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6:30 PM ET, April 13, 2011


 Top Items: 
Paul Krugman:
The Budget Speech  —  Style: I liked the way Obama made a case for government at the beginning.  I liked the way he accused Republicans of pessimism, of abandoning a hopeful vision of America.  Good that he went after the Ryan plan — and good that he went after the cruelty of that plan.
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Do-Nothing Congress as a Cure  —  A trick question: If Congress takes no action in coming years, what will happen to the budget deficit?  —  It will shrink — and shrink a lot.  This simple fact may offer the best hope for deficit reduction.  —  As federal law currently stands …
Annie Lowrey / Slate:
How Congress can balance the budget in eight years by literally doing nothing.  This is not a joke.  —  The Simpson-Bowles blue-ribbon deficit commission longs to slash Social Security and defense spending.  The Bipartisan Policy Center's Alice Rivlin and Peter Domenici yearn for a value-added tax.
Clive Crook / The Atlantic Online:   Obama's Speech Was a Waste of Breath
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
Obama Urges Cuts and Taxes on the Rich  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama called for cutting the nation's budget deficits by $4 trillion over the next 12 years in a 43-minute speech at George Washington University on Wednesday, countering Republican budget plans with what he said was a more balanced approach …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Obama speech to focus on four steps for fiscal reform  —  In a major speech Wednesday on fiscal policy, President Obama will lay out four steps he thinks the federal government should take if it wants to balance its budget.  —  Obama will talk about the need to keep domestic spending low …
Associated Press:
CBO: Budget deal cuts this fiscal year's deficit by just $353 million, not $38 billion touted  —  WASHINGTON — A new budget estimate released Wednesday shows that the spending bill negotiated between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner would produce less than 1 percent …
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Why Obama was forced to give today's deficit speech
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Pawlenty urges lawmakers to reject 2011 budget deal
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Some Senate Dems willing to consider Social Security reforms
Washington Wire:
Text of Obama Speech on the Deficit  —  Here is the prepared text of President Barack Obama's speech on the deficit, as released by the White House:  —  Remarks of President Barack Obama - As Prepared for Delivery  —  The Country We Believe In  —  The George Washington University  —  Washington, D.C.
New York Times:
Obama's Speech on Reducing the Budget (Text)  —  Following is a prepared text of President Obama's debt-reduction speech, to be delivered on Wednesday at The George Washington University, as released by the White House:  —  Good afternoon.  It's great to be back at GW.
Garance Franke-Ruta / The Atlantic Online:   Obama's Deficit Speech (Transcript)
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
The Note:
Asleep on the Job: What Was Vice President Joe Biden Doing During Obama's Debt Speech?  —  ABC's Z. Byron Wolf reports:  —  Vice President Biden chose an inopportune time for either a nap or some deep reflection today.  —  As President Obama weighed in on one of the most important issues of the day …
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Did Obama Put Biden to Sleep?
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Lauraklairmont / CNN:
LensCrafters v. Bachmann  —  Washington (CNN) - The optics don't look great for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.  That is, if you're talking about her relationship with LensCrafters, the one-stop shop of eye care and eyewear.  —  The possible GOP presidential candidate supported her belief …
Discussion: TPMDC
Emily Heil / Roll Call:
Heard on the Hill: Eye Spy a Bachmann Controversy
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Obama's “bad negotiating” is actually shrewd negotiating  —  In December, President Obama signed legislation to extend hundreds of billions of dollars in Bush tax cuts, benefiting the wealthiest Americans.  Last week, Obama agreed to billions of dollars in cuts that will impose the greatest burden on the poorest Americans.
Ben White / The Politico:
Wall Street executives warn John Boehner on debt limit  —  NEW YORK — Republicans are growing increasingly concerned about the impact a bruising fight over raising the nation's $14.29 trillion debt ceiling could have on U.S. financial markets.  —  House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) …
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Boehner sees ‘hollow targets’ in speech; Ryan calls it ‘hopelessly inadequate’
Discussion: Cubachi and Liberty Pundits Blog
Susan Crabtree / TPMDC:
Graham Vows To ‘Tie Senate In Knots’ Over $50K Left Out Of Budget Deal  —  Not all Republicans were celebrating Tuesday about the fine print of the $38.5 billion in cuts House Republicans managed to wrangle in last week's 11th-hour budget showdown.  Tea Party loyalists who wanted tens …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Graham vows to bring Senate to standstill over $40K for project
Discussion: InvestmentWatch
The Politico:
COLBERT KEEPS TWITTER HEAT ON KYL  —  Sen. Jon Kyl's claim that “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does” is abortion-related is getting a continued skewering from political comedians.  —  Comedy Central late-night hosts Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have since Monday laid …
The Daily Beast:
Sidney Harman 1918-2011  —  Sidney Harman died last night of complications from acute myeloid leukemia at the young age of almost 93.  He first learned of his illness one month ago and remained vigorously engaged as Executive Chairman of Newsweek, and Chairman of the Academy for Polymathic Study …
Myglesias / Yglesias:
Barack Obama's Deficit Plan  —  Brad DeLong's summary of Barack Obama's budget ideas is useful (though caveat emptor here, there's rounding so the numbers don't add up right): … Some of these are fine however.  However, the basic premise continues to be weird.
Discussion: TPMDC and The Reid Report
J. Bradford DeLong / Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality …:
The Obama Deficit Reduction Framework...
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Pray.  Hope.  Prepare.  —  When I was in Cairo during the Egyptian uprising, I wanted to change hotels one day to be closer to the action and called the Marriott to see if it had any openings.  The young-sounding Egyptian woman who spoke with me from the reservations department offered …
Barry Ritholtz / The Big Picture:
Case Shiller 100 Year Chart (2011 Update)  —  In 2006, just as the Housing market was peaking, the NYT ran this graphic of the 100-year Case Shiller chart.  It showed how radically overvalued Housing had become.  —  Two years later, TBP reader Steve Barry updated that graphic, including the projected Home Price mean reversion.
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and Cafe Hayek
John Melloy / Fast Money:
Inflation Actually Near 10% Using Older Measure  —  After former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker was appointed in 1979, the consumer price index surged into the double digits, causing the now revered Fed Chief to double the benchmark interest rate in order to break the back of inflation.
Associated Press:
Barry Bonds found guilty of obstruction  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice Wednesday but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three other counts that the home run king lied to a grand jury when he denied knowingly using steroids and human growth hormone.
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 More Items: 
Jake Tapper / Political Punch:
Throw Grandma From the Train
Colby Hall / Mediaite:
Paul Ryan Is Very Disappointed With The President: ‘Demagoguery Not Solutions’
Myglesias / Yglesias:
America's Human Capital Slowdown
Wbastone / The Smoking Gun:
Inhofe “Scared The Crap Out Of” Airport Workers
Blogger Bob / The TSA Blog:
Screening of 6 Year-Old at MSY
Discussion: ABCNEWS and The Daily Caller
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Florida stands its ground on 2012 primary calendar fight
Discussion: CNN
OCC Takes Enforcement Action Against Eight Servicers for Unsafe and Unsound
 Earlier Items: 
Rasmussen Reports:
65% Say Significant Long-Term Spending Cuts Unlikely Before 2012 Elections
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Robert Costa / National Review:
DeMint Not Interested in Veep Slot
Discussion: GOP 12, The Hill, CNN and Cubachi
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
Getting Real About the Deficit
Discussion: Firedoglake
Chris Moody / The Daily Caller:
Capitol Hill staffers line up for free Botox
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Dan Barry / New York Times:
As the Mountaintops Fall, a Coal Town Vanishes
Digby / Hullabaloo:
It's Morning  —  This piece from National Journal explains all:
Discussion: Firedoglake
Ann Barnhardt / American Thinker:
The Keystone of the Islamic Milieu: Inbreeding
Discussion: Right Wing News