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10:25 AM ET, July 27, 2011


 Top Items: 
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
A Time for Choosing  —  To govern is to choose.  To vote is to choose.  To vote against John Boehner on the House floor this week in the biggest showdown of the current Congress is to choose to vote with Nancy Pelosi.  To vote against Boehner is to choose to support Barack Obama.
Discussion: Club for Growth and Daily Kos
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Cat To Emerge from Bag?  —  There's an interesting possibility, even a likelihood, we may see unfold over the coming days.  And if it happens, we might find out quickly whether there's a limit past which consensus opinion, the Wall Street/business interests who hold such a sway over national politics …
Wall Street Journal:
The GOP's Reality Test  —  Republicans who oppose Boehner's debt deal are playing into Obama's hands.  —  The debt-limit debate is heading toward a culmination, with President Obama reduced to pleading for the public to support a tax increase and Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority …
Washington Post:
House Republicans delay vote on Boehner debt plan  —  Responding to Obama's appeal in a speech Monday night for Americans to contact their members of Congress to urge them to adopt his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction, callers flooded Capitol telephone circuits Tuesday morning …
The Note:
Debt Debate Continues: What to Expect Wednesday  —  ABC News' John Parkinson (@JRPabcDC) and Sunlen Miller (@SunlenMiller) report:  —  Less than six days to an historic U.S. government default and the different legs of power in Washington are each working on their own plans with no clear path to a breakthrough.
Discussion: The Politico and CNN
David Rogers / The Politico:
Reid savings trumps Boehner plan  —  In the battle of budget scores, the Senate Democrats deficit reduction bill is the clear winner thus far over an alternative by Speaker John Boehner, which has had to be pulled back from a floor vote for retooling.  —  The Congressional Budget Office released …
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
House Republicans Psyche Themselves Up By Watching Ben Affleck Prepare To Beat Some Guys Up  —  For some reason the Washington Post's reporters decided to sanitize the anecdote, but apparently House GOP leaders are trying to garner support for John Boehner's debt ceiling plan by comparing …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Dems plot the endgame in debt limit fight  —  So now what?  Now that Dems and Republicans have unveiled competing plans for the way forward — and now that both sides have dug in — what happens next?  —  Here's the game plan, as seen by Senate Dem aides: The next move is to sit tight …
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Boehner, Reid scramble to build support for rival debt-limit plans
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Romney Leads Field of Announced GOP Candidates  —  Perry would be more competitive with Romney than Palin, Giuliani  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Mitt Romney is the leader for the GOP nomination among the current field of official candidates, supported by 27% of Republicans, compared with 18% for Michele Bachmann.
The Politico:
Credit hit worries Obama, Congress more than default  —  It's not the default that strikes the most fear in the White House and Congress these days.  It's the downgrade.  —  Even Republican leaders say the country can't go into default, and they'll do everything possible to raise the debt limit by Aug. 2.
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
U.S. officials believe al-Qaeda on brink of collapse  —  U.S. counterterrorism officials are increasingly convinced that the killing of Osama bin Laden and the toll of seven years of CIA drone strikes have pushed al-Qaeda to the brink of collapse.  —  The assessment reflects a widespread view …
Paul Krugman:
The Cult That Is Destroying America  —  Watching our system deal with the debt ceiling crisis — a wholly self-inflicted crisis, which may nonetheless have disastrous consequences — it's increasingly obvious that what we're looking at is the destructive influence of a cult that has really poisoned our political system.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
SwiftVets revenge  —  The Navy Times (no link) reported last week that Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stripped the Silver Star from a Vietnam swift boat veteran, Capt. Wade Sanders:  —  “Had the subsequently determined facts and evidence surrounding both the incident for which the award …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Pajamas Media
Thomas Lifson /
Kerry spokesman stripped of Silver Star
Discussion: The Other McCain
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Not Leveling with Viewers  —  It's been said many times.  But it's never enough: the conventions of journalistic ‘objectivity’, as currently defined, frequently make journalists violate their biggest duty, which is honesty with readers.  The top headline running now on CNN reads …
Discussion: Foreign Policy
Fred Thompson / National Review:
An Open Letter to the GOP
Ahmad Nadeem / Reuters:
Suicide blast kills mayor of Afghanistan's Kandahar  —  (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed the mayor of Afghanistan's Kandahar city on Wednesday, two weeks after the assassination of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's brother in the same city created a power vacuum in the country's turbulent south.
Suzanne Goldenberg / Guardian:
US eco-activist jailed for two years  —  Campaigners denounce sentence of ‘hero’ Tim DeChristopher for disrupting oil and gas industry auction as excessive  —  An activist who became a hero to campaigners for disrupting a Bush administration auction for the oil and gas industry with $1.8m …
Eli Lake / Washington Times:
U.S. report: Russia tied to embassy blast in Georgia  —  Supports local findings  —  U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in a classified report late last year that Russia's military intelligence was responsible for a bomb blast that occurred at an exterior wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September.
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 More Items: 
U.S. Downgrade May Cost $100B a Year: JPMorgan
Discussion: Global Public Square
David Lerman / Bloomberg:
Female U.S. Senators Call on Saudi Arabia to Let Women Drive
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Reuters
Ethan Bronner / New York Times:
Where Politics Are Complex, Simple Joys at the Beach
Discussion: Mondoweiss and American Power
Mark Steyn / National Review:
The Debt Mountain Labored and Brought Forth a Mouse
O.Kay Henderson:
Bachmann: other House GOPers “will have to come to their own conclusion” (audio)
O. Kay Henderson / Radio Iowa:
Santorum swipes at Perry over state's rights
 Earlier Items: 
Todd Starnes / FOX News Radio:
Congressman: Obama Admin Still Banning Prayers
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Wall Street Journal:
A Tale of Two Shale States
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL  —  VIDEO: ATF agent who implemented 'Fast …
Discussion: Clayton Cramer's Blog
Chris Good / The Atlantic Online:
Picture of the Day: Congress Gets a Fail Whale
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Shira Toeplitz / Roll Call:
Poll Shows Mourdock, Lugar Virtually Tied
Evan McMorris-Santoro / TPMDC:
‘We Get The Sacrifice, They Get The Wealth’: A Fired-Up Pelosi Tears Into GOP Deficit Plan