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4:20 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.
BooMan / Booman Tribune:
Republicans Appear Incapable of Compromise
Discussion: TalkLeft
The Hill:
Cantor pulls out of Biden debt talks because Dems demand tax hikes
Discussion: Ballot Box
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  —  LOS ANGELES — James (Whitey) Bulger, a legendary Boston crime boss indicted in 19 murders and who is on the F.B.I.'s 10 Most Wanted list, was arrested by federal authorities Wednesday night in Santa Monica, ending an international manhunt that had gone …
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 …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Romney leads the way in Florida
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:
Romney dreaming of Rubio?
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and Daily Kos
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 …
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.
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.
NY Daily News:
Senate Republicans moving closer to saying ‘I do’ to gay marriage in New York State  —  ALBANY - Senate Republicans on Wednesday were close to signing off on a religious protection provision that could boost the chances that gay marriage will pass in New York.
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 …
Robin Bravender / The Politico:
Senate Democrats: Long live the ‘czars’  —  Schumer called the amendment a ‘poison pill.’  —  Senate Democrats on Thursday knocked down the latest GOP effort to unseat the Obama administration's policy “czars.”  —  The chamber voted 47-51 to defeat an amendment from Sen. David Vitter …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
White House threatens to veto Defense bill
Discussion: The Politico
Dan Berman / The Politico:
Enviros, celebs plan W.H. protest
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.
Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs:
Geert Wilders Verdict: Not Guilty All Counts! Eureka! “Today is a victory for freedom of speech”
Discussion: Jihad Watch
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.
New York Post:
So much for real victory - unless, that is, it's merely a political one
Discussion: and National Review
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 …
Ta-Nehisi Coates / New York Times:
The Haunting of Rick Perry  —  Should Gov. Rick Perry of Texas enter the 2012 presidential race, he would enjoy a strange and remarkable escort — the irrepressible ghost of Cameron Todd Willingham.  —  Charged with the horrific crime of intentionally torching his home and leaving …
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.
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.
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
I Liked the ‘Chinese Professor’ Ad, But This Is Stupid and Offensive  —  (See update below.)  Unlike many people, I admired the panache and artistry of the “Chinese Professor” ad used during last fall's campaign to warn about the self- destructive tendencies of America's borrow-and-spend era.
Discussion: Weigel
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
America Could Contain Many, Many, Many More People  —  Something that comes up when I write about immigration is the idea that the United States is somehow running short of capacity to absorb immigrants.  I see no reason to believe that this is the case.  The USA historically maintained …
Richard Stengel / Time:
U.S. Constitution Under Siege over Libya, Taxes, Health Care  —  DNA.  Sexting.  Airplanes.  The atom.  Television.  Medicare.  Collateralized debt obligations.  The germ theory of disease.  Miniskirts.  The internal combustion engine.  Computers.  Antibiotics.  Lady Gaga.
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Ron Paul, Barney Frank: Legalize it  —  A group of House members led by Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) plan to introduce legislation Thursday that would legalize the use of marijuana and allow states to develop their own rules on the drug's use within their borders.
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.
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
TRENDING: 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 …
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Mullen Backs Afghan Pullout Plan but Calls It Riskier
James Bovard / Wall Street Journal:
The Food-Stamp Crime Wave
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Romney backers launch super PAC
The Hill:
OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Oil sands pipeline bill poised to advance
Hope Yen / Associated Press:
Census shows whites lose US majority among babies
Discussion: Fox News, Vox Popoli and Guardian
Lawrence B. Solum / SSRN:
The Interpretation-Construction Distinction  —  Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 27, pp.
Discussion: The Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Post:
Marine reservist charged in D.C.-area military shootings
 Earlier Items: 
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Top Expert: Disputed McKinsey Health Care Study Akin To Push Poll
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
A Strange Time For A Deficit Panic
John Hawkins / Right Wing News:
Interviewing Ann Coulter About Her New Book, “Demonic”
Discussion: TigerHawk and The Other McCain
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Chris Christie
Discussion: GOP 12 and The Page
Katie Zezima / New York Times:
New Hampshire: Lawmakers Override Veto of Abortion Consent Bill
Discussion: Hot Air
Wall Street Journal:
Inside the Anonymous Army of ‘Hacktivist’ Attackers