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6:50 PM ET, July 29, 2011


 Top Items: 
The Note:
Boehner gets standing ovation from Senate Rs  —  ABC News' Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) reports:  —  Speaker of the House John Boehner just quietly ventured over to the Senate side and dropped in on a closed lunch of Senate Republicans.  —  The lunch - pizza, again - was in the Strom Thurmond room.
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Tea Party groups target ‘defectors’ on debt vote  —  Several Tea Party organizations are working to punish conservative Republicans who plan to vote yes on Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) debt ceiling proposal.  —  Tea Party leaders announced Thursday they are targeting Republican Reps. James Lankford …
The Politico:
Boehner builds momentum  —  House Republican leaders will tie a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution to their two-step debt-ceiling bill — a move that is all but certain to clinch the necessary votes to pass Speaker John Boehner's proposal a day after it stalled.
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Why no vote tonight  —  A House aide just e-mailed me: “Buckets of crazy.”  That's as good an explanation as any as to why Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) won't be able to hold a vote tonight on his debt-ceiling bill.  The burn-the-building-down set is weakening, but the speaker is still short on votes.
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
Boehner's problem: His party doesn't like compromise  —  (Getty Images) John Boehner has a problem.  He likes being Speaker of the House of Representatives.  He would like to continue to be Speaker of the House of Representatives.  But being Speaker of the House of Representatives means …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
How big is the House GOP's sane contingent?  —  House Speaker John Boehner (R) will, in all likelihood, finally pass a debt-ceiling bill later this afternoon.  I was going to say “his” debt-ceiling bill, but we all know Boehner's bill was effectively killed last night, and the revised version today is a different animal.
Discussion: rubber hose and Washington Post
The Hill:
Support shifts as Boehner adds balanced-budget amendment  —  House Republicans will attach a balanced-budget amendment to Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) last-ditch debt-ceiling plan, which GOP lawmakers said would move the measure to passage in a high-stakes vote later on Friday.
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Democrats Threaten Saturday Night Debt Fever  —  Get ready for Mr. Smith meets the debt ceiling.  —  Senate Democrats said Friday that they were prepared for an all-night battle on the Senate floor that could go into the wee hours of Sunday morning unless Republicans began negotiating on a bipartisan plan to raise the debt ceiling.
The Note:
Senate Democrats Blast Revised Boehner Debt Bill as ‘Absurd’  —  ABC News' Sunlen Miller(@sunlenmiller) reports:  —  After meeting with his caucus today for nearly two hours, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, D-NV., declared , “the only compromise that there is —is mine” …
Manu Raju / The Politico:
Scott Brown may support Reid plan
Discussion: Hot Air
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
What Boehner Should Do Now  —  Last night, Speaker Boehner toyed …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
Gut Check Time for John Boehner
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:   John Boehner's no-confidence vote
National /
DOCUMENT: Latest Version of House Speaker Boehner's Debt Plan
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
G.O.P. Fervor Cuts 2 Ways for Boehner
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Sen. Kerry calls conservative House Republicans ‘small group of absolutists’
Discussion: Bloomberg and Weasel Zippers
Washington Post:
Obama urges Senate to forge compromise on debt limit, rejects House efforts
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama Approval Drops to New Low of 40%  —  Similar to his approval rating for handling the debt ceiling negotiations  —  PRINCETON, NJ — President Obama's job approval rating is at a new low, averaging 40% in July 26-28 Gallup Daily tracking.  His prior low rating of 41% occurred several times, the last of which was in April.
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:   Obama approval rating hits all-time low, according to poll
Jon Bershad / Mediaite:
Barack Obama Twitter Spams The Nation, Loses 10,000 Followers And Counting  —  You know that friend of yours who's always the first to get in on the hottest social media trends?  The one who had a Tumblr before everyone?  The one who first sent you a Google+ invite?
Leary /   Obama Declares Twitter War on Republicans
Lucia Mutikani / Reuters:
Weak growth raises concerns on economy  —  (Reuters) - The U.S. economy came perilously close to flat-lining in the first quarter and grew at a meager 1.3 percent annual rate in the April-June period as consumer spending barely rose.  —  The Commerce Department data on Friday also showed …
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:
National Income and Product Accounts
Free exchange:
Distress signal  —  IN 2007, the great ship of the American …
Yvonne Wenger / The Post and Courier, Charleston SC:
Democrats criticize Haley's checking of ‘white’ on voter registration application  —  COLUMBIA — What box should Gov. Nikki Haley check when it comes to her race?  —  The South Carolina Democratic Party tried Thursday to make Haley out as a liar for checking “white” as her race …
Matt Lewis / The Daily Caller:
According to official letters obtained by The Daily Caller, the gay conservative group GOProud and the ultraconservative John Birch Society won't be co-sponsoring the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2012.  —  The decision was reached by a full vote of the American Conservative Union's …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Centrist Cop-Out  —  The facts of the crisis over the debt ceiling aren't complicated.  Republicans have, in effect, taken America hostage, threatening to undermine the economy and disrupt the essential business of government unless they get policy concessions they would never have been able to enact through legislation.
David Kurtz / Talking Points Memo:
Practically Delusional  —  Just minutes after President Obama urged the parties to come together and avert this default crisis, things are actually going backwards in the House.  And in pretty incredible fashion.  —  To secure enough votes from his own members for his plan …
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
The great divide  —  We're in the midst of a great four-year national debate on the size and reach of government, the future of the welfare state, indeed, the nature of the social contract between citizen and state.  The distinctive visions of the two parties — social-democratic vs. limited-government …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
‘A self-inflicted wound of monumental stupidity’  —  There are, regrettably, plenty of prominent media voices who insist on characterizing the Republicans' debt-ceiling crisis as a disaster brought on by “both sides.”  Yes, David Gergen, I'm looking in your direction.
Eli Lake / The New Republic:
All Over the Map  —  The Republican foreign policy consensus has collapsed.  Which candidate's worldview will prevail?  —  Mitt Romney delivered a speech at the annual summer retreat of the American Enterprise Institute in Beaver Creek, Colorado.  To coincide with the address …
Discussion: ThinkProgress, AmSpecBlog and Hit & Run
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 More Items: 
Chloe Hayward / Reuters:
Biographer sees News Corp minus Murdochs in 60 days
Discussion: Guardian and War in Context
Libya rape accuser arrives in U.S.
Discussion: Mediaite, The Lede and
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Laura Ingraham pushes back on Sarah Palin primary threat
Discussion: GOP 12 and The Lonely Conservative
Robert Weisman / Boston Globe:
Boston Scientific to lay off 1,200-plus
Discussion: Hot Air and Verum Serum
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / Telegraph:
Global slump warnings if US triggers ‘insane’ default
Pierre Thomas / ABCNEWS:
Fort Hood Suspect Yells Nidal Hasan's Name in Court
Sam Baker / Healthwatch:
Ross backs bill to repeal healthcare tax
Discussion: ThinkProgress
 Earlier Items: 
Adam Serwer:
The History Of The Racial Wealth Gap
David Lat / Above the Law:
Outstanding Bar Performance: Pregnant Woman Takes Bar Exam While in Labor, Delivers Baby Right After!
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
Even Good Government Has Unintended Consequences
Discussion: The Politico