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5:35 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 …
Yuka Hayashi / Wall Street Journal:
Japan Officials Make Gains as Nuclear Crisis Sparks Rift  —  Conditions at Plant Are Stabilized but Worst May Not Be Over  —  WSJ's Yukimo Ono reports from Tokyo on a third explosion at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, along with continued rescue efforts in the wake of last week's earthquake.
Kyodo News:   Spent nuke fuel pool may be boiling, further radiation leak feared
Keach Hagey / The Politico:
House committee moves again to defund NPR  —  Meredith Shiner reports from the Hill that the House Rules committee will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday at 3 p.m. on H.R. 1076, the measure “to prohibit funding of National Public Radio and the use of Federal funds to acquire radio content.”
Discussion: The Raw Story and Weasel Zippers
John Stanton / Roll Call:
House Passes Three-Week CR
Discussion: Washington Monthly and The Page
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Dem leader: Opposition growing to short-term spending fixes
Discussion: The Politico, CNN and Gawker
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Republican lawmaker says, on the budget, Democrats left a ‘pile of crap’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Benjy Sarlin / TPMDC:
House GOP Declares Emergency ... Over NPR Funding
Discussion: The Note and Hot Air
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.
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 …
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
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 …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
More from our Republican poll  —  In addition to the standard horse race stuff on our national Republican poll this month we also polled on some of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich's vulnerabilities- we described their potential baggage to poll respondents without actually naming them as the candidates in question.
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 …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Unions vs. the little guy in Wisconsin recall fight
Discussion: theblogprof
Kendra Marr / The Politico:
Bachmann plays the victim  —  Michele Bachmann fired back at the media Tuesday, saying her Revolutionary War gaffe was only reported because she is a conservative politician.  —  “We all know there's a double standard in the media ... as we know all 3,400 members of the mainstream media …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Bachmann jabs media for hyping Revolutionary War gaffe
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 …
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
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
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.
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.
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 …
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.”
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
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 …
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:
How NPR Helped Empower James O'Keefe  —  So James O'Keefe's much-hyped NPR video turns out to have been misleadingly edited, just like his previous efforts.  Shocking, isn't it?  —  Actually, it might be — if you get your news from NPR.  —  Dishonesty is James O'Keefe's defining trait.
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
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 More Items: 
Political Punch:
Young Leaders of Egypt's Revolt Snub Clinton in Cairo
Todd A. Heywood / Michigan Messenger:
Activists confirm plans to peacefully take Capitol
Discussion: Dane101 and The Political Carnival
Simon Tisdall / Guardian:
Germany blocks plans for Libya no-fly zone
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
 Earlier Items: 
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
Chris Lee Resignation / Buffalo News:
Davis' comments shock GOP leaders
Discussion: RedState, Ballot Box and Mother Jones
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Social Security reform splits White House political, economic teams