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1:45 PM ET, February 22, 2011


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Union Bonds in Wisconsin Begin to Fray  —  JANESVILLE, Wis. — Rich Hahan worked at the General Motors plant here until it closed about two years ago.  He moved to Detroit to take another G.M. job while his wife and children stayed here, but then the automaker cut more jobs.
Noel Sheppard /
Wisconsin State Senator Smacks Down Chris Matthews: 'You're Completely Uninformed'  —  MSNBC's Chris Matthews tried Monday to push the liberal media meme that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker exempted police and firefighters from his budget repair plan because their unions endorsed him in last November's election.
David Brooks / New York Times:
Make Everybody Hurt  —  Over the past few weeks we've begun to see the new contours of American politics.  The budget cutters have taken control of the agenda, while government's defenders are waging tactical retreats.  Given the scope of the fiscal problems, it could be like this for the next 10 or 20 years.
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
Billionaire Brothers' Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute  —  WASHINGTON — Among the thousands of demonstrators who jammed the Wisconsin State Capitol grounds this weekend was a well-financed advocate from Washington who was there to voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights.
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
In Wisconsin, the gap widens between GOP and Dems  —  “They've painted themselves in a corner,” Wisconsin Republican state senator Randy Hopper says of his Democratic colleagues.  “There's no way for them to get out of it.”  —  Democratic senators last week fled Wisconsin rather than allow …
Mark Blumenthal / The Huffington Post:
AFL-CIO Polls Show Wisconsin Supports Protestors, Opposes Walker … WASHINGTON - New polling conducted for the AFL-CIO and shared with The Huffington Post shows Wisconsin voters siding with the state workers, unions and protestors by large majorities and expressing net disapproval of Republican Governor Scott Walker
Josh Dorner / ThinkProgress:
Priorities?  GOP Governors Shift Burden To Poor, Middle Class To Pay For Tax Breaks For Rich, Corporations
Discussion: Firedoglake
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Rasmussen Poll on Wisconsin Dispute May Be Biased
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:
George Will's Dishonest Assault On Unions
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
Starving Wisconsin's unions
Discussion: New York Times
Ezra Klein:
Column: Wisconsin is about power, not money
Discussion: The New Republic, Wonk Room and NPR
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
First look: Unions launch TV ad campaign backing Wisconsin public employees
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.
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Sen. John Thune won't run for president in 2012
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Sky News Australia:
Cleric orders Gaddafi killed  —  Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi has issued a fatwa that any Libyan soldier who can shoot dead embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi should do so ‘to rid Libya of him.’  —  'Whoever in the Libyan army is able to shoot a bullet at Mr Gaddafi should do so …
Al Jazeera Blogs:
Live Blog - Libya Feb 22  —  on February 22nd, 2011.  —  Alleged mercenaries deployed by Gaddafi in Tripoli, the Libyan capital.  —  As the uprising in Libya enters its ninth day, we keep you updated on the developing situation from our headquarters in Doha, Qatar.
Andrew Solomon / News Desk:   How Qaddafi Lost Libya
Laura Rozen / The Politico:
Among Libya's lobbyists
CBS News:
4 Americans on hijacked yacht dead off Somalia  —  U.S. Navy warship shadowing seized vessel takes action after gunshots are heard; 4 hostages apparently killed by captors, some pirates dead  —  The four Americans aboard a yacht hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia are dead.
Fox News:
Four Americans Killed on Yacht Hijacked by Somali Pirates
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Tony Perry / L.A. NOW:
Four American hostages killed by Somali pirates during rescue attempt [Updated]
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Wizbang
The Politico:
Ex-aide's book paints harsh portrait of Sarah Palin  —  A new memoir from an embittered former aide to Sarah Palin includes a trove of emails that vividly illustrate her intense focus on image and depiction in the media.  —  The emails, apparently from the former Alaska governor …
Jack Stuef / Wonkette:
Sarah Palin Has Secret ‘Lou Sarah’ Facebook Account To Praise Other Sarah Palin Facebook Account  —  Sarah Palin has apparently created a second Facebook account with her Gmail address so that this fake “Lou Sarah” person can praise the other Sarah Palin on Facebook.
Daily Mail:
Four men slashed teacher's face and left him with fractured skull ‘for teaching other religions to Muslim girls’  —  Four men launched a horrific attack on a teacher in which they slashed his face and left him with a fractured skull because they did not approve of him teaching religion to Muslim girls.
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
Two-Thirds of Wisconsin Public-School 8th Graders Can't Read Proficiently—Despite Highest Per Pupil Spending in Midwest  —  ( - Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Sen. Scott Brown says, 'I'm not a Tea Party member,' welcomes GOP primary  —  “You're talking about being an ideologue?  If you're looking for one, I'm not it,” said Sen. Scott Brown.  —  Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) said he doesn't consider himself a member of the Tea Party movement and would welcome any primary challenger.
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
WI State Rep Busted For Sexual Misconduct - Says Charges Are a Distraction From Larger State Issues  —  Now we know what they do when they're not at work...  Wisconsin State Rep. Gordon Hintz told reporters today that his arrest for sexual misconduct is a distraction from larger issues facing the state.
John Sides / The Monkey Cage:
The Relationship between Union Membership and State Budget Deficits … That is from Joseph McCartin's piece in The New Republic on the current battle in Wisconsin.  I wanted to look at the relationship between unions and deficits more systematically.  Like McCartin I used the CBPP data …
Jennifer Chambers / Detroit News:
Michigan orders DPS to make huge cuts  —  Bobb told to consolidate services, close half of schools to end deficit  —  Lansing— Swift and severe changes are coming to Detroit Public Schools.  —  State education officials have ordered Robert Bobb to immediately implement a financial restructuring plan …
J.P. Freire / Washington Examiner:
BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL  —  White House denies assisting Wis. union, but ties run deep  —  White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer is claiming that “This is a Wisconsin story, not a Washington one,” contradicting the Washington Post's reporting that the president and his political apparatus …
Javier Manjarres / The Shark Tank:
Allen West Confronted by Koran-Wielding CAIR Executive(VIDEO)  —  At a townhall meeting hosted by Congressman Allen West on Monday evening in Pompano Beach, the Q&A segment of the meeting featured a Koran wielding Nezar Hamze, Executive Director of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
Home Prices Slid in December in Most U.S. Cities, Index Shows  —  Real estate prices slid again in December, pushing a leading price index within a whisper of its lowest level since the housing crash began, data released Tuesday showed.  —  The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index …
Discussion: protein wisdom and Mother Jones
Thomas M. Burton / Wall Street Journal:
Indiana Democrats Stage Walkout  —  INDIANAPOLIS—House Democratic lawmakers in Indiana have begun a de facto walkout in an effort to block a Republican-backed bill that would restrict private-sector union rights.  —  Republicans arrived at the statehouse Tuesday morning to find no Democrats present …
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
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 More Items: 
Pan Pylas / Associated Press:
Libyan turmoil weighs on stocks as oil surges
Discussion: YID With LID
The “Badger 14”:
Wisconsin TV station breaks embargo; publishes location of missing “Badger 14″ senators
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and WTMJ
Sam Roberts / New York Times:
New York's Little Italy, Littler by the Year
Discussion: Runnin' Scared
Igor Volsky / Wonk Room:
Marriage Equality Bill Introduced In Maryland Senate
Trevor Loudon / New Zeal:
Christchurch Earthquake - Again!
New York Post:
Topics  —  War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.
Discussion: Power Line
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Government pensions, an obesity epidemic
Discussion: Booman Tribune
 Earlier Items: 
Larry O'Connor /
FLASHBACK: SEIU Brags About Local Media's Help to Smear Then-Candidate Scott Walker
Discussion: theblogprof and The Blast
Jacob Lew / USA Today:
Opposing view: Social Security isn't the problem
Discussion: Washington Monthly, Daily Kos and TPMDC
James Slack / Daily Mail:
How three million migrants came to UK under Labour in biggest population growth since Saxon times …
Discussion: Guardian and Biased BBC
Thers / Whiskey Fire:
Canadians Who Look Like Justin Bieber