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8:40 PM ET, July 27, 2011


 Top Items: 
The Politico:
GOPers chant ‘fire him’ at Paul Teller  —  House Republicans on Wednesday morning were calling for the firing of the Republican Study Committee top staffer after he was caught sending e-mails to conservative groups urging them to pressure GOP lawmakers to vote against a debt proposal from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
The Politico:
Boehner quells rebellion on the right  —  A dust up among a major House conservative bloc and the prospect of tens of billions of dollars in new spending cuts has Republican leadership feeling as if it quelled an uprising on the right after struggling to line up votes for much of the week.
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Ben Affleck Reacts To House GOP Using Clip From ‘The Town’ In Debt Debate … WASHINGTON — Heads turned a bit on Tuesday night when the Washington Post reported that House Republicans were using a scene from the movie “The Town” as a motivational vignette to encourage members to back Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) debt ceiling plan.
Julie Mason / The Politico:
Carney makes an accusation  —  Jay Carney took on Fox News's Ed Henry.  —  John Shinkle/POLITICO  —  The day after White House press secretary Jay Carney and Fox News reporter Ed Henry tangled over Henry's request for specifics on Obama's plan on debt limit and deficit reduction, Carney and Henry were back at it again on Wednesday.
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
McCain vs. the Tea Party  —  Is the old John McCain back?  —  The fiery, independent version of the Republican senator from Arizona took to the floor of the Senate Wednesday morning.  Demanding “straight talk,” Mr. McCain accused conservative opponents of the House Republican leader's plan of abandoning reason in the debt fight.
The Note:
McCain Blasts Tea Party for ‘Foolish’ Demands in Debt Debate  —  ABC News' Sunlen Miller (@sunlenmiller) reports:  —  As Speaker of the House John Boehner is looking for votes on his House debt bill, one Senate Republican sent a strong message to the Tea Party block in the House and Senate …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Debbie Wasserman Schultz says GOP seeks ‘dictatorship ... spark panic’  —  'This is not leadership.  This is almost like dictatorship, said Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  AP Photo  —  Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee, said Wednesday …
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
It's All Over but the Face-Saving?  —  It remains unclear whether the House will pass a bill by the speaker, John A. Boehner, to raise the debt ceiling, though prospects appear to be significantly better today than they did yesterday.  Still, the math looks to be pretty close.
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.
Joshua Green / The Atlantic Online:
The Clearest Sign Yet That Boehner's Bill Will Pass the House  —  They talk a big game, but in private, Republicans attack the one person who stands up for what they claim to believe  —  If you listen to Eric Cantor or any of the self-styled Tea Party Republicans pushing the country to the brink of default …
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Boehner: ‘A Lot’ Of Republicans Want To Force Default, Create ‘Enough Chaos’ To Pass Balanced Budget Amendment  —  House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said today that some members of his own caucus who are refusing to agree to a compromise debt ceiling deal are hoping to unleash “chaos” …
David Rogers / The Politico:
Reid plan's savings trump Boehner's
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
WSJ: Tea Party “hobbits” need to go back to Middle Earth, or something
Discussion: John Boehner and The Other McCain
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
Tea party rally on Capitol Hill draws thin crowd
Discussion: Daily Kos and Outside the Beltway
David Mark / The Politico:
Grover Norquist backs John Boehner's debt bill
Discussion: Pajamas Media
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
Freshmen coalesce around Boehner plan
New York Times:
Restive G.O.P. Yielding to Boehner Plan on Budget
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Dem lawmaker: ‘Nobody I know’ has seen Reid plan
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Powerful GOP group backs Boehner plan
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
What Does Wall Street Want?  —  I've been having some disturbing conversations with both finance people and Washington people over the last few days, that have only confirmed the disconnect I wrote about a few weeks ago.  Each side is sending signals that the other side is not reading correctly.
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Standard and Poor's Should Not Be Able to Play Kingmaker in the 2012 Election
Wall Street Journal:
Who Elected the Rating Agencies?
Discussion: The Politico and
Jim Spencer / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Franken's SNL moment on the Senate floor  —  For a moment Wednesday, Al Franken looked like he was back on the set of Saturday Night Live and not on the floor of the U.S. Senate.  In a speech explaining that there would be no money to pay for military and security personnel if Congress …
Kris Kitto / The Hill:
50 Most Beautiful People for 2011  —  It's no accident that Amy Cheng exhibits model-like poise in front of a camera.  Growing up, her family would spend time outside their Chinese restaurant taking photos of one another in a park, and later on, Cheng would pose for her younger sister …
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
House Democrats urge Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment in debt fight  —  House Democratic leaders are calling on President Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment and raise the debt ceiling without congressional input.  —  Addressing the House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday morning …
Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post:
House Democratic Leaders To Obama: Use The 14th Amendment [UPDATED]
Scott Conroy / Real Clear Politics:
Palin to Keynote Tea Party Rally in Iowa  —  In the latest indication that her sights are still set on a presidential run, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has accepted an invitation to keynote a Tea Party rally in Waukee, Iowa, on Sept. 3, RealClearPolitics has learned.
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Report: Obama And Boehner Agreed To Raise Medicare Eligibilty Age Before Debt Talks Broke Down  —  In what may be one of the most under-reported stories of the debt ceiling talks, Politico's Jen Haberkorn notes that before negotiations broke down on Friday evening, President Obama and Speaker …
Tanya Somanader / ThinkProgress:
Palin: American Ideals Are ‘Foreign To Our President’ Because Of ‘His Background’  —  Adding her heft to the GOP's debt ceiling debacle, the “undefeated” Sarah Palin graced Fox News Business last night to slam President Obama for suggesting that the wealthy should return to a higher tax rate.
Zev Chafets / New York Times:
Stinger: James O'Keefe's Greatest Hits  —  The temperature was hovering near 90 degrees on the afternoon of Memorial Day when James O'Keefe III emerged from the woods and ambled over to my car.  He was tall and thin, with pale skin and matted reddish hair.  When his mug shot ran in the papers …
Danny Gallagher /
Planned Parenthood clinic attacked with Molotov cocktail  —  MCKINNEY - Officials with Planned Parenthood confirmed that their McKinney clinic was the target of violence sometime last night.  —  Holly Morgan, director of media relations and communications for Planned Parenthood in Dallas …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Douglas Martin / New York Times:
G.D. Spradlin, Prolific Character Actor, Dies at 90  —  G. D. Spradlin, whose experience as a corporate lawyer, independent oilman and rancher influenced his nuanced portrayals of authority figures in more than 70 films and television shows, including “The Godfather: Part II” and “Apocalypse Now …
Discussion: Althouse
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 …
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.
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 More Items: 
Jamison Foser / Media Matters for America:
Pat Buchanan, The Devil's Advocate
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Daily Kos
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
Lessons From the Malaise
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
A Clean Debt Ceiling Increase Wouldn't Avoid Cuts
Discussion: TalkLeft and Firedoglake
Evan Wolfson / Politics:
Freedom to marry's changed political equation
Discussion: LGBT | POV
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
Steny Hoyer on House GOP: ‘They Want to Shoot Every Bullet They Have at the President.’
Wall Street Journal:
Companies Bracing for U.S. Default
Discussion: Mother Jones, and The Hill
 Earlier Items: 
Kris Kitto / The Hill:
50 Most Beautiful People for 2011  —  Sen. Lisa Murkowski …
Discussion: Indecision Forever
Mary Beth Sheridan / Washington Post:
Clinton, in letter, blasts bill restricting foreign aid
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Nader looks for Obama 2012 challengers
Discussion: Red Dog Report
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Some Facts About the Debt Limit
Discussion: Hot Air
Peter Jackson / BBC:
Lucas loses Star Wars copyright case at Supreme Court
Discussion: Guardian
Paul Krugman:
The Guilty Parties  —  There's actually a simple way to resolve …
Discussion: Balloon Juice and TalkLeft