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3:50 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.
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:
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.
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
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
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 …
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:
The Atlantic Online:
Conservative Caucus Apologizes for Emails Attacking Boehner Plan
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
McCain rips lawmakers demanding amendment to balance the budget
Discussion: Connecting.the.Dots
New York Times:
Boehner Issues Blunt Warning to Dissenters to Back Plan
Discussion: The Caucus and The Mahablog
The Note:
John Boehner to House GOP: ‘Get Your Ass In Line’
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
John Stanton / Roll Call:
Republicans Dress Down Jim Jordan, RSC Aide
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and TPMDC
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  —  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
Discussion: The Garlic
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
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 …
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Clinton tries to stop House aid bill  —  Clinton says the measure ‘would be debilitating to my efforts.’  —  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is urging a group of House Republicans to give up their push for a bill that would slash payments to the United Nations and limit aid to Egypt …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Mary Beth Sheridan / Washington Post:
Clinton, in letter, blasts bill restricting foreign aid
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.
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
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.
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  —  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 …
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 …
Discussion: FishbowlDC and The Daily Caller
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
Peter Jackson / BBC:
Lucas loses Star Wars copyright case at Supreme Court  —  Mr Ainsworth recalls: “I made a prototype and Lucas said 'great, I'll have 50'.”  —  A prop designer who made the original Stormtrooper helmets for Star Wars has won his copyright battle with director George Lucas over his right to sell replicas.
Discussion: Guardian
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: 
Yochi J. Dreazen /
Former Cheney Aide Addington, Now at Heritage, Driver in Debt Debate
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Report: Obama And Boehner Agreed To Raise Medicare Eligibilty Age Before Debt Talks Broke Down
Julian Pecquet / Healthwatch:
CBO: Returning veterans' health to cost $50 billion over 10 years
Discussion: ThinkProgress
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
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
 Earlier Items: 
Amanda Terkel / The Huffington Post:
Morgan Freeman Interested In Wisconsin Recalls? New GOP Ad Has Narrator Who Sounds Like Actor
Discussion: JSOnline
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