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8:05 AM ET, February 23, 2011


 Top Items: 
Indianapolis Star:
Democrats trigger Statehouse showdown over anti-union legislation  —  House Democrats are leaving the state rather than vote on anti-union legislation, The Indianapolis Star has learned.  —  A source said Democrats are headed to Illinois, though it was possible some also might go to Kentucky.
Associated Press:
Poll: Americans favor union bargaining rights  —  MADISON, Wis. — Americans strongly oppose laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.  The poll found 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin …
Indianapolis Star:
3:40 PM — Governor says time to dump labor bill  —  Gov. Mitch Daniels signaled this afternoon that Republicans should drop the right-to-work bill that has brought the Indiana House to a standstill for two days and imperiled other measures.  —  Daniels told reporters this afternoon …
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Scaling Back State Programs Is Least of Three Fiscal Evils  —  Less objectionable than reducing state worker pay or benefits, increasing taxes  —  PRINCETON, NJ — As Wisconsin and numerous other states struggle to reduce untenable budget deficits, a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds …
The Note:
Some Republican Governors Attempt To Steer Clear Of Wisconsin Strategy
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Florida Governor Rick Scott Gives Thumbs Up To Public Worker Organizing
Discussion: SEIU and Hullabaloo
Maggie Haberman / The Politico:
Indiana Dems AWOL, Mitch Daniels wants GOPers to abandon labor bill
Is Scott Walker Cutting Off Internet Access To Thwart Protesters?
Discussion: Defend Wisconsin and Daily Kos
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Emanuel Triumphs in Chicago Mayoral Race  —  CHICAGO — Rahm Emanuel, a former congressman who worked for two presidents, was elected mayor of Chicago on Tuesday, a victory that marks a new path for a city that has, for 22 years, been led by a singular, powerful force, Richard M. Daley.
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Rahm Emanuel wins Chicago mayoral vote  —  Chicago (CNN) - Rahm Emanuel, the former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, won the Chicago mayoral election over five other challengers Tuesday, topping the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff vote, CNN projects.
Clout St:
Rahm Emanuel declares victory in Chicago mayor's race  —  Posted by Kristen Mack, David Heinzmann, Jeff Coen and Antonio Olivo at 6:45 p.m.; last updated at 9:33 p.m. (Our Twitter feed can be found: here.)  —  Rahm Emanuel declared victory in the Chicago mayor's race tonight.
Ian Black / Guardian:
Gaddafi urges violent showdown in Libya  —  • Muammar Gaddafi tells loyalists to take to streets of Libya  —  • Witnesses speak of mercenaries in death squads  —  • International condemnation of bloodshed grows  —  Muammar Gaddafi set the stage for a violent …
Discussion: First Draft
Paul Wolfowitz / Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. Can Help Libyans Defeat Gadhafi
Ryan J. Reilly / TPMDC:
Federal Judge In D.C. Upholds Health Care Reform, Says Some Arguments ‘Ignore Reality’  —  A federal judge on Tuesday upheld the health care reform law signed last year by President Barack Obama and found that Congress had the clear authority to regulate health insurance under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Federal judge rules for health care law  —  The perfect partisan streak in health care rulings continues, with D.C. federal district judge Gladys Kessler, a Clinton appointee, ruling the Affordable Care Act constitutional.  She's the third Democratic judge to do so; two Republicans have found it unconstitutional.
Discussion: The Note and
Kevin Sack / New York Times:   A Third Judge Validates Health Care Overhaul Law
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Wisconsin's Walker Signs Bill Requiring 2/3 Majority for Tax Increases  —  How Wisconsin becomes California.  (photo: FredR on Flickr)  —  I got a sense from Sen. Chris Larson and some others in Wisconsin that the Governor and his Republican allies had run amok in the Capitol before attention …
Discussion: Mercury Rising, Hullabaloo and Reuters
Digby / Hullabaloo:
The church lady says the WI protesters are a Bizarro Tea Party
Discussion: and Outside the Beltway
Matt Negrin / The Politico:
W.H.: Obama won't speak on Libya  —  Jay Carney said that he didn't anticipate Obama speaking about Libya.  —  AP Photo  —  White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will speak about Libya at 2:30 p.m. He referred questions on Libya to …
Discussion: Sense of Events and Hit & Run
Obama under pressure to intervene in Libya
Discussion: Israel Matzav and The Page
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Wisconsin senate committee passes new rule: Senators must collect their paychecks in person  —  A nice first step.  The next step, after the “fleebaggers” (as they're now being called on Twitter) have come home, should be to pass a law retroactively docking their pay for the days they missed.
JSOnline:   Senate Republicans to withhold Democrats' pay
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
GAY BLACK TEA PARTYER Attacked By Racist SEIU Activists at Denver Tea Party (Videos)  —  A pro-public union SEIU rally turned ugly today outside the Colorado Capitol in Denver.  —  The Colorado union supporters started out the day chanting, “Tax the rich!”  —  But later the unhinged SEIU thugs accosted a gay black tea partyer.
Fidel Castro: US ready to order Libya invasion  —  Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro says the US has no interest in seeing peace in Libya but is solely concerned with the country's oil reserves.  —  Mr Castro, in a column published in state media, said it was too early to evaluate what was happening in Libya.
News Item:
› - Statement from John and Kimberley Thune  —  For months now, my wife Kimberley and I have received encouragement from family, friends, colleagues, and supporters from across South Dakota and the country to run for the presidency of the United States.
Oregon Rep. David Wu airs regrets, owns up to taking prescription painkillers  —  U.S. Rep. David Wu broke his silence on national television on Tuesday but failed to slow the growing controversy over his behavior and future or stop new revelations that he behaved erratically during …
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 More Items: 
Andrew C. McCarthy / National Review:
Shutting Down the Government  —  Let's put aside that congressional …
Discussion: Oliver Willis
Emily Schultheis / The Politico:
Newt Gingrich confronted over affair
Discussion: Wonkette
John Collins Rudolf / New York Times:
A Climate Skeptic With a Bully Pulpit in Virginia Finds an Ear in Congress
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Why Cuts Don't Bring Prosperity
Discussion: Economix and Balloon Juice
Michael Sheridan / NY Daily News:
Hersha Howard busted for beating up roommate Jasmin Wanke over Thin Mints Girl Scout cookies
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Associated Press:
Wis. Licensing Dept. Looking Into Doctors' Notes
Discussion: Pundit Press
John / Power Line:
Obama, Democrats Sliding in Polls
Discussion: Rasmussen Reports
 Earlier Items: 
Zaid Jilani / ThinkProgress:
McCain On Social Security: 'It's A Ponzi Scheme That Bernie Madoff Would Be Proud Of'
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
A Godzilla v. Mothra Moment
Discussion: TPMDC
Ezra Klein:
Why do unions care about Medicaid?