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6:50 PM ET, July 27, 2011


 Top Items: 
The Politico:
Boehner tries to tame GOP on debt ceiling plan  —  Scrambling for votes on his troubled deficit package, Speaker John Boehner bluntly told wavering GOP lawmakers Wednesday morning to “get your ass in line” behind his debt ceiling bill.  —  Boehner predicted Senate Democrats will fold and pass …
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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” …
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 …
Discussion: Prairie Weather and
David Rogers / The Politico:
Reid plan's savings trump Boehner's  —  In the battle of budget scores, the Senate Democrats' deficit reduction bill is the clear leader thus far over an alternative by Speaker John Boehner, which had to be pulled back from the floor Tuesday night for retooling.
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
Tea party rally on Capitol Hill draws thin crowd
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Daily Kos
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Powerful GOP group backs Boehner plan
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
WSJ: Tea Party “hobbits” need to go back to Middle Earth, or something
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Dem lawmaker: ‘Nobody I know’ has seen Reid plan
Discussion: The Politico and The Daily Caller
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
Freshmen coalesce around Boehner plan
Discussion: Hot Air and The New Republic
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
New Tone: NY Times Columnist Says Tea Party Is Hezbollah Faction of GOP
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.
Discussion: Vox Popoli
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?
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 Epstein / The Politico:
Clyburn: Invoke the 14th Amendment
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post:
House Democratic Leaders To Obama: Use The 14th Amendment [UPDATED]
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 …
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 …
Discussion: Pajamas Media and AmSpecBlog
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
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 …
Stephen Lacey / ThinkProgress:
White House Closes Deal with Carmakers on Fuel Efficiency  —  The Obama Administration is close to a deal with the auto industry on aggressive fuel efficiency targets, according to a report from the LA Times.  Sources close to the negotiations say that auto manufacturers may agree to targets as high as 54 mpg by 2025.
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Obama to announce new fuel standards
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 …
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 …
Discussion: Red Dog Report and Hullabaloo
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.
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
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 More Items: 
Sinan Salaheddin / Associated Press:
Iraq FM says country needs US help past 2011
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
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
Yochi J. Dreazen /
Former Cheney Aide Addington, Now at Heritage, Driver in Debt Debate
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Nader looks for Obama 2012 challengers
Discussion: Red Dog Report
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