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2:10 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  —  A nuclear crisis at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant deepened Tuesday as fresh explosions occurred at the site and its operator said water in a pool storing spent nuclear fuel rods may be boiling …
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
McCain is open to review of U.S. nuclear power policy
Discussion: The Note
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  —  As Congress and the White House struggle to cobble together a budget deal, Americans don't feel particularly confident that either side has the right answers.  —  In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll out today, just 43 percent …
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 …
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: Weasel Zippers
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.
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
Obama lies low in deficit debate
Discussion: Fox Nation and Right Wing News
Sen. Fitzgerald: Senate Dems' committee votes will not be counted or recorded  —  Senate Majority Scott Fitzgerald has told Senate Republicans that any votes taken by Senate Democrats in standing committee public hearings and executive sessions will not be counted or recorded.
Andy Szal / WisPolitics Budget Blog:
Fitzgerald: Dem senators won't be allowed to vote in committees
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 …
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.
Discussion: Pundit Press
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
N.R.A. Declines to Meet With Obama on Gun Policy  —  WASHINGTON — More than two months after the Tucson shootings, the administration is calling together both the gun lobby and gun safety groups to find common ground.  But President Obama has no plans to take the lead in proposing further …
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”
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Rush's Presidential Standard (And Palin)  —  This is a fascinating moment.  Rush Limbaugh tries to fathom just why any leading Repubican would trash Sarah Palin as the Al Sharpton of the right.  Part of this, to my mind, has to be Limbaugh's deeply ingrained racism.
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
U.S.: Wait on health care review  —  The Obama Administration told the Supreme Court Monday evening that federal appeals courts are moving rapidly to review the constitutionality of the new health care law, so there is no need for the Justices to step in to decide the issue ahead of the lower courts.
Lee Ross / Fox News:
White House Urges Supreme Court Not to Jump Into Health Care Law Cases Prematurely
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Weasel Zippers
Sarah Palin / Washington Post:
Poll: Budget impasse cements public's disapproval of Washington  —  / AP - President Barack Obama gestures during his speech at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Va., Monday, March, 14, 2011.  (AP Photo)
Alexis Madrigal / The Atlantic Online:
The Electric Taxi Company You Could Have Called in 1900  —  On August 31, 1894, two young men rolled their new electric car onto what passed for a road in Philadelphia.  It would have been hot and sticky outside, a Friday at the end of a long summer that had seen an intense heat wave suffocate the city for most of July.
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 …
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 …
Jose Martinez / NY Daily News:
Manhattan mom sues $19K/yr. preschool for damaging 4-year-old daughter's Ivy League chances  —  Did a Manhattan preschool fail to adequately prepare a four-year-old girl for Harvard?  The girl's mom charges that the York Avenue Preschool hurt her child's chances in a lawsuit filed Monday.
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.
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 More Items: 
Jamelle Bouie / American Prospect:
In Wisconsin, There Is No Enthusiasm Gap
Battle for control rages in Libya
Jacqui Cheng / Ars Technica:
Etsy users irked after buyers, purchases exposed to the world
Simon Romero / New York Times:
Chávez Tries to Rally Venezuela Against a New Enemy: Breast Lifts
Fhardingj / CNN:
CNN Poll: Obama approval drops to 50 percent
Discussion: The Politico and The Page
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Lee Resignation / Buffalo News:
Davis' comments shock GOP leaders
Discussion: Ballot Box and Mother Jones
Adam C. Smith / St. Petersburg Times:
Adam Hasner all but declares U.S. Senate run
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Fhardingj / CNN:
Barbour meets and greets in Iowa
Discussion: GOP 12 and Taegan Goddard's …
Wall Street Journal:
Are Israeli Settlers Human?
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Israel Matzav
Tom Fahey /
GOP House member resigns after mental illness remarks
Discussion: Wonkette and Weigel
John / Power Line:
USA Inc.  —  If the United States were a company, what financial shape would it be in?
Discussion: protein wisdom and Chicago Boyz