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6:40 AM ET, July 13, 2011


 Top Items: 
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”
Wall Street Journal:
Debt-Limit Harakiri  —  Mitch McConnell isn't selling out Republicans.  —  Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday he's concluded that no deal to raise the debt ceiling in return for serious spending restraint is possible with President Obama, and who can blame him?
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
Washington Post:
McConnell outlines new proposal on debt ceiling  —  McConnell was quickly excoriated online by tea party bloggers, with Erick Erickson of the Web site blasting the plan as “the Pontius Pilate Pass the Buck Act of 2011.”  —  Still, with less than three weeks left until …
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
U.S. Debt Ceiling Increase Remains Unpopular With Americans  —  More are concerned about higher level of spending than risk of economic crisis  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Despite agreement among leaders of both sides of the political aisle in Washington that raising the U.S. debt ceiling is necessary …
Fred Barnes / Weekly Standard:
Republicans Introduce Plan, Go On Offensive  —  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.  —  The Republican plan would, in effect, end the talks at the White House on a deal.
Brian Beutler / TPMDC:
Judo Flip! Boehner Agrees With McConnell That Dems Should Not Be Allowed To Take Debt Limit Hostage
Discussion: Daily Kos and Balloon Juice
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Craven Reign  —  I just finished explaining that Mitch McConnell …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Rich Lowry / National Review:
McConnell's Contingency Plan
Discussion: Say Anything
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
EXCLUSIVE: McConnell to Obama: Eat your own darn peas
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:   Tea Party group tells McConnell to ‘find his spine’
James Pethokoukis:
The issue isn't default but government shutdown
Discussion: Pundit & Pundette
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
McConnell fallback plan would leave debt-ceiling hikes to Obama
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
McConnell's debt disapproval plan
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
New McConnell Plan: We Get Everything We Want On Debt Ceiling, Plus 12 Opportunities To Bash Obama
The Note:
Politics Aside at Betty Ford Funeral: Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush Share Intent Conversation  —  ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf (@zbyronwolf) reports:  —  Nancy Reagan and Michelle Obama stared quietly ahead before the funeral of Betty Ford in Palm Desert, California.
Discussion: The Politico
The Note:
Cokie Roberts Eulogy for Betty Ford: The Hard Work of a ‘House’ Wife
Discussion: ABCNEWS and Sky Dancing
CBS News:
First ladies, dignitaries gather to honor Ford
Discussion: Associated Press
Stephen Marche / Esquire:
How Can We Not Love Obama?  —  Because like it or not, he is all of us  —  Before the fall brings us down, before the election season begins in earnest with all its nastiness and vulgarity, before the next batch of stupid scandals and gaffes, before Sarah Palin tries to convert her movie …
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 …
Gary Lewi / Secure America Now:
The Latest News from Secure America Now New Poll of Jewish American Voters Shows Great Concern …
Discussion: Israpundit and The Gateway Pundit
Tevi Troy / National Review:
Poll: Only 43 Percent of Jews Would Reelect Obama
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
NOT GUILTY!... SEIU Thugs Cleared in Brutal Gladney Beatdown! ...  Update: Gladney Reaction (Video)  —  NOT GUILTY- SEIU GOONS CLEARED IN GLADNEY BEATING!  —  I just spoke with Kenneth Gladney and his wife outside the courtroom.  Here is their first reaction—  “I couldn't beat them; I didn't have the resources they had.
Stan Musial / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Two charged in scuffle at St. Louis County meeting found not guilty
Darren Goode / The Politico:
Light bulb bill goes dark in House  —  House lawmakers Tuesday stymied an initial effort by Republicans to put an end to infamous light bulb efficiency standards.  —  The bill from Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) to repeal part of a 2007 energy law requiring traditional incandescent light bulbs …
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Lightbulb bill likely headed for defeat in House
Discussion: Sweetness & Light and Hot Air
Thomas Beaumont / Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Romney rejects gay marriage pledge  —  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign said Tuesday that he will not sign a conservative Iowa Christian group's far-reaching pledge opposing gay marriage, making him the first Republican presidential candidate to reject it.
David Catanese / The Politico:
California special election: Hahn cruises to solid victory  —  Democrat Janice Hahn defeated Republican Craig Huey in a bitterly contested Southern California special election marked by stinging attacks from both sides.  —  Hahn finished with a healthy 54.56 percent of the vote to Huey's 45.44 percent in Tuesday's vote.
Jean Merl / PolitiCal:
Vote-suppression complaints filed in testy congressional election
NBC New York:
Fan Who Caught Jeter's 3,000th Hit May Owe IRS Thousands  —  The tax man may be on the hunt for the super fan who caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit.  —  Christian Lopez, 23, recovered the prized ball his father fumbled after The Captain hammered it into their section of the stands …
State Supreme Court justices rule not to force recusals  —  By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel  —  Madison - State Supreme Court justices can't kick each other off cases for alleged bias, the court ruled Tuesday in a bitterly divided decision along now-familiar 4-3 lines.
Discussion: Althouse
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 More Items: 
Catholic League:
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Lawrence Summers / Financial Times:
Time is of the essence, any US budget deal will do
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
Developments in Financial Markets and the Federal Reserve's Balance Sheet
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
US task force calls for sweeping new rules at nuclear power plants
Discussion: The Politico
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
Republicans want records from Justice officials about botched gun operation
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Dem strategist: Obama should invoke 14th Amendment powers to raise debt limit
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Cisco May Cut as Many as 10,000 Jobs
Matt Schneider / Mediaite:
Rep. West: Obama Is A ‘Rigid Ideologue’ Leading By ‘Intimidation And Scare Tactics’
Jeremy Scahill / The Nation:
The CIA's Secret Sites in Somalia
Discussion: Weasel Zippers, Salon and ThinkProgress
David Cay Johnston / Reuters:
RPT-COLUMN-It pays to be Murdoch. Just ask US gov't: DCJohnston
John Tompkins / Brazosport Facts:
Ron Paul won't seek congressional term in 2012