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11:10 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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Breaking: Boehner to postpone Wednesday vote on debt bill
Discussion: USA Today, The Politico and The Hill
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Boehner, Reid scramble to build support for rival debt-limit plans
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 …
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 …
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.
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 …
Ahmad Nadeem / Reuters:
Suicide blast kills mayor of Afghanistan's Kandahar  —  KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed the mayor of Afghanistan's Kandahar Wednesday, a further blow to stability in the southern city still reeling from the assassination two weeks ago of President Hamid Karzai's powerbroker half-brother.
Jon Boone / Guardian:
Kandahar mayor killed by suicide bomb
Richard A. Serrano / Los Angeles Times:
FBI report at odds with ATF claim on weapons  —  A copy of the FBI document shows ballistics tests did not rule out the Fast and Furious guns in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry.  —  Reporting from Washington— The claim by senior ATF officials that none of the weapons lost …
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Sharyl Attkisson / CBS News:
ATF Manager says he shared Fast and Furious Info with White House
Discussion: Hot Air and Nice Deb
O.Kay Henderson:
Bachmann: other House GOPers “will have to come to their own conclusion” (audio)  —  GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann held a news conference in Ankeny early this afternoon.  “I wanted to be able to have just a word with you in response to President Obama's statement last night regarding raising the debt ceiling,” she began.
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:
Krauthammer: Bachmann is “unbelievably irresponsible” on debt ceiling
Discussion: ThinkProgress
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
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Can't We Do This Right?  —  There is only one thing worse than Republicans and Democrats failing to agree to lift the debt ceiling, and that is lifting the debt ceiling without a well-thought-out plan and with hasty cuts totaling trillions of dollars over a decade.
Adam Serwer:
Captain America's Faux Integration, Ctd  —  Alyssa Rosenberg argues that Captain America: The First Avenger lacks any acknowledgement of Armed Forces segregation because The Avengers is about “institutional optimism.”  —  I'm not buying it.  Not just because these kinds of issues …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Ian Macdougall / Associated Press:
Norway PM: Attacks response to be ‘more democracy’  —  OSLO, Norway (AP) — Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg vowed Wednesday that the twin terror attacks that have stunned his country will not intimidate Norway and that his countrymen will fight back with “more democracy.”
Discussion: The Reaction
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
The next meltdown: Gas tax renewal  —  Looking beyond the horizon of the current insoluble legislative meltdown, a nervous Democrat pointed me yesterday to the next one: Most of the gas tax is set to expire on September 30.  —  An accountant's memo lists the taxes expiring that day, including:
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Reid J. Epstein / The Politico:
Peter King: 40 Americans joined terror group  —  More than 40 Americans have been recruited to join the Islamic terror network in Somalia, according to Rep. Peter King.  —  King (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is to make the statement during his opening statement …
Discussion: CNN
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 More Items: 
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Appropriators release bill slashing State Dept.
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Kimberly Kindy / Washington Post:
Bachmann benefitted from federal home loan program
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
 Earlier Items: 
O. Kay Henderson / Radio Iowa:
Santorum swipes at Perry over state's rights
Todd Starnes / FOX News Radio:
Congressman: Obama Admin Still Banning Prayers
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Weasel Zippers
Chris Good / The Atlantic Online:
Picture of the Day: Congress Gets a Fail Whale
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Not Leveling with Viewers
Discussion: Foreign Policy and Shakesville
Evan McMorris-Santoro / TPMDC:
‘We Get The Sacrifice, They Get The Wealth’: A Fired-Up Pelosi Tears Into GOP Deficit Plan