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9:15 AM ET, March 30, 2011


 Top Items: 
Jennifer Steinhauer / The Caucus:
On a Senate Call, a Glimpse of Marching Orders  —  Um, Senators, ever heard of the mute button?  —  Moments before a conference call with reporters was scheduled to get underway on Tuesday morning, apparently unaware that many of the reporters were already on the line, Charles Schumer of New York …
Washington Post:
House Republican leaders turn to moderate Democrats for budget deal  —  Having difficulty finding consensus within their own ranks, House Republican leaders have begun courting moderate Democrats on several key fiscal issues, including a deal to avoid a government shutdown at the end of next week.
Washington Examiner:
Examiner Editorial: Message to Republicans - Show us the cuts  —  With a possible government shutdown once again staring them in the face, congressional Republicans would do well to take two hours to watch the old Tom Cruise flick “Jerry Maguire.”  The bottom line in the politics business …
The Hill:
Cantor says ‘time is up’ to reach a spending deal for fiscal year 2011
Discussion: The Politico, The Hill and FrumForum
The Politico:
Dems fear shutdown unavoidable
Discussion: Jill Stanek
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Discussion: New York Times
Judge again blocks GOP collective-bargaining plan  —  But Van Hollen assistant says law is in effect  —  By Patrick Marley, Bill Glauber and Jason Stein of the Journal Sentinel  —  Madison - For the second time in less than two weeks, a Dane County judge Tuesday issued an order blocking …
Eric Kleefeld / TPMDC:
Judge Blocks Wisconsin Anti-Union Law (Again)  —  Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi has just blocked — again — Gov. Scott Walker's (R-WI) new law curtailing public employee unions, after the state Republican leadership moved last Friday to circumvent her previous order that blocked the law on procedural grounds.
Marco Rubio / Wall Street Journal:
Why I Won't Vote to Raise the Debt Limit  —  Everyone in Washington knows how to cut spending.  The time to start is now.  —  Americans have built the single greatest nation in all of human history.  But America's exceptionalism was not preordained.  Every generation has had to confront …
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Maher on Palin and Bachmann: I'm sorry if I hurt anyone's feelings, but no, I wasn't wrong  —  This may be the first time that this particular permutation of “apology” has been offered for dropping a C-bomb on someone.  A forthright apology would be one thing, a “sorry if you were offended” …
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Michael Barone on Wisconsin: Has the tea party given up?
Discussion: Instapundit and Vox Popoli
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:   Is the Tea Party pooped? It must keep making its case
New York Times:
Washington in Fierce Debate on Arming Libyan Rebels  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is engaged in a fierce debate over whether to supply weapons to the rebels in Libya, senior officials said on Tuesday, with some fearful that providing arms would deepen American involvement …
Obama Says ‘Days Are Numbered’ for Qaddafi's Regime to Keep Power in Libya
Discussion: Truthdig
Ross Douthat:
Not All Choices Are False  —  One of President Obama's recurrent …
Andy Thibault / Washington Times:
Anti-genocide advocate credits Obama for Libyan uprising
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Coburn spars with Norquist over tax breaks for ethanol  —  Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) ripped conservative activist Grover Norquist on Tuesday for defending tax breaks that benefit special interest groups.  —  In a letter to Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform …
Discussion: The Politico and Washington Post
Charlie Savage / The Caucus:
Justice Lawyers Cleared in Voting Case  —  The Justice Department's internal ethics watchdog on Tuesday told Congress that it had cleared all department lawyers of wrongdoing in relation to a much-disputed voter-intimidation case involving the New Black Panther Party, a black-nationalist fringe group.
Ryan J. Reilly /
DOJ Ethics Office: No Evidence That Politics, Race Influenced New Black Panther Party Case
Discussion: Washington Post and Firedoglake
Clifton B / Another Black Conservative:
Trump releases his official birth certificate  —  Yesterday I told you that Trump may have deliberately released an unofficial copy of his birth certificate so that he could quickly turn around and release the original.  The idea behind this is twofold.  First, to weaken the argument …
Discussion: Proof Positive
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Americans Less Likely to View Obama as a Strong Leader  —  Six in 10 believe he is honest and trustworthy  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans have grown increasingly less likely to view President Obama as a strong and decisive leader since he took office.  Roughly half now believe this aptly describes …
James Hohmann / The Politico:
GOP 2012 debate moved to Sept.  —  The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation has postponed its debate for Republican candidates from May 2 to September 14.  —  The move, announced Wednesday in conjunction with cosponsors NBC and POLITICO, follows an unexpectedly slow start to the Republican presidential nominating contest.
Quinnipiac University:
Obama Gets Lowest Approval, Reelect Score Ever, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; More Voters Oppose U.S. Involvement In Libya  —  American voters disapprove 48 - 42 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing and say 50 - 41 percent he does not deserve to be re-elected in 2012 …
Discussion: Hotline On Call and The Politico
Larry O'Connor /
Media Ignores Calls For Socialist Revolution at ‘Anti-War’ Rally in Chicago  —  Chicago media reported on a recent march in Chicago as being an “Anti-War” march organized by students and “faith based groups” who “hope to spark change in our democracy.”  What they left out was the clear fact …
The Reliable Source / Washington Post:
Justice Antonin Scalia ticketed for GW Parkway fender-bender; will he take it to court?  —  Now here's a date in traffic court we'd like to attend: In the matter of Antonin Scalia and the George Washington Parkway pileup.  —  The Supreme Court justice was ticketed early Tuesday for his role in a four-car fender-bender.
Discussion: CNN, Above the Law and Gawker
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
As Economy Sputters, a Timid Fed  —  Whenever officials at the Federal Reserve confront a big decision, they have to weigh two competing risks.  Are they doing too much to speed up economic growth and touching off inflation?  Or are they doing too little and allowing unemployment to stay high?
Washington Post:
Drop in home prices in January raises fear of double dip  —  Home prices dropped in nearly all major housing markets in the country in January, according to price index numbers released Tuesday.  Analysts said the decrease might be a harbinger of a double-dip recession in the housing market.
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
CNN Poll: Unfavorable view of tea party on the rise  —  Washington (CNN) - Nearly half of all Americans have an unfavorable view of the tea party movement, putting it in the same company as the Democratic and Republican parties, according to a new national poll.
Discussion: The Page
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Senate vote on proposal to block EPA climate rules slated for Wednesday  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning to hold a vote Wednesday on an amendment to small business legislation that would permanently block the Environmental Protection Agency's climate rules.
Marc Lynch / Foreign Policy:
Why Obama had to act in Libya  —  “We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi - a city nearly the size of Charlotte - could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.  It was not in our national interest to let that happen.
Mark Bittman / Opinionator:
Why We're Fasting  —  I stopped eating on Monday and joined around 4,000 other people in a fast to call attention to Congressional budget proposals that would make huge cuts in programs for the poor and hungry.  —  By doing so, I surprised myself; after all, I eat for a living.
Discussion: Balloon Juice and Daily Kos
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 More Items: 
James Hibberd / Inside TV:
Obama's Libya address ratings down from previous speeches
Discussion: HotAirPundit
C. Custer / ChinaGeeks:
Perspective...  ...for both the pro-China lobby and the army of expats …
Discussion: New York Times
Imogen Perry / Guardian:
Cuts protest: I'm a political prisoner now
Discussion: Harry's Place
Laura Meckler / Wall Street Journal:
Obama to Speak on Energy Policy
Discussion: The Page and Green
Greater Wisconsin Committee says Supreme Court Justice David Prosser mishandled allegation of sex abuse by priest
Discussion: JSOnline
Meredith Shiner / The Politico:
House votes to end HAMP
Discussion: The Note and CNN
 Earlier Items: 
Tanya Somanader / ThinkProgress:
Graham: Those Engaged In Anti-Muslim Hate Speech Are ‘Putting Our Soldiers At Risk’
Discussion: American Prospect and Fox News
Tom Tomorrow / This Modern World:
Tom Tomorrow:
Discussion: Daily Kos and Hullabaloo
Karoli / Crooks and Liars:
Sarah Palin Wonders Aloud if Libya Action is a “Squirmish”
Discussion: Wonkette and Salon
Ian Sample / Guardian:
Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor
Discussion: Climate Progress