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1:45 PM ET, March 16, 2011

memeorandum

 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.
RELATED:
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.
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.
RELATED:
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Poll: Palin's numbers slide among Republicans  —  Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is losing ground with Republicans as some of her possible opponents for the GOP presidential nomination gain ground.  —  Palin's unfavorable numbers with Republicans are at an all-time high …
The Note:
Sarah Palin Rips Obama on Drilling: '2012 Can't Come Soon Enough'
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.
Discussion: The New Republic
RELATED:
Lee Drutman / Progressive Fix:   Why Dems Are Doing Worse in Some States than Others: It's Race, Not the Economy
Kasie Hunt / The Politico:
Cut Pentagon's budget, reduce Afghan forces  —  DAVENPORT, Iowa — America should slash defense spending — and consider shrinking its presence in Afghanistan, Haley Barbour said Monday night.  —  Barbour, a likely candidate for president in 2012, told Iowa county leaders and activists …
RELATED:
Quinnipiac University:
Mayor's Approval Rating At Lowest Point In 8 Years, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Bloomberg's Time Off Is Nobody's Business, Voters Say  —  New York City voters disapprove 51 - 39 percent of the job Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing, his lowest score since a 51 - 37 percent disapproval November 23 …
Associated Press:
‘Blood money’ frees CIA contractor in Pakistan  —  LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A CIA contractor who shot and killed two Pakistani men was freed from prison on Wednesday after the United States paid $2.34 million in “blood money” to the victims' families, Pakistani officials said …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
CIA contractor Raymond Davis freed after ‘blood money’ payment by U.S.
Discussion: National Review
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.
Discussion: RedState and AMERICAblog News
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 …
MiamiHerald.com:
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 …
Myglesias / Yglesias:
The Incapacitated State  —  I got a chance to talk to some Arizona state legislators from both parties yesterday afternoon and one thing even a very cursory chat drives home is the fairly disastrous consequences of some populist conceits about how a legislature should be organized.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Checkmate: No Good Moves For Boehner In Spending Fight  —  The House of Representatives passed emergency legislation Tuesday to keep the government funded through mid-April and avoid a shutdown reminiscent of the one Newt Gingrich triggered back in 1995.  —  That was the broader result …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Obama primary challenge would be a good thing, liberal senator says  —  One of the Senate's liberal leaders said Wednesday that it would be beneficial for President Obama to face a primary challenger from the left in 2012.  —  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has criticized the president for …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and FrumForum
Matt Negrin / The Politico:
Obama flaunts openness award … No comments yet.  Be the first!
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.
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
Josiah Ryan / The Hill:
McConnell: Next spending bill must include full-year military spending  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he won't support any more temporary spending measures that do not include full-year funding for the military.  —  “I can say with total confidence that the House …
Discussion: New York Times
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 …
Discussion: Politics Extra and Plunderbund
Wall Street Journal:
Arabs Love the Pax Americana  —  Fearing a U.S. retreat, the Saudis move into Bahrain.  —  The Arab League's call this weekend for a no-fly zone over Libya is startling news and has sent diplomats scattering.  We'll now see if the “international community” (to use the Obama Administration's …
Discussion: Babylon & Beyond and RubinReports
Jake Sherman / The Politico:
Darrell Issa subpoenas SEC official over Madoff  —  The top House investigative committee has launched an inquiry into a former senior Securities Exchange Commission official who investigated the Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme and whose family also had an account with the swindler.
Discussion: FrumForum
The Huffington Post:
Obama Administration Pushing For Banks To Modify Millions Of Mortgages To Settle Foreclosure Claims  —  NEW YORK — The Obama administration is seeking to force the nation's five largest mortgage firms to reduce monthly payments for as many as three million distressed homeowners in as little …
Discussion: Clusterstock and naked capitalism
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.
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Various matters: Afghanistan, Libya & Manning  —  (1) One finding from the new Washington Post/ABC News poll has received some attention: Americans — by the large margin of 31-64% — believe that “all in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States …
Discussion: ABCNEWS, Balkinization and Corrente
David Kravets / Threat Level:
TSA Admits Bungling of Airport Body-Scanner Radiation Tests  —  The Transportation Security Administration is re-analyzing the radiation levels of X-ray body scanners installed in airports nationwide, after testing produced dramatically higher-than-expected results.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Josh Kraushaar / NationalJournal.com:
For Obama, Virginia Is the Next Ohio
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
msnbc.com:
Massive online pedophile ring busted by cops
Discussion: New York Magazine
Bill Roggio / 1 The Long War Journal:
US Predators strike in Datta Khel area in North Waziristan
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Weasel Zippers
Israel Defense Forces:
List of Weaponry Found on the “Victoria”
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Elder of Ziyon
New York Post:
Obama the invisible
Dave Cook / Christian Science Monitor:
Q&A with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy
Discussion: The Hill
 Earlier Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
The Fight Against Government Flab Is Personal for These Politicians
Discussion: CNN, The Note and Hotline On Call
Bob Egelko / San Francisco Chronicle:
Muslim defendant can sue over hijab removal
Associated Press:
Judge: Free speech no defense for urging suicide
Discussion: The Agitator and Hit & Run
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Left seeks to outflank reformers
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Andrew Pollack / New York Times:
Anxiety Over Radiation Drives a Sales Surge for a Drug Against Thyroid Cancer
Discussion: The Reaction
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
Learning to Love the (Shallow, Divisive, Unreliable) New Media
Discussion: Yglesias