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7:30 AM ET, March 16, 2011


 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.
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.
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 …
Justin McCurry / Guardian:
Staff evacuated from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after radiation spikes
Discussion: Kyodo News and CANNONFIRE
Fukushima 50 battle radiation risks as Japan nuclear crisis deepens
Jon Gillooly /
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.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
More from our Republican poll
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Exploring Alternative Republican Universes
Discussion: Hot Air, GOP 12, Fox News and Gallup
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.
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 …
Carrie Dann /
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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
Edward L. Glaeser / Economix:
If the Tea Party Went Downtown
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
Scott Wong / The Politico:
Marco Rubio brand readies for prime time  —  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
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 …
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.
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.
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
Nellie Andreeva /
Netflix To Enter Original Programming With Mega Deal For David Fincher-Kevin Spacey Series ‘House Of Cards’  —  EXCLUSIVE: Video streaming juggernaut Netflix is becoming an original series player.  In what is probably the biggest gamble in its 14-year history, I hear Netflix …
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.
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 …
Discussion: Fausta's Blog
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 …
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 More Items: 
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
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'
Chris Moody / The Daily Caller:
Harry Shearer, the actor, writer, musician, and most recently filmmaker …
Cain: Planned Parenthood's mission is ‘planned genocide’ of black babies
House passes three-week government spending extension
 Earlier Items: 
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
Gilbert Gottfried Apologizes for Japan Joke
Discussion: Left Coast Rebel and Gothamist
Todd A. Heywood / Michigan Messenger:
Activists confirm plans to peacefully take Capitol
John Bresnahan / The Politico:
Ethics complaint filed against Claire McCaskill
Discussion: USA Today and The Gateway Pundit