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4:00 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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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
Alex Pareene / Salon:
Mark Halperin comes up with great excuse to fire Mark Halperin  —  It seems wrong, to me, that in a conversation involving Joe Scarborough and Mark Halperin, a third party was somehow called a “dick,” but that is what happened on “Morning Joe” today, when MSNBC “senior political analyst” …
Discussion: TVNewser and FishbowlDC
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: Reuters, The Politico and The Caucus
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 …
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
FEC allows Colbert to form ‘super PAC’ for 2012 elections
Discussion: Election Law Blog
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
Jon Walker / Firedoglake:
Social Security Benefits Cuts Are in the Mix in Debt Ceiling Negotiations
Discussion: The Politico
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
Against the constitutional option, cont'd
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Responding to Ezra Klein on the Constitutional Option
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
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and normblog
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 …
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 …
Alister Bull / Reuters:
White House snubs McConnell invitation to Obama  —  (Reuters) - The White House effectively turned down an invitation by Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for President Barack Obama to visit his members on Capitol Hill on Thursday to discuss raising the debt limit.
Mark Landler / New York Times:
In Deficit Plan, Taxes Must Rise, President Warns
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
Under the new Wisconsin budget repair, one school district goes from a $400,000 deficit to a $1.5 million surplus.  —  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: … Let's stop and think of all the protesters who carried signs asserting that their opposition to Scott Walker was for the children.
Kaukauna Area School District projects $1.5 million surplus after contract changes to health care, retirement savings
Discussion: Joanne Jacobs
Mark Oppenheimer / New York Times:
Married, With Infidelities  —  Last month, when the New York congressman Anthony Weiner finally admitted that he had lied, that his Twitter account had not been hacked, that he in fact had sent a picture of his thinly clad undercarriage to a stranger in Seattle, I asked my wife of six years …
Discussion: Althouse
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
New York Times:
Cuomo Will Seek to Lift Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing  —  The Cuomo administration is expected to lift what has been, in effect, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial technology used to extract natural gas from shale, people briefed on the administration's discussions said.
Josiah Ryan / The Hill:
Senate confirms Petraeus as next CIA director with 94-0 vote  —  The Senate on Thursday unanimously confirmed Army Gen. David Petraeus to be the next director of the CIA in a 94-0 vote.  —  Prior to the vote, senators from both parties lauded the four-star general, who is currently serving …
Discussion: The Politico and CNN
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 …
The White House:
Press Conference by the President East Room  —  THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody.  Have a seat, please.  I just want to say a few words about the economy before I take your questions.  —  There are a lot of folks out there who are still struggling with the effects of the recession.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 More Items: 
Jim Treacher / The Daily Caller:
Malia is actually 12.  Oops.  As we've seen over the last few years …
Discussion: Power Line
My Take: Dutch ban is bigotry
Discussion: Hit & Run and FrumForum
Lauraklairmont / CNN:
Obama hits two fundraisers as crucial quarter ends
Discussion: The Hill, and Weasel Zippers
Sam Baker / Healthwatch:
GOP files slew of healthcare amendments to trade deal
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Will Bunch /
How a natural-gas tycoon tapped into Corbett
Paul Bedard / US News:
Harvard: July 4th Parades Are Right-Wing
Emily Flitter / Reuters:
U.S. caught China buying more debt than disclosed
Discussion: MarketBeat and FrumForum
 Earlier Items: 
Stephen Evans / BBC:
German police vulture scheme fails to take off
Mark Halperin / The Daily Beast:
The Lawless Presidency  —  Obama's lawyers are foundering …
Discussion: Salon
Mark J. Penn / Time:
The Pessimism Index
Defense minister says Americans have been asked to vacate remote site
Discussion: Weasel Zippers