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7:45 PM ET, April 8, 2011


 Top Items: 
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
What Planned Parenthood actually does  —  With Planned Parenthood being either the major obstacle to a budget deal or one of the major obstacles to a budget deal, it's worth taking a minute explaining what they do — and what they don't do.  —  As you can see in the chart atop this post …
Major Garrett /
Muted Abortion Response Speaks Volumes  —  The GOP reaction, or lack thereof, instead suggested a shrugging acceptance of one more round of talking points before the final brokering.  —  For Speaker John Boehner, seen here at a January mock swearing-in of the 112th Congress, the budget battle's bottom line is spending cuts.
Meredith Shiner / The Politico:
Primer on Title X: the fund behind the Planned Parenthood rider
Darren Goode / The Politico:
EPA riders axed, lawmakers say  —  An evolving deal to avoid a government shutdown would include a study of the economic effect of environmental regulations rather than Republican riders to block EPA rules on climate change and mountaintop mining, senior Senate Democrats and a key House Republican say.
Discussion: Firedoglake, TPMDC and Daily Kos
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Conservatives Urge Boehner to Cut a Budget Deal and Move On
Discussion: Lynn Sweet, Guardian and The Daily Dish
Eli Lehrer / FrumForum:
Lobbyists Drive the Shutdown
Jay Newton-Small / Swampland:
Is This Really All About Abortion?
Washington Post:
Both parties continue talks over elusive 2011 budget deal
Stan Collender / Capital Gains and Games blogs:
The Shutdown Problem This September is Going to be Even Worse
Discussion: Calculated Risk and The Daily Dish
John Stanton / Roll Call:
Spending Bill Negotiations Continue Into Night
Louise Radnofsky / Washington Wire:
D.C. Residents Target Boehner With Trash-Bag Protest
Discussion: The Raw Story
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
The Brave and Serious Mr. Ryan  —  I mentioned earlier that if asked to choose an adjective to describe the budget plan presented by Rep. Paul Ryan, I would suggest “partisan” or “gimmicky,” as opposed to “serious” or “brave.”  Most budget proposals are both partisan and gimmicky, so this is no particular knock against Rep. Ryan.
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Ryan Journey  —  For decades, academics and think tankers have been proposing plans to avert a fiscal catastrophe.  The ensuing debates were always sedate, high-minded affairs.  Now Republican political leaders have come up with a bold proposal of their own and the atmosphere is totally different.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Ludicrous and Cruel  —  Many commentators swooned earlier …
Ronald Brownstein /
Risky Business  —  History shows that trying to restructure …
Maggie Haberman / The Politico:
Huck to GOP: Cut a deal  —  Mike Huckabee urged his fellow Republicans to throw in the towel on the budget stalemate, saying the GOP has the “most to lose” and needs to show it understands the personal impact a government shutdown would have on everyday Americans.
Discussion: The Page
Wall Street Journal:
Who Really Wants a Shutdown?  —  President Obama does, but the GOP's strategy is a lot less clear.  —  For people who keep saying they don't want a government shutdown, Washington's warring parties are sure acting like they can't wait for it to happen.  Since the policy stakes …
The Politico:
White House hopes last-minute heroics keep government running  —  Republicans have hit President Barack Obama for being out of touch, disengaged and unwilling to lead on the budget negotiations — and Democrats aren't wild about his taste for last-minute heroics either.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Vote-Counting Error In Wisconsin Points to Incompetence, Not Conspiracy  —  When Kathy Nickolaus, the county clerk in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, spoke to the press on Thursday after revealing that she had failed to count more than 14,000 ballots in the hotly contested state supreme court election …
Dan Joseph / CNSNews:
Rep. Louise Slaughter: GOP Freshmen Came to Washington ‘To Kill Women’  —  ( - Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said today that the new Republicans elected to the House of Representatives last November came to Congress “to kill women.”  She also likened Republican efforts …
Rep. Michele Bachmann / Rep_Michele_Bachmann's blog:
Not a Big Enough Fight  —  Since Republicans took the House majority in January I have been calling for our leadership to fight.  We must answer the bell that was rung last November when the American people called us to fight for deep cuts in spending, for the full repeal of ObamaCare …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Biden gets fed up during spending talks  —  Vice President Joe Biden got visibly upset during late night White House talks on avoiding a government shutdown.  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters Friday morning that Biden doesn't get upset very often …
Patricia Sellers / Fortune:
Cathie Black vows to come back: “I'm a warrior”  —  Few career falls are as swift and spectacular as Cathie Black's.  —  It took just 95 days for the former boss of Hearst Magazines — and alum of the Fortune Most Powerful Women list — to get ousted as chancellor of New York City public schools.
Joe Kovacs / WorldNetDaily:
Rush Limbaugh slammed for ‘avoiding’ eligibility  —  ‘Not 1 high Republican or you has ever really tried to nail’ Obama  —  Radio giant Rush Limbaugh came under fire today from a caller to his top-rated program accusing the host of avoiding the issue of Barack Obama's eligibility to be president.
Discussion: Vox Popoli
G-A-Y / Good As You:
G-A-Y Exclusive: National Organization For Marriage tour organizer/Facebook moderator does startling about-face; Exposure to NOM could lead to unintended side effects  —  Louis Marinelli first came on our radar late last spring, when he started independently Tweeting under the name “NOMUpdates”:
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 More Items: 
Washington Post:
Donald Trump buys Kluge winery
Discussion: New York Magazine, Gawker and Unfogged
Mrc Tv / Big Government:
Rep. Jim Moran Gets Testy With Veteran at Town Hall: Sit Down or Leave
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
Paying for What We Get  —  Andrew Sullivan writes today …
Lbentzterp / CNN:
Huntsman heading to South Carolina in May
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Optimism in the House  —  A House staffer emails:  —  Post Comment
 Earlier Items: 
Sarah Palin / Facebook:
Commander in Chief's Appalling Action with Our Troops
Discussion: Cubachi and The Gateway Pundit
First Read /
This would be 18th government shutdown in U.S. history
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Stephanie Clifford / New York Times:
Stuff Piled in the Aisle? It's There to Get You to Spend More
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and Yglesias
The Star-Ledger Editorial Page:
Christie takes a cheap shot at Springsteen
Discussion: Eschaton
David Brody / The Brody File:
Brody File Exclusive: Donald Trump Explains Pro-Life Conversion