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2:30 PM ET, April 15, 2011


 Top Items: 
Tucker Reals / CBS News:
Obama: GOP tried to “sneak” agenda into budget  —  In what he thought was a private chat with campaign donors Thursday evening, President Obama offered the most revealing behind-the-scenes account to date of his budget negotiations with GOP leaders last week.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Drama erupts on House floor as conservative budget goes down  —  House lawmakers defeated a proposal by conservative Republicans to make deeper cuts to spending and tax rates than those proposed in the Republican budget, but only after last-minute maneuvering by Democrats on the House floor.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Pandemonium!  Dems Jam Republicans With Even More Conservative Budget  —  What was supposed to be a routine vote in the House — to knock down an amendment authored by conservative Republicans — turned into pandemonium on the House floor Friday, as Democrats tried to jam the plan through, and hang it around the GOP's necks.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
White House to Gang of Six: Wrap up work on deficit-reduction plan  —  Senate Democrats and the White House are pressuring Republican members of the Gang of Six to reach an agreement on a deficit-reduction package so it can be used as a credible alternative to the budget unveiled last week …
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Unruly G.O.P. Puts Boehner to a Test in Budget Vote
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Obama address was surprise attack, GOP lawmakers say
Discussion: Moe Lane, TaxVox and neo-neocon
The Hill:
Dem leader expects near-unanimous vote against GOP budget
Discussion: The Page
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Who's Serious Now?  —  Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, sounds upset.  And you can see why: President Obama, to the great relief of progressives, has called his bluff.  —  Last week, Mr. Ryan unveiled his budget proposal, and the initial reaction of much of the punditocracy …
David Brooks / New York Times:
Ultimate Spoiler Alert  —  President Obama and Paul Ryan are two of the smartest, most admirable and most genial men in Washington.  It is sad, although not strange, that in today's Washington they have never had a serious private conversation.  The president has never invited Ryan over even for lunch.
Myglesias / Yglesias:
The David Brooks Lunch Date Plan For Solving America's Hard-Fought Fiscal Policy Dilemmas  —  If you asked me why the country can't come together over a long-term fiscal fix, I would say it has to do with the fact that Paul Ryan is an Ayn Rand devotée who wants to minimize taxes …
Brooks Bemoans the Lack of a Free Lunch for Representative Ryan  —  That would be at the White House of course.  Brooks is upset that:  —  “It is sad, although not strange, that in today's Washington they have never had a serious private conversation.  The president has never invited Ryan over even for lunch.”
Discussion: TalkLeft and Hullabaloo
Benjy Sarlin / TPMDC:
Will Anyone Even Insure Seniors if Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan Passes?
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
The GOP Proposes ‘Obamacare’ For Seniors — Just Don't Tell Democrats Or Republicans That
Discussion: Hit & Run and Daily Kos
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Obama v. Ryan on Cost Control
Discussion: Washington Post
Steven L. Taylor / Outside the Beltway:
The Ryan Plan's Political Problem
Discussion: The Mahablog and Balloon Juice
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Trump takes the lead  —  Only 38% of Republican primary voters say they're willing to support a candidate for President next year who firmly rejects the birther theory and those folks want Mitt Romney to be their nominee for President next year.  With the other 62% of Republicans- 23% of whom …
Jon Terbush / TPMDC:
Poll: Donald Trump Beating Entire GOP Field By 9 Points
Charlie Cook /
The Cook Report: Trump's a Joke
Roger Ebert / Chicago Sun Times:
Atlas Shrugged  —  I feel like my arm is all warmed up and I don't have a game to pitch.  I was primed to review “Atlas Shrugged.”  I figured it might provide a parable of Ayn Rand's philosophy that I could discuss.  For me, that philosophy reduces itself to: “I'm on board; pull up the lifeline.”
Kurt Loder / Reason:
Atlas Shrugged Part I
Discussion: Ideas Market and Hit & Run
Wall Street Journal:
Obama Is Likely to Lose  —  But Republican unseriousness may be his trump card.  —  Suppose everything we think we know about the president's political position is wrong?  That's what I think became clear this week.  —  You know the conventional wisdom.
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Daily Caller
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Obama's Re-Election Prospects
Discussion: National Review
The Daily Caller:
Jon Huntsman's love letters  —  Jon Huntsman, President Obama's outgoing ambassador to China, is considering running against his boss in 2012 as a Republican.  —  But two handwritten letters from Huntsman obtained by The Daily Caller raise the question of why he's not campaigning for Obama instead.
New York Times:
Libya's Pathway to Peace  —  Together with our NATO allies and coalition partners, the United States, France and Britain have been united from the start in responding to the crisis in Libya, and we are united on what needs to happen in order to end it.  —  Even as we continue …
Alia Beard Rau / Arizona Republic:
Arizona lawmakers OK requiring proof of citizenship to run for president  —  The Arizona Legislature has become the first in the nation to pass a measure requiring presidential candidates to provide proof of citizenship in order to get on the state's ballot.  —  House Bill 2177 got final approval Thursday night from the House.
Jonathan Schwarz / A Tiny Revolution:
Then They Came for Dana Milbank  —  For the past 20 years, as the U.S. middle class has quietly collapsed, Dana Milbank has made a great living as a media liberal who constantly ridicules liberals.  But recently it seemed as though he'd suddenly noticed something was going on.  Why?
New York Times:
This Lady Liberty Is a Las Vegas Teenager  —  As if further proof were needed that New York is not the center of the universe.  —  The United States Postal Service has issued a new stamp featuring the Statue of Liberty.  Only the statue it features is not the one in the harbor …
Jeffrey Kluger / Ecocentric:
How the Ice in Your Drink is Imperiling the Planet  —  Want to save the Earth?  Easy, just buy a couple of ice trays.  To the long list of human inventions that are wrecking global climate—the internal combustion engine, the industrial era factory—add the automatic ice maker.
Discussion: Don Surber and Pirate's Cove
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama Job Approval at 41%, Tying His Low  —  Independents' approval rating down to 35%  —  PRINCETON, NJ - The latest Gallup Daily tracking three-day average shows 41% of Americans approving of the job Barack Obama is doing as president.  That ties his low as president …
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 More Items: 
Lauraklairmont / CNN:
A golden opportunity for GOP 2012 hopefuls to court Tea Party?
Discussion: The Politico
Dave Warner / Reuters:
Ex-U.N. official Ritter convicted in underage Internet sex sting
Discussion: TalkLeft and Pajamas Media
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Rumors of the Democrats' Demise in the Senate are Slightly Exaggerated
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Patrick Gavin / The Politico:
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Shane D'Aprile / Ballot Box:
Iowa Dem ready for tough redistricting fight: 'I'm not going anywhere'
Hoekstra Global Strategies:
2012 U.S. Senate Announcement
 Earlier Items: 
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:
Trump defends Democratic donations
Discussion: News Hounds and FrumForum
Agence France Presse:
Jordan to try Danish artist over Mohammed cartoon
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Have the U.S. and NATO given up on Libya mess?
Anna M. Tinsley / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Another one of Ron Paul's children may run for Congress
Mike Huckabee / Des Moines Register:
Backers tell Iowa Republicans: Stay true to Huckabee
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog