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9:35 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.
Gilbert Gottfried / Washington Post:
Japanese nuclear workers ordered away from posts amid radiation fears  —  / GETTY IMAGES - The Japanese government is telling people living within 20 miles to stay indoors with the windows closed because of the possibility of high levels of radiation being released from the Fukushima Diiachi plant.
BBC:
Japanese emperor ‘deeply worried’  —  Emperor Akihito thanked those involved in disaster relief and urged an all-out rescue effort  —  Japanese Emperor Akihito has said he is “deeply worried” about the crisis his country is facing following last Friday's earthquake and tsunami.
Justin McCurry / Guardian:
Fukushima Daiichi reactors evacuated after radiation spikes
Discussion: Kyodo News and CANNONFIRE
Guardian:
Fukushima 50 battle radiation risks as Japan nuclear crisis deepens
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 …
Discussion: CNN
RELATED:
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.
Discussion: CNN, Mediaite, FrumForum and Prairie Weather
The Note:
Sarah Palin Rips Obama on Drilling: '2012 Can't Come Soon Enough'
Discussion: Conservatives4Palin
Jon Gillooly / mdjonline.com:
John McCain's daughter speaks at KSU; wants Romney, not Palin, for president
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
More from our Republican poll
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Exploring Alternative Republican Universes
Discussion: Hot Air and GOP 12
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:
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 …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Fox Nation
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 …
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.
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:
DAWN.COM:
Court frees CIA contractor accused of murder: Rana Sanaullah  —  ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan court on Wednesday freed CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was accused of murdering two men in Lahore, after blood money was paid in accordance with sharia law, the Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said.
Discussion: Firedoglake and msnbc.com
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 …
RELATED:
Danielle Kurtzleben / US News:
NPR Boardmembers and Fundraisers Give Overwhelmingly to Democrats  —  Of nearly $2.2 million in political contributions, most goes to the left  —  The ongoing budget crisis and accusations of liberal bias have fueled renewed calls by conservative politicians for an end to NPR's public funding.
Discussion: Don Surber and Weasel Zippers
Scott Wong / The Politico:
Marco Rubio starts building national brand  —  Sen. Marco Rubio is done with the quiet freshman act.  —  With a landmark spending debate engulfing Washington, the Florida Republican has, virtually overnight, launched the national profile the conservative movement has been clamoring for.
Discussion: Naked Politics
JSOnline:
Senate Republicans to drop contempt finding against Democrats  —  By Jason Stein and Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel  —  Madison — The top GOP leader in the state Senate backtracked Tuesday, saying Republicans would lift fines and a contempt finding against Democrats …
Associated Press:
Obama: No. 1 seeds will rule in NCAA tournaments  —  WASHINGTON - March Madness is back at the White House, and President Barack Obama is picking the top seeds to advance to the Final Four.  —  For the third straight year, Obama has filled out an NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN.
BBC:
Bahrain protests in Manama's Pearl Square overrun  —  Watch: The BBC's Caroline Hawley said the “city is in complete lockdown”  —  Security forces with tanks have overrun a square in the centre of Bahrain's capital Manama where anti-government protesters have been camped for weeks.
Discussion: The Page
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 …
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
White House to Push Privacy Bill
Rich Phillips / CNN:
Powder at Kennedy Space Center tests positive for cocaine
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Gore to write new book on politics and current events
Daily Mail:
Japan's apocalypse now: Rescuers pick their way through a wasteland of bodies, wreckage and people washing in rivers
Discussion: Doug Ross
Nellie Andreeva / Deadline.com:
Netflix To Enter Original Programming With Mega Deal For David Fincher-Kevin Spacey Series ‘House Of Cards’
Rich Lord / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
5 guns seized in Armstrong County raid had been reported stolen
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Rand Paul ratchets his proposed spending cuts down to $200B
Discussion: CNN
Lori Lowenthal Marcus / American Thinker:
J Street: 'Maybe Israel really ain't a good idea'
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Moody / The Daily Caller:
Harry Shearer, the actor, writer, musician, and most recently filmmaker …
Brent Budowsky / The Hill:
Jimmy Carter was right
CNN:
Cain: Planned Parenthood's mission is ‘planned genocide’ of black babies
Catherine Brown / NBC Philadelphia:
Biden's Name to Grace New Rail Station
ABCNEWS:
Gilbert Gottfried Apologizes for Japan Joke
Discussion: Left Coast Rebel and Gothamist
Aharding / CNN:
CNN Poll: Most say govt. shutdown bad; Tea Party disagrees
Daily Mail:
Snake dies from silicone poisoning after biting model's breast during photoshoot
Discussion: Fausta's Blog