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8:20 PM ET, July 15, 2011


 Top Items: 
Eric Marrapodi / CNN:
Michele Bachmann officially leaves her church  —  Washington (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has long been a darling of conservative evangelicals, but shortly before announcing her White House bid, she officially quit a church she'd belonged to for years.
Tony Kennedy / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Marcus Bachmann says his clinics not anti-gay  —  Therapists will oblige if patients ask for counseling to become heterosexual, but they don't force treatment, he said.  —  The husband of Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann has come forward to defend his family-owned Christian …
Dan Amira / New York Magazine:
Blogger Who Posted Marcus Bachmann's ‘Barbarians’ Remark: 'I Didn't Doctor a Damn Thing'  —  It's becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of all of Michele and Marcus Bachmann's anti-gay remarks and beliefs, but unfortunately, today brings with it yet another twist.
Andy Birkey / Minnesota Independent:
‘Ex-gay’ conference headed to St. Paul in 2012
Josiah Ryan / The Hill:
Jackson Lee: Congress complicating debt ceiling because Obama is black  —  Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on Friday strongly suggested that members of Congress are making it difficult for President Obama to raise the debt ceiling because of his race.  —  “I do not understand …
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Obama: Public is ‘sold’ on tax increases in a debt-ceiling deal  —  President Obama on Friday kept up the pressure on Republicans to agree to revenue increases in a deal to raise the debt ceiling, claiming 80 percent of the public supports Democrats' demand for tax increases.
The Daily Beast:
GOP's Debt Kamikazes
The Note:
Pawlenty Calls Out Romney On Debt Ceiling Debate
Discussion: CNN and TPMDC
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
McConnell proposal would force major review of entitlements  —  Larry Kudlow, who's plugged in with Congressional Republicans, scoops a key new detail about the emerging Mitch McConnell proposal to transfer control of the debt ceiling to the president:
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Liberals worry embrace of McConnell proposal could harm Dem Party
Discussion: The Daily Caller
David S. Addington / The Heritage Foundation:
Shame on the Politically Motivated McConnell Plan to Hike Borrowing With No Spending Cuts
Discussion: The Hill, The Daily Caller and RedState
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Fox And Friends Defends News Corp's Hacking Scandal: ‘We Should Move On’  —  Fox News finally addressed their parent company's hacking scandal head on this morning, with Fox and Friends launching a comically sycophantic and pathetically inaccurate defense of News Corp. Host Steve Doocy …
Media Matters for America:
REPORT: How CNN, MSNBC, And Fox Are Covering News Corp. Hacking Scandal  —  News Corp.'s long-simmering phone-hacking scandal has reignited, throwing its global media empire into turmoil.  As allegations of hacking into private citizens' voicemail increase, media and tabloid practices have been called into question.
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Sarah Palin Movie Debuts to Empty Theater in Orange County  —  “Why aren't you seeing Harry Potter?” an usher said to the reporter sitting alone in the audience  —  When the clock struck 12:01 am today, AMC theaters in select cities were permitted to start showing “The Undefeated,” a feature length documentary about Sarah Palin.
The Politico:
Of Obama's $86 million, 40% from bundlers  —  About 40 percent of President Barack Obama's record-breaking $86 million second-quarter fundraising haul came from big-money bundlers, according to a POLITICO analysis of donors listed on Obama's campaign web site.
Discussion: CNN and Washington Post
Dan Eggen / Washington Post:
Obama fundraising report signals juggernaut campaign
The Note:
DNC Raises $34.6M in Second Quarter with Obama Help
Discussion: CNN and Political Punch
John Bingham / Telegraph:
Phone Hacking: Rupert Murdoch's daughter in ‘furious’ attack on Rebekah Brooks  —  Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth has made a “furious” attack on Rebekah Brooks's handling of the phone hacking scandal at News International, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.  —  Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert
New York Times:
Dow Jones Chief, Who Led Tabloid, Quits Over Hacking
Jeremy W. Peters / Media Decoder:
Les Hinton's Resignation Letters to Murdoch and Journal Staff
Discussion: Daily Kos
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Obama makes his case to the left  —  President Obama recently took a beating from some on the left for suggesting that immediate deficit reduction is necessary to take the issue off the table and make it possible to spend more on liberal priorities later.  And Obama of course has regularly …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars, Corrente and Eschaton
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Obama's “Deficit Now, Jobs Later” Strategy Doesn't Seem Sound
Discussion: Daily Kos
David Weigel / Slate:
Erick Erickson's Bad Advice  —  The RedState editor tweets that this post of his is being passed around the House GOP's caucus meeting.  Hey, lots of things are passed around at meetings.  Let's just hope no one takes this seriously, because it's totally incoherent. … Who actually thinks this?
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Getting to Crazy  —  There aren't many positive aspects to the looming possibility of a U.S. debt default.  But there has been, I have to admit, an element of comic relief — of the black-humor variety — in the spectacle of so many people who have been in denial suddenly waking up and smelling the crazy.
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Liberal group drops off petition warning Obama on cuts  —  The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal group that has long been critical of President Obama's policy moves, delivered a petition to his campaign with 200,000 signatures warning Obama against any cuts to Medicare …
Discussion: CNN
The Huffington Post:
Obama Publicly Backs Means-Testing Medicare (UPDATE)
Discussion: Iowa Caucuses and AmSpecBlog
Martha Raddatz / ABCNEWS:
Osama Hit List: President Obama, Petraeus, Major U.S. Sporting Event  —  President Barack Obama boards Air Force One after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base Md., June 28, 2011.  Officials say that Osama bin Laden, still obsessed with attacking airplanes, was trying to hatch a plan to kill Obama …
David Kravets / Threat Level:
Court OKs Airport Body Scanners, Rejects Constitutional Challenge  —  A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously declined to block the government from using intrusive body scanners across airports nationwide, saying it is “not persuaded by any of the statutory or constitutional arguments” against them.
James Pethokoukis:
Will coming debt ceiling deal save America's AAA credit rating?  —  Keeping America's gold-plated credit rating may take both a deal to raise the debt ceiling (which will happen) and a meaningful deficit reduction plan of around $4 trillion (which is not happening).
David A. Fahrenthold / Washington Post:
GOP dissent complicates path to resolving debt-ceiling crisis
Maggie Haberman / The Politico:
‘Obama lies’  —  Sarah Palin tweets a post-press conference slam on President Obama after he provides an update on the debt-ceiling stalemate: … It's worth noting, as Molly Ball reported last night, that Michele Bachmann, who appeals to much of the same swath of the GOP electorate that Palin does …
Darren Goode / The Politico:
House turns off light bulb standards by voice vote  —  The House on Friday morning moved to block federal light bulb efficiency standards without even a roll call vote.  —  An amendment from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) defunding the Energy Department's standards for traditional incandescent light bulbs …
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 More Items: 
Sam Baker / Healthwatch:
Number of healthcare waivers nears 1,500
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Rick Perry 2012 run ‘very likely,’ Terry Branstad says
Discussion: Texas Monthly and CNN
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
Recapturing The Romance Of Monetary Policy
Wall Street Journal:
Few Banks Fail EU Exams
Robinson /
Obama Blames Bush, Warns of ‘Armageddon’
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit and Verum Serum
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
Is The Government Hiring Overqualified Workers?
Bristol Palin / Christianity Today:
Q & A: Bristol Palin on Abstinence after Levi
David Gordon Smith / Spiegel Online:
‘The US Is Holding the Whole World Hostage’
Discussion: Politics
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Cantor Loves Gov't Spending ... on the Drug Industry
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Washington Monthly
New York Times:
U.S. Recognizes Rebels in Libya
Patricia Cohen / New York Times:
Internet Use Affects Memory, Study Finds
Discussion: Hit & Run, Gothamist and Gawker
Robert Reich / Wall Street Journal:
Can Obama Pull a ‘Clinton’ on the GOP?