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8:25 PM ET, March 14, 2011


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
New Blast Reported at Nuclear Plant as Japan Struggles to Cool Reactor  —  TOKYO — An explosion early Tuesday morning may have damaged the inner steel containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, leading to the wide release of radioactive materials …
William Saletan / Slate:
Let's cool the political meltdown over Japan's damaged nuclear power plants.  —  Less than a year ago, a drilling rig exploded off the coast of the United States, killing 11 workers and pouring 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.  No natural disaster caused this tragedy.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:   Just a Thought  —  There's so much we don't know yet about the situation in Japan.
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
White House says Obama won't back off nuclear energy
Discussion: CNN, New York Times and FrumForum
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Nukes Versus Hydrocarbons
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and Mother Jones
William Tucker / Wall Street Journal:
Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl
Judd Gregg / The Hill:
Sadly, the primary process might help Sarah Palin  —  It is difficult to believe, but the first election for the next president of the United States is less than a year away.  —  The New Hampshire primary is alive and well and headed toward a date of Valentine's Day next year …
The Politico:
'She's becoming Al Sharpton, Alaska edition'  —  Sarah Palin has played the sexism card, accusing critics of chauvinism against a strong woman.  —  She has played the class card, dismissing the Bush family as “blue bloods,” and complaining that she is the target of snobbery by people …
Fhardingj / CNN:
Palin has path to win, Republican warns
Discussion: Pundits Blog and FrumForum
Daniel Larison / Eunomia:
Palin and the “Party of Ideas”
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Balloon Juice
Clyde Middleton / Liberty Pundits Blog:
Judd Gregg's cheap shot at Sarah removes him from intelligent discourse
Discussion: Riehl World View
The Huffington Post:
Fox News Signs Former Senator Evan Bayh As A Contributor … UPDATE: Fox News officially announced on Monday afternoon that former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh is becoming a contributor to the network.  —  Michael Clemente, the network's senior vice president for news, announced the move in a statement.
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Former Senator Evan Bayh To Pair Lobbying With Conservative Television Punditry  —  When he first announced that he was stepping down from the United States Senate, Evan Bayh cited a lot of high-minded reasons for the decision.  So high-minded was his talk that Ezra Klein was moved to remark that …
Discussion: USA Today
Marisa Guthrie / Hollywood Reporter:
Cable News Viewership Declines Double Digits in 2010
Mark Memmott / NPR:
NPR: O'Keefe ‘Inappropriately Edited’ Video; Exec's Words Still ‘Egregious’  —  An update on our post from Sunday about the questions that have been raised regarding conservative political activist James O'Keefe's editing of his secretly recorded video of then-NPR chief fundraiser Ron Schiller slamming conservatives.
David Folkenflik / NPR:
Elements Of NPR Gotcha Video Taken Out Of Context … Footage posted online last week by conservative activist James O'Keefe III captured NPR's chief fundraising official, Ron Schiller, disparaging conservatives and the Tea Party and saying NPR would be better off without federal funding.
Sen. Marco Rubio / RedState:
No More Short-Term Budget CR's  —  “Washington politicians of both parties scrambling to put together two and three week plans to keep funding the government, while not fundamentally changing the behavior that has gotten us into this mess to begin with.”  —  Our country faces a brutal reality …
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Conservative bloc leader to oppose GOP bill with ‘bite-sized’ cuts
U.S. Senator Dick Lugar:
Lugar Says Arab League Should Pay for Libyan No-Fly Zone Obama Administration Must Also Get Congress to Declare War  —  Senator Richard G. Lugar, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement:  —  On Saturday, March 12 …
Discussion: Eunomia
Anne-Marie Slaughter / New York Times:
Fiddling While Libya Burns
Fhardingj / CNN:
CNN Poll: Americans say yes to no fly zone, no to ground troops
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Japan, Reno humor in Barbour's shop  —  Every morning, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour's press secretary sends to Barbour's staff and other allies a list of press clippings, along with a daily compendium of birthdays, historical notes, and jokes — which have recently included humor …
Scott Rothschild / The Lawrence Journal-World:
Kansas legislator suggests using hunters in helicopters to control illegal immigration, likens immigrants to feral hogs  —  TOPEKA — A legislator said Monday it might be a good idea to control illegal immigration the way the feral hog population has been controlled — with hunters shooting from helicopters.
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Chamber Of Commerce's Top SCOTUS Litigator Admits Justices Give Special Treatment to Chamber  —  A new study co-authored by conservative Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner confirms something that has been obvious to Supreme Court watchers for years — the Roberts Court places a huge thumb on the scale in favor of corporate interests.
Scott Wong / The Politico:
Senate GOP plays nominees against trade  —  Senate Republicans accused the Obama administration of dragging its feet on free trade, vowing Monday to block President Barack Obama's pick for commerce secretary until trade deals are completed with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
Discussion: The Note and FrumForum
Mark Finkelstein / blogs:
Mika On The Brink Of A Domino's Breakdown  —  Is a pizza about to push Mika Brzezinski over the edge?  Seriously.  Her frantic reaction to finding her daughter and friend sharing a Domino's has me worried about Mika's state of mind.  —  Regular Morning Joe viewers know that Mika's dream job would be as Kommissar of the Food Police.
Discussion: Moonbattery
The Note:
Michele Bachmann's Historical Blunder  —  ABC New's Amy Walter and Amy Bingham report:  —  A blunder of historical fact - not proportions - tainted Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's first visit to New Hampshire this weekend.  Speaking to students and conservative activists in Manchester …
Discussion: Guardian
Daily Kos:
Iowa Woman Jailed for Thinking about an Abortion  —  Sounds far-fetched, right?  Well it isn't.  The anti-choice zealots aren't content to limiting a woman's access to safe and legal abortion, they're now thought police: … Yes, as if Ms. Taylor's existing problems weren't enough …
Discussion: Shakesville
Phil Izzo / Wall Street Journal:
Jobless Rate at 2012 Presidential Vote Forecast at 7.7%, Highest Since Carter-Ford, but the Trend May Matter Most  —  The U.S. jobless rate will be 7.7% in November 2012, the highest level for a presidential election month since Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford in 1976 …
Japan radiation leaks feared as nuclear experts point to possible cover-up  —  Lack of radiation readings echoes pattern of secrecy employed after other major accidents such as Chernobyl  —  Nuclear experts have thrown doubt on the accuracy of official information issued …
Why is there no looting in Japan?  —  The landscape of parts of Japan looks like the aftermath of World War Two; no industrialised country since then has suffered such a death toll.  The one tiny, tiny consolation is the extent to which it shows how humanity can rally round in times of adversity …
Ben Dimiero / Media Matters for America:
Beck On Japan Earthquake: “There's A Message Being Sent” From God  —  Discussing the devastation in Japan on his radio program this morning, Glenn Beck lamented that we “can't see the connections here.”  —  Beck said that he's “not saying God is causing earthquakes,” then clarified that he is …
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 More Items: 
Michael Levenson / Boston Globe:
Santorum, possible GOP presidential candidate, attacks Romney on health care
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and CNN
Anxiety grows as deaths rise in Japan
Chris Good / The Atlantic Online:
Ron Paul's Group Raised $1.1 Million in the Past Month
Obi's Sister:
Five Years In and Still Going Strong
Discussion: The Sundries Shack
Arnold Kling / EconLog:
History and the Great Depression
Associated Press:
Pirate threatens India after capture of 61 pirates
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Shira Toeplitz / The Politico:
Conyers wants to make Obama ‘a better president’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Tanya Somanader / ThinkProgress:
Virginia GOP Use Emergency Rule To Impose Anti-Abortion Rules, May Force 17 Of 21 Clinics To Close
Mike Zapler / The Politico:
Al Franken: 'They're coming after the Internet'
Discussion: Left Coast Rebel and Pajamas Media
Scott Brown Holds Advantage in Early Senate Polling
Jim Morrill / The Charlotte Observer:
Duke guaranteeing $10 million line of credit for DNC