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2:45 AM ET, July 16, 2011


 Top Items: 
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 The Daily Caller
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Obama's Haul: Big Money From Big Donors  —  Twenty-seven fund-raisers collected more than $500,000 each in contributions for President Obama and the Democratic Party in the past three months, helping Mr. Obama collect a record haul of campaign cash as he starts his re-election effort.
The Note:
DNC Raises $34.6M in Second Quarter with Obama Help
Discussion: Political Punch and CNN
Peter Kafka / AllThingsD:
Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton Stepping Down  —  Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton is leaving the company in the wake of the PhoneGate hacking scandal.  Hinton is the second high-ranking News Corp. executive to step down today, and the first major figure from the company's American operations.
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.
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.
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 …
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 Note:
Pawlenty Calls Out Romney On Debt Ceiling Debate
Discussion: TPMDC, Ballot Box, CNN and The Raw Story
The Daily Beast:
GOP's Debt Kamikazes
David A. Fahrenthold / Washington Post:
GOP dissent complicates path to resolving debt-ceiling crisis
Andy Birkey / Minnesota Independent:
‘Ex-gay’ conference headed to St. Paul in 2012
Tony Kennedy / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Marcus Bachmann says his clinics not anti-gay
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:
The Huffington Post:
Obama Publicly Backs Means-Testing Medicare (UPDATE)
Discussion: Iowa Caucuses and AmSpecBlog
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 …
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 …
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Obama's “Deficit Now, Jobs Later” Strategy Doesn't Seem Sound
Discussion: Daily Kos
Body Scanners Improperly Added by TSA: Court  —  Airport body scanners that create unclothed images of passengers were improperly adopted by the U.S. as a primary screening tool, a federal appeals court ruled, while allowing their use to continue.  —  The U.S. Transportation Security Administration …
Discussion: The BLT and Law Blog
Katrina Trinko / National Review:
Perry's Briefing  —  Word in Austin is that Rick Perry is doing everything necessary to prepare for a presidential run, including brushing up on foreign policy.  —  We hear that he recently met with top national-security experts Doug Feith and William Luti.
Obama Eliminates Warren as Consumer Head  —  President Barack Obama has chosen a candidate other than Elizabeth Warren as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a person briefed on the matter.  —  The president's choice is a person who already works at the consumer agency, the person said today.
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?
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 …
Frank Newport / Gallup:
For First Time, Majority in U.S. Supports Public Smoking Ban  —  Little support for making smoking illegal, however  —  PRINCETON, NJ — A majority of Americans (59%) support a ban on smoking in all public places for the first time since Gallup initially asked the question in 2001.
Discussion: Hot Air and The New Republic
Michael Wines / New York Times:
China Plans to Release Some of Its Pork Stockpile to Hold Down Prices  —  BEIJING — Some nations have strategic oil reserves.  Some keep grain reserves.  China has both, and something others have somehow overlooked: a national pork reserve.  —  And with the price of pig meat up 38 percent …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
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 More Items: 
Shannon McCaffrey /
APNewsBreak: Gingrich campaign over $1M in debt
Felix Salmon:
The horrifying AAA debt-issuance chart
The Note:
Pawlenty Steps Up Ames Push With $200,000 Ad Buy
Discussion: CNN
Coming Up on ‘This Week’: OMB Director Jacob Lew and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl
Discussion: The Politico
Sam Baker / Healthwatch:
Number of healthcare waivers nears 1,500
The White House:
Press Conference by the President
 Earlier Items: 
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Rick Perry 2012 run ‘very likely,’ Terry Branstad says
Discussion: Texas Monthly and CNN
Robinson /
Obama Blames Bush, Warns of ‘Armageddon’
Discussion: Verum Serum and The Gateway Pundit
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
Is The Government Hiring Overqualified Workers?
Discussion: Washington Post
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Sarah Palin Movie Debuts to Empty Theater in Orange County