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6:30 PM ET, July 18, 2011


 Top Items: 
News of the World phone-hacking whistleblower found dead  —  Death of Sean Hoare - who was first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson knew of hacking - not being treated as suspicious  —  Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbusiness reporter who was the first named journalist …
Wall Street Journal:
News and Its Critics  —  A tabloid's excesses don't tarnish thousands of other journalists.  —  When News Corp. and CEO Rupert Murdoch secured enough shares to buy Dow Jones & Co. four years ago, these columns welcomed our new owner and promised to stand by the same standards and principles we always had.
David Carr / New York Times:
Troubles That Money Can't Dispel
CBS News:
Poll: 71% shun GOP handling of debt crisis  —  CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.  —  Americans are unimpressed with their political leaders' handling of the debt ceiling crisis, with a new CBS News poll showing …
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
Obama officially threatens to veto GOP's ‘cut, cap and balance’ bill  —  The White House on Monday warned President Obama will veto GOP legislation to “cut, cap and balance” spending and the budget.  —  In a statement of administration policy, the White House Office of Management …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Republican Retreat  —  In the negotiations over the debt ceiling, the Republican Party had everything mapped out except the endgame.  —  For months, Republican leaders used all the tools at their disposal — the anti-spending intensity of their base, the White House's desire for a deal …
Tanya Somanader / ThinkProgress:
GOP Rep. Rokita Refuses To Raise The Debt Ceiling Even If It Means ‘The Economy Might Get Worse’
Discussion: Washington Monthly and The Note
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
White House rejects linking debt limit to balanced budget, threatens veto
Discussion: The Daily Caller and FrumForum
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
No one likes the GOP's reckless tactics
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Balloon Juice
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Elizabeth Warren to ‘think’ about Senate run against GOP's Scott Brown  —  Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor tapped by President Obama to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), said Monday she would think about running for Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) seat in 2012.
Elizabeth Warren / The Huffington Post:
A Big Week for the New Consumer Agency
Lee Fang / ThinkProgress:
Congressman Who Harassed Elizabeth Warren Showered With Donations From Banks And Predatory Lenders
Discussion: Daily Kos
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
White House: Budget cuts to president's office hurt debt efforts  —  Proposed House cuts to the Executive Office of the President's (EOP) budget will hurt administration efforts to cut the deficit, the White House argues.  —  The Obama administration made the argument in comments on H.R. 2434 …
Jay Newton-Small / Swampland:
Still Stalled: Debt Talks Splinter as Negotiators Go Their Own Ways
Carl Hulse / The Caucus:
Boehner and Cantor Meet Again With Obama
Judson Berger / Fox News:
NIH-Backed Study Examined Effects of Penis Size in Gay Community  —  The federal government helped fund a study that examined what effect a gay man's penis size has on his sex life and general well-being.  —  The study was among several backed by the National Institutes of Health …
Discussion: Wonkette and The Jawa Report
Matthew Boyle / The Daily Caller:
Feds pay for study of gay men's penis sizes
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Matthew Boyle / The Daily Caller:
New O'Keefe investigation uncovers Medicaid fraud [VIDEO]  —  Conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe released the first installment in a new video investigation Monday morning, this one focused on Medicaid fraud.  The first video in the series shows government employees in Ohio assisting two men …
Amelia Hill / Guardian:
Police examine bag found in bin near Rebekah Brooks's home  —  Former NI chief executive's husband denies bag - containing computer, paperwork and phone - belonged to his wife  —  Detectives are examining a computer, paperwork and a phone found in a bin near the riverside London home of Rebekah Brooks …
Discussion: Mediaite and Boing Boing
John Nolte / Big Hollywood:
‘Eunuchs’: Did Anyone Notice Bill Maher Trashing Sarah Palin's Children as ‘Family of Inbred Weirdos’?  —  From everything I've read, the only factor remaining in Governor Palin's decision-making process about a 2012 presidential run is the impact the campaign would have on her family …
Wes Little / CNN:
‘Palinistas’ pleased with ‘The Undefeated’
Discussion: Conservatives4Palin
John Hawkins / Right Wing News:
The Slow, Painful Coming Death Of The Independent, Conservative Blogosphere  —  Way, way back in 2001, when I got started in the blogosphere, the Right side of the blogosphere was bigger and more influential than the Left.  Why?  Well, in American politics, the energy tends to be with the party that's out of power.
Center for American Progress:
Infographic: '60s Retro Budget Plan by Republicans Unfit for Today  —  Gutting Federal Spending to 1966 Levels Is Untenable  —  The Republican-led House of Representatives this week will consider a proposal that would restrict federal spending to the arbitrary level of 18 percent of gross domestic product.
Discussion: Jared Bernstein, TPMDC and The Gavel
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Letting Bankers Walk  —  Ever since the current economic crisis began, it has seemed that five words sum up the central principle of United States financial policy: go easy on the bankers.  —  This principle was on display during the final months of the Bush administration …
Bill Roggio / The Long War Journal:
Video of a brutal Taliban execution of Pakistani policemen emerges  —  Warning, the video below is extremely graphic in nature.  If you choose to watch this video, you will see the Taliban brutally execute more than a dozen bound Pakistani policemen.  The Taliban then proceed to pump rounds into those who survived the initial firing.
Juana Summers / The Politico:
Roemer to launch W.H. bid Thursday  —  It's official: Buddy Roemer will formally announce his presidential campaign Thursday from New Hampshire.  —  While the former Louisiana governor's campaign has not set a location for the announcement, he's scheduled to speak at Dartmouth College …
Chris Moody / Yahoo! News:
Gay conservative group reaches out to Bachmann  —  As gay-issue advocacy groups increase pressure on Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann over her views about homosexuality, the gay conservative group GOProud is requesting a meeting with the Republican presidential candidate to possibly lend a hand.
Ben Birnbaum / Washington Times:
Cain: I would attack Iran to protect Israel  —  GOP presidential hopeful met Monday with Israeli ambassador  —  Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks with reporters and editors during an interview Monday at The Washington Times' office building in D.C. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)
George Packer / New Yorker:
EMPTY WALLETS  —  In the midst of the debt crisis in Washington, D.C., Danny Hartzell backed a Budget rental truck up to a no-frills apartment building that is on a strip of motels and pawnshops in Tampa, Florida.  He had been laid off by a packaging plant during the financial crisis of 2008 …
Discussion: News Desk
The Note:
How Much Longer Can Obama Defy Political Gravity?  —  ANALYSIS By AMY WALTER (@amyewalter): Although President Obama's job approval rating of 48 percent (according to average) isn't exactly stellar, it is remarkably high given the level of economic pessimism and despair among American electorate.
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 More Items: 
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
Tim Pawlenty's secret weapon: his wife, Mary
Discussion: GOP 12
Ben Wolfgang / Washington Times:
Many states celebrate surpluses as Congress struggles with debt
Discussion: Plunderbund
Colin Barr / Fortune:
Goldman says recession risk rising
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Brad Johnson / ThinkProgress:
Romney Backtracks: 'I Don't Think Carbon Is A Pollutant'
John Cassidy / New Yorker:
Discussion: Dealbreaker
Stanley Kurtz / National Review:
The Road to Obama Runs Through Libya
Discussion: The National Interest and Eunomia
New York Times:
Markets Stumble on Debt and Deficit Worries
 Earlier Items: 
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Fitch: ‘AAA’ rating in jeopardy
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and FrumForum
Alex Alvarez / Mediaite:
Bristol Palin To Star In A Reality Show With Disney Channel's Kyle Massey
Discussion: The Other McCain
Steven F. Hayward / American Enterprise Institute:
An Environmental Reformation  —  Standing up to Pope Carl
Discussion: Power Line
Heritage Foundation:
Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?
Discussion: National Review and Firedoglake
Ssumner / TheMoneyIllusion:
A demographic depression
Discussion: Greg's Opinion
Robert Samuelson Wants Us to Follow the Example of a Country With 7 Years of Double-Digit Unemployment
Discussion: Paul Krugman
Michael J. Boskin / Wall Street Journal:
Get Ready for a 70% Marginal Tax Rate