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3:10 PM ET, April 18, 2011


 Top Items: 
The Politico:
What's Donald Trump really after?  —  Despite an almost universal refusal by Republican establishment figures and the press to take him seriously, Donald Trump is taking very concrete steps toward forming - and announcing - a presidential campaign.  —  He has interviewed at least two people …
Rasmussen Reports:
Obama 49%, Trump 34%  —  President Obama leads Donald Trump by 15 percentage points in a hypothetical 2012 match-up, but the president is unable to top the 50% level of support even against an opponent some are deriding as a joke.  —  The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds …
Wall Street Journal:
Where the Tax Money Is  —  Obama targets the middle class while pretending to tax only the rich.  —  A dominant theme of President Obama's budget speech last Wednesday was that our fiscal problems would vanish if only the wealthiest Americans were asked “to pay a little more.”
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Middle-Class Tax Trap  —  “Let's tell the truth,” Walter Mondale said, accepting the Democratic nomination in 1984.  “Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won't tell you.  I just did.”  —  Three months later, Mondale lost 49 states, and liberal politicians learned a valuable lesson.
Douthat Makes It Up On Median Family Income  —  Ross Douthat struck another blow against fact-based arguments when he told readers that the median family of four has an income of $94,900.  Douthat warned that if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire in 24 years the median family would be paying …
S&P Affirms US AAA Rating, Cuts Outlook to Negative  —  Standard & Poor's on Monday downgraded the outlook for the United States to negative, saying it believes there's a risk U.S. policymakers may not reach agreement on how to address the country's long-term fiscal pressures.
Standard & Poor's Puts ‘Negative’ Outlook on U.S. AAA  —  Standard & Poor's put a “negative” outlook on the long-term AAA credit rating of the U.S., citing a “material risk” the nation's leaders will fail to deal with rising budget deficits and debt.  —  “We believe there is a material risk …
The Hill:
Stocks plunge after S&P shifts rating on US debt to negative
Discussion: FrumForum
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Let's Not Be Civil  —  Last week, President Obama offered a spirited defense of his party's values — in effect, of the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society.  Immediately thereafter, as always happens when Democrats take a stand, the civility police came out in force.
Matthew Boyle / The Daily Caller:
TheDC Exclusive: Conservatives hit Beck for taking content without attribution  —  A number of conservative activists and bloggers say they're furious at media magnate Glenn Beck for what they call content theft.  Over the past several years, Beck has relied on video, audio and written content …
First Read /
First Thoughts: 2012's high stakes  —  The high stakes in the 2012 election... One word that summarizes the House GOP's first 100 days: bold... House Republicans head home to sell their votes for the Ryan budget plan... Obama hits the road this week to sell his own plan …
Discussion: Los Angeles Times
Lisa Lerer / Bloomberg:
Ryan Budget Plan Defended as Republicans Return Home to Voters
New York Times:
The New Republican Landscape  —  Six months after voters sent …
Discussion: POWIP, and Daily Kos
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:
Trump: Rove “devastated” by Romney's performance  —  On Fox & Friends this morning, Donald Trump fired back at Karl Rove for calling him a “joke candidate.” … Trump then offered another reason for Rove's comments. … Trump's assertion that Romney is doing poorly in the polls is hardly air-tight …
Discussion: The Page and FrumForum
Joe Gandelman / The Moderate Voice:
Relieve Pain by Swearing, Study Says  —  Hey, after all these years, I'm vindicated at last: … And, indeed, some of what we were taught in schools was wrong.  —  For instance, the story has it Patrick Henry said “Give me liberty or give me death.”  He really said: “Wear one of those dreadful Tory hats?
Steve Jones / Telegraph:
Swearing can help relieve pain, study claims
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
GANG OF SIX ‘VERY CLOSE’ TO AN AGREEMENT, INTENDS TO ‘MAKE EVERYBODY MAD’.... Two months ago, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a member of the bipartisan “Gang of Six” deficit-reduction talks, said the group was “getting close” to striking a deal.  Two weeks ago, however, the negotiations …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
McCain fears ‘stalemate’ in Libya  —  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday he feared a “stalemate” has developd in Libya that would lead to a more radical government in that country.  —  McCain, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the U.S. should revive …
Discussion: FrumForum and The Page
Arthur B. Laffer / Wall Street Journal:
The 30-Cent Tax Premium  —  Tax compliance employs more workers than Wal-Mart, UPS, McDonald's, IBM and Citigroup combined.  —  There is a lot more to taxes than simply paying the bill.  Taxpayers must spend significantly more than $1 in order to provide $1 of income-tax revenue to the federal government.
Patrick Poole / Pajamas Media:
(UPDATED) DOJ Source: Gov't Muslim ‘Outreach’ Jeopardized Active Terror Investigations  —  (UPDATE: Rep. Peter King demands answers following Poole's previous article on this topic.)  An explosive, must-read interview brings sunlight to our counterproductive “outreach” programs.
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
E.J. Dionne Jr.  —  America's elites have a duty to the rest of us  —  The American ruling class is failing us — and itself.  —  At other moments in our history, the informal networks of the wealthy and powerful who often wield at least as much influence as our elected politicians accepted …
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Americans Still Split About Whether Their Taxes Are Too High  —  Majority of wealthy Americans think their taxes are too high and unfair  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Half of Americans believe the amount they pay in federal income taxes is too high, while 43% consider it about right and 4% too low.
Timothy Devine / Newsweek:
Hey, Cancer: Go Stand in the Corner  —  NEWSWEEK's executive chairman received a dire diagnosis.  In his own words, here's how he faced it.  —  Sidney Harman at the Newsweek Office, 2010. … I have just learned that I have acute myeloid leukemia, or AML.
Kyle Olson / Big Government:
AFSCME Union Threatens to ‘Weaponize’ Government Jobs  —  It's becoming clearer that the “public service” mentality is quickly slipping way from government employees, if it didn't hit the exits a long time ago.  —  Instead of government employees serving the public, it's clear now their belief is that the public exists to serve them.
Discussion: The Blaze
Al-Jazeera has fans in Obama W.H.  —  In the halls of American power, the Arab Spring has brought Al-Jazeera in from the cold.  —  Seven years after then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called the broadcaster's reporting “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable” and President George W. Bush joked …
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
Vandals Break In WI Office - Steal Fleebagger Recall Petitions Hours After It Was Announced Enough Signatures Were Collected (Video)  —  On Thursday Wisconsin conservatives announced that they had collected enough signatures 15,000 to recall fleebagger Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay.
Max Boot / Wall Street Journal:
It's in America's Interest to Stay in Iraq  —  Having active bases would allow us to project power and influence in the region.  —  Secretary of Defense Bob Gates was in Iraq early this month urging Iraqi leaders to decide whether they want U.S. forces to stay beyond Dec. 31.
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 More Items: 
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Dem lawmaker warns GOP on debt-ceiling ploys
Discussion: The Hill, The Politico and The Note
Dennis G. / Balloon Juice:
Grifters will always find each other...
Shane D'Aprile / Ballot Box:
Sen. Kohl reported no fundraising activity for the first quarter
Discussion: RedState
Jeff Mapes / Jeff Mapes on Politics:
Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian appears poised to run against David Wu
Discussion: The Hill and Hotline On Call
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
‘$58,000 per second’: Member wants debt clock displayed in House chamber
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Weasel Zippers
Arrest made in connection with Texas wildfire near Austin
New York Times:
Justice, Too Much and Too Expensive
Discussion: PointOfLaw Forum
 Earlier Items: 
John Fund / Wall Street Journal:
Wisconsin's Election Snafu Is a National Wake-Up Call
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Alexander Mooney / CNN:
Huntsman team plans South Carolina campaign
Discussion: MyDD and GOP 12
Rebel Pundit:
Unhinged Lunatics Message to Madison Tea Party & Sarah Palin

From Techmeme:

Bryant Francis / Game Developer:
Unity apologizes and says games made with Unity Personal will be exempt from its Runtime Fee, which will only apply to games made with Unity versions from 2024

Louise Matsakis / Semafor:
Sources: The White House is weighing requiring cloud companies to disclose when a client buys computing resources above a set threshold, as part of an EO on AI

Leo Schwartz / Fortune:
Documents: Coinbase explored acquiring FTX Europe after FTX's November 2022 bankruptcy, as part of Coinbase's goal to expand its overseas derivatives business

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