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6:00 PM ET, March 12, 2011


 Top Items: 
Red Alert: Nuclear Meltdown at Quake-Damaged Japanese Plant  —  A March 12 explosion at the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan, appears to have caused a reactor meltdown.  —  The key piece of technology in a nuclear reactor is the control rods.
New York Times:
Japan Floods Nuclear Reactor Crippled by Quake in Effort to Avert Meltdown  —  TOKYO — Japanese officials took the extraordinary step on Saturday of flooding a nuclear reactor with seawater in a last-ditch effort to avoid a nuclear meltdown, after an explosion there escalated the emergency caused …
Japan's fears of nuclear mayhem recede as nuclear reactor starts to cool  —  Physicists feared second explosion would create radioactive cloud as residents panicked, jamming city's exit roads  —  For a few unnerving hours, Japan faced a bleak and unsettling prospect.
Japan warns of small radiation leak at nuclear plant  —  Pressure in one of the six reactors is considerably higher than normal, Japan's nuclear agency says  —  Japanese authorities have warned there could be a small radiation leak from a nuclear reactor whose cooling system was knocked out by the earthquake.
Wall Street Journal:
Japan Tries Using Seawater to Cool Damaged Reactor
Discussion: FrumForum
Kyung Lah / CNN:
Japan scrambles to reach trapped victims
Discussion: Kyodo News and AOL News
Kyodo News:
Damage from mega quake increasing, death toll feared to top 1,700
Discussion: Guardian
Radiation leaking from Japan's quake-hit nuclear
Discussion: Daily Kos
Scott Conroy / Real Clear Politics:
Bachmann Mangles Revolutionary History In N.H.  —  MANCHESTER, N.H. — Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire got off to a rocky start on Saturday morning when she misstated a key fact about the American Revolution in a speech to a group …
Alexander Bolton / Ballot Box:
Bachmann makes gaffe in New Hampshire  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a possible presidential contender in 2012, made an embarrassing gaffe Saturday morning in a speech to a group of conservatives in New Hampshire.  —  Bachmann erroneously touted New Hampshire as the site of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.
Jaime Lalinde / Vanity Fair:
Larry Kudlow Devalues Human Life With Japan Earthquake Freudian Slip  —  In these tough economic times, isn't it nice to know that calamitous natural disasters needn't have an adverse affect on your investment portfolio?  After the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan failed to induce a market nosedive …
Gail Collins / New York Times:
Eye of the Newt  —  The presidential race is barely under way, but already we have had our first Big Thought.  I am speaking, of course, of Newt Gingrich's suggestion that he was driven into serial adultery by hard work and patriotism.  —  “There's no question that at times in my life …
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
POLITICIANS CAUGHT ACCIDENTALLY TELLING THE TRUTH.... Incidents surrounding live mics are some of my favorites — unexpected candor can be revealing.  —  Take this gem out of Iowa, for example.  (thanks to Blue Girl for the tip) … The conversation was between some of the top leaders of the Iowa State House.
Jason Clayworth / Des Moines Register:
House Republican, caught on tape, jokes of ‘give a handgun to a schizophrenic bill’
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Booman Tribune
Glenn Davis / Mediaite:
Bill Maher To Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison: The Qur'an Is A ‘Hate Filled Holy Book’  —  The emotion shown by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) at Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) Muslim radicalization hearings garnered much attention, and we have a feeling Ellison's appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher tonight will get its share of play as well.
Discussion: Salon
Gaza celebrates; Fayyad condemns terror attack  —  Rafah residents hand out candy following murder of parents, three children in West Bank settlement of Itamar.  Palestinian PM denounces act, says “we categorically oppose violence and terror, regardless of victims', perpetrators' identity”
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Weasel Zippers
Daniel Hannan / Wall Street Journal:
A European's Warning to America  —  The perils of following us toward greater regulation, higher taxes and centralized power.  —  On a U.S. talk-radio show recently, I was asked what I thought about the notion that Barack Obama had been born in Kenya.  “Pah!”  I replied.
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Daniel Hannan to America: “You deserve better, cousins.”
Michelle Malkin:
Seattle-area call for help: Help us search for Marizela Saturday  —  (Download here in PDF form.)  —  This is probably one of the most difficult things my family has ever undertaken.  It has been an overwhelming week and we need help.  —  Tomorrow, Saturday March 12 …
Wesley K. Clark / Washington Post:
Gen. Wesley Clark says Libya doesn't meet the test for U.S. military action  —  In March of 1974, when I was a young Army captain, I was sitting in a conference on civil-military relations at Brown University.  Rep. Les Aspin (D-Wis.) was onstage expounding on the lessons from Vietnam about military interventions.
Mark Kleiman / The Reality-Based Community:
A weak President  —  Asked about the extraordinary conditions imposed on Bradley Manning and the even more extraordinary remarks of the State Department spokesman dumping on DoD for that mistreatment, Barack Obama sounds completely clueless.  Clueless at the Bush level:
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
Josh Rogin / Foreign Policy:
Crowley deleted tweet comparing Middle East ‘tsunami’ to Japan crisis
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Facebook Users Who Are Under Age Raise Concerns
Discussion: Gothamist and Outside the Beltway
New York Times:
Democrats See Wisconsin Loss as Galvanizing
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Wausau Daily Herald:
18 Republican senators from Wisconsin report getting death threats after passing bill …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Obama promises to continue fight for women's equality
 Earlier Items: 
Bill Rankin / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Ex-judge Camp sentenced to 30 days in prison
Discussion: Law Blog and TalkLeft
Sabrina Tavernise / New York Times:
Same-Sex Marriage Bill Falls Short in Maryland
Discussion: Riehl World View and FrumForum
Sam Farmer / Los Angeles Times:
NFL players decertify their union
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Daily Kos
Ellen Barry / New York Times:
Putin Throws Curveball to Biden With Suggestion on Visas