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12:45 PM ET, June 24, 2011


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Seized Phone Offers Clues to Bin Laden's Pakistani Links  —  ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The cellphone of Osama bin Laden's trusted courier, which was recovered in the raid that killed both men in Pakistan last month, contained contacts to a militant group that is a longtime asset …
Richard Pérez-Peña / New York Times:
New Jersey Lawmakers Approve Benefits Rollback for Work Force  —  TRENTON — New Jersey lawmakers on Thursday approved a broad rollback of benefits for 750,000 government workers and retirees, the deepest cut in state and local costs in memory, in a major victory for Gov. Chris Christie …
New Jersey Online:
N.J. Assembly passes landmark employee benefits overhaul  —  TRENTON — New Jersey lawmakers tonight voted to enact a sweeping plan to cut public worker benefits after a long day of high-pitched political drama in the streets of Trenton and behind closed doors.
Jonathan Karl / ABCNEWS:
Fighting Words: DeMint Warns Republicans They May Be ‘Gone’ if They Support Debt Ceiling Increase  —  Jonathan Karl interviews Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. (ABC News)  —  Conservative firebrand Sen. Jim DeMint has a message to fellow Republicans in Congress: If you support increasing …
Cathy Lynn Grossman / USA Today:
Airline to Jewish rumor: ‘Delta does not discriminate.’  —  Earlier today some Jewish and Christian readers in the blogosphere were fired up about stories that Delta Airlines, in its new alliance with Saudi Arabian Airlines, might wind up enforcing a Saudi policy of not admitting Iraelis …
New York Times:
Politicians Who Fear the Public Light  —  As we wrote this editorial on Thursday evening, we were still waiting for the New York State Senate to do what it should have done long ago — end a basic inequality under the law by allowing same-sex couples the full right to marry.
Katherine M. Franke / New York Times:
Marriage Is a Mixed Blessing
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Anita Kumar / Washington Post:
McDonnell treats campaign donors to retreat  —  For the second year in a row, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is treating dozens of Republican donors, lobbyists and staffers to a weekend of golfing, hiking and fishing at the tony Homestead resort .  —  McDonnell (R) is hosting the three-day invitation …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Dana Ritter / White House Wrap:
Commander In Chief Misspeaks About Soldier Killed in Afghanistan  —  During his remarks to troops at Fort Drum today, the President was reminiscing about the times he has spent with the US Army's 10th Mountain Division, when he got something wrong. … The problem is, Jared Monti was killed in action in Afghanistan, on June 21, 2006.
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Obama Addresses New York Marriage Equality Bill At LGBT Fundraiser: Issue Best Left To States  —  President Obama spoke at an LGBT fundraiser this evening in New York City, just as the New York Senate prepares to take up marriage equality legislation.  Obama addressed the measure directly …
Jazz Shaw / Hot Air:
Mr. Kelly goes to Washington  —  When we sent the new class of freshman off to Washington after the 2010 cycle, we knew - or at least hoped - there were going to be some “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” moments where real people stepped up to challenge the beltway status quo.
Discussion: The Right Scoop
Matt Welch / Hit & Run:
Hillary Clinton, to Libya War Critics: “Whose side are you on?”  —  Are you with us, or with the dictator and the terrorism he supports?  That's the White House formulation that infuriated liberals and Democrats from 2001-2008, and it's the formulation being used right now by the administration …
Saeed Kamali Dehghan / Guardian:
Iran giving out condoms for criminals to rape us, say jailed activists  —  Smuggled letters allege authorities are using mass rape as a weapon inside Iran's most notorious prisons  —  Prison guards in Iran are giving condoms to criminals and encouraging them to systematically rape young …
Johnson proves to be a big spender - and taker: Firm pays him $10 million  —  After dropping nearly $9 million from his own pocket to win a seat in the U.S. Senate, Ron Johnson didn't have to feel the pain for very long.  —  Johnson's plastics company paid him $10 million in deferred compensation shortly …
The Politico:
Romney dominates GOP cash dash  —  Everyone knows Mitt Romney is going to outpace the GOP presidential field when next month's fundraising reports come out.  But the scale of his money advantage is finally coming into shape: the rest of the field is going to be eating his dust.
Discussion: The Note and
Kelly Cobiella / CBS News:
Sterilization victim “raped by the state of NC”  —  PLAY CBS NEWS VIDEO  —  RALEIGH - At 57, Elaine Riddick has a house full of god children, great nieces and nephews, but only one child of her own - a son.  When she was 14, Riddick was raped.  The day she gave birth …
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
Geithner: Taxes on ‘Small Business’ Must Rise So Government Doesn't ‘Shrink’  —  ( - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday that the Obama administration believes taxes on small business must increase so the administration does not have to …
Jordan Fabian / Ballot Box:
Palin film to debut in Iowa next week  —  A pro-Sarah Palin documentary film will make its premiere in the first in the nation caucus state of Iowa next week, according to sources familiar with the plans.  —  The film, titled “The Undefeated,” had been scheduled to debut in key early primary states …
Discussion: GOP 12, CNN and The Note
Matt Apuzzo / Associated Press:
Osama wanted new name for al-Qaida to repair image  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — As Osama bin Laden watched his terrorist organization get picked apart, he lamented in his final writings that al-Qaida was suffering from a marketing problem.  His group was killing too many Muslims and that was bad for business.
Michael O'Brien / Ballot Box:
Crossroads chairman: 'There's not too much money in politics'  —  The chairman of the conservative political group American Crossroads disputed the notion that there's too much money in politics, defending the role of outside spending groups in elections.  —  Mike Duncan, the chairman …
Discussion: CNN
William Yardley / New York Times:
Officials Say Two Planned Armed Attack in Seattle  —  SEATTLE — Federal law enforcement officials have arrested two men who they say planned to attack a military processing center here using machine guns and grenades.  —  The men — Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, also known as Joseph A. Davis …
Joshua Zumbrun / Bloomberg:
Bernanke Public Approval Falls to Lowest Level  —  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's standing with the public has slid to its lowest level in almost two years of polling on the issue, even as faith in the Federal Reserve holds up.  —  Bernanke is viewed favorably by 30 percent of those polled …
Discussion: Real Time Economics
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
Obama, as suspected, disregarded the Afghan troop drawdown recommendation of Gen. Petraeus  —  Testifying before a Senate committee today, the commander of allied forces in Afghanistan confirmed under oath what many had suspected:  —  In his speech Wednesday evening, President Obama disregarded …
Discussion: Scared Monkeys
Paul Bond / Hollywood Reporter:
Tea Partiers Create Their Own TV Show and Production Company (Exclusive) … Those who belong to the conservative movement known as the Tea Party are acutely aware of the power of popular culture, so they have been cautiously delving into the creation of entertainment that promotes their values.
Discussion: Mediaite, Pajamas Media and Gawker
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 More Items: 
Jon Terbush / TPMDC:
Poll: Gov. Rick Scott's Unpopularity Handicapping GOP Pres Candidates In Florida
Discussion: The Daily Pulp and The Reid Report
Lisa Rein / Washington Post:
Issa introduces bill to overhaul U.S. Postal Service, increase regulation
David A. Fahrenthold / Washington Post:
House Republicans set Libya vote for Friday
Discussion: USA Today, The Right Scoop and Weigel
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Americans Shift to More Negative View of Libya Military Action
Liz Mair / The Daily Caller:
The identity of the GOP nominee matters
Discussion: Hot Air and Guardian
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Says Gadhafi Might Flee Tripoli
Mark Tapscott / Washington Examiner:
BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL  —  Remember the flap over foreign ships …
 Earlier Items: 
Carrie Budoff Brown / The Politico:
President Obama struggles with economic message
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Jennifer Agiesta / Associated Press:
AP-GfK Poll: Bachmann, Pawlenty gain in GOP field
Vicki Needham / The Hill:
Obama to announce $500M manufacturing investment initiative
Discussion: Right Wing News
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Explaining ‘Penny Wise, Pound Foolish’ to Rand Paul
Greg Stohr / Bloomberg:
Anna Nicole Smith's Estate Loses at High Court on Fortune
Craig Robinson / The Iowa Republican:
Thaddeus McCotter Creates Chaos At Straw Poll Auction