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6:30 PM ET, June 23, 2011


 Top Items: 
The Note:
Senator Kyl Drops Out of the Debt Talks, Leaving Zero Republicans at the Table  —  ABC News' Sunlen Miller (@sunlenmiller) reports:  —  Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., will also drop out of the debt talks, a source within his office confirms today.  The Arizona Republican's office will issue a formal statement shortly.
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
Why Eric Cantor won't make the budget deal  —  (Brendan Hoffman - Getty Images) Eric Cantor is pulling out of the debt-ceiling talks.  But he's not saying they should end.  In fact, he's saying they've been very successful thus far.  “We have a blueprint to move forward to trillions …
Wall Street Journal:
Cantor Pulls Out of Biden-Led Budget Talks  —  WASHINGTON—House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Thursday said he was pulling out of the bipartisan budget talks headed by Vice President Joe Biden for now because the group has reached an impasse over taxes that only President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) could resolve.
David Rogers / The Politico:
Deficit talks in danger as Eric Cantor bails  —  Republicans launched a concerted campaign Thursday to draw President Barack Obama more directly into deficit-reduction talks with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor saying that he will no longer participate in White House talks until the president …
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
How To (Temporarily) Survive a Debtpocalypse
BooMan / Booman Tribune:
Republicans Appear Incapable of Compromise
Discussion: The Hill and Ballot Box
Republicans walk out of budget talks over taxes
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Budget Talks Near Collapse as G.O.P. Leader Quits
Discussion: Washington Monthly
James Freeman / Wall Street Journal:
Is Rick Running?  —  A Republican campaign veteran tells us that Texas Governor Rick Perry has decided to run for President, though the official word from Team Perry is still a definite maybe.  —  A Republican campaign veteran tells us that Texas Governor Rick Perry has decided to run for President …
Stephen Moore / Wall Street Journal:
Drafting Rubio  —  The Republican nomination for president is completely up for grabs, but there's a lot of agreement on who the vice presidential pick should be: freshman senator Marco Rubio.  —  The Republican nomination for president is completely up for grabs, but there's a lot of agreement …
The Rules of the Game  —  The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza joins …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Romney leads the way in Florida
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
White House threatens to veto Defense bill  —  The White House on Thursday threatened to veto the 2012 defense appropriations bill.  —  “The administration strongly opposes a number of provisions in this bill.  If a bill is presented to the President that undermines his ability as commander …
Discussion: The Politico
Robin Bravender / The Politico:
Senate Democrats: Long live the ‘czars’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
EXCLUSIVE — Herman Cain: Jon Stewart Attacked Me 'Because I'm Black'  —  ThinkProgress filed this report from Iowa Falls, Iowa.  —  Earlier this month, ThinkProgress reported that GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain told an audience in Pella, Iowa that he would not sign a bill longer than three pages.
Shelley Murphy / Boston Globe:
Whitey Bulger arrested  —  Boston gangster surrenders quietly in Calif. after 16 years on run  —  Fugitive South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, wanted for 19 murders, was captured last night in Southern California, the result of a tip from FBI television spots that began airing this week.
New York Times:
Whitey Bulger Is Arrested in California
Jeffrey Goldberg / The Atlantic Online:
Answering Andrew Sullivan on Allison Benedikt  —  Andrew weighs in on the Benedikt controversy with a thoughtful post, which you should read in full.  He writes, at the end: … The outrage comes form the fact that many of us — I would dare say most American Jews — believe that you just don't get to walk away.
Erin Kelly / Arizona Republic:
Afghan drawdown risky, McCain says  —  WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is taking “an unnecessary risk” by withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan at a faster rate than his military generals recommend, Sen. John McCain said Wednesday.  —  The president should leave the 33,000 troops …
Wall Street Journal:
Unplugging the Afghan Surge
Discussion: American Power
New York Post:
So much for real victory - unless, that is, it's merely a political one
Discussion: National Review and
Adam Clark Estes / The Atlantic Wire:
Confirmed: Obama to Address Same-Sex Marriage Debate Tonight  —  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney expects President Obama to break his recent silence on same-sex marriage at an LGBT fundraiser tonight.  But he doesn't anticipate any surprises, “I'm sure he will mention it,” said Carney to the White House press pool.
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
Carney: Obama to ‘mention’ N.Y. marriage bill, but won't endorse it
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
President Obama's Afghanistan speech confirms America's decline  —  The American Century just ended.  This was the phrase coined by Henry Luce, which so aptly described America as the modern-day colossus, more powerful than any nation had ever been.  Wednesday night, President Obama said that power had reached its limit.
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
‘Mission accomplished,’ Obama style
Discussion: New York Times and Weekly Standard
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Why Obama Is Likely to Lose in 2012  —  Even a small drop in the share of black voters would wipe out his winning margin in North Carolina.  —  President Barack Obama is likely to be defeated in 2012.  The reason is that he faces four serious threats.  The economy is very weak and unlikely …
Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Democrats Blue as Senate Acquires a Reddish Tinge  —  Larry J. Sabato and Kyle Kondik, U.Va. Center for Politics  —  As we take a fresh look at next year's Senate races, one thing is clear: Barring an unexpected reelection landslide by President Obama, Republicans are at least slightly favored to take the Senate.
The Note:
Mystery Candidate Leads to Walk Out at Ames Straw Poll Land Auction  —  ABC News' Russell Goldman (@GoldmanRussell) and Arlette Saenz (@ArletteSaenz) report:  —  A little bit of intrigue at the Ames straw poll land auction...  Representatives of Republican candidates are meeting today in Ames …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and USA Today
Robert Kagan / Washington Post:
Military leaders know Obama's decision is a disaster  —  The press is reporting that the top military leaders have “endorsed” President Obama's Afghan troop withdrawal decision.  With all due respect to the fine reporters, that is not the news.  Under our Constitution …
Jack Shafer / Slate Magazine:
Who Is Jose Antonio Vargas?  —  A prominent journalist comes out as an illegal immigrant, raising additional questions about his real identity.  —  A prefatory note before I join the Jose Antonio Vargas commentary: I am an immigration dove, to pluck a pungent phrase from today's Twitter-stream.
James Bovard / Wall Street Journal:
The Food-Stamp Crime Wave  —  The number of food-stamp recipients has soared to 44 million from 26 million in 2007.  Not surprisingly, fraud and abuse are rampant.  —  Millionaires are now legally entitled to collect food stamps as long as they have little or no monthly income.
Robert Stacy McCain / AmSpecBlog:
Gingrich: ‘Strategic Blunder’ for Palin to Mock Obama as ‘Community Organizer’  —  Republicans, including Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani, made a “strategic blunder” by making a joke of Barack Obama's work as a community organizer, Newt Gingrich says in a new book about the radical ACORN group.
Dan Berman / Reuters:
W.H. to release 30M barrels of oil  —  The Obama administration will release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to offset oil supply disruptions in the Middle East, the Energy Department announced Thursday morning.  —  Other International Energy Agency countries …
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Palin Sudan trip a no-go  —  (CNN) - Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin canceled a July trip to Sudan due to “scheduling problems,” a source with knowledge of the trip confirmed to CNN Thursday.  —  Palin was scheduled to travel to the southern part of the war-savaged country with Franklin Graham …
Heidi Przybyla / Bloomberg:
Ryan Medicare Plan Would Make Americans Worse by 57%-34%, Poll Shows  —  Representative Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman who has become a star in the Republican Party with his plan to overhaul Medicare, is emerging as a polarizing figure among Americans.
Michele Chabin / USA Today:
U.S. Jews not able to fly on Delta flights to Saudi Arabia  —  JERUSALEM — Jews and Israelis, or passengers carrying any non-Islamic article of faith, will not be able to fly Delta Air Lines flights from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia under Delta's new partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines.
Discussion: Runnin' Scared
Dutch populist Geert Wilders acquitted of hate speech  —  (Reuters) - Dutch populist politician Geert Wilders was acquitted of inciting hatred of Muslims in a court ruling on Thursday that may strengthen his political influence and exacerbate tensions over immigration policy.
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 More Items: 
Jennifer Abbasi / Popular Science:
Why Sex With Creatures from the Future Is a Bad Idea
Jordan Fabian / Ballot Box:
Pawlenty to deliver address on Middle East
Discussion: CNN, The Page and
Felix Gillette / Business Week:
The Rise and Inglorious Fall of Myspace
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Cantor pulls out  —  Eric Cantor pulled out of the debt ceiling talks …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Daily Kos
Lauren Ceronie / The Hill:
US not ready for WMD attack, report says
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
John Melloy / Fast Money:
Firms Have Record $800 Billion Of Cash But Still Won't Hire
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Richard Stengel / Time:
U.S. Constitution Under Siege over Libya, Taxes, Health Care
Discussion: blogs
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
America Could Contain Many, Many, Many More People
 Earlier Items: 
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Romney backers launch super PAC
The Hill:
OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Oil sands pipeline bill poised to advance
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Ron Paul, Barney Frank: Legalize it
John Hawkins / Right Wing News:
Interviewing Ann Coulter About Her New Book, “Demonic”
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
I Liked the ‘Chinese Professor’ Ad, But This Is Stupid and Offensive
Discussion: Weigel
Ta-Nehisi Coates / New York Times:
The Haunting of Rick Perry
NY Daily News:
Senate Republicans moving closer to saying ‘I do’ to gay marriage in New York State