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11:05 AM ET, July 5, 2011


 Top Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Mother of All No-Brainers  —  The Republicans have changed American politics since they took control of the House of Representatives.  They have put spending restraint and debt reduction at the top of the national agenda.  They have sparked a discussion on entitlement reform.
Richard Cohen / Washington Post:
A grand old cult  —  Someone ought to study the Republican Party.  I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like.  The GOP needs an intervention.  It has become a cult.
Laura Italiano / New York Post:
DA set to drop charges vs. DSK  —  Pop the champagne, DSK.  —  Prosecutors will agree to drop the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn — either on his next court date in two weeks or even sooner, according to a top investigator in the case who called the eventual dismissal “a certainty.”
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Report: Dominique Strauss-Kahn charges to be dropped
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Michael Rothfeld / Wall Street Journal:
Prosecutors Have Doubts in Strauss-Kahn Case
Discussion: TalkLeft
Christopher Hitchens / Slate Magazine:
Boat People  —  Some questions for the “activists” aboard the Gaza flotilla.  —  The tale of the Gaza “flotilla” seems set to become a regular summer feature, bobbing along happily on the inside pages with an occasional update.  A nice sidebar for reporters covering the Greek debt crisis …
Discussion: The Galloping Beaver
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
Time in House Could Be Short for Republican Newcomers  —  WASHINGTON — Just when freshman House Republicans have finally learned their way to the Cannon Caucus Room, how to vote on a motion to proceed and which commissary serves the best tuna sandwiches, someone back home — worse …
David Catanese / The Politico:
Tea party's new role model: Mike Lee
Discussion: American Spectator
Robert Pear / New York Times:
Administration Offers Health Care Cuts as Part of Budget Negotiations  —  WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials are offering to cut tens of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid in negotiations to reduce the federal budget deficit, but the depth of the cuts depends …
The Politico:   Guide to health industries at risk in debt deal
Michael Hiltzik / Los Angeles Times:
BMW layoffs exemplify the evisceration of the middle class  —  Every working American should be dismayed by — and afraid of — what BMW is doing.  —  By all accounts, BMW's parts distribution warehouse in Ontario was one of the jewels of the company's system.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Benyamin Korn / JTA:
Op-Ed: Jews becoming commonplace in conservative ‘new media’  —  PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — Many reviews already have appeared of “The Undefeated,” the soon-to-be-released documentary about Sarah Palin's tenure in Alaska.Yet none of them — even in The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post or The Washington Post …
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Solid Majority of Jewish Americans Still Approve of Obama  —  Changes in approval among Jews continues to reflect broader U.S. patterns  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Jewish Americans gave President Barack Obama a 60% job approval rating in June, down from 68% in May, but statistically unchanged from 64% in April.
Catherine Herridge / Fox News:
White House's New Anti-Terror Strategy: Kill the Suspects?  —  Usama bin Laden has been killed.  The U.S. is poised to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.  And the Obama administration's shift in counterterrorism strategy from land wars to precision strikes and raids is raising concerns …
Wall Street Journal:
Voting Blocs to Watch as 2012 Nears  —  There's a long way to go before next year's presidential election, but it's already possible to frame the decisive question: Will the giant demographic trends benefiting President Barack Obama and his Democrats be enough to offset the erosion caused by a poor economy?
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Adam Goldman / Yahoo! News:
AP Enterprise: The man who hunted Osama bin Laden  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — After Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the White House released a photo of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet inside the Situation Room, watching the daring raid unfold.  —  Hidden from view, standing just outside …
Hoover Institution:
Would We Ever Ground Air Force One?  —  by Richard A. Epstein (Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow and member of the Property Rights, Freedom, and Prosperity Task Force)  —  Of course not.  So why the jihad against corporate jets?  —  During his last press conference …
Wall Street Journal:
Cisco Poised to Help China Keep an Eye on Its Citizens  —  By LORETTA CHAO in Beijing and DON CLARK in San Francisco  —  Cameras in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.  U.S. firms can sell surveillance gear in China, but not equipment that is used only for crime control.
Discussion: The Next Web and
Seema Mehta / Los Angeles Times:
Newt Gingrich offers bleak view of campaign finances  —  Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich talks with residents of Clear Lake, Iowa during the town's Independence Day parade Monday.  (Charlie Neibergall/AP)  —  Newt Gingrich, whose presidential bid has been beset by problems including …
Discussion: The Caucus and Outside the Beltway
Amy Sullivan / Swampland:
Behind the Scenes, Christian Right Leaders Rally Behind Rick Perry  —  In early June, TIME has learned, a group of prominent figures on the Christian Right held a conference call to discuss their dissatisfaction with the current GOP presidential field, and agreed that Rick Perry would be their preferred candidate if he entered the race.
Discussion: Alan Colmes' Liberaland and GOP 12
New York Times:
Pakistan's Spies Tied to Slaying of a Journalist  —  ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Obama administration officials believe that Pakistan's powerful spy agency ordered the killing of a Pakistani journalist who had written scathing reports about the infiltration of militants in the country's military, according to American officials.
Josh Margolin / New York Post:
Bam recruits Corzine to woo back Wall $t.  —  President Obama is desperately putting his Wall Street stock in an unlikely old buddy.  —  The beleaguered president has recruited former Goldman Sachs head honcho Jon Corzine to shore up re-election funds from the banking industry, which is furious over Obama's financial regulations.
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Merkley, Udall: Leave Afghanistan  —  Two Senate Democrats, along with Republican Rand Paul, are calling for the removal of all U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, arguing that America would be “more secure and stronger economically” with a quicker troop drawdown.
Discussion: New York Times and Weasel Zippers
Robert Smith / NPR:
Breakfast At Libertarian Summer Camp  —  Last weekend, a group of libertarians and anarchists gathered in the woods of northern New Hampshire for the annual Porcupine Freedom Festival, aka PorcFest.  —  I went up for breakfast.  —  Lucky for me, George Mandrik has brought along 150 lbs. of bacon …
Edward Morrissey / The Week Magazine:
Obama can't dump Biden  —  The commentariat is foolishly enamored of the fantasy that Andrew Cuomo could replace Joe Biden as the president's running mate in 2012  —  Not all that long ago, a group of pundits, including myself, addressed the questions swirling around the re-election prospects …
Wall Street Journal:
America's Troubling Investment Gap  —  For the first time in decades, America is on net losing, not attracting, growth capital.  —  In June, President Obama celebrated a rare sliver of good economic news: Foreign investment was up 49% last year over 2009.  The president says that this boost …
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 More Items: 
Reid J. Epstein / The Politico:
Walter Mondale, Arne Carlson to float Minnesota plan
Discussion: and Daily Kos
Craig Robinson / The Iowa Republican:
TIR Poll: Republicans United on Need to Defeat Obama
Discussion: GOP 12
Michael McConnell / Advancing a Free Society:
The Debt Ceiling Is Certainly Not “Unconstitutional”
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Rick Perry's RGA rakes in $22.1 million
Discussion: FrumForum
Cezary Podkul / Washington Post:
HUD to give away $1 billion to struggling homeowners
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Marc A. Thiessen / Washington Post:
The CIA's exoneration and Holder's reckoning
Thomas Sowell / Real Clear Politics:
Politics Versus Reality
Discussion: Cold Fury
 Earlier Items: 
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Dem leaders announce support for extended payroll-tax holiday
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
New breed of ‘super PACs,’ other independent groups could define 2012 campaign
Maria Sacchetti / Boston Globe:
Traffic cases settled, but deportations loom
Discussion: Citizen Orange
William Wan / Washington Post:
Global race on to match U.S. drone capabilities
Gordon S. Wood / The New Republic:
How the Complete Meaning of July Fourth Is Slipping Away
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
CHART OF THE DAY: ‘Out Of Control Spending’ Not Really Out Of Control At All
The Politico:
Marcus Bachmann, campaign spouse
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit