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11:35 AM ET, March 31, 2011


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
C.I.A. Agents in Libya Aid Airstrikes and Meet Rebels  —  WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and contact rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi's forces, according to American officials.
Matt Negrin / The Politico:
Tapper offers Carney ‘straw men’  —  The temperature in the White House briefing jumped up Wednesday afternoon as Jake Tapper and Jay Carney vented some of their frustrations with each other publicly.  —  At one point, Tapper dissed Carney by saying he could provide a “room full of straw men” for the White House press secretary.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Mark Hosenball / Reuters:
Exclusive: Obama authorizes secret support for Libya rebels  —  (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
On The Latest From Libya  —  I'm still absorbing this news and don't want to vent immediately, because there is still part of me that simply cannot believe that president Obama has already ordered covert action in Libya on one side in a civil war, and is now actively discussing whether to arm …
The Politico:
Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates win no love on Capitol Hill  —  President Barack Obama's foreign policy “A” team — led by Cabinet secretaries Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates — failed to quiet criticism of U.S. military action in Libya Wednesday during a pair of classified briefings on Capitol Hill.
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Good Morning Libya  —  Today's New York Times features Mark Mazzetti …
Discussion: The Daily Dish, TPMDC and Vancouver Sun
Washington Post:
In Libya, CIA is gathering intelligence on rebels
CIA Deploys to Libya as White House Authorizes Direct Assistance to Rebels
David Rogers / The Politico:
Budget deal close with $33B in cuts  —  Budget talks came to life Wednesday but not without new tension between the White House and Senate Democrats, worried that the administration is too quick to agree to $33 billion in cuts to move Speaker John Boehner toward what remains a very uncertain deal.
The Politico:
Tea partiers warn GOP on dealmaking  —  It's not like Republicans need a reminder of the tensions within their own ranks on government spending cuts.  —  But if they forget what's at stake, all GOP lawmakers need to do Thursday is walk outside the Capitol, where perhaps hundreds …
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Boehner chokes up defending DC school voucher program
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Democrats consider proposing tax hikes  —  Senate Democrats are discussing plans to introduce tax policy changes that they say would raise federal revenues and broaden the budget debate beyond discretionary spending cuts.  —  Democrats feel they have been boxed by Republicans into a debate …
Marc Lacey / New York Times:
An Arizona Senate Race Waits to See if Giffords Emerges to Run  —  TUCSON — Representative Gabrielle Giffords is still in the hospital, but some of her most ardent backers are so enamored of the idea of her running for the Senate that they describe the inevitable campaign commercials …
Discussion: The Agitator, USA Today and FrumForum
Abby Phillip / The Politico:
Shh!  Obama gets anti-secrecy award  —  The president accepted a transparency award in a closed, undisclosed meeting.  —  President Obama finally and quietly accepted his “transparency” award from the open government community this week — in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House on Monday.
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Obama issues veto threat over union measure in FAA bill  —  President Obama has threatened to veto the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill unless a provision on union organizing is removed.  —  In a statement of administration policy Wednesday, the White House said the president's …
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Planned Parenthood praises POTUS
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
White House Threatens To Veto Anti-Union Measure In Aviation Bill
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
Ohio Lawmakers Pass Anti-Union Bill  —  The two houses of the Ohio Legislature approved a far-reaching bill on Wednesday that would hobble the ability of public-employee unions to bargain collectively and undercut their political clout.  —  They sent the bill to Gov. John R. Kasich …
Tanya Somanader / ThinkProgress:
VIDEO: Indiana GOP Rep Says Women Will Pretend To Be Raped To Get Free Abortions  —  Yesterday morning, the Indiana House considered an anti-abortion bill that “would put some of the tightest abortion restrictions in the nation into Indiana law.”  Introduced by state Rep. Eric Turner (R) …
Benjamin Svetkey / PopWatch:
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as ‘The Governator’ — EXCLUSIVE  —  He's been a famous body builder.  He's been a killer cyborg from the future.  He's been Governor of California.  And now, in this week's exclusive cover scoop, Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals his plans for the next phase …
Stack / USW Blog:
A Well-Intentioned Bad Idea  —  International Vice President, United Steelworkers  —  By now anyone who had not yet heard of the Koch brothers has been introduced to them.  Every major newspaper and magazine has run an article about the brothers who until recently lived largely under …
Doug McKelway / Fox News:
Report Accuses DHS of Witness Tampering and Attempted Theft of Congressional Committee Documents  —  A key congressional committee on oversight is accusing the Department of Homeland Security of non-cooperation, witness tampering and even attempted theft of committee documents.
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Don Surber
Mike Riggs / The Daily Caller:   The best and worst of FOIAgate
Mike McIntire / New York Times:
Odd Alliance: Business Lobby and Tea Party  —  The Tea Party does not have a presence in Indonesia, where the term evokes cups of orange pekoe and sweet cakes rather than angry citizens in “Don't Tread on Me” T-shirts.  —  But a Tea Party group in the United States, the Institute for Liberty …
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Poll Shows More Americans Have Unfavorable Views of Tea Party
Steve Lohr / New York Times:
Antitrust Cry From Microsoft  —  The wheel of technology history turns remarkably fast.  Microsoft, whose domination of the technology industry provoked a landmark federal antitrust case, is crying foul against Google and urging European Union antitrust officials to go after the search giant.
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Rubio Takes the Lead  —  Urges Congress to authorize military action, endorse regime change.  —  THE WEEKLY STANDARD has obtained the text of a letter freshman senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent tonight to the Senate majority and minority leaders.  In it, Rubio proposes that the Senate authorize …
Travis Waldron / ThinkProgress:
With New ‘Monkey Bill,’ Tennessee Takes Evolution Education Back To Scopes  —  Eighty six years after the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial opened Tennessee to the debate about the teaching of evolution, the state House is trying to slam the door shut again.  Tennessee's House Education Committee approved …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Barney Frank: On budget, GOP in ‘cloud cuckoo land’  —  Even though budget negotiations between Democrats and Republicans have resumed on Capitol Hill, the war of words between the two parties is alive and well.  —  Perhaps no better example came Wednesday night, when sharp-tongued Rep. Barney Frank …
Catherine / VisualizingEconomics:
Increase in Housing Quality and its effect on Home Values: 1940-2010  —  Our homes have changed over the last 70 years, including homes size, building technology, family size, and a rise in standard of living.  As people's income increased over the 20th century they bought bigger and better homes.
Discussion: The Big Picture
Steve Kornacki / Salon:
The unbeatable Republican?  —  Massachusetts is a deeply Democratic state, one in which barely more than 15 percent of the seats in the state Legislature are held by Republicans and fewer than 15 percent of all registered voters belong to the GOP.  So it's hardly surprising that national Democrats …
Discussion: National Review
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
Israel, long critical of Assad, may prefer he stay after all
Discussion: Power Line and Elder of Ziyon
James S. Robbins / Washington Times:
Gasoline up 100% under Obama
Timothy R. Homan / Bloomberg:
Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell by 6,000 Last Week to 388,000
Wall Street Journal:
Sokol Resigns After Stock Disclosure; Berkshire Succession Thrown Into Question
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and Law Blog
Matthew Boyle / The Daily Caller:
TheDC Exclusive: Bachmann on possible 2012 White House bid: 'This isn't a game for me'
Discussion: GOP 12 and The Right Sphere
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
Gallup: Michelle Obama's Former Congressional District Dead Last for ‘Healthy Behavior’
 Earlier Items: 
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
What a shutdown could cost us
Justin Wolfers / Freakonomics:
How to Spot Advocacy Science: John Taylor Edition
Tara Parker-Pope / New York Times:
Fat Stigma Spreads Around the Globe
Tom Precious / Politics Now:
Protests spread through Capitol
Daniel Freedman / Freed Thinking:
Israel, The Third Nation on the Moon?
Evan McMorris-Santoro / TPMDC:
GOPers Demand Sean Duffy Salary Tape Be Pulled From The Internet (VIDEO)