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5:40 PM ET, July 20, 2011


 Top Items: 
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Cantor's wealthy backers: raise our taxes  —  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has scuttled any possible debt-reduction compromise, insisting House Republicans can't agree to so much as a penny in new revenue.  Every tax cut billionaires enjoy is sacred; every corporate-jet owner mustn't …
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Former Senator Judd Gregg Says Shutdown Needed Before House Will Agree To Debt Limit Deal  —  Former Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) says Social Security checks will need to be halted before House Republicans will agree to a deal to raise the debt limit.  —  A deficit hawk and former Chairman …
Michael A. Memoli / Los Angeles Times:
White House may be open to short-term debt deal  —  The White House signaled Wednesday that President Obama could accept a short-term deal to raise the debt ceiling, but only if it appeared lawmakers were close to an agreement on a significant deficit reduction plan.
Discussion: Daily Kos and
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
House GOP Suicide Squad gets bigger  —  By late yesterday, the political world seemed to be feeling optimistic about the debt ceiling again.  The Gang of Six had made a lot of senators happy; President Obama seemed upbeat causing a sudden spike on Wall Street; and the House was wrapping …
Josiah Ryan / The Hill:
Reid says he's waiting on Boehner to tell him ‘path forward’ on raising debt ceiling
Discussion: Hot Air
Elise Foley / The Huffington Post:
Tom Harkin: House Republicans Have Morphed Into ‘A Cult’
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Daily Caller
Sam Youngman / The Hill:
White House says Obama could agree to short-term debt ceiling hike
Discussion: The Hill and Big Government
Courtney Comstock / Clusterstock:
Goldman Just Held A Call On The Debt Ceiling — Here's Judd Gregg's Bearish Prediction
Discussion: James Pethokoukis
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Franken Destoys Focus On The Family Witness, Exposes Misuse Of HHS Study  —  During this morning's Senate DOMA hearings, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) destroyed Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery's argument that children are better off with opposite-sex parents by demonstrating how Minnery misrepresented an HHS study.
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Focus On The Family Witness Admits Children Are Disadvantaged By Lack Of Protections For Same-Sex Couples
Larry Summers calls Winklevoss twins ‘A**holes’  —  NEW YORK (Fortune) — What did Larry Summers really think of the Winklevoss twins?  —  “Rarely, have I encountered such swagger, and I tried to respond in kind,” the former president of Harvard said in an interview at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference.
David Brody / The Brody File:
Never Before Seen: The ‘Inside Scoop’ on Some 2012 Presidential Contenders  —  On this week's edition of The Brody File show, some never before seen footage from my interviews with Sarah Palin, Speaker John Boehner, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann as we get the 'scoop" on some of their “personal preferences.
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:   Palin: Journalists can learn from me
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Pawlenty says WH hopefuls must be able do the job  —  Tim Pawlenty moved closer Wednesday to raising doubts about Michele Bachmann's fitness for office.  —  While repeating his previous comments that he'd defer to doctors on Bachmann's particular health situation, Pawlenty said broadly …
Michele Bachmann faces more migraine questions
The Note:
Pawlenty on Bachmann: Presidential Candidates Must Prove Ability ‘To Do All of the Job, All of the Time’
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Wasserman Schultz brushes off West email  —  Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) is dismissing Tuesday's personal attack by Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) as political bluster, not a hatchet job on the congresswoman, her office said Tuesday.  —  “I don't think that Congressman West is upset …
Fox News:
Rep. West Stands by Email Calling Wasserman Schultz ‘Vile, Despicable and Cowardly’  —  WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida is standing by an incendiary email he sent to a Democratic colleague after she criticized him in a speech on the House floor.
Democratic senator Hansen retains seat in recall attempt  —  Tea party activist, attorney are winners in Republican primaries  —  By Tom Tolan, Lee Bergquist and Georgia Pabst of the Journal Sentinel  —  Democratic state Sen. Dave Hansen of Green Bay was the first of nine state senators …
Tina Korbe / Hot Air:
Report: Private sector job creation ground to a halt almost instantly after Obamacare passed  —  A new report out yesterday from The Heritage Foundation shows private sector job creation dropped dramatically almost immediately after President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) into law.
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Obama in perilous shape  —  For the first time since last July Barack Obama does not lead Mitt Romney in PPP's monthly national poll on the 2012 Presidential race.  Romney has now pulled into a tie with the President at 45%.  —  Obama's approval rating this month is 46% with 48% of voters disapproving of him.
John Bolton / The Great Debate:
Why is Obama giving Libya to the Russians?  —  The opinions expressed are his own.  —  With President Obama's Libya policy staggering from one embarrassment to another, last week he and Secretary of State Clinton outdid themselves.  They publicly welcomed Russia's effort to insert itself as a mediator …
James Joyner / The Atlantic Online:
Scant Planning for Post-Qaddafi Libya
Ron Nixon / New York Times:
Cost-Cutters, Except When the Spending Is Back Home  —  WASHINGTON — Freshman House Republicans who rode a wave of voter discontent into office last year vowed to stop out-of-control spending, but that has not stopped several of them from quietly trying to funnel millions of federal dollars into projects back home.
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
Getting Specific on Spending
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Christie on the decline  —  Chris Christie's popularity has declined significantly over the first half of 2011 and he would have a very difficult time winning reelection if voters in New Jersey went to the polls today.  —  Only 43% of voters in the state approve of the job Christie is doing to 53% who disapprove.
Jonnie Marbles / Guardian:
Why I foam-pied Rupert Murdoch |  Jonnie Marbles  —  Some people might think my action played into Murdoch's hands, but I did it for all the people who couldn't  —  First things first: I don't hate octogenarians.  I don't have a vendetta against anyone over 80 who likes to begrudgingly give evidence to parliamentary committees.
Robert Greenstein / Off the Charts Blog:
Clarifying Some Misunderstandings about the “Gang of Six” Plan  —  Some of the early reporting on the deficit reduction plan that the Senate's “Gang of Six” released today appears to have incorrectly or incompletely described two principal elements of the plan: its reductions in health care programs and its revenue increases.
NOM Rabbi Blames Gay Marriage For 8 Year Old's Murder  —  The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) recently invited Rabbi Yehuda Levin to join them at a rally protesting New York's same sex marriage bill, despite Levin's long history of offensive comments.
Ben Smith / The Politico:
Rumsfeld had role in Perry meeting  —  Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld helped organize Rick Perry's foreign policy and national security briefing in Austin last Wednesday, Rumsfeld's staff confirmed today.  —  Perry's aides have been tight-lipped about the gathering …
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Is Grassley Hinting That Maggie Gallagher Was Too Scared To Testify Against DOMA?  —  During his opening statement at the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on repealing the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) vehemently defended the discriminatory law and reiterated …
Matthew Boyle / The Daily Caller:
State Dept. contract officer steers $52 million to secret husband, daughter  —  A special investigation by The Daily Caller has discovered that a State Department contract specialist participated in awarding more than $52 million in taxpayer-funded contracts to a company owned and operated by her husband and daughter.
John Nolte / Big Hollywood:
Numbers Don't Lie: “The Undefeated” Had a Remarkable Box Office Debut  —  Box Office Mojo is a universally accepted and respected source for box-office numbers, mainly because they've always done a very professional job of sticking to numbers and avoiding the business and political nonsense that tarnishes so many others.
Discussion: Conservatives4Palin
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 More Items: 
Are you listening, Steve Jobs?
Katie Zezima / New York Times:
Couple Sues a Vermont Inn for Rejecting Gay Wedding
Discussion: Right Wing Watch and Joe. My. God.
Abby Phillip / The Politico:
Obama to nominate fourth openly gay judicial candidate
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Kat Stoeffel / The New York Observer:
Topic [B]? The Daily Beast Prepares for Chat Shows and Cable Spots
Salvador Rodriguez / Los Angeles Times:
FBI arrests 14 alleged members of hacker group Anonymous
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Truthdig
 Earlier Items: 
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Rep. Allen West calls DNC chair ‘vile ... despicable’ …
Discussion: Gawker, Washington Post and Hullabaloo
Zaid Jilani / ThinkProgress:
Nearly 10 Years Ago Today, The U.S. Began Borrowing Billions To Pay For The Bush Tax Cuts
Andrew / Statistical Modeling …:
“One of the easiest ways to differentiate an economist from almost anyone else in society”
Steve Lohr / New York Times:
U.S. to Close 800 Computer Data Centers
Romney as Job Creator Clashes with Bain Record of Job Cuts
Discussion: Economix, The Note and Politics
Matt Schneider / Mediaite:
GOP Rep. Walsh Yells At Chris Matthews: 'Obama Doesn't Send A Thrill Up My Leg'