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3:05 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:
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).
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.
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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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:
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Boehner: ‘A Lot’ Of Republicans Want To Force Default, Create ‘Enough Chaos’ To Pass Balanced Budget Amendment
Discussion: Balloon Juice
The Note:
John Boehner to House GOP: ‘Get Your Ass In Line’
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
House Republicans Psyche Themselves Up By Watching Ben Affleck Prepare To Beat Some Guys Up
Discussion: Washington Post and The Garlic
The Atlantic Online:
Conservative Caucus Apologizes for Emails Attacking Boehner Plan
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:   Boehner to GOP: ‘Get your ass in line’
CBS News:
Huntsman embraces Boehner debt plan dividing GOP
Discussion: GOP 12 and Associated Press
John Stanton / Roll Call:
Republicans Dress Down Jim Jordan, RSC Aide
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and TPMDC
New York Times:
Boehner Issues Blunt Warning to Dissenters to Back Plan
Discussion: The Caucus and The Mahablog
The Note:
Debt Debate Continues: What to Expect Wednesday
Discussion: The Politico and CNN
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Clyburn: Invoke the 14th Amendment  —  Rep. James Clyburn and a group of House Democrats are urging President Barack Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling if Congress can't come up with a satisfactory plan before the Tuesday deadline.  —  Clyburn, the third-ranking …
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and Weasel Zippers
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 …
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
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 …
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
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.
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 …
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 …
Discussion: Big Journalism, The Awl and Althouse
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
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Bush, Obama pollsters see ‘dramatic’ shift toward same-sex marriage  —  In a new polling memo intended to shape politicians' decisions on the question of same-sex marriage, the top pollsters for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama jointly argue that support for same-sex marriage …
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Nader looks for Obama 2012 challengers  —  Consumer activist Ralph Nader said Tuesday that he'll launch an initiative soon to field primary challenges to President Obama in key states.  —  Nader, who waged two presidential campaigns as a third-party candidate, is working with a group …
Discussion: Red Dog Report
Julian Pecquet / Healthwatch:
CBO: Returning veterans' health to cost $50 billion over 10 years  —  Returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will place new demands on the Veterans Affairs healthcare system, the Congressional Budget Office testified Wednesday.  —  The cost of treating veterans …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
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 More Items: 
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Some Facts About the Debt Limit
Discussion: Hot Air
Tim Lister / CNN:
Suspect admired bloggers who believe Europe is drowning in Muslims
Solving the Long-Term Jobs Problem
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Investor's Business Daily:
Leading From Behind On Debt
Discussion: Hot Air
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
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
Morgan Freeman Interested In Wisconsin Recalls? New GOP Ad Has Narrator Who Sounds Like Actor
Discussion: JSOnline
 Earlier Items: 
Elvin Lim / OUPblog:
The triumph of politics
John Carney / CNBC:
Can The Treasury Department Really Run Out of Money?
Discussion: Felix Salmon
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
The next meltdown: Gas tax renewal
Discussion: Politics
The Politico:
Credit hit worries Obama, Congress more than default