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2:45 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.
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
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 …
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:
George Will's Dishonest Assault On Unions
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
Government pensions, an obesity epidemic
Discussion: Yglesias
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Rasmussen Poll on Wisconsin Dispute May Be Biased
BooMan / Booman Tribune:
Wanker of the Day: Richard Cohen
Discussion: TalkLeft and Eschaton
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
What Did Walker Campaign On?  —  Last night, I heard on Fox News …
Discussion: Firedoglake and Balloon Juice
Ezra Klein:
Column: Wisconsin is about power, not money
Discussion: Wonk Room and NPR
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.
Scott Wong / The Politico:
Harry Reid spending bill exposes deep divide with John Boehner
Discussion: The Note
Thomas M. Burton / Wall Street Journal:
Indiana Democrats Stage Walkout
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Indiana state lawmakers also heading for the border
Discussion: Cubachi, The Politico and The Plum Line
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 and Gawker
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 …
Andrew Solomon / News Desk:   How Qaddafi Lost Libya
New York Times:
Chaos Grows in Libya as Defiant Qaddafi Vows to Fight
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
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.
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 …
Jacob Lew / USA Today:
Opposing view: Social Security isn't the problem  —  The budget put forward by President Obama last week is a blueprint for how we can live within our means and win the future.  As this begins the budgeting process in Washington, we need to be clear about the causes of the pressing fiscal problems we face.
Discussion: Daily Kos, Washington Monthly and TPMDC
Zaid Jilani / ThinkProgress:
GOP Rep. Huizenga: Raising The Social Security Age For Future Retirees Is Fine Because 'I'm Gonna Be Okay'
Discussion: Daily Kos
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.
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 …
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 More Items: 
Julie Hayden / KDVR:
Online Poll - Drawing Arrest
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: WAOW-TV, The Gateway Pundit and WTMJ
Sam Roberts / New York Times:
New York's Little Italy, Littler by the Year
Discussion: Runnin' Scared
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Poll: Could Trump beat Obama in 2012?
Trevor Loudon / New Zeal:
Christchurch Earthquake - Again!
David Streitfeld / New York Times:
Home Prices Slid in December in Most U.S. Cities
Discussion: protein wisdom and Mother Jones
 Earlier Items: 
New York Post:
Topics  —  War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.
Discussion: Power Line