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12:40 PM ET, February 22, 2011


 Top Items: 
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Rasmussen Poll on Wisconsin Dispute May Be Biased  —  We've noted before that the automated polling firm Rasmussen Reports has had problems with bias in a statistical sense: in the election last fall, its polls overestimated the standing of Republican candidates by roughly 4 percentage points on average.
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
Ezra Klein:
Wonkbook: Are Republicans overreaching?  Or just negotiating effectively?  —  The showdown in Wisconsin continues, and the one in Washington is just beginning.  In Wisconsin, Democrats and unions have offered Gov. Scott Walker the benefit concessions he's asked for, but not the end to collective bargaining he's demanded.
Discussion: The Caucus, Right Turn and Daily Kos
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:
George Will's Dishonest Assault On Unions
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Wall Street Journal:
Political Fight Over Unions Escalates
Discussion: Classical Values and The Politico
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
Scott Bauer / Associated Press:
Wisconsin governor warns of layoff notices
Discussion: The Agonist
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
First look: Unions launch TV ad campaign backing Wisconsin public employees
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Government pensions, an obesity epidemic
Discussion: Booman Tribune
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
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 …
Defiant Gaddafi refuses to quit amid Libya protests
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and FrumForum
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 …
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.
Discussion: Politics Daily and FrumForum
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
I receive a threat: “whoever video taped this has no life and needs to be shot in the head.”  —  That's a comment on my YouTube video about the salt trucks that circled the Wisconsin Capitol yesterday, blowing horns, apparently in support of the protesters.  (I blogged the video here.)
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 …
Jarrel Wade / Tulsa World:
Email: TPD captain investigated for refusing to order officers' attendance at mosque event  —  A Tulsa police captain who allegedly refused to require his subordinates to attend a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day” at the Tulsa mosque has been assigned to a different division …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
Laura Rozen / The Politico:
Among Libya's lobbyists  —  As several Libyan diplomats Monday denounced their country's four-decade ruler Col. Muammar Qadhafi for unleashing the army against anti-government protesters, U.S. consultancies that have worked to burnish Libya's and Qadhafi's U.S. image were laying low.
Andrew Solomon / News Desk:
How Qaddafi Lost Libya  —  It seemed unlikely that Libya, sandwiched between regime collapse in Tunisia and regime collapse in Egypt, could be untouched by the movement.  Qaddafi has had dominion over an increasingly malcontent country, and the citizens have been increasingly disgusted …
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).
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 More Items: 
Igor Volsky / Wonk Room:
Marriage Equality Bill Introduced In Maryland Senate
Trevor Loudon / New Zeal:
Christchurch Earthquake - Again!
John Sides / The Monkey Cage:
The Relationship between Union Membership and State Budget Deficits
Discussion: Yglesias and AFL-CIO NOW BLOG
Washington Post:
Poll: Whites without college degrees especially pessimistic about economy
New York Post:
Topics  —  War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.
Discussion: Power Line
Lauraklairmont / CNN:
Pro-Huntsman effort launches website, offering 2012 clues
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 and TPMDC
 Earlier Items: 
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
Jonathan Amos / BBC:
New Zealand earthquake: 65 dead in Christchurch
Discussion: The Page
Cables show China used debt holdings to press US
Thers / Whiskey Fire:
Canadians Who Look Like Justin Bieber
Ford Vox / The Atlantic Online:
Wisconsin's Real Doctors and Their Fake Sick Notes for Protesters