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12:55 PM ET, July 21, 2011


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Out from under the anti-tax pledge  —  WITH A HANDFUL of exceptions, every Republican member of Congress has signed a pledge against increasing taxes.  Would allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire as scheduled in 2012 violate this vow?  We posed this question to Grover Norquist …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Norquist sees a loophole in his own pledge?  —  Maybe I don't pay close enough attention to the nuances of Grover Norquist's bizarre rhetoric, but this strikes me as new. … Norquist doesn't want Bush's budget-busting tax cuts to expire, but that's not the point.
Americans for Tax Reform RSS:
ATR Statement on Washington Post Editorial
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Pawlenty clarifies Bachmann jab  —  (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty walked back earlier criticism of rival Michele Bachmann's migraines on Wednesday, calling the attention over her headaches “a sideshow.”  —  “I think it's mostly a sideshow,” Pawlenty said on Fox News.
Robinson /
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: All right, your fellow Minnesotan, Representative Michele Bachmann — a lot of talk today about — about her migraine headaches, and I think you got cornered about that.  And tell me — tell me your thoughts on whether or not that's a disqualifier or not …
Discussion: No More Mister Nice Blog and TPMDC
John Merline / Investor's Business Daily:
Home Depot Co-Founder: Obama Is Choking Recovery  —  Bernie Marcus co-founded Home Depot (HD) in 1978 and brought it public in 1981 as the U.S. was suffering from the worst recession and unemployment in 40 years.  The company thrived, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and redefining home improvement retailing.
Home Depot Co-Founder: 'I'm Not Sure Obama Would Understand Anything That I'd Say'
Discussion: BizzyBlog
Louise Storyand Julie Creswell / New York Times:
Wall St. Makes Fallback Plans for Debt Crisis  —  Lawmakers in Washington are racing to reach a deal to save the country from defaulting on its debt, but on Wall Street, financial players are devising doomsday plans in case the clock runs out.  —  These companies are taking steps to reduce …
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
How Things Have Changed: A Video Review Of The Vile Attacks Against LGBT Americans During The 1996 DOMA Debate  —  Yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on legislation to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act highlighted the nation's evolution towards LGBT equality …
Kbh / Keith Hennessey:
Why I oppose the Gang of Six plan  —  If you'd like to understand the details of the Gang of Six plan, please read my (quite long) earlier post.  —  I strongly oppose the Gang of Six plan.  I think it is absolutely terrible fiscal policy.  —  First I'll flag a few things I like in the plan.
Kbh / Keith Hennessey:   Understanding the Gang of Six plan
Brian Stelter / New York Times:
Sharpton Appears to Win Anchor Spot on MSNBC  —  After giving a nearly six-month tryout for the Internet talk show host Cenk Uygur, the cable news channel MSNBC is preparing to instead hand its 6 p.m. time slot to the Rev. Al Sharpton.  —  Mr. Sharpton's imminent hiring …
Lisa Mascaro / Los Angeles Times:
Opposition to a deal with Obama creates problems for GOP  —  House Republicans' resistance to compromise on budget reforms has turned a significant bloc of voters against them and has frustrated members of their leadership and the party establishment.  —  Reporting from Washington …
Discussion: Washington Post and Daily Kos
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
West: Apology to Wasserman Schultz ‘not happening’  —  Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said he had no plans to apologize to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) for a strongly-worded email he sent to the congresswoman.  —  “That is not happening.  This is a pattern I referred to in that email …
Marie Diamond / ThinkProgress:
Allen West Refuses To Apologize, Blames Military Background For His Insulting Remarks
Lucia Mutikani / Reuters:
Regional factory rebound, jobless claims up  —  (Reuters) - Factory activity in the Mid-Atlantic region bounced back in July, lifting hopes of a pick-up in economic growth in the third quarter.  —  However, a rise in the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits suggested …
Wall Street Journal:
Jobless Claims Jump
Discussion: BizzyBlog
Cristina Marcos / The Hill:
FEC rules Edwards should pay $2.3M  —  Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) must repay the federal government millions of dollars in matching funds, the Federal Election Commission unanimously ruled Thursday.  —  In a 6- vote, the commission determined the former presidential candidate accepted excessive funds …
Discussion: The Politico and CNN
Mickey Edwards / The Atlantic Online:
How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans  —  An insider's six-step plan to fix Congress  —  ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED, American voters went to the polls in November 2010 to “take back” their country.  Just as they had done in 2008.  And 2006.  And repeatedly for decades …
Jonathan Turley / New York Times:
One Big, Happy Polygamous Family  —  SINCE the Supreme Court's 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, Americans have enjoyed unprecedented freedom in their lifestyles and private relationships.  The decision held that states could no longer use the criminal code for social engineering …
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Politico reporter who covered Palin quits for Democratic Party job  —  A Politico reporter who often penned stories about Sarah Palin and other Republicans has quit journalism to work with the Democratic Party in Arizona, sources tell The Daily Caller.  —  That reporter, Andy Barr …
Alexandra Petri / Washington Post:
GOP 2012 Twitter debate was a joke.  —  The Twitter debate isn't worth the powder to blow it up.  It was a joke, and everyone involved was the punch line.  —  First there was the Obama Twitter Town hall.  That was novel, everyone said, and exciting!  And at least the president responded …
Conor Dougherty / Wall Street Journal:
Layoffs Pick Up as Recovery Hopes Ebb  —  Companies are laying off employees at a level not seen in nearly a year, hobbling the job market and intensifying fears about the pace of the economic recovery.  —  Cisco Systems Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp. and troubled bookstore chain Borders Group Inc …
U.S. Consumers Relying on Credit for Basic Necessities  —  Consumers in the U.S. are increasingly using credit cards to pay for basic necessities as income gains fail to keep pace with rising food and fuel prices.  —  The dollar volume of purchases charged grew 10.7 percent in June from a year ago …
Discussion: JustOneMinute
The Politico:
Barack Obama's 2008 bundlers flee political ‘machine’  —  When Senator Barack Obama began running for president in 2007, a small handful of determined, inspired supporters found a new political calling.  A new group of professionals - from a San Juan jewelry story owner to a West Coast biotech executive …
Joseph Straw / NY Daily News:
Al Qaeda magazine pokes fun at fall of sexting pol Anthony Weiner  —  WASHINGTON - Even terrorists are making Weiner jokes.  —  In Al Qaeda's latest edition of its chilling e-magazine, “Inspire,” the terror network's Arabian Peninsula syndicate settles a score with former Queens Rep. Anthony Weiner …
New York Post:
Cathie Black smashes car into trees after Hamptons bash  —  Ousted Schools Chancellor Cathie Black found a Hampton's driveway tougher to navigate than the city's education system — she smashed her brand-new SUV into tree after tree following a boozy Bastille Day bash.
Kenneth Chang / New York Times:
The Shuttle Ends Its Final Voyage and an Era in Space  —  The last space shuttle flight rolled to a stop at 5:58 a.m. on Thursday, closing an era of the nation's space program.  —  It was the 19th night landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to end the 135th space shuttle mission.
Frances Martel / Mediaite:
Michael Eric Dyson: GOP Refuse Raising Debt Ceiling ‘Because The Economy Is In The Hands Of The Black’  —  There are plenty of theories as to why the current Congressional debt talks appear on the outside to be something of a complete failure.  Most Americans have probably concluded that Congress …
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 More Items: 
Jeffrey Goldberg / The Atlantic Online:
Some Safety Advice for the U.S. Military
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
Having Plunged Previously, After The Affordable Care Act Passed Private Sector Employment Increased
The Note:
Mitt Romney's Fundraising Pitch: What He Tells High Rollers Behind Closed Doors
Discussion: GOP 12 and Mediaite
Faiz Shakir / Washington Post:
Richard Cordray and the CFPB: Let the nominee speak
Anthony Brino /
Fracking at Drinking Water Source for 80,000 Pennsylvanians Raises Alarms
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Roger Ebert / Roger Ebert's Journal:
The Republicans exit history
Mike Riggs / Reason:
When Ignorance Is the Best Excuse
Discussion: Hit & Run
Felix Salmon:
The smart and charming Larry Summers
 Earlier Items: 
The Onion:
Congress Continues Debate Over Whether Or Not Nation Should Be Economically Ruined
Discussion: Vagabond Scholar
Felix Salmon:
Rent vs buy datapoint of the day
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Hit & Run
Noah Shachtman / Danger Room:
Exclusive: Inside Darpa's Secret Afghan Spy Machine
John Siracusa / Ars Technica:
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: the Ars Technica review
Discussion: Fortune and TechCrunch
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Obama Maintains Sub-50% Job Approval in 10th Quarter
Jonathan Weil / Bloomberg:
About Jonathan Weil  —  Curse the Geniuses Who Gave Us Bank of America: Jonathan Weil
Discussion: naked capitalism