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1:45 PM ET, May 23, 2011


 Top Items: 
Sen. Scott Brown / The Politico:
Why I don't back Ryan Medicare plan  —  As part of the 2012 budget discussions, Congress is dealing with Medicare reform.  This debate is long overdue, since its increasing cost must be addressed if we are serious about the nation's growing $14 trillion debt and $1.6 trillion annual deficit.
The Politico:
Republicans ignored warnings on Paul Ryan plan  —  It might be a political time bomb — that's what GOP pollsters warned as House Republicans prepared for the April 15 vote on Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed budget, with its plan to dramatically remake Medicare.  —  No matter how favorably pollsters …
Digby / Hullabaloo:
“The Tea Party itch has not been scratched”: How the Ryan plan went down  —  “The Tea Party Itch Has Not Been Scratched”  —  Any political observer with even a modicum of sense could see that the Ryan Plan was going to be a complete disaster.  And most of us have been wondering ever since what the hell made them go for it.
John Cole / Balloon Juice:
Things Done Changed
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Scott Brown a ‘no’ on Ryan budget
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:   What GOP leaders were thinking on Medicare
Wall Street Journal:
Republicans and Mediscare  —  Paul Ryan's GOP critics are ObamaCare's best friends.
Discussion: The New Republic and Betsy's Page
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Gingrich: 'I'm not a Washington figure'  —  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) said he doesn't view himself as a “Washington figure,” positioning himself as an anti-D.C. candidate in his campaign for president.  —  Gingrich railed against the Washington, D.C. establishment …
Alexander Burns / The Politico:   Newt Gingrich, citing record, says ignore record
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
The Next President Isn't Currently Running (Updated)  —  There's no GOP operative for whom I have higher regard than former RNC chair and senior Bush advisor Ed Gillespie.  He deserves to be taken seriously when he says (according to Politico): “For all intents and purposes, the field is set.
Jordan Fabian / Ballot Box:
Pawlenty's in: We've tried Obama's way and ‘his way has failed’
Discussion: The Politico
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Pawlenty Campaign Already Dead?  —  Tim Pawlenty's hometown newspaper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, ran the story of his presidential campaign announcement on the Obituary page this morning, City Pages reports.
Kevin Hoffman / The Blotter:
DOA: Pioneer Press runs Tim Pawlenty presidential announcement on obit page
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Mediaite
The Politico:
Behind the Daniels family veto  —  On Friday, the pieces were coming together nicely for a Mitch Daniels-for-president campaign.  Some top potential staffers were told they would have a job, and to keep their powder dry just a little bit longer.  Several Washington Republicans expected a declaration in the next few days.
Aharding / CNN:
Huntsman steps up South Carolina campaign
Stephanie Condon / CBS News:
Obama monitors response to Joplin, Missouri tornado from abroad  —  President Obama was in Ireland Monday, kicking off a week-long tour through Europe, but he is monitoring the aftermath of the Missouri, tornado that killed at least 89 people Sunday.  —  The president received multiple updates …
Discussion: Politics, CBS News and HotAirPundit
A.G. Sulzberger / New York Times:
Death Toll Rises to Nearly 100 From Missouri Tornado
Discussion: The Lede, The Hill and Balloon Juice
Obama's achievement: the mouse that roared  —  I don't know what strategic purpose Obama had in mind for addressing the Middle East impasse when last Thursday he made the first of a series of speeches on the subject.  Whatever this may have been, that speech produced one satisfactory result.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Biden tells donors: Keep me in mind for 2016  —  Vice President Joe Biden surprised a gathering of donors in Cincinnati last week when he floated the prospect of his succeeding President Barack Obama in the White House.  —  Biden, who started in the Senate young and would be just 70 in 2012 …
Josh Margolin / New York Post:
Obama digging up dirt on potential opponent Chris Christie  —  President Obama's re-election campaign is trying to dig up dirt in the Garden State.  —  Despite New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's repeated pronouncements that he will not seek the GOP presidential nomination …
Will Kane / San Francisco Chronicle:
Harold Camping ‘flabbergasted’; rapture a no-show  —  (05-22) 19:18 PDT ALAMEDA — The man who said the world was going to end appeared at his front door in Alameda a day later, very much alive but not so well.  —  “It has been a really tough weekend,” said Harold Camping …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Steele to MSNBC  —  This has been in the works, in retrospect, since about January 2009:  —  New York - May 23, 2011 - Former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Michael Steele has been named MSNBC political analyst.  The announcement was made today by Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC, and is effective immediately.
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Steele signs up with MSNBC
Discussion: Gawker
The Note:
Is Donald Trump Back in the 2012 Race?  —  ABC News' Sheila Marikar and Rick Klein report: Perhaps Donald Trump didn't really bow out after all.  —  The billionaire business mogul phoned into Fox News' “Fox & Friends” this morning to lament the state of the Republican field.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
When Austerity Fails  —  I often complain, with reason, about the state of economic discussion in the United States.  And the irresponsibility of certain politicians — like those Republicans claiming that defaulting on U.S. debt would be no big deal — is scary.
Jason Zengerle / New York Magazine:
If I Take Down Fox, Is All Forgiven?  —  David Brock has spent the last decade apologizing to liberals for his role in creating the vast right-wing conspiracy.  Now he's trying something more ambitious and hoping it gains him the respect he craves from the White House.
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Althouse
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 More Items: 
Mark Sherman / Associated Press:
High court backs cuts in Calif. prison population
Discussion: Hot Air and Weasel Zippers
Sam Inglot / Michigan Messenger:
Tea Party, Amash deny entry to townhall meeting
Governor Arne Carlson:
Discussion: Iowa Caucuses
The National Magazine Award and Guantánamo: A Tall Tale Gets the Prize Scott Horton's …
Daily Mail:
Codename ‘smart alec’: British police label Obama with ‘mildly offensive’ Punjabi word for visit to UK
Lauren A. E. Schuker / Wall Street Journal:
Glenn Beck to Offer Discount Deals
Joe Kovacs / WorldNetDaily:
Now popular Republicans ‘not natural-born citizens’
Discussion: FP Passport, Weigel and Joe. My. God.
 Earlier Items: 
Daily Mail:
We didn't realise you were such a big Jedward fan, Michelle. …
Channel NewsAsia:
Afghanistan says Mullah Omar has “disappeared”
Eric Dash / New York Times:
As Lenders Hold Homes in Foreclosure, Sales Are Hurt
Wall Street Journal:
Spy, Military Ties Aided bin Laden Raid
Discussion: The Politico and BBC
Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani / The Malaysian Insider:
Islamic leaders question non-Muslim rights