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5:15 AM ET, March 17, 2011


 Top Items: 
Martha Raddatz / ABCNEWS:
U.S. Officials Alarmed By Japanese Handling of Nuclear Crisis  —  U.S. Officials Fear Fukushima Could Become ‘Deadly For Decades’  —  U.S. officials are alarmed at how the Japanese are handling the escalating nuclear reactor crisis and fear that if they do not get control of the plants within …
William J. Broad / New York Times:
Scientists Project Path of Radiation Plume  —  A United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday.
The Politico:
U.S. seeking evacuations from Japan  —  The State Department is making arrangements for family members and dependents of U.S. government personnel to evacuate areas in northern Japan and is warning that all U.S. citizens should consider leaving the country as the nuclear crisis at the damaged Fukushima Daichi complex continue to unfold.
Discussion: The Page
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Clinton says no to second term  —  (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CNN's Wolf Blitzer she does not want to serve a second term as secretary of state or run for president of the United States.  —  Blitzer sat down with the former 2008 presidential candidate in Cairo.  —  Full transcript:
Michael Calderone / Washington Post:
Washington Post apologizes for plagiarized articles  —  The Washington Post apologized Wednesday for publishing two articles in March that “contained substantial material that was borrowed and duplicated, without attribution, from The Arizona Republic newspaper.”
Washington Post:
Editor's Note: An apology  —  Two articles published by The Post online and in its print editions earlier this month contained substantial material that was borrowed and duplicated, without attribution, from The Arizona Republic newspaper.  —  The articles described an indictment …
PZ Myers / Pharyngula:
Why I am an amoral, family-hating monster...and Newt Gingrich isn't  —  Today is my wedding anniversary.  I've been married to the same woman for 31 years, without ever straying.  Newt Gingrich has been married 3 times, divorced one wife while she was recovering from surgery, and has had extra-marital affairs.
Discussion: Hullabaloo and The Politico
Josh Dorner / ThinkProgress:
Newt Gingrich Secretly Funneled $350,000 To Anti-Gay Hate Groups Last Year  —  Last year, former Speaker Newt Gingrich offered his vocal support for the ultimately successful campaign to oust three of the nine Iowa Supreme Court justices who had unanimously ruled in favor of marriage equality.
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Conservatives: We Are Being Outworked And Out-Organized In Wisconsin Recall Campaigns … WASHINGTON — Both national and Wisconsin-based Republican operatives tell the Huffington Post the party is being dramatically outworked and out-organized by Democrats in the recall campaigns being launched against state Senators.
Jeremy W. Peters / Media Decoder:
Four New York Times Journalists Are Missing in Libya  —  6:19 p.m. |  Updated The New York Times said Wednesday that four of its journalists reporting on the conflict in Libya were missing.  —  Editors said they were last in contact with the journalists, who were reporting from the northern port city …
National Review:
Save Benghazi  —  Two weeks ago, we thought Qaddafi would soon be out of Libya or hanging from a lamp post.  But he checked the momentum of the rebels and reversed it with astonishing speed.  The optimal result in Libya would be the rebels' winning on their own, sending a message to others in the region …
Discussion: Eunomia and Time
UN chief calls for ceasefire in Libya
Discussion: TPMDC and New York Times
Timothy Dalrymple / Patheos:
Home to the Longing God  —  William Stuntz gave us an extraordinary portrait of faith in the midst of suffering.  Now God has called, and Bill has answered.  He is with the God who longed for him.  —  I could feel the butterfly wings brushing against my ribs.
HLS News:
William Stuntz [1958-2011]: An examined life of thoughtfulness and grace
The Daily Caller:
GOP leaders, mainline caucus fume at conservative ‘no’ votes on three-week CR  —  GOP leaders and much of the mainline party caucus that voted for a three-week continuing resolution Tuesday are fuming at the 54 conservative Republicans who voted no — and the right-wing activists who cheered them on.
The Note:
Planting Season: Michelle Obama Gets the White House Garden Ready for Spring  —  ABC News' Sunlen Miller, Kristina Bergess and Amy Bingham report:  —  With spring approaching, First Lady Michelle Obama replanted the White House garden for the third time this afternoon.
Jodie Tillman / St. Petersburg Times:
‘Sagging pants’ bill passes House committee  —  Seems the best way to sell legislation these days is that it'll be good for the economy.  That's how Rep. Hazelle Rogers (D-Lauderhill) pitched her so-called “sagging pants” bill to members of the House's K-20 education innovation subcommittee today.
Noel Sheppard / blogs:
Joy Behar: 'I'm Sure People In Concentration Camps Made Jokes About Each Other and The Nazis'  —  Joy Behar on Wednesday made a staggeringly stupid comment on “The View” that is so inane it requires no additional setup.  —  “I'm sure people in concentration camps made jokes about each other, about the Nazis, about their situation.
Jeff Bercovici / Mixed Media:
Is AOL Skirting Worker-Protection Law With Mass Layoff?  —  Last week, as you might already know, AOL laid off over 200 U.S.-based employees, the vast majority of them from its Manhattan-based media operation.  But that's not the full tally of those who will lose their jobs as a result …
Discussion: New York Magazine and Poynter
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
Anthony Weiner: Obama Is ‘Not A Values Guy’ … WASHINGTON — Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) and a handful of other House Democrats expressed deep frustration with President Barack Obama's leadership on Wednesday, saying he needs to do more to set the direction for the progressive movement.
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
Fight Waged With Forks Is Rejoined in Congress  —  WASHINGTON — Within the war between Republicans and Democrats over the federal spending rages an affray over disposable forks.  —  Under the tutelage of Representative Nancy Pelosi during the years when Democrats ran the House …
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
GOP wants to overhaul the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  —  House Republicans are targeting the Wall Street reform law's consumer protection bureau for major changes.  —  Under a GOP-backed bill introduced Wednesday, the fledgling Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) …
Discussion: The Politico
GOP braces for Sharron Angle's encore run  —  She's back.  —  After unceremoniously crashing the Nevada Senate race last year — raising record amounts of money and becoming a headache for establishment Republicans while also endearing herself to tea party activists nationwide …
Richard Rubin / Bloomberg:
Abortion Foes in Congress Run Into Tax Obstacle in Attempt to Curb Funding  —  House Republicans' efforts to limit government funding for abortion are colliding with their emphasis on tax cuts, underscoring potential conflicts between the party's social and fiscal agendas.
John Allemang / Globe and Mail:
Why Japan embraced nuclear power after suffering the atomic bomb  —  Japan has been there before.  And that's what makes the growing radiation threat from the Fukushima Daiichi plant as mysterious as it is disturbing: Why did a country that suffered the utter horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki …
Yair Altman / Ynetnews:
IDF, settlers save Arab baby  —  Saving life after massacre: IDF troops, paramedics save life of Palestinian woman giving birth in settlement where Fogel relatives sitting Shiva.  Soldier: It felt amazing to hold girl in my arms, know we did something good  —  Latest Update:
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Elder of Ziyon
What The Frack: Ohio Gov. John Kasich Wants To Open Up State Parks For Oil And Gas Exploration  —  At the behest of then-Vice President Dick Cheney, an exemption was inserted into a 2005 energy bill — dubbed the “Haliburton loophole” — which stripped the EPA of its power to regulate …
David Hill / The Hill:
2012 will be about Obama  —  The greatest political deception of the month must be that PowerPoint presentation — the 10-slide deck that shows the president matched against various Republicans — that is being trundled around the country for showings to audiences of Democrat fat-cats.
Jonathan Chait / The New Republic:
Adventures In Context From The Weekly Standard  —  William Kristol has an item at the Weekly Standard entitled, “J Street: Maybe 'Israel Really Ain't A Very Good Idea.'” This turns out to hinge upon the following quote from Daniel Levy: … I'm not exactly a huge fan of Daniel Levy, and I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual.
Discussion: Weekly Standard
W.D. Reasoner / Publications:
Birthright Citizenship for the Children of Visitors: A National Security Problem in the Making?  —  W.D. Reasoner (a pseudonym) is a retired government employee with many years of experience in immigration administration, law enforcement, and national security matters.
Michael Crowley / Swampland:
House Ag Committee: Cut Food Stamps, not Farm Aid  —  There has long been rare left-right agreement in Washington that multi-billion dollar federal farm subsidies are generally wasteful, mostly benefit agribusinesses, and should be slashed or eliminated.  You'd think this would represent low-hanging fruit …
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Motivating Density  —  Phoenix is largely a stereotypical sunbelt “no there there” sprawling auto-oriented city.  But it does feature a smallish, but very nice, walkable urban downtown core.  And it also has a new light rail line, with more lines to come.  These developments are …
Discussion: Eschaton
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:
The Washington Post 's Liberal-Bashing, Pro-Torture “Left-Leaning” Columnist  —  As I've frequently pointed out, the fact that columnist Richard Cohen is what passes for a “liberal” at the Washington Post pretty thoroughly undermines the idea that the paper's opinion pages lean to the left.
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 More Items:
Helicopters drop water on damaged reactors
Juliet Macur / New York Times:
Selecting Jury for Bonds Is Hard in Giants Country
Discussion: Law Blog
CBS News:
Roemer looks back on 2008, forward to 2012: Palin “worthy opponent”
Shane D'Aprile / Ballot Box:
Pawlenty to join ‘Taxpayer Tea Party rally’ in New Hampshire
Discussion: CNN
Rubio and Senate GOP: Obama, when are you going to lead?
Discussion: Liberty Pundits Blog
Ryan / The Bellows:
More New York  —  Kevin Drum has an email conversation …
Discussion: Yglesias and The Atlantic Online
Shira Toeplitz / The Politico:
Committee to consider ‘In God We Trust’
Discussion: ACS Blog
7 Arrested After Disrupting Senate Committee Hearing
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Flaws in Japan's Leadership Deepen Sense of Crisis
Fhardingj / CNN:
President main attraction at fourth party event this month
The Politico:
GOP 2012: Return of the neo-cons
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Kevin Gray / Reuters:
Angry voters oust Miami-Dade mayor in special vote
Andrew Blankstein / L.A. NOW:
National Lampoon chief arrested in alleged $200-million Ponzi scheme
An Important Starting Point—with One Gap
Discussion: Paul Krugman and Yglesias
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Petraeus accused of ‘Charlie Sheen strategy’ on Afghanistan war