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5:15 PM ET, April 5, 2011


 Top Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
Moment of Truth  —  It was a season of fiscal perestroika.  Last fall, the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission released a bold report on how to avoid an economic catastrophe.  For a few weeks, the think tanks and government offices were alive with proposals to reduce debt and reform entitlements …
Paul D. Ryan / Wall Street Journal:
The GOP Path to Prosperity  —  Our budget cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the president's budget over the next 10 years and puts the nation on track to pay off our national debt.  —  Congress is currently embroiled in a funding fight over how much to spend on less than one-fifth of the federal budget for the next six months.
New York Times:
Budget Stances Harden as Deadline Nears for Shutdown  —  WASHINGTON — In dueling news conferences just moments apart, President Obama and the speaker of the House, John A. Boehner, dug in their heels on Tuesday over terms of a budget deal to stave off a partial shutdown of the federal government as early as Saturday.
Free exchange:
Best budget ever  —  PAUL RYAN has officially revealed the House Republicans' budget proposal, and we will have a detailed analysis of it up in short order.  Reactions to the plan will vary (sharply, it's safe to say).  But whatever your take on the policy proposals, it's worth approaching …
Tim Fernholz /
The Ryan Budget: Big Cuts, Bigger Questions  —  House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's 2012 budget is estimated to cost $6.2 trillion less over 10 years than President Obama's plan, with an initial deficit of $950 billion next year that decreases, along with government debt, over time.
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Paul Ryan Slams Medicaid's Middle Class Beneficiaries As The New Welfare Queens  —  The essence of Paul Ryan's Ryan Ripoff budget is hiding the ball.  Steep cuts in Medicare—but not for anyone who's old today!  Giant tax cuts for the rich—but tax hikes for the middle class!
M.S. / Democracy in America:
You put the load right on me  —  PAUL RYAN'S plan to replace Medicare with a system of vouchers for seniors to buy health care on the private market has only been vaguely described, as of this writing.  But there is one thing about it that's fairly clear, regardless of what's in the details …
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Paul Ryan's Plan Counts On Reducing Unemployment To Below “Full Employment” Level — By Magic!
Discussion: The Incidental Economist and TPMDC
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
QUOTE OF THE DAY.... House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan …
Discussion: Salon
The Note:
Sen. Lee: Ryan Budget ‘Bold First Step,’ but Need More Cuts
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Palin offers praise for Ryan's budget
David Rogers / The Politico:
New compromise target: $40B in cuts  —  Speaker John Boehner used a White House meeting Tuesday to signal his hope that a deal could be reached on spending if the administration and Democrats were willing to move closer to $40 billion in spending cuts or $7 billion above the target now being used in negotiations.
Sara Jerome / The Hill:
Ex-NPR chief: House Republicans have thrust NPR into ‘turmoil’  —  The change of power in the House has thrust NPR into “turmoil,” according to the former chief executive of the organization.  —  Vivian Schiller said NPR has been through a “very difficult” time in the past several months.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Pajamas Media
Another Continuing Resolution Introduced to Prevent Government Shutdown, Cut $12 billion in Spending
The Daily Caller:
‘Good’ not great: No deal as Boehner talks to Obama about shutdown
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Boehner's office says no deal was reached in White House talks
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
Cowardly, Stupid, and Tragically Wrong  —  The Obama administration's appalling decision to give Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a military trial.  —  Today, by ordering a military trial at Guantanamo for 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-defendants, Attorney General Eric Holder finally put …
New York Times:
Cowardice Blocks the 9/11 Trial
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
King: Holder should resign for criticizing Gitmo prisoner trial reversal
Discussion: JammieWearingFool
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Parody gets more views than real Obama launch  —  The National Republican Senatorial Committee's parody of Obama's 2012 campaign, released Friday, now has 665,000 views on YouTube.  —  Obama's real launch video, released yesterday: Just 168,000.  —  YouTube's metrics tend to lag a bit …
Charlie Cook /
Warning Signs Among the GOP  —  It's not inconceivable that Republicans might start seeing things go against them in the court of public opinion, starting with the current spending debate.  —  Until recently, Republicans were taking solace in a number of things as they looked forward to 2012.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Romney leads in NH, Trump makes things interesting  —  Mitt Romney's still the clear early front runner to take the Republican primary in New Hampshire next year but for the first time in our polling of the race PPP finds someone within single digits of him...Donald Trump.
The Center for Public Integrity:
Agents treated reporter like informant, raising question: Who else?  —  A once-classified FBI memo reveals that the bureau treated a senior ABC News journalist as a potential confidential informant in the 1990s, pumping the reporter to ascertain the source of a sensational but uncorroborated tip …
John Cook / Gawker:
CBS News Washington Bureau Chief Was an FBI Snitch
Discussion: Mediaite and Poynter
Wall Street Journal:
Coburn vs. Norquist  —  The Senator is right on ethanol and, in this case, on tax subsidies.  —  Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has a fighting chance to begin reforming Washington's bonehead ethanol policy.  That is unless one prominent conservative organization manages to sabotage his effort.
Discussion: The Foundry and Pajamas Media
Adam Abrams / White Blog:
Try the New White House Tax Cut Calculator
Discussion: USA Today and The Hill
Abby Johnson / Politics:
Exposing the Planned Parenthood business model  —  Myths about Planned Parenthood are spreading like grassfire.  Thanks to a perfect storm of events, the abortion provider is scrambling to cauterize the biggest PR hit it has ever sustained.  November's election of an overwhelmingly pro-life Congress …
Discussion: Hot Air and The Minority Report
Paul Kengor / American Thinker:
Obama, The God That Failed  —  As someone who has studied, taught, and written about the Middle East for years, I'm the first to concede that President Obama has a tough task.  What would I do about Libya if I were president?  How about Egypt?  —  I'm not exactly sure.
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
House Dem: Change title of EPA bill to ‘Koch Brothers Appreciation Act’  —  Rep. Gerry Connollly (D-Va.) wants to change the title of a bill that would permanently block Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations to the “Koch Brothers Appreciation Act,” a reference to the billionaire brothers …
Rasmussen Reports:
48% Say Their Views Closer to Tea Party Than Congress  —  In the ongoing budget-cutting debate in Washington, some congressional Democrats have accused their Republican opponents of being held captive by the Tea Party movement, but voters like the Tea Party more than Congress.
Why Arianna Huffington is Bill Keller's Somali Pirate … Jay Rosen and Jeff Jarvis and Felix Salmon (and Felix Salmon) and all sorts of people have been following and commenting on the New York Times' rhetorical war against Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post.  If you want a close look at it, you should read them.
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 More Items: 
Jed Lewison / Daily Kos:
GOP unveils plan to eliminate Medicare, press neglects to ask about it
Texas, Arizona executions stayed by high court
Washington Times:
‘Kill Team’ Brigade commander given wrist slap
Anat Shenker-Osorio / Christian Science Monitor:
Do you think the poor are lazy?
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Jennifer Haberkorn / The Politico:
Senate finally votes to repeal 1099 measure in health care reform law
Discussion: CNN and Cubachi
The Hill:
Kaine announcement launches premier Senate race of 2012
Discussion: CNN, The Politico and Ben Smith's Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Craig Wilson / USA Today:
Tina Fey puts on her big-girl ‘Bossypants’
Discussion: Mediaite, The Wire and CNN
Noel Sheppard / blogs:
Matthews: 'Maybe It's God's Will Obama Not Have a Reasonable GOP Opponent'
Discussion: Don Surber and Weasel Zippers
Robert Greenwald / The Huffington Post:
How Much Are You Paying in Taxes for War This Year?
Scott Pelley To Replace Katie Couric At CBS