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4:30 PM ET, March 15, 2011


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Workers Strain to Retake Control After Blast and Fire at Japan Plant  —  TOKYO — Japanese officials and safety workers struggled to reassert control over badly damaged nuclear reactors and avert calamity on Tuesday after the situation at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant appeared …
New York Times:
In Fuel-Cooling Pools, a Danger for the Longer Term  —  Even as workers race to prevent the radioactive cores of the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan from melting down, concerns are growing that nearby pools holding spent fuel rods could pose an even greater danger.
Kyodo News:   Spent nuke fuel pool may be boiling, further radiation leak feared
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Brutal numbers for Kasich, SB 5  —  Ohio Senate Bill 5 may not be in effect for very long...54% of voters in the state say they'd repeal it in an election later this year while just 31% say they'd vote to let the bill stand.  —  The support for repealing SB 5 is reflective of a high level …
David Weigel / Weigel:
Rick Scott, John Kasich, Scott Walker, and a GOP Problem for 2012  —  I was talking the other day to a Democrat who'd been battle-scarred by the 2010 Florida campaign, in which Democrats lost everything.  Everything.  Alan Grayson's career died quickly.  Kendrick Meek became a trivia question.
Gary Langer / ABCNEWS:
Confidence Falls in U.S. System of Government  —  Confidence in the U.S. System of Government Drops to a 35-Year Low  —  Confidence in the U.S. system of government has dropped to a new low in more than 35 years, with public attitudes burdened by continued economic discontent …
The Note:
The Note: GOP Losing Ground In Battle Over Deficit
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Dem leader: Opposition growing to short-term spending fixes  —  The Democrats' patience with short-term spending measures — like the one slated for a vote Tuesday — is growing thin, a leading House Democrat warned.  —  Rep. John Larson (Conn.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus …
Discussion: The Politico, CNN and Gawker
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Boehner ‘confident’ stopgap will pass despite GOP pushback
Discussion: FrumForum
The Note:
Speaker Boehner Digs In, Renews Call for Washington Democrats to Cut Spending
Discussion: CNN
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Bachmann jabs media for hyping Revolutionary War gaffe  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) lashed out at members of the media on Tuesday, blaming them for overhyping a historical gaffe she made during a trip to New Hampshire.  —  Bachmann, the Tea Party darling who's considering running …
Kendra Marr / The Politico:
Bachmann plays the victim
New York Times:
The Abuse of Private Manning  —  Pfc. Bradley Manning, who has been imprisoned for nine months on charges of handing government files to WikiLeaks, has not even been tried let alone convicted.  Yet the military has been treating him abusively, in a way that conjures creepy memories …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Dem shames Obama for Crowley ousting
Discussion: The Raw Story and Weasel Zippers
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Huckabee, Bachmann Have Most Intense Following in GOP Field  —  Sarah Palin is best known, but her Positive Intensity Score trails  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee leads the field of possible GOP presidential candidates in “positive intensity” among Republicans nationwide …
Edward L. Glaeser / Economix:
If the Tea Party Went Downtown  —  Edward L. Glaeser is an economics professor at Harvard and the author of “Triumph of the City.”  —  Big cities are not typically Tea Party territory, but if the new Republican members of Congress apply their libertarian principles assiduously to a few key federal policies …
Aharding / CNN:
CNN Poll: Most say govt. shutdown bad; Tea Party disagrees
Daily Mail:
Snake dies from silicone poisoning after biting model's breast during photoshoot  —  It should have been an alluring photoshoot between two of nature's beautiful creatures as a model wrapped herself in a snake.  —  But surgically enhanced Israeli model Orit Fox got more than she bargained …
David Nir / Daily Kos:
Wisconsin recall: 3 GOP state senators trail Generic Dem, more at risk  —  We asked our pollster, Public Policy Polling, to test the waters in all eight Republican-held state Senate districts in Wisconsin which are currently the target of recall efforts.  PPP went into the field over the weekend …
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
House Republicans reject amendment that says climate change is occurring  —  House Republicans rejected amendments offered Tuesday by Democrats that called on Congress to accept the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring, that it is caused in large part by human activity and it is a threat to human health.
Jason Mattera / Human Events:
Trump Unplugged  —  [Editor's note: These are uncut excerpts from HUMAN EVENTS's exclusive interview with Donald Trump on culture, politics, and his potential run for the presidency.  To read the cover story, “Can Donald Trump Save America?” go here]  —  Trump on Charlie Sheen's debut on “Celebrity Apprentice”
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
While Japan Burns, Obama Fills Out His Bracket  —  Wow: … Via Mike Allen's newsletter, we see in the first line how the leader of the free world will spend his day during this awful crisis: … Okay, that's not all he's doing.  “Obama will tape interviews from the Map Room with KOAT Albuquerque …
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Ethics complaint filed against Claire McCaskill  —  Missouri Republicans have filed a complaint against Sen. Claire McCaskill with the Senate Ethics Committee, calling for an investigation into whether the Missouri Democrat improperly used taxpayer funding to cover the cost of at least one airplane trip to a political event.
Simon Tisdall / Guardian:
Germany blocks plans for Libya no-fly zone  —  G8 talks stall after Germans refuse to support military intervention backed by Britain and France  —  Germany has again blocked Anglo-French plans for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya.  —  Reports from talks held by G8 ministers …
Battle for control rages in Libya
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Social Security reform splits White House political, economic teams  —  Social Security reform is splitting President Obama's economic and political advisers.  —  Obama is being pulled in opposite directions by those whose priorities are fiscal and those whose No. 1 concern is electoral.
Bob King / The Politico:
Al Gore back at work on new book  —  Al Gore is heading back to your bookshelf in 2012.  —  The Nobel-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning author of “Earth in the Balance” and “An Inconvenient Truth” — also known in some circles as the popular-vote winner in the 2000 presidential election …
Discussion: CNN
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
Jim DeMint's Theory Of Relativity: ‘The Bigger Government Gets, The Smaller God Gets’  —  It is nothing new for conservatives to dress their political ideology in religious language.  Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) justified his opposition to controlling greenhouse gases because “you can't regulate God.”
Democrat wants to eliminate fleeing as option to hold up votes  —  By Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel  —  Madison —A Democratic state senator wants to make it impossible for senators in the future to block legislative action by leaving the state.  —  Sen. Tim Cullen of Janesville …
Kendra Marr / The Politico:
Newt's eye on affairs: No excuses  —  Newt Gingrich insists he's not pinning his adultery on hard work and patriotism.  —  “I'm not blaming my life on anyone, and I'm not offering excuses,” he told The Howie Carr Show on Monday.  —  The former House speaker has been skewered for his recent comments …
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 More Items: 
Sara Jerome / The Hill:
Franken to push bill that would make violations of net neutrality a crime
Dave Hansen / The Politico:
Powell to be cable industry's new rep
Alexis Madrigal / The Atlantic Online:
The Electric Taxi Company You Could Have Called in 1900
Jamelle Bouie / American Prospect:
In Wisconsin, There Is No Enthusiasm Gap
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Etsy users irked after buyers, purchases exposed to the world
Sarah Palin / Washington Post:
Poll: Budget impasse cements public's disapproval of Washington
 Earlier Items: 
Simon Romero / New York Times:
Chávez Tries to Rally Venezuela Against a New Enemy: Breast Lifts
Chris Lee Resignation / Buffalo News:
Davis' comments shock GOP leaders
Discussion: RedState, Ballot Box and Mother Jones
Wall Street Journal:
Are Israeli Settlers Human?