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2:40 AM ET, March 15, 2011


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Japan Faces Potential Nuclear Disaster as Radiation Levels Rise  —  By HIROKO TABUCHI, KEITH BRADSHER and MATTHEW L. WALD  —  TOKYO — Japan faced the likelihood of a catastrophic nuclear accident Tuesday morning, as an explosion at the most crippled of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi …
Simon Maloy / Media Matters for America:
Fox News Discovers Nuclear Reactor In Japanese Disco  —  Earlier today on Fox News' Your World With Neil Cavuto, this map popped up detailing the locations of Japan's nuclear power plants:  —  One name seems out of place on the graphic — that of “Shibuyaeggman.”
Discussion: Balloon Juice
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 …
Jeremy Gordon / World Nuclear News:
Dramatic escalation in Japan  —  UPDATE 1: 1.58am GMT Information from TV appearance, change of headline from ‘Possible damage to Fukushima Daiichi 2’  —  CORRECTION: 1.58am GMT Removal of potential inaccuracy on torus' status in containment  —  UPDATE 2: 2.19am GMT Information from government …
Japan crisis: third explosion raises spectre of nuclear nightmare  —  New explosion at Fukushima plant, as engineers fought to prevent a meltdown in the second worst nuclear accident in history.  —  A huge explosion hit another reactor at an earthquake-damaged Japanese nuclear power plant early Tuesday …
Tokyo Electric to Build US Nuclear Plants: The No BS Info on Japan's Disastrous Nuclear Operators  —  I need to speak to you, not as a reporter, but in my former capacity as lead investigator in several government nuclear plant fraud and racketeering investigations.
Third blast at Japan nuclear plant
Discussion: AlterNet and Talking Points Memo
US embassy cables: MP criticises Japanese nuclear strategy
Discussion: The Nation
William Saletan / Slate:
Let's cool the political meltdown over Japan's damaged nuclear power plants.
Peter Wynn Kirby / Opinionator:   Japan's Long Nuclear Disaster Film
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
Roy Rogers / Dome on the Range:
Peck: If You're Brown, You're Going Down  —  Hey, we didn't say it.  —  After a bit of a hiatus, DOTR is back!  We were waiting for just the right issue on which to jump back in, and we think we found it (Or at least we hope we found it.  If this doesn't epitomize Statehouse Crazy, we're all screwed).
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
John / Power Line:
USA Inc.  —  If the United States were a company, what financial shape would it be in?  And what would it make sense to do to put the company on a sounder footing?  These are the intriguing questions that a group of investment analysts from Kleiner Perkins, headed by Mary Meeker, set out to answer.
Discussion: protein wisdom and Chicago Boyz
Felix Salmon:
Don't donate money to Japan  —  Individuals are doing it, banks are doing it — faced with the horrific news and pictures from Japan, everybody wants to do something, and the obvious thing to do is to donate money to some relief fund or other.  —  Please don't.
Tom Fahey /
GOP House member resigns after mental illness remarks  —  CONCORD - Rep. Martin Harty, a Barrington Republican, has resigned his House seat in the wake of fire he drew for remarks on mental illness and population control.  —  Harty, who turns 92 this month, came into spotlight last week …
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 …
Andy Szal / WisPolitics Budget Blog:
Fitzgerald: Dem senators won't be allowed to vote in committees  —  Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald wrote this afternoon in an email to his caucus that Senate Dems remain in contempt of the Senate and will not be allowed to vote in committees despite returning from their out-of-state boycott of the budget repair bill vote.
Matt Schneider / Mediaite:
Michele Bachmann's First Action As Pres. Candidate?  Offer Her Birth Certificate  —  Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is not afraid to continue to beat the birth certificate drum as a criticism of President Obama.  Appearing on the radio show of conservative host Jeff Katz …
The Note:
Michele Bachmann's Historical Blunder
Discussion: Guardian
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Conservative bloc leader to oppose GOP bill with ‘bite-sized’ cuts  —  Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the head of the powerful conservative Republican Study Committee, will vote against the three-week House spending bill Tuesday.  —  Jordan's decision will put pressure on other conservative members …
Daniel Larison / Eunomia:
Palin and the “Party of Ideas” … This wouldn't be much of a change from the intellectually empty brand of pseudo-populism that prevails right now.  What makes some of the new movement conservative anxiety about Palin so amusing is that the people cited in the article continue to perpetuate …
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Balloon Juice
The Politico:
'She's becoming Al Sharpton, Alaska edition'
Kirk Johnson / New York Times:
Mormon Politicians From Utah Feel Tea Party Heat  —  COALVILLE, Utah — Jacqueline Smith fits no one's stereotype of a political kingmaker.  A home-schooling Mormon mother of five, Ms. Smith lives in a modest ranch-style house here in the mountains outside Salt Lake City with her husband, Cleve, a plumbing contractor.
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 Nather / The Politico:
Steve King seeks maximum ‘leverage’ to stop reform  —  Rep. Steve King says House Republicans should stick together and vote against any long-term spending agreement that doesn't block funding for President Barack Obama's health care law — even if it leads to a government shutdown.
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Chamber Of Commerce's Top SCOTUS Litigator Admits Justices Give Special Treatment to Chamber  —  A recent 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 …
Marisa Guthrie / Hollywood Reporter:
Japan Tsunami/Earthquake Coverage Lifts CNN Ratings … Coverage of the devastating earthquake and tsunamis in Northern Japan boosted CNN's ratings by more than 400%.  —  On Friday, the first day of the disaster CNN offered wall-to-wall coverage from Japan.
Discussion: Big Hollywood and
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 More Items: 
Ben Dimiero / Media Matters for America:
Beck: “I'm Not Not Saying” God Is Causing Earthquakes
Chris Good / The Atlantic Online:
Ron Paul's Group Raised $1.1 Million in the Past Month
Scott Wong / The Politico:
Senate GOP plays nominees against trade
Discussion: The Note and FrumForum
Arnold Kling / EconLog:
History and the Great Depression
 Earlier Items: 
Associated Press:
Pirate threatens India after capture of 61 pirates
Mark Finkelstein / blogs:
Mika On The Brink Of A Domino's Breakdown
Discussion: Moonbattery
Tanya Somanader / ThinkProgress:
Virginia GOP Use Emergency Rule To Impose Anti-Abortion Rules, May Force 17 Of 21 Clinics To Close
Discussion: The Maddow Blog
Fhardingj / CNN:
Palin has path to win, Republican warns
Why is there no looting in Japan?
Mike Zapler / The Politico:
Al Franken: 'They're coming after the Internet'
Discussion: Left Coast Rebel and Pajamas Media
Daily Kos:
Iowa Woman Jailed for Thinking about an Abortion
Discussion: Shakesville and Taylor Marsh