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12:15 PM ET, August 21, 2011


 Top Items: 
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Of Dystopias and Alphas  —  President Obama was on the way to Alpha when a plea came for him to be, well, more alpha.  —  LuAnn Lavine, a real estate agent from Geneseo, a rural town just up the road from Alpha, Ill., the last stop on the president's Midwestern bus tour, told The Times's Jeff Zeleny …
New York Times:
Surely They Can Read a Spreadsheet  —  When the federal government was on the brink of default and the economy hung in the balance, the nation's business leaders had a chance to step forward and push for a long-term solution.  They could have supported a grand bargain that cut spending and raised tax revenue.
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Sixty-five arrested outside White House in oil pipeline protest  —  Police arrested 65 environmentalists outside the White House Saturday as they staged a demonstration urging President Obama to block a proposed pipeline that would bring oil from Canada's oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries.
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Carol E. Lee / Washington Wire:   Obama's Beach Reading
New York Times:
Perry Mines Texas System to Raise Cash  —  Two years ago, John McHale, an entrepreneur from Austin, Tex., who has given millions of dollars to Democratic candidates and causes, did something very unusual for him: he wrote a $50,000 check to a Republican candidate, Rick Perry, then seeking a third full term as governor of Texas.
Paul West / Los Angeles Times:
Rick Perry and Mitt Romney showcase a Republican divide
Discussion: Sky Dancing
Michael A. Fletcher / Washington Post:
Perry criticizes government while Texas job growth benefits from it
Bob Cusack / Ballot Box:
Lawmaker cites media ‘arrogance’ for lack of coverage of Ron Paul campaign
Shelby Grad / L.A. NOW:
Rep. Maxine Waters: ‘The tea party can go straight to hell’  —  Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) came out swinging against Republicans in Congress on Saturday as she addressed the unemployed during a forum in Inglewood.  —  The event occurred a day after new statistics were released showing …
John Kass / Chicago Tribune:
Obama dangerously close to a ‘Killer Rabbit’ moment  —  President heads for Martha's Vineyard vacation as unemployment lines grow  —  Is President Barack Obama on the verge of being attacked by a bunny wabbit?  —  Absolutely.  —  All the signs suggest that Obama is in immediate danger of a rabbit attack.
Romney to quadruple La Jolla home size  —  The GOP contender plans local fundraisers for president this weekend  —  View from the beach of the 3,009-square-foot Romney home in La Jolla , which the GOP contender plans to demolish and replace with an 11,062-square-foot home.  — Meg Roussos
Sources: Pataki Considers 2012 Run For President … Sources tell NY1 former Governor George Pataki is strongly considering entering the crowded race for the Republican presidential nomination.  —  Sources say Pataki, who left office in 2007, could make an announcement as early as next week.
Lee Fang / ThinkProgress:
Koch Responds To Buffet: ‘My Business And Non-Profit Investments Are Much More Beneficial To Society’  —  America's current tax system forces people making $50,000 a year to pay a higher rate than hedge fund managers making $2.4 million an hour.  Warren Buffett penned an op-ed last week declaring …
Peter Walker / Guardian:
Libya, Syria and Middle East unrest - live updates  —  • Tripoli calm as Gaddafi says ‘rats’ have been repelled  —  • Rebels claim it is ‘zero hour’ for Gaddafi as they tighten noose  —  • Syria's Assad to respond to calls for his removal in TV interview
Explosions and gunfire rock besieged Tripoli
On ‘This Week’: Jon Huntsman and David Axelrod  —  He served in the Obama administration but now he wants to bring it to an end.  Sunday, in a “This Week” exclusive, Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman talks with ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper about his plan to win his party's nomination.
Perry's global warming position hurts GOP, Huntsman says
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Cummings: Black community wants Obama to ‘fight harder’  —  Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Sunday that African-Americans want President Obama to “fight harder” to create jobs in the struggling U.S. economy.  —  Speaking on CNN's State of the Union, Cummings said the black community …
Discussion: CNN
Washington Post:
Smacked by big market swings, investors should alter their outlook  —  With these whopping 4 percent swings — up 500 points, down 500 points, up another 500 points, down another 500 points — traders have whiplash.  We saw another huge move down Thursday, when the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P all lost big …
Discussion: The Big Picture
Tyler Durden /
Intrade Now Pricing Greater Than 50% Chance Obama Will Not Be Reelected; And Observations On The Political Costs Of War  —  It appears that in the aftermath of the recent update of Obama's job approval polls which as we reported just hit an all time low, the market has formally priced …
Discussion: Power Line and Instapundit
Hossein Jaseb / Reuters:
Iran jails U.S. “hikers” as spies for 8 years  —  (Reuters) - Two Americans held in Iran for more than two years have been convicted as spies and sentenced to eight years' jail, Iranian TV reported on Saturday, a verdict that will further strain already very poor relations with Washington.
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 More Items:
No. 1 Challenge America Faces is a Jobs Crisis
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Robin McKie / Guardian:
Chronic fatigue syndrome researchers face death threats from militants
Timothy Egan / Opinionator:
Nature Without the Nanny State
Discussion: The Mahablog
Jared Bernstein / On the Economy:
Taxing Capital Gains at Ordinary Rates: Evidence Says Do It...So Does Buffet
 Earlier Items: 
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
If You Read One ‘Serious’ Newspaper Article This Weekend ...
Discussion: The Impolitic and Firedoglake