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1:55 PM ET, June 30, 2011


 Top Items: 
Tim Mak / The Politico:
Mark Halperin suspended over Obama remark on Morning Joe (video)  —  MSNBC senior political analyst Mark Halperin was suspended on Thursday by the cable network after he called President Obama “a dick” on a popular morning show and then quickly apologized.  —  “I thought he was a dick yesterday …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Mark Halperin and the Quote of the Day  —  It's hard not to love that “liberal” media.  —  On MSNBC's “Morning Joe,” the three-hour program co-hosted by a conservative Republican former congressman, Time magazine's Mark Halperin was asked for his assessment of President Obama's White House press conference.
Colby Hall / Mediaite:
MSNBC Suspends Mark Halperin For Calling President Obama A ‘Dick’ On Morning Joe  —  In the event that anyone think that Morning Joe is becoming formulaic and predictable, I present the following clip.  While discussing President Obama's press briefing yesterday (in which he showed a feisty …
MSNBC suspends Mark Halperin for Obama comments  —  Statement from MSNBC:  —  Mark Halperin's comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable.  We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers.  We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air.
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Mark Halperin called Obama “a dick” and now he says “I can't explain why I did it.”  —  He's apologized, but I don't care.  I want him to explain why he did it.  Why is he editor-in-large at Time if he can't explain things as accessible to him as his own mind?
Discussion: TalkLeft and FishbowlDC
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
MSNBC's suspension of Mark Halperin is way over the top  —  MSNBC just announced that they have “indefintely” suspended Mark Halperin for claiming that Obama was “kind of a dick” at his presser yesterday.  Here's MSNBC's statement:  —  I'm sorry, but this is crazy.
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
Stephen Colbert's running PAC shtick creates sticky mess  —  Advocates of reducing the power of money in politics thought they had found a champion in the unlikely person of Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, whose ongoing shtick about forming a political action committee brought more attention …
Cristina Marcos / Ballot Box:
FEC rules in favor of Stephen Colbert  —  The Federal Election Commission ruled Thursday that comedian Stephen Colbert could form his eponymous political action committee with a media exemption.  —  “I am sorry to say, we won,” Colbert declared to supporters outside the FEC building after the commissioners issued their advisory.
Discussion: The Politico
Kirk Semple / New York Times:
U.S. Drops Deportation Proceedings Against Immigrant in Same-Sex Marriage  —  In a decision that could have far-reaching effects on immigration cases involving same-sex couples, federal officials have canceled the deportation of a Venezuelan man in New Jersey who is married to an American man, the couple's lawyer said Wednesday.
Jeff Jacoby / Boston Globe:
Marriage cannot be redefined  —  SAME-SEX wedlock became lawful in New York last week after the state legislature passed a bill recognizing “otherwise- valid marriages without regard to whether the parties are of the same or different sex.’†™ …
Discussion: normblog
Walter Olson / Wall Street Journal:
An Amen for Albany  —  New York lawmakers drafted appropriate …
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
Obama: Still Getting the Hang of Answering Questions  —  Has Obama ever given a bravura performance at a press conference?  No wonder he goes three months or so without doing them.  —  Today he mentioned a tax break for corporate jets six times.  He didn't mention that he signed legislation preserving …
Mark Halperin / The Daily Beast:
The Lawless Presidency  —  Obama's lawyers are foundering …
Discussion: Salon
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
How health care rulings are covered  —  Regular readers may recall an item from February, in which I compared coverage of health care court rulings from several major media outlets.  Given yesterday's developments, it's time to revisit the subject.  —  To briefly review …
Jennifer Gould Keil / New York Post:
Huma Abedin taking time off from Weiner, job  —  Anthony Weiner's wife is taking time off from her senior job with the State Department — as well as time off from the randy former representative, The Post has learned.  —  While Weiner, 46, heads to an “intensive” rehab program to recover …
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
Bill Clinton Network Exclusive: Proposes Debt Impasse Deal, but Fears GOP Too Hamstrung by Ideology  —  Former President Bill Clinton sees a possible way past the bipartisan impasse over raising the debt limit: agree to cut spending AND raise taxes, but do neither until later, after the economy improves.
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and Pajamas Media
Jan Norman / Orange County Register:
Amazon ends deal with 25,000 California websites  —  Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law California's tax on Internet sales through affiliate advertising which will immediately cut small-business website revenue 20% to 30%, experts say.  —  The bill, AB 28X, takes effect immediately.
Joel Greenberg / Washington Post:
Second Gaza flotilla boat reported damaged  —  MARKO DJURICA/REUTERS - A view shows the Stefano Chiarini ship, part of the “Freedom Flotilla II”.  Another ship in the flotilla was reportedly sabotaged, organizers said Thursday.  —  JERUSALEM — Organizers of a flotilla seeking …
Peggy Fikac / Houston Chronicle:
Presidentially, Perry urges U.S. to halt Gaza flotilla
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Bloomberg and Mondoweiss
Mark Landler / New York Times:
In Deficit Plan, Taxes Must Rise, President Warns  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama pressured Republicans on Wednesday to accept higher taxes as part of any plan to pare down the federal deficit, bluntly telling lawmakers that they “need to do their job” and strike a deal before the United States risks defaulting on its debt.
Village Voice:
Real Men Get Their Facts Straight  —  “It's between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today,” Ashton Kutcher told CNN's Piers Morgan on April 18.  That, says Kutcher, is how many kids are lost to prostitution in America every single year.
Tim Mak / The Politico:
U.S. recognizes Muslim Brotherhood  —  The U.S. has decided to formally resume contact with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood group - which does not recognize Israel - in a move that could further alienate some Jewish voters already skeptical of President Barack Obama, it was reported.
Fiona Roberts / Daily Mail:
To Catch a Predator host who traps sex perverts in TV stings ‘caught cheating on his wife’... by hidden cameras  —  He's made his name with a controversial show that catches would-be internet sex perverts in televised stings.  —  But now Chris Hansen has found himself on the receiving end …
Bachmann reveals ‘devastating’ miscarriage  —  Rock Hill, South Carolina (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann revealed to a town hall audience Wednesday that she once suffered a “devastating” miscarriage.  —  Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota …
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Poll: 4 in 10 see ‘permanent decline’  —  Nearly 4 in 10 Americans say they think the economy is in permanent decline, a new polls shows as deep pessimism about the economy becomes more widespread.  —  Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed for a New York Times/CBS News poll released late Wednesday …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and FrumForum
Mark J. Penn / Time:
The Pessimism Index  —  Just 10 years into a new century, more than two-thirds of the country sees the past decade as a period of decline for the U.S., according to a new TIME/Aspen Ideas Festival poll that probed Americans on the decade since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Greg Jaffe / Washington Post:
U.S. drone targets two leaders of Somali group allied with al-Qaeda, official says  —  A U.S. drone aircraft fired on two leaders of a militant Somali organization tied to al-Qaeda, apparently wounding them, a senior U.S. military official familiar with the operation said Wednesday.
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Senate cancels July 4 recess  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that the chamber will cancel its July 4th recess next week, a decision aimed at pressuring negotiators to reach a deal on the looming debt limit.  —  While the move throws a wrench into long-held plans by senators …
Washington Examiner:
Obama doesn't understand the family budget  —  Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., claims that the Republicans' opposition to tax increases and any increase in the national debt ceiling is a sign that they really want to throw Granny and the military over the cliff.
Discussion: Instapundit
Stephen Evans / BBC:
German police vulture scheme fails to take off  —  The vultures' habits had seemed like a perfect fit for the job of detective  —  Police in Lower Saxony, Germany, who decided to teach a vulture to sniff out corpses of missing people, have hit difficulties two months into training.
Emily Flitter / Reuters:
U.S. caught China buying more debt than disclosed  —  (Reuters) - The rules of Treasury auctions may not sound like the stuff of high-stakes diplomacy.  But a little-noticed 2009 change in how Washington sells its debt sheds new light on America's delicate balancing act with its biggest creditor, China.
Discussion: MarketBeat and FrumForum
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 More Items: 
Jesse / CBS New York:
Authorities Investigate Security Breach At JFK After Man Flies To Los Angeles Without Ticket Or ID
Wall Street Journal:
Obama's Real Revenue Problem
Discussion: The New Republic and Betsy's Page
Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs:
EDL Shake-up
James Pethokoukis:
Obamanomics, leaving on a jet plane
Byron Tau / Ben Smith's Blog:
RNC names Log Cabin director to finance committee
Discussion: FrumForum
Josiah Ryan / The Hill:
McConnell calls balanced-budget amendment to floor
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Fed hands banks a win with debit card rule
Discussion: The Huffington Post and The Nation
 Earlier Items:
Defense minister says Americans have been asked to vacate remote site
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Obama says his 12-year-old is 13  —  Malia Obama has a few days …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Hot Air
Neil Reynolds / Globe and Mail:
With its oil treasure, Israel gets a shield from tyranny
Wall Street Journal:
Prescriptions to Revive Recovery