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9:50 AM ET, July 27, 2011


 Top Items: 
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 …
Discussion: The Hill
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 …
David Rogers / The Politico:
CBO: John Boehner's debt bill comes up short  —  On the eve of a House vote, new cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office could pose a problem for Speaker John Boehner as he tries to rally conservative support for his two-step plan to raise the federal debt ceiling and avert default next week.
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 …
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
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 …
Jack Lew / White Blog:
Baseline Basics  —  The CBO just released its analysis of the debt ceiling extension and deficit reduction plan that the House of Representatives is considering.  We have been clear in our opposition to this bill, and the President explained why last night.
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Boehner, Reid scramble to build support for rival debt-limit plans
Discussion: CNN, Boston Globe, Daily Kos and The Hill
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
Conservative frosh go opposite ways
Discussion: The Page, The Note and Hullabaloo
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Oof: CBO says Boehner's bill would save less than $1T over 10 years …
Charles Babington / Associated Press:
House GOP to rework budget plan after new estimate
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.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Binyamin Appelbaum / New York Times:
U.S. May Have Way to Cover Bills After Deadline, for Week  —  WASHINGTON — It turns out the federal government is sitting on some extra cash.  —  Thanks to an inflow of tax payments and maneuvering by the Treasury Department, the government can probably continue to pay all of its bills …
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.
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 …
Discussion: Reuters and Top of the Ticket
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
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
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.
Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. / The Jawa Report:
On Islamophobia and Right Wing Extremism  —  Since I am constantly accused of being an ‘Islamaphobe’ let me, once again and for the record, explain my position on Islam, Islamophobia, and right-wing extremism.  I'll start at the latter and work my way to the former.  —  1) Right-wing extremism is real.
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 …
Christina Rexrode / Associated Press:
McDonald's: Apple slices in every Happy Meal  —  McDonald's to put apples in every Happy Meal as part of broader health push  —  Companies:  —  Related Quotes  —  SymbolPriceChange  —  MCD  —  88.02  —  NEW YORK (AP) — An apple a day may keep the doctor away.
David Jackson / USA Today:
Michelle Obama praises McDonald's
David Lerman / Bloomberg:
Female U.S. Senators Call on Saudi Arabia to Let Women Drive  —  Fourteen female U.S. senators called on Saudi Arabia today to end its ban on women driving cars, adding new public support to a once-quiet campaign to change Saudi policy.  —  In a letter to King Abdullah …
Discussion: Reuters
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 More Items: 
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
Eli Lake / Washington Times:
U.S. report: Russia tied to embassy blast in Georgia
John DiStaso /
John DiStaso's Granite Status: Pawlenty steering committee member defects to Romney camp
Discussion: Associated Press
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: Weasel Zippers
Wall Street Journal:
A Tale of Two Shale States
 Earlier Items: 
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
Christina Marcos / The Hill:
Rep. Gutierrez arrested outside White House for second time
Discussion: ThinkProgress and CNN
Shira Toeplitz / Roll Call:
Poll Shows Mourdock, Lugar Virtually Tied
Paul Ryan / National Review:
A Step Forward, but a Long Journey Remains
Discussion: Pajamas Media, Hot Air and HotAirPundit
David Dayen /
British Economy, After Austerity, at Zero Growth in the Past Nine Months
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Eschaton
Evan McMorris-Santoro / TPMDC:
‘We Get The Sacrifice, They Get The Wealth’: A Fired-Up Pelosi Tears Into GOP Deficit Plan