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2:25 PM ET, September 12, 2011


 Top Items: 
Rick Perry / USA Today:
I am going to be honest with the American people  —  The first step to fixing a problem is honestly admitting there is a problem.  America's goal must be to fix Social Security by making it more financially sound and sustainable for the long term.  But Americans deserve a frank and honest discussion …
New CNN Poll: Perry on top when it comes to electability  —  Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Hours before the start of the first-ever CNN/Tea Party Republican debate, a new national survey indicates that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is maintaining his lead in the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
Stanley Kurtz / National Review:
Perry and the Ponzis  —  Is Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry a courageous and welcome truth teller for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme, or is he being needlessly provocative instead?  Or maybe you think Perry's Ponzi comparison is just plain wrong.
Discussion: RedState
Byron York / Campaign 2012:
Despite Social Security, older voters like Perry  —  Texas Gov. Rick Perry's description of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” is drawing lots of criticism from rival candidates Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Newt Gingrich.  But so far at least, it's not drawing much criticism from the voters most affected by the issue.
A.Killough / CNN:   Biden discounts Perry's ‘Ponzi scheme’ remark on Social Security
Chris Moody / Yahoo! News:
Bachmann called Social Security ‘a tremendous fraud’ in 2010
Danny Yadron / Washington Wire:
Topic ‘A’ for GOP Debate Tonight: Social Security
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Turner poised for big upset  —  Republican Bob Turner is poised to pull a huge upset in the race to replace Anthony Weiner as the Congressman from New York's 9th Congressional District.  He leads Democrat David Weprin 47-41 with Socialist Workers candidate Christopher Hoeppner at 4% and 7% of voters remaining undecided.
Tim Pawlenty / National Review:
My Endorsement: Mitt Romney for President  —  Great crises often produce great leaders.  Unfortunately, sometimes the timing isn't right, and neither is the leader.  —  Barack Obama came into office in the midst of a great economic crisis.  Although hopes were high, he did not rise to the occasion.
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
Pawlenty endorses Romney  —  Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty endorsed Mitt Romney for president Monday, praising his onetime rival for his “leadership ability” and the “depth and scope of [his] private-sector experience.”  —  “I believe he's going to be our party's nominee,” Pawlenty said on …
Leo Damrosch / The New Republic:   What's with Romney's Awkward Jokes? Harvard's ‘Wit and Humor’ Professor Explains
The Politico:
GOP grumbles about jobs plan  —  House Republicans may pass bits and pieces of President Barack Obama's jobs plan, but behind the scenes, some Republicans are becoming worried about giving Obama any victories — even on issues the GOP has supported in the past.
Rose Garden / The White House:
Remarks by the President on the American Jobs Act  —  *Please see below for a correction (marked with an asterisk) to a typo in the transcript.  —  THE PRESIDENT: Please, everybody, have a seat, on this beautiful morning.  It's wonderful to see all of you here.
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
Why Congress Won't Pass A Jobs Bill: ‘Obama Is On The Ropes; Why Do We Appear Ready To Hand Him A Win?’
Discussion: The Politico
Washington Examiner:
Barone: Obama buys the drinks other guys pay for
The Hill:
Alternative job-creation plan is tough sell for House Republican leadership
Discussion: The Maddow Blog
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Winning ugly  —  By all appearances, Republicans are poised to win tomorrow's special election in New York's 9th, a seat left vacant by Anthony Weiner's resignation.  It's generally a Democratic stronghold, making the likely GOP victory quite surprising.  —  There are plenty of factors at play …
Jessica Taylor /   Democrats Fear New York, Nevada Losses
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Republican's lead in N.Y. election for Weiner's seat shows Democrats' vulnerability
Paul Krugman:
Shocking Barro  —  People have been asking for my reaction to Robert Barro's op-ed, so I finally went and read it.  And I have to say that I'm shocked by the laziness - he's not even trying to present a coherent argument.  —  I mean, here's the structure of what he says:
Matthew Boyle / The Daily Caller:
EPA regulation forces closure of Texas energy facilities, eliminates 500 jobs  —  Texas energy company Luminant announced on Monday new burdensome Environmental Protection Agency regulations are forcing it to close several facilities, which will result in about 500 job losses.
Turki Al-Faisal / New York Times:
Veto a State, Lose an Ally  —  The United States must support the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations this month or risk losing the little credibility it has in the Arab world.  If it does not, American influence will decline further, Israeli security will be undermined …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
An Impeccable Disaster  —  On Thursday Jean-Claude Trichet, the president of the European Central Bank or E.C.B. — Europe's equivalent to Ben Bernanke — lost his sang-froid.  In response to a question about whether the E.C.B. is becoming a “bad bank” thanks to its purchases of troubled nations' debt …
Steven Mufson / Washington Post:
Capital gains tax rates benefiting wealthy feed growing gap between rich and poor  —  The K Street office of Mark Bloomfield, president of the American Council for Capital Formation, is full of knickknacks collected in three decades of lobbying for cutting the capital gains tax.
Walker protester honks off troopers  —  Some foes of Gov. Scott Walker march at the Capitol and carry protest signs.  Others join local demonstrations.  Still others send letters to the governor's office.  —  Then there's this guy.  —  Between 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. each day …
Discussion: Althouse and Verum Serum
Matthew Yglesias / ThinkProgress:
Foreign Views Of U.S. Conduct In Afghanistan  —  I've been struck over the past three or four years by how many different Chinese people have expressed to me the view that the purpose of U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan is to establish a long-term presence there in order to encircle the PRC.
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
A.Killough / CNN:
Romney endorses Hatch as both are pushed from right  —  Washington (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced today that he supports Sen. Orrin Hatch's, R-Utah, 2012 reelection bid.  The endorsement, however, has Romney wading into some already unfriendly waters.
Discussion: Ballot Box
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
For Perry, being governor has perks  —  Texas Gov. Rick Perry's humble origins and down home straight talk are central to his political identity, but for years Perry has enjoyed lavish perks and travel — mostly funded by a group of deep-pocketed supporters — that are allowed under his state's lax ethics and campaign rules.
Discussion: Iowa Caucuses and Balloon Juice
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 More Items: 
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The President's Do-Over  —  A week after President Obama took …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Betsy's Page
Rob Schofield / The Progressive Pulse:
NAACP issues strong condemnation of anti-LGBT marriage amendment
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Oshea / Public Notice:
MEMO: National poll on government regulations
Jonathan Weisman / Wall Street Journal:
In Texas, a Weak Office Becomes Stronger
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Althouse
New York Times:
Stock Market's Sharp Swings Grow More Frequent
Leon Wieseltier / The New Republic:
What We Affirm  —  Leon Wieseltier's Remarks at '9/11 …
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Timothy P. Carney / Campaign 2012:
Green subsidies: A breeding ground for corruption
Alex Tabarrok / Marginal Revolution:
Cities as hotels  —  Earlier this year I posted about India's private city, Gurgaon.
 Earlier Items: 
Bob Woodward / Washington Post:
In Cheney's memoir, it's clear Iraq's lessons didn't sink in
Discussion: The Politico and Daily Kos
Janny Scott / New York Times:
In Tapes, Candid Talk by Young Kennedy Widow