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4:05 PM ET, March 16, 2011


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Peril and Confusion at Japanese Nuclear Plant  —  TOKYO — Japan's nuclear crisis intensified on Wednesday after the authorities announced that a second reactor unit at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeastern Japan may have ruptured and appeared to be releasing radioactive steam.
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.
Matthew L. Wald / Green:
House Panel Questions Nuclear Regulatory and Energy Chiefs
Nuclear Crisis: Rising Radiation Levels Halt Work at Fukushima Plant
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
TRENDING: 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.
The Politico:
Some in GOP grow tired of right wing  —  Some veteran Republican House members are pushing back against conservative deficit hawks who are pushing for endlessly deep spending cuts, saying the right wing of the party is creating unnecessary divisions for the GOP majority.
Washington Examiner:
Democrats rope-a-doping Republicans on spending  —  Among Muhammad Ali's many formidable weapons in the ring was his famous “rope-a-dope” in which he went into a defensive crouch and allowed his opponent to throw punch after punch, round after round.  Sooner or later, the opponent would tire …
Discussion: The Other McCain
William J. Bennett / CNN:
America needs a budget breakthrough  —  Editor's note: CNN contributor William J. Bennett is the Washington fellow of the Claremont Institute.  He was U.S. secretary of education from 1985 to 1988 and was director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H.W. Bush.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Checkmate: No Good Moves For Boehner In Spending Fight
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Boehner says forging bipartisan budget deal ‘not going to be easy’
Discussion: FrumForum
Washington Post:
Sarah Palin losing more ground among Republicans, Post-ABC poll finds  —  Virginia Postic/ AP - According to a new poll, fewer than six in 10 Republicans and GOP-leaning independents see former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, shown here in December, in a favorable light.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Poll: Palin's numbers slide among Republicans
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Voters tepid toward Obama, but favor him over GOP
Discussion: GOP 12 and Derek Wallbank
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Palin's Base Shrinks But Intensifies
The Politico:
World events test ‘No Drama Obama’  —  A dizzying succession of major world events is bombarding a president who insists on controlling his own time, emotions and political message.  —  With Japan's nuclear crisis teetering on the verge of catastrophe, with Libya and Bahrain in violent turmoil …
Washington Wire:
Obama Plays Favorites on NCAA Bracket
Discussion: The Page
Jeremy W. Peters / Media Decoder:
Four New York Times Journalists Are Missing in Libya  —  The New York Times said Wednesday that four of its journalists reporting on the conflict in Libya were missing.  —  Editors at the paper said they were last in contact with the journalists on Tuesday morning New York time.
Miami-Dade voters fire Mayor Carlos Alvarez over pay hikes, tax increase  —  Miami-Dade recall election draws strong voter turnout  —  Related Content  —  If voters recall Mayor Carlos Alvarez, would you vote to re-elect him?  —  WHAT'S NEXT?  —  • The Miami-Dade County Canvassing …
Kevin Gray / Reuters:
Angry voters oust Miami-Dade mayor in special vote
Discussion: Right Wing News and Denver Post
Max Boot / Wall Street Journal:
It's Not Too Late to Save Libya  —  Defense Secretary Robert Gates has acted as if imposing a no-fly zone would be a military operation on the order of D-Day.  In reality, it wouldn't be hard to ground Gadhafi's decrepit air force.  —  I have not been one of those castigating President Obama …
Discussion: The Daily Dish and New Atlanticist
Wall Street Journal:
Arabs Love the Pax Americana
Discussion: Babylon & Beyond and RubinReports
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Stuff White People Like: Republicans  —  A good series of charts by Lee Drutman shows that one of the best predictors of declining Democratic partisan ID between 2008 and 2010 is the number of white people:  —  I used to hold to the view that the growing non-white share of the electorate would, over time, tip elections to Democrats.
Michael Calderone / Yahoo! News:
Networks unlikely to pay RNC to broadcast debates  —  The Republican National Committee is considering the idea of officially sanctioning presidential primary debates and then selling the television broadcast rights to the networksâ€"an unprecedented move that would force networks …
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Petraeus accused of ‘Charlie Sheen strategy’ on Afghanistan war  —  Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) on Wednesday sharply criticized David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and signaled agreement with an assessment from a Rolling Stone editor who likened the commander's performance to that of Charlie Sheen.
Discussion: FishbowlDC, Hot Air, RedState and BLACKFIVE
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Video: Political leader who couldn't pass a budget lectures on fiscal responsibility  —  Chutzpah.  —  If you had to pick the poster child for budgetary irresponsibility over the last few years — and certainly for 2010 — it would have to be former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Sean J. Miller / Ballot Box:
Sharron Angle enters Nevada House race, passes on Senate primary  —  Former Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) will not challenge Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) in the 2012 GOP Senate primary but, instead, will run for his House seat.  —  Angle made the announcement Wednesday in a web video …
Los Angeles Times:
Reel China: Hollywood tries to stay on China's good side  —  Without Beijing even uttering a critical word, MGM is changing the villains in its ‘Red Dawn’ remake from Chinese to North Korean.  It's all about maintaining access to the Asian superpower's lucrative box office.
Massive online pedophile ring busted by cops  —  Five Americans among 184 people arrested; 230 abused children taken to safety  —  Below:  — staff and news service reports  —  An Internet pedophile ring with up to 70,000 members — thought to be the world's largest …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Brown looking better for reelection  —  There's been a fundamental shift in the Ohio political landscape over the last three months and it looks like the biggest beneficiary of that could be Sherrod Brown.  —  When PPP polled Ohio in December Brown looked extremely vulnerable for reelection …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
American Solutions relaunches ‘Drill Here’ campaign  —  American Solutions, the group founded by Newt Gingrich, will relaunch its “Drill Here, Drill Now,” camapign today, calling on President Obama to increase offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, and labeling him “President Pay More” in a new video.
Discussion: GOP 12
Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
DEA seizes Georgia's supply of lethal injection drug  —  The Drug Enforcement Administration has seized Georgia's supply of a key execution drug over questions about how it was imported to the United States.  —  “Drugs were seized today by the DEA from our facility in Jackson,” …
Discussion: TalkLeft and This Just In
Associated Press:
Wholesale prices up 1.6 pct. on steep rise in food  —  Wholesale prices rise 1.6 pct. due to biggest jump in food costs in more than 36 years  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices jumped last month by the most in nearly two years due to higher energy costs and the steepest rise in food prices in 36 years.
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 More Items: 
Michelle Malkin:
Finding Marizela: Please support donation fund, keep spreading word
Andrew Blankstein / L.A. NOW:
National Lampoon chief arrested in alleged $200-million Ponzi scheme
Discussion: The Daily Caller
An Important Starting Point—with One Gap
Discussion: Paul Krugman and Guardian
The Note:
House GOP Members Slam Consumer Financial Agency
Discussion: The Politico
Michael Martinez / CNN:
California student from Japan finds family alive on YouTube
Discussion: L.A. NOW
Lela Gilbert / National Review:
Christian Convicted of Blasphemy Found Dead in Karachi Jail
Josh Kraushaar /
For Obama, Virginia Is the Next Ohio
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
 Earlier Items: 
New York Post:
Obama the invisible
Bob Egelko / San Francisco Chronicle:
Muslim defendant can sue over hijab removal
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Obama primary challenge would be a good thing, liberal senator says
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and FrumForum
David Kravets / Threat Level:
TSA Admits Bungling of Airport Body-Scanner Radiation Tests
Myglesias / Yglesias:
The Incapacitated State  —  I got a chance to talk …