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1:25 AM ET, March 16, 2011

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Last Defense at Troubled Reactors: 50 Japanese Workers  —  A small crew of technicians, braving radiation and fire, became the only people remaining at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on Tuesday — and perhaps Japan's last chance of preventing a broader nuclear catastrophe.
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Japan suspends work at stricken nuclear plant  —  FUKUSHIMA, Japan - Japan suspended operations to keep its stricken nuclear plant from melting down Wednesday after surging radiation made it too dangerous to stay.  —  Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said the workers dousing the reactors …
Tom Zeller Jr / New York Times:
Experts Had Long Criticized Potential Weakness in Design of Stricken Reactor  —  The warnings were stark and issued repeatedly as far back as 1972: If the cooling systems ever failed at a “Mark 1” nuclear reactor, the primary containment vessel surrounding the reactor would probably burst as the fuel rods inside overheated.
CNN:
Handful of ‘heroes’ battles to keep nuclear plant under control  —  Tokyo (CNN) — After three explosions and a fire in four days, the situation at Japan's earthquake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant grew more serious Tuesday, chasing all but a handful of workers from the site …
Guardian:
Fukushima 50 battle radiation risks as Japan nuclear crisis deepens
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.
RELATED:
Jon Gillooly / mdjonline.com:
John McCain's daughter speaks at KSU; wants Romney, not Palin, for president  —  KENNESAW - Sen. John McCain's daughter, Meghan, told a Kennesaw State University audience Monday evening that she wants to see Mitt Romney, not Sarah Palin, challenge Barack Obama for president.
Discussion: The Daily Caller
RELATED:
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.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Exploring Alternative Republican Universes
Discussion: Hot Air, GOP 12, Gallup and Fox News
Benjy Sarlin / TPMDC:
House GOP Declares Emergency ... Over NPR Funding  —  House Republicans are holding an emergency meeting of the Rules Committee on Wednesday to take up legislation that would block funding to NPR in the wake of James O'Keefe's hidden camera prank on the news organization.
RELATED:
Keach Hagey / The Politico:
House committee moves again to defund NPR
Discussion: CNN, Weasel Zippers and The Raw Story
Keith Koffler / White House Dossier:
President Obama's Trivial Pursuits  —  The Middle East is afire with rebellion, Japan is imploding from an earthquake, and the battle of the budget is on in the United States, but none of this seems to be deterring President Obama from a heavy schedule of childish distractions.
RELATED:
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
While Japan Burns, Obama Fills Out His Bracket
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Unions vs. the little guy in Wisconsin recall fight  —  Chief Political Correspondent Follow Him @ByronYork  —  If you're a Republican, it's a scenario straight out of “Alice in Wonderland.”  Fourteen Wisconsin state senators, all Democrats, flee the state for three weeks …
RELATED:
Carrie Dann / msnbc.com:
Clinton: No U.S. support for Libya no-fly zone  —  From Cairo, NBC's Andrea Mitchell reports on the ongoing negotiations over a no-fly zone in Libya.  —  Carrie Dann writes:We wrote this morning that lawmakers - and the public - are split about whether the United States should implement …
Discussion: TPMDC, Hot Air, National Review and Guardian
RELATED:
Political Punch:
Young Leaders of Egypt's Revolt Snub Clinton in Cairo
Sarah Palin / Facebook:
The $4-Per-Gallon President  —  Is it really any surprise that oil and gas prices are surging toward the record highs we saw in 2008 just prior to the economic collapse?  Despite the President's strange assertions in his press conference last week, his Administration is not a passive observer …
Aharding / CNN:
CNN Poll: Most say govt. shutdown bad; Tea Party disagrees  —  Washington (CNN) - Most Americans say that a federal government shutdown would be bad for the country, according to a new national poll.  —  But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey also indicates that Democrats and Republicans …
RELATED:
Edward L. Glaeser / Economix:
If the Tea Party Went Downtown
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 …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans say Afghan war isn't worth fighting
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 …
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 …
Brent Budowsky / The Hill:
Jimmy Carter was right  —  For 40 years, America's energy policy has been a bipartisan disaster.  Since the early 1970s America's dependence on foreign oil has threatened our economy, security and national honor as we corrupted our foreign policy to satisfy our thirst for oil.  —  Nixon failed.
Rich Lord / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
5 guns seized in Armstrong County raid had been reported stolen  —  Five guns seized in an accused Islamic radical's Armstrong County bedroom had been reported stolen, federal prosecutors said in a court filing today.  —  The guns were among 21 taken in January when the Federal Bureau …
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Rand Paul ratchets his proposed spending cuts down to $200B  —  Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has ratcheted down his proposal to cut $500 billion from the federal budget for fiscal year 2011.  —  Paul on Tuesday introduced an amendment on the Senate floor to cut $200 billion over the next six-and-a-half months.
Discussion: CNN
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 Romero / New York Times:
Chávez Tries to Rally Venezuela Against a New Enemy: Breast Lifts  —  CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chávez is known to have expressed little patience for imported leisure pursuits like golf or Scotch whisky tippling.  Now he has reserved some ire for another practice …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Nellie Andreeva / Deadline.com:
Netflix To Enter Original Programming With Mega Deal For David Fincher-Kevin Spacey Series ‘House Of Cards’
Lori Lowenthal Marcus / American Thinker:
J Street: 'Maybe Israel really ain't a good idea'
Chris Moody / The Daily Caller:
Harry Shearer, the actor, writer, musician, and most recently filmmaker …
CNN:
Cain: Planned Parenthood's mission is ‘planned genocide’ of black babies
CNN:
House passes three-week government spending extension
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Still Waiting For The Budget Debate
Discussion: Eschaton
Catherine Brown / NBC Philadelphia:
Biden's Name to Grace New Rail Station
James F. McCarty / Metro:
Cuyahoga County grand jury files 7-count indictment against auto dealer Tom Ganley, accusing him of sexual imposition
Discussion: Wonkette
 Earlier Items: 
ABCNEWS:
Gilbert Gottfried Apologizes for Japan Joke
Discussion: Gothamist
Todd A. Heywood / Michigan Messenger:
Activists confirm plans to peacefully take Capitol
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Dem shames Obama for Crowley ousting
Discussion: The Raw Story and Weasel Zippers