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5:05 PM ET, July 27, 2011


 Top Items: 
The Politico:
GOP in chaos  —  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 Boehner debt bill if it can get through the House.
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).
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.
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 …
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.
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
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Dem lawmaker: ‘Nobody I know’ has seen Reid plan  —  A House Democrat indicated Wednesday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) might not have Democrat votes locked down for his deficit proposal.  —  “I'm not going to commit to something that nobody I know has seen and had a chance to analyze …
Discussion: The Politico and The Daily Caller
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” …
Discussion: Balloon Juice and Sky Dancing
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Quote of the Day  —  House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is obviously scrambling to secure as much Republican support for his budget plan as possible, and took his sales pitch to Laura Ingraham's radio show this morning.  One line in particular stood out:
Wall Street Journal:
The GOP's Reality Test
Mgroombridge / Decide America:
Conservatives Should Support Boehner Plan
Discussion: CBS News, Pajamas Media and GOP 12
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:   WSJ: Tea Party “hobbits” need to go back to Middle Earth, or something
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
McCain rips lawmakers demanding amendment to balance the budget
Marin Cogan / The Politico:
Freshmen coalesce around Boehner plan
Discussion: Hot Air and The New Republic
John Stanton / Roll Call:
Republicans Dress Down Jim Jordan, RSC Aide
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
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.
Washington Post:
House Republicans delay vote on Boehner debt plan
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
House Republicans Psyche Themselves Up By Watching Ben Affleck Prepare To Beat Some Guys Up
Discussion: The Reaction
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]
Zaid Jilani / ThinkProgress:
House Dems: If GOP Is Intent On ‘Destroying Government,’ Obama Should Use 14th Amendment To Raise Debt Ceiling
Discussion: Reuters and Indecision Forever
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.
Scott Conroy / Real Clear Politics:
Palin to Keynote Tea Party Rally in Iowa
Discussion: GOP 12
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
New Tone: NY Times Columnist Says Tea Party Is Hezbollah Faction of GOP
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 …
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 …
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
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 …
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
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.
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
Jane Hamsher / Firedoglake:
Standard and Poor's Should Not Be Able to Play Kingmaker in the 2012 Election  —  Update: S&P is now denying that they endorse the Reid plan.  They evidently understand the implications of this kind of “selective disclosure” to big investors....  Standard and Poors is evidently meeting …
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 More Items: 
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Obama to announce new fuel standards
Edmund DeMarche / Fox News:
Uzbek Man Charged With Threatening Obama, Obtaining Weapons
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Jihad Watch
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
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Clinton tries to stop House aid bill
Discussion: Washington Post and Weasel Zippers
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Nader looks for Obama 2012 challengers
Discussion: Red Dog Report
Investor's Business Daily:
Leading From Behind On Debt
Discussion: Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
HARRY REID: Tea Partiers Are Not Real Americans
Discussion: Pajamas Media and The Daily Caller
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
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
The next meltdown: Gas tax renewal
Discussion: Politics