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12:40 PM ET, April 4, 2011


 Top Items: 
Michael Muskal / Los Angeles Times:
Obama launches reelection campaign with e-mail, web video  —  The president pledges to focus on his job, but will pick up the tempo of campaigning this month with several fundraisers.  The campaign is hoping to raise a record $1 billion.  —  President Obama speaking in March (Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images))
The Politico:
Jon Huntsman, the rock ‘n’ roll years  —  Jonny Huntsman didn't quite make it through his senior year of high school, and the cause was pretty plain to his classmates.  One recalled the long-haired, diffident Salt Lake City high schooler sitting next to him in history class “hitting his desk as if it were a piano.”
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Pawlenty ribs Obama's reelection announcement
Discussion: CNN
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
L.A. Times Announces Obama's New Campaign Website -
Liz Sidoti / Associated Press:
Obama re-election launches with email, website
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Will Paul Ryan Propose a Giant Tax Hike To Make Tax Cuts For the Rich Affordable?  —  Based on Carl Hulse's reporting from yesterday it's clear that Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) intends to go through with his plan to replace Medicare with vouchers to buy private health insurance, and then cut spending on the vouchers.
Naftali Bendavid / Wall Street Journal:
GOP Aim: Cut $4 Trillion  —  Budget Plan Would Transform Medicare, Reset Budget Debate; Democrats Balk  —  Republicans will present this week a 2012 budget proposal that would cut more than $4 trillion from federal spending projected over the next decade and transform the Medicare health program …
Fox News:
(CROSSTALK)  —  WALLACE: Are we talking 20 percent?  —  RYAN: Our numbers are moving around right now, so we're basically trying to get government back toward its historic size.  —  WALLACE: Which is what?  —  RYAN: Right now we're at about 25 percent of GDP.
Discussion: and The New Republic
First Read /
First Thoughts: He's in  —  In email and video to supporters, Obama announces his re-election bid... NBC's 2012 battleground map... Why Obama is in right now: It's all about raising the money.  So why isn't Romney in yet?... Is Paul Ryan's budget plan — which revamps Medicaid and Medicare …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Clinton: Shutdown would hurt GOP but might not be ‘traumatic’ for economy  —  A government shutdown might not have a “traumatic” effect on the economy, former President Bill Clinton said Monday.  —  Clinton, who faced a shutdown during his 1995 budget negotiations with congressional Republicans …
Sean J. Miller / The Hill:
The Hill Poll: GOP seen as more reasonable in spending-cut debate  —  A plurality of likely voters believes Republicans have been more reasonable than Democrats in the negotiations over spending cuts.  —  A new poll conducted for The Hill showed 41 percent polled said the GOP had been …
Discussion: Hot Air and National Review
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Group: GOP hopefuls support defunding Planned Parenthood
Discussion: CNN
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Trump: Boehner doing ‘good job’ in spending fight
Discussion: Fox News
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
A Tea Party Star Stirs Iowans, and She Isn't Palin  —  WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Sarah Palin, the reigning heroine of many social conservatives, has given few signals that she will make a presidential bid.  Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008 on the strength of his appeal …
Stephanie Condon / CBS News:
KSM to be tried by military commission at Gitmo; Holder set to make announcement today  —  Attorney General Eric Holder today will announce that self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad will be tried in a military commission, CBS News has learned.
Matt Welch / Hit & Run:
It Doesn't Get Any Clearer Than That: “Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war”  —  Here's what Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said today about Florida pastor Terry Jones' burning of a Koran, which has been used an excuse by Afghanis to murder 22 people, including seven United Nations workers:
Steve Chapman / Real Clear Politics:
Obama's ‘Bloodbath’: Can We Believe the Hype?  —  Remember when a crusading president, acting on dubious intelligence, insufficient information and exaggerated fears, took the nation into a Middle Eastern war of choice?  That was George W. Bush in 2003, invading Iraq.  But it's also Barack Obama in 2011, attacking Libya.
Suzan Clarke / ABCNEWS:
EXCLUSIVE: Bill Clinton Calls ‘Birther’ Doubts About Obama's Citizenship ‘Ludicrous’  —  Former President Believes U.S. Should Arm Libya's Rebels  —  Continuing outcry by “birthers” — a small but vocal movement which questions whether President Barack Obama was actually born on U.S. soil …
Discussion: Ballot Box
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Bill Clinton to White House: Consider arming rebels
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Now Libya steps on President Obama's message  —  President Barack Obama's decision to intervene in Libya has presented him with a whole new set of political problems with members of both parties.  But its most worrisome effect for the White House is the way it's undermining his efforts …
Paul Krugman:
Diminished Individualism Watch  —  A few weeks back I commented on a George Will column in which he said that … So I think that it is my civic duty to report that yesterday, as I got off Amtrak 161 from Trenton to Washington — having spent 2 1/2 hours being made more amenable to collectivism …
Discussion: Grist
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
GOP shouldn't panic if whites become a minority  —  Senior Political Analyst Follow Him @MichaelBarone  —  Are whites on the verge of becoming a minority of the American population?  That's what some analysts of the 2010 census results say.  Many go on, sometimes with relish …
Discussion: National Review
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Truth, Still Inconvenient  —  So the joke begins like this: An economist, a lawyer and a professor of marketing walk into a room.  What's the punch line?  They were three of the five “expert witnesses” Republicans called for last week's Congressional hearing on climate science.
Nick Pryer / Daily Mail:
Is this the first ever portrait of Jesus?  The incredible story of 70 ancient books hidden in a cave for nearly 2,000 years  —  The image is eerily familiar: a bearded young man with flowing curly hair.  After lying for nearly 2,000 years hidden in a cave in the Holy Land, the fine detail is difficult to determine.
Rod Nordland / New York Times:
Afghan Officials Say 2 American Soldiers Killed in Shooting  —  KABUL, Afghanistan — Two American soldiers were shot to death by an Afghan policeman on Monday in northern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said.  —  The two Americans were involved in training the Afghan Border Police at a checkpoint …
Discussion: National Review and Jihad Watch
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 More Items: 
Alex Isenstadt / The Politico:
Dems plot House 2012 comeback
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
ST. LOUIS  • Last November, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder spent the night at the Chase …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Darren Goode / The Politico:
Salazar: No BP, Interior drilling deal
Discussion: The Page
Shane D'Aprile / Ballot Box:
Bachmann PAC snags top '08 Huckabee aide
Discussion: FrumForum
Washington Examiner:
Don't let Big Green use government to mug taxpayers
Discussion: protein wisdom
David Zucchino / Los Angeles Times:
Libya rebels just learning how to use their guns
Discussion: Firedoglake and Right Wing News
 Earlier Items: 
Laura Saunders / Wall Street Journal:
Rich Are Targeted in IRS Audit Offensive
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Supreme Court shields prosecutors in wrongful convictions
‘NYT refused to publish Goldstone retraction’
David Bauder / Associated Press:
AP source: Couric leaving news anchor post
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
A SUCKER'S BET.... The effort to pass a budget for the remainder …
Discussion: That Mr. G Guy's Blog
Bob Cusack / The Hill:
10 things to watch during the shutdown battle
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Noel Sheppard / blogs:
Politico's Roger Simon: 'Obama's The Greatest Orator Of Modern Times'