
Ballot Box:
Sen. Bingaman to retire
Jonathan Allen / The Politico:
Government shutdown is likely, Pelosi aide says  —  A high-ranking aide to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told chiefs of staff of Democratic lawmakers that a government shutdown is more likely than not, according to attendees.  —  Speaking at a regular meeting of the top aides to House Democrats …
RELATED:
Free exchange:
Outrageous cuts  —  PAUL KRUGMAN'S columns tend so often toward scathing criticism of Republicans that it's easy to discount the outrage and dismiss it.  It would be a shame if that's the reaction to his writing today, which couldn't be more on point.  To wit:
RELATED:
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Democrat suggests ‘ObamaCare’ rhetoric should be banned from House floor  —  House Republicans and Democrats started Friday morning's debate over whether to defund last year's healthcare law, and as part of this debate sparred over whether members should be allowed to call that law “ObamaCare.”
Arizona Daily Star:
Firefighter refused call to Tucson shooting spree scene  —  A veteran city firefighter's refusal to respond to the Jan. 8 shooting spree, citing “political bantering,” may have slowed his Tucson Fire Department unit's response to the incident that left six dead and 13 wounded, city memos show.
Rob Stein / Washington Post:
Obama administration replaces controversial ‘conscience’ regulation for health-care workers  —  The Obama administration rescinded most of a federal regulation Friday designed to protect health workers who refuse to provide care they find objectionable on personal or religious grounds.
Discussion: The Foundry and Pam's House Blend
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Poll: Public unions a hard sell  —  A new poll from the Washington-based Clarus Group asked:  —  Do you think government employees should be represented by labor unions that bargain for higher pay, benefits and pensions ... or do you think government employees should not be represented by labor unions?
David Brooks / New York Times:
Tomorrow Never Comes  —  Jonathan Alter wrote a book about Barack Obama's first year in office called “The Promise.”  That's a great title because it works on so many levels.  For example, over the past four years, Obama's career has been marked by a constant promise: He has continually …
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Obama's Louis XV budget  —  Five days before his inauguration, President-elect Obama told The Post that entitlement reform could no longer be kicked down the road.  He then spent the next two years kicking - racking up $3 trillion in new debt along the way - on the grounds …
Discussion: neo-neocon
Bob Unruh / WorldNetDaily:
Stunner!  Supremes to give eligibility case another look  —  Challenge to Obama getting 2nd conference before court  —  In a stunning move, the U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled another “conference” on a legal challenge to Barack Obama's eligibility to occupy the Oval Office …
Dean Baker / The Politico:
Unions badgering Wisconsin's finances?  —  Co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research :  —  You have to give Gov. Walker and his wealthy patrons credit.  Here we have a situation where Wall Street fat cats wrecked the economy - people like Richard Fuld, Robert Rubin, and Angelo Mozilo …
Jay Sorgi / WTMJ:
Capitol Chaos: State Patrol Goes After Democratic Senators  —  MADISON - According to the Wisconsin senate majority leader, the Governor's office is sending out state troopers to go after Wisconsin's Democratic Senate members to bring in a vote on Governor Walker's budget bill …
New York Times:
Security Forces in Bahrain Open Fire on Mourners  —  MANAMA, Bahrain — Government forces opened fire on hundreds of mourners marching toward Pearl Square Friday, sending people running away in panic amid the boom of concussion grenades.  But even as the people fled, at least one helicopter sprayed fire …
Paul West / Los Angeles Times:
Sarah Palin hints at 2012 presidential run, but says she's undecided  —  In a rare public speech, she predicts voters will want a nomination contest that's ‘a little bit rogue,’ and teases that a mother with her experience would be right for the job.  She acknowledges she'd need to address her drop in popularity.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Gregg Easterbrook:
Family rule is under siege, at last  —  Dictatorship is under siege throughout the Arab world: fingers are crossed that democracy will prevail.  Something else is under siege, too — the notion of family rule.  This is among the oldest, and most harmful, concepts in human society.
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Balloon Juice
The Note:
Pentagon's NASCAR Sponsorship Gets a Green Light: Congress Rejects Measure to Cut Funding for Ads on Race Cars  —  ABC News' Karen Travers reports:  —  The battle over spending continues to rage on Capitol Hill and while Republicans are keen to take an axe to the budget …
Discussion: The Hill
 
 
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 More Items: 
BBC:
Djibouti: Ismael Omar Guelleh faces huge protest march
Discussion: European Tribune and Hit & Run
Ynetnews:
Ahmadinejad: Obama can't spell his own name
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Obama plugs ‘win the future’ message in Oregon
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Felix Salmon:
Learning from Boeing's outsourcing disaster
Discussion: Angry Bear
Associated Press:
Jesse Jackson rallies protesters at Wis. Capitol
Mark Arsenault / Boston Globe:
Brown briefly put his Senate campaign aside
Discussion: Hotline On Call and msnbc.com
Con Coughlin / Telegraph:
Iran's Revolutionary Guard pledges to hold fire
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Wisconsin and the Rules
Discussion: Ezra Klein
 Earlier Items: 
Mitt Romney / National Review:
Obama Turns His Back on Israel
Discussion: The Hill, Ben Smith's Blog and GOP 12
Simmi Aujla / The Politico:
Social Security Admin warns workers
Discussion: Daily Kos
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Mike Huckabee at home abroad on frequent trips to Israel
Discussion: Salon, GOP 12 and Yglesias
Sonja Puzic / Vancouver Sun:
Ont. couple's appeal to bring baby home dismissed
Stanley Kurtz / National Review:
Who's Polarizing America?
Discussion: Booman Tribune and JustOneMinute
Jason Millman / The Hill:
Administration asks judge to tell the states that healthcare law isn't optional