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9:05 PM ET, April 21, 2011


 Top Items: 
Jennifer Cooper / John Ensign …:
ENSIGN TO RESIGN FROM OFFICE  —  Washington, D.C. - Senator John Ensign today announced his resignation as the 24th United States Senator from the state of Nevada.  In a letter to Vice President Joe Biden tomorrow, Senator Ensign will state that his resignation from office is effective as of May 3, 2011.
Washington Post:
Nevada Sen. John Ensign to resign  —  Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign is expected to resign from office in the near future.  (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jessica Ebelhar) Embattled Nevada Sen. John Ensign (R) announced Thursday night that he will resign from office in early May …
Karoun Demirjian / Las Vegas Sun:
JOHN ENSIGN TO RESIGN FRIDAY, HELLER LIKELY REPLACEMENT  —  WASHINGTON — Sources confirmed this afternoon that embattled U.S. Sen. John Ensign will resign from office on Friday, opening the door for Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval to appoint Rep. Dean Heller to finish out the term.
Shira Toeplitz / Roll Call:
Ensign to Resign, Heller Likely Successor  —  Sen. John Ensign will announce within the next 24 hours that he plans to resign from the Senate, according to a well-placed source.  —  The Nevada Republican announced March 7 that he would not run for re-election in 2012, saying …
Discussion: Mediaite and FrumForum
Ballot Box:
Sen. Ensign to resign
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
Poll Finds Lack of Passion for Republican Candidates  —  With less than a year to go before the Iowa caucuses, Republican voters have yet to form strong opinions about most of their potential candidates for president in 2012, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
Meghan McCain / The Daily Beast:
Trump to McCain: 'You're Hired!'
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
WHEN POLITIFACT BECOMES POLITIFALSE.... Independent fact-checking outlets play an important part of the political discourse, or at least have the potential to.  With a lot of figures making all kinds of claims, voters should have reliable sources they can turn to in order to help separate fact from fiction.
Discussion: Daily Kos
RELATED: Truth-O-Meter rulings from National:
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: “Seniors will have to find $12,500 for health care because Republicans voted to end Medicare.”  —  The Truth-o-Meter says: Pants on Fire!  Democrats say Republicans voted to end Medicare and charge seniors $12,000
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
PolitiFact Insists Republicans Don't Want To End Medicare (VIDEO)
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Seeing the Forest
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Knowledge Counts  —  There's always a bit of a problem …
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Mike Huckabee / Huck PAC:
Response to Glenn Beck  —  This week Glenn Beck has taken to his radio show to attack me as a Progressive, which he has said is the same as a “cancer” and a “Nazi.”  What did I do that apparently caused him to link me to a fatal disease and a form of government that murdered millions of innocent Jews?
Sabato's Crystal Ball:
The Map  —  The Crystal Ball's First 2011 Take on 2012's Electoral College  —  Larry J. Sabato, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics  —  With 18 months to go until November 2012, there is exactly one use for a current projection of the 2012 Electoral College results.
Colby Itkowitz / Pennsylvania Ave.:
Barletta town hall gets heated over Medicare  —  Reminiscent of the August 2009 town halls when members of Congress faced angry constituents over health care reforms, a public forum in Carbon County with Rep. Lou Barletta Wednesday night provided a glimpse of the strong emotions stirred by a Republican plan to alter Medicare benefits.
Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post:
Paul Ryan, Rand Paul Clash Privately Over Budget
Discussion: FrumForum
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Paul Ryan's Plan To End Medicare Stirs Anger At Pennsylvania Town Hall Event
Discussion: Swampland, The Reaction and Hullabaloo
Ben Smith / The Politico:
New Labor plan: Nationwide protests  —  In a major strategic shift, the Service Employees International Union plans to use its giant political operation to try to build a grassroots movement of public protest and organization similar to the massive show of pro-labor support that overran Madison, Wis. last month.
Discussion: RedState
Office Of The Governor:
[Proclamation] Gov. Perry Issues Proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas  —  Gov. Perry Issues Proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas  —  Gov. Rick Perry has proclaimed the three-day period from Friday, April 22, to Sunday, April 24, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas …
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
The Annoying Hypocrisy Trope  —  Gregg Easterbrook: … This is one of the most annoying tropes in existence, on both the left and the right.  The point of laws is to provide a level playing field, and no one is a hypocrite for following existing law even if they think it should be changed.
Discussion: Modeled Behavior
Gregg Easterbrook:
Why Obama should pay more in taxes
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Abdullah Gul / New York Times:
The Revolution's Missing Peace  —  THE wave of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa is of historic significance equal to that of the revolutions of 1848 and 1989 in Europe.  The peoples of the region, without exception, revolted not only in the name of universal values but also to regain …
Discussion: Power Line, Israel Matzav and Daily Kos
Matt Miller / Washington Post:
‘The Shining’ — national debt edition  —  Remember that great scene in the 1980 film classic, “The Shining,” when the wife comes upon the typewriter of the Jack Nicholson character, who's supposed to have been working night and day for months on his novel?  To her horror, she finds thousands …
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Congressional Job Approval at 17%  —  Approval is now the same as in November, after the midterm elections  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Congress' approval is at 17%, essentially unchanged from last month's 18%, and identical to where it was just after last November's midterm congressional elections.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Washington Post
Shane D'Aprile / Ballot Box:   Gallup: Congressional approval at 17 percent
Chris Good / The Atlantic Online:
What Gary Johnson Brings to the GOP Presidential Race  —  Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has just announced his candidacy for president, and, finally, a Republican is actually running.  Johnson didn't announce an exploratory committee, or that he's thinking about running.
Discussion: Slate, Hit & Run, Hot Air and Reuters
Stephanie Condon / CBS News:   Gary Johnson announces presidential run
New York Post:
Trump blasts Seinfeld pullout  —  Donald Trump wasn't laughing when funnyman Jerry Seinfeld canceled an upcoming appearance at a benefit for his son's Eric Trump Foundation.  —  Seinfeld pulled out of the Sept. 13 event benefiting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital because he disagrees …
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Inhofe Claims Fracking Has ‘Never’ Contaminated Water Supply One Day After Spill Contaminates Stream  —  Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is perhaps Congress' most reliable defender of dirty energy and evangelizer against the “hoax” of global warming.  This morning, he took his message …
Steven Ertelt /
More Companies Pull Ads From Wonkette After Trig Palin Post  —  More companies have joined Papa Johns, Huggies and Vanguard in dropping ads from the liberal, pro-abortion blog Wonkette after it ran a crass post mocking Sarah Palin and her son trig, who has Down Syndrome.
The Onion:
Mitt Romney Haunted By Past Of Trying To Help Uninsured Sick People  —  BELMONT, MA—Though Mitt Romney is considered to be a frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, the national spotlight has forced him to repeatedly confront a major skeleton in his political closet …
Discussion: Washington Post and Boston Globe
Nashville's Sedan Drivers Fight City Effort To Run Them Off the Road  —  Can government force transportation businesses to charge a minimum price to protect politically connected companies from competition?  —  That is the question the Institute for Justice (IJ) and its clients seek to answer …
Discussion: Yglesias and Hot Air
Tim Hetherington / Associated Press:
Gates says Obama has approved use of armed Predator drones in Libya  —  WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has approved the use of armed Predator drone aircraft in Libya to improve the precision of low-level attacks on ground targets, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.
Discussion: Hot Air, Corrente and Mother Jones
Ryan J. Foley / Associated Press:
Iowa professor's response to GOP prompts outrage  —  IOWA CITY, Iowa— A University of Iowa professor who studies same-sex relationships was so upset by an email from a campus Republican group promoting “Conservative Coming Out Week” that she fired off a vulgarity aimed at all Republicans …
60 Plus Association:
Seniors Thank Rep. West for Protecting Medicare in New Radio Ad  —  Promises Made, Promises Kept  —  MIAMI - The 60 Plus Association, nationally recognized as the conservative alternative to the liberal AARP, today launched a new radio ad in Florida's 22nd Congressional District …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Ballot Box
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 More Items: 
Man wanted for questioning after attempted bombing at Colorado mall
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Boing Boing
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
President predicts Pelosi will again be Speaker of the House
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Brandon Keim / Wired Science:
Gut-Bacteria Mapping Finds Three Global Varieties
Discussion: Need to Know
John Bolton /
Obama wobbly on Libya
Donald J. Trump / USA Today:
Trump's view: Obama, come clean
Discussion: TPMDC and Mediaite
Political Punch:
Obama Gets An Unwelcome Serenade at Fundraiser
Discussion: The Jawa Report and RedState
 Earlier Items: 
James Pethokoukis:
Budget group: New Obama budget plan would fail, could cause tax trigger to be pulled
Susan Dominus / New York Times:
The Crash and Burn of an Autism Guru
Discussion: FrumForum, Feministe and Pharyngula
David Hill / Washington Times:
Business owner casts reasonable doubt on accuracy of speed cameras
SusanAnne Hiller / Big Journalism:
What if the Birthers Are Right?  —  Inside the political vacuum …