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12:10 PM 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.
The Politico:
Boehner: ‘Get your ass in line’  —  Scrambling for votes on his troubled deficit package, Speaker John Boehner told GOP lawmakers Wednesday morning to “get your ass in line” behind his debt ceiling bill, saying the Senate will fold and pass it.  —  “This is the bill,' Boehner …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
Conservative frosh go opposite ways
Discussion: The Page, The Note and Hullabaloo
David Rogers / The Politico:
CBO: John Boehner's debt bill comes up short
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.
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.
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.
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:
Krauthammer: Bachmann is “unbelievably irresponsible” on debt ceiling  —  Charles Krauthammer, after being asked about Michele Bachmann's opposition to any plan that raises the debt ceiling.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Daily Caller
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.
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
New Tone: NY Times Columnist Says Tea Party Is Hezbollah Faction of GOP
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Weasel Zippers
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 …
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
Paul Krugman:
The Guilty Parties  —  There's actually a simple way to resolve the debt ceiling crisis: non-crazy Republican leaders could support something like the Reid plan — which is, let's be clear, a huge victory for the right and defeat for progressives — and pass it with limited GOP support and overwhelming Democratic support.
Discussion: TalkLeft and Balloon Juice
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.
Jon Boone / Guardian:
Kandahar mayor killed by suicide bomb
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 …
Patrick Poole / Pajamas Media:
Indicted Al-Shabaab Recruiter Continues Jihad on Facebook
Discussion: The Jawa Report
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 …
JR Hoeft / Bearing Drift:
Romney-McDonnell 2012?  —  Former Massachussets governor and presidential aspirant Mitt Romney was in Virginia Beach yesterday attending a fundraiser at the home of State Sen. Jeff McWaters.  —  The $1200 per plate event brought up some interesting data points regarding Governor Bob McDonnell.
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
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Banks Clash Over Foreclosure Tab
Discussion: Firedoglake and naked capitalism
Al Kamen / Washington Post:
Religious groups: Debt ceiling is a moral issue
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Bearing Drift
New York Times:
Sen. Manchin Maintains Lucrative Ties to Family-Owned Coal Company
David Wessel / Wall Street Journal:
What's Wrong With America's Job Engine?
Discussion: ParaPundit
Ian Macdougall / Associated Press:
Norway PM: Attacks response to be ‘more democracy’
Discussion: The Reaction
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Appropriators release bill slashing State Dept.
Discussion: ThinkProgress
U.S. Downgrade May Cost $100B a Year: JPMorgan
Discussion: Global Public Square
 Earlier 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
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