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5:55 PM ET, July 12, 2011


 Top Items: 
CBS News:
Obama says he cannot guarantee Social Security checks will go out on August 3  —  President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks.
The Politico:
Senate GOP mulls new debt strategy  —  Trying to get out of the political box which they have helped to create, Senate Republicans are actively discussing a new plan under which the debt ceiling would grow in three increments over the remainder of this Congress unless lawmakers approve a veto proof resolution of disapproval.
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
Mitch McConnell Just Proposed the “Pontius Pilate Pass the Buck Act of 2011″  —  Editor's note: I decided to make the title less incendiary.  —  Consider the Associated Press's headline right now: “GOP Leader McConnell proposes giving Obama new power for automatic debt limit increase”
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
The Big Blink?  McConnell Proposes Giving Obama Authority To Raise Debt Limit Alone  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has proposed creating an escape hatch for Congressional Republicans, who have put themselves in a box by threatening not to raise the national debt limit …
Michelle Malkin:
Another mortifying McConnell head-banging-against-the-wall moment  —  Longtime readers are familiar with our time-honored tradition of marking inevitable Senate GOP sellout moments with the head-banging-against-the-wall animated gif.  —  Well, it is time to resurrect it again …
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
EXCLUSIVE: McConnell to Obama: Eat your own darn peas  —  At 2 p.m. today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) is going to make some news.  Right Turn has learned from sources familiar with McConnell's thinking that McConnell is going to suggest an alternative to President Obama's “grand bargain.”
Zeke Miller / Politics:
Boehner Says The Debt Limit Increase Is Obama's Problem  —  Speaker of the House John Boehner introduced a new argument to the debt ceiling and deficit reduction talks Tuesday, saying raising the borrowing limit is Republicans' concession in the negotiations.  —  “This debt limit increase is [Obama's] problem,” he said.
Fred Barnes / Weekly Standard:
Republicans Introduce Plan, Go On Offensive  —  The debt ceiling debate continues.  —  Senate Republicans mounted a bold offensive today against President Obama's effort to force them to accept a tax hike as part of a bipartisan agreement to raise the debt limit.
Discussion: New York Magazine and Erick's blog
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
McConnell's debt disapproval plan
Erik Wasson / Healthwatch:
Cantor outlines $353B in Medicare, Medicaid savings during debt talks
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
McConnell fallback plan would leave debt-ceiling hikes to Obama
Damian Paletta / Washington Wire:
470 Business Leaders Urge Congress, White House to Act on Debt
Discussion: Politics and MyFox Philadelphia
Rich Lowry / National Review:   McConnell's Contingency Plan
Meredith Shiner / Roll Call:
McConnell Outlines Three-Step Debt Contingency Plan
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
New McConnell Plan: We Get Everything We Want On Debt Ceiling, Plus 12 Opportunities To Bash Obama
Discussion: National Review and Hullabaloo
Guy Benson /
Guy Benson  —  BREAKING: McConnell Proposes Alternative Debt Ceiling Deal
Discussion: Hot Air, Pajamas Media and The Politico
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Mitch McConnell to Obama: You want debt ceiling raised? Then raise it yourself!
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Craven Reign  —  I just finished explaining that Mitch McConnell …
Discussion: Daily Kos
The Note:
Mitch McConnell's ‘Last Choice Option’ on Debt Ceiling
Discussion: CNN
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
McConnell outlines new proposal on debt ceiling
Rich Lowry / National Review:
More Contingency Plan  —  The initial legislation would authorize …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Obama warns Social Security checks might not be sent Aug. 3
Discussion: CNN
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Fresh doubt cast on Obama's health care story  —  During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama often discussed his mother's struggle with cancer.  Ann Dunham spent the months before her death in 1995, Obama said, fighting with insurance companies that sought to deny her the coverage she needed to pay for treatment.
Nicholas Ballasy / CNSNews:
Sebelius: Obamacare's Penalty on Small Businesses a ‘Great Incentive’ for Growth  —  ( - Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius told on Monday that a provision in President Barack Obama's health-care law that requires small businesses …
John Tompkins / Brazosport Facts:
Ron Paul won't seek congressional term in 2012  —  LAKE JACKSON — After serving almost 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Ron Paul told The Facts this morning he will not be seeking another term for the District 14 seat.  —  Paul, 75, will instead focus on his quest for the presidency in 2012.
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Ron Paul won't run for reelection to the House
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
Wonkbook: Why liberals should thank Eric Cantor  —  (KAREN BLEIER - AFP/GETTY IMAGES) I knew the White House wanted a compromise on the debt ceiling.  I just didn't expect them to do quite so much, well, compromising.  —  Here's what appears to have been in the $4 trillion deal they offered …
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Bachmann: I'm ‘Very Proud’ Of Husband's Ex-Gay Therapy Clinics  —  Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) refused to comment on her husband's Christian counseling clinics, dodging a question from a local ABC News reporter in Iowa about new video evidence showing one counselor telling a gay patient …
Jeremy Scahill / The Nation:
The CIA's Secret Sites in Somalia  —  Nestled in a back corner of Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport is a sprawling walled compound run by the Central Intelligence Agency.  Set on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the facility looks like a small gated community, with more than a dozen …
Marc Caputo /
Police reports show different side of Michele Bachmann  —  From complaining about her house being egged to filing a report that she was being held “against my will” in a public restroom, Michele Bachmann has left a trail of police reports showing a seldom-seen side of a presidential candidate.
Jonathon M. Seidl / Breaking news and opinion …:
Education Omaha Schools Spend $130,000 in Stimulus Money to Buy 8,000 ‘Social Justice’ Diversity Manuals  —  If I told you that your tax dollars (130,000 of them) went to buying a “diversity” manual that asserts the government and other institutions create advantages that …
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Gingrich Leaps On The Court Stripping Bandwagon, Claiming ‘There Is No Supreme Court In The American Constitution’  —  ThinkProgress filed this report from Pella, Iowa.  —  At an Iowa campaign stop, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) offered a truly bizarre explanation …
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Thinks We're Still in the Bush Era  —  Another day, another chart from the “non-partisan” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on what “accounts” for the public debt.  At some level, these exercises are silly: all prior legislation could be equally said to …
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
Proud Of Being Ignorant  —  This is the dumbest story ever written in all of human history. … Note that this was under “Politics and Policy.”  It's as if the purveyors of Beltway-ism and fen-fen joined forces and hatched a diabolical plot.  —  Adam expounds: … The worst part is there no actual hypocrisy.
Reid J. Epstein / The Politico:
N.Y. clerk quits over gay marriage  —  A rural New York town clerk has resigned her post rather than grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  —  “I would be compromising my moral conscience by participating in licensing same-sex couples,” Laura Fotusky, the clerk of the Town of Barker, told POLITICO.
Carl Campanile / New York Post:
Blow against O in Weiner race  —  In “a shot across President Obama's bow,” Democratic former Mayor Ed Koch yesterday urged voters in Queens and Brooklyn to make “history” by voting for the Republican candidate to replace randy ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner in the Sept. 13 special election …
Carly Fiorina / The Politico:
Big government is not way to stronger economy  —  The engines of a thriving economy can be stalled by politics and bad government policy.  Incentives for innovation can be ignored — until innovators and job creators move elsewhere.  —  Today, when any job can go anywhere, they may not come back.
Discussion: CNN
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 More Items: 
Tevi Troy / National Review:
Poll: Only 43 Percent of Jews Would Reelect Obama
Benjy Sarlin / TPMDC:
Alan Grayson Running In 2012 To Stop Democratic ‘Appeasement’
Discussion: Truthdig
Ben Birnbaum / Washington Times:
Ridge slams Bachmann as inexperienced
Discussion: The Politico and The Page
Anita Gates / New York Times:
Sherwood Schwartz, Creator of Gilligan and the Bradys, Dies at 94
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Lightbulb bill likely headed for defeat in House
Star-Ledger Guest / NJ Voices Guest blog:
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer shows progressive streak
Justin Fenton / Baltimore Sun:
Pair tried to steal historical documents worth millions, police say
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
The Future Deficit Can Inherently Exists In The Future
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and Eschaton
Mike Waterhouse / WEWS-TV:
Unruly passenger on flight diverted to Cleveland faces federal charges
New York Times:
Half Brother of Afghan President Is Killed