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1:20 PM ET, April 9, 2013


 Top Items: 
David Corn / Mother Jones:
Secret Tape: McConnell and Aides Weighed Using Judd's Mental Health and Religion as Political Ammo  —  A recording of a private meeting between the Senate GOP leader and campaign aides reveals how far they were willing to go to defeat the actor/activist.  —  On February 2, Mitch McConnell …
FBI asked to probe secret recordings of McConnell meeting  —  (CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign is “working with the FBI” about how Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, obtained a recording of political aides meeting with McConnell and discussing opposition research …
Mother Jones:
Full Transcript and Audio of Mitch McConnell Campaign's Meeting on Ashley Judd  —  In a private meeting, the Senate GOP leader and campaign aides discussed using the actor/activist's mental health and religious views as political ammo.  —  On February 2, Sen. Mitch McConnell …
Kevin Robillard / Politico:   Republicans who want a gun vote
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
Mitch McConnell joins Senate gun filibuster
Nick Storm / cn|2 Politics:
Grimes tells Democrats she is unsure of her next step but takes subtle swipe at McConnell
Discussion: ABCNEWS, Post Politics and Ballot Box
Paul Krugman:
Did Thatcher Turn Britain Around?  —  There will presumably be a lot of commentary about Margaret Thatcher over the next few days, although probably nothing like the “Reagasm” of 2004.  And there will in particular be many assertions that Thatcher turned around a moribund British economy.
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Vigorous Virtues  —  The 1990 Tory coup against Margaret Thatcher …
Tom Clark / Guardian:
Opinion on Margaret Thatcher remains divided after her death, poll finds
PoliceOne's Gun Control Survey: 11 key lessons from officers' perspectives … In March, PoliceOne conducted the most comprehensive survey ever of American law enforcement officers' opinions on the topic gripping the nation's attention in recent weeks: gun control.
Rachael Bade / Reuters:
New gun control strategy: Tax 'em
Jennifer Jacobs / Des Moines Register:
Santorum doesn't think Supreme Court will rule in favor of same-sex marriage  —  He doesn't think it will rule in favor of same-sex marriage.  —  A “chastened” U.S. Supreme Court won't make the mistake of granting same-sex marriage rights, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum predicted in an interview Monday.
Matt Wilstein / Mediaite:
Uh-O: Jon Stewart Tears Into Obama's ‘Attractive’ AG Comment And Michelle's ‘Single Mom’ Gaffe  —  Jon Stewart kicked off The Daily Show Monday night by looking at some of the more troubling aspects of President Obama's difficult weekend.  From his unfortunate remarks about California Attorney …
David Adams / Reuters:
Exclusive: Beyonce, Jay-Z Cuba visit had U.S. Treasury Department OK - source  —  (Reuters) - A visit by American pop star Beyonce and rapper husband Jay-Z to Havana last week was a cultural trip that was fully licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department, a source familiar with the itinerary said on Monday.
Spencer Ackerman / Wired:
Watch Navy's New Laser Cannon, Mounted on a Ship, Kill a Drone  —  The video above is what the Navy's top officers view as the future of their dominance on the surface of the world's waterways.  A laser cannon, its magazine limited only by the amount of energy pumped into it and costing pocket change …
Nouri al-Maliki / Washington Post:
The U.S. has a foreign-policy partner in Iraq  —  Today, on the 10th anniversary of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the debate about whether it was worth it to topple the regime and the direction of the U.S.-Iraqi relationship is influenced by a pessimistic view that the United States has lost Iraq.
Cindy Adams / New York Post:
Obama back in NYC for cash  —  He won a second term, but Barack Obama isn't done fund-raising.  The president will appear at a cozy reception for fewer than 65 guests with tickets priced at $32,400 per couple at the Manhattan home of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his designer wife Georgina Chapman …
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed:
Martin O'Malley Calling Himself A “Performance-Driven Progressive” Now  —  A new buzzword.  After passing bills for gun control, a gas tax, and a death penalty repeal, O'Malley says he's about results, not liberalism.  —  O'Malley, center, speaks at a news conference on March 15 in Annapolis …
Benny Johnson / BuzzFeed:
17 Things That Will Make You Feel Old If You're A Republican  —  Grand OLD Party.  —  The Ten year anniversary of this is today.  —  April 9, 2003.  —  And the 10 year anniversary of this is next month.  —  May 1, 2003.  —  Image by Larry Downing / Reuters  —  Ann Coulter is 51 years old.
Caroline May / The Daily Caller:
Obama declares Tuesday ‘National Equal Pay Day,’ despite paying female staffers less than male counterparts  —  President Barack Obama officially declared Tuesday “National Equal Pay Day,” symbolically marking how much extra work women supposedly must perform to reach pay parity with men.
Obama's Grand Bargain Could Destroy His Political Coalition  —  There are two keys to achieving real political dominance for the Obama coalition.  First, the Obama coalition must be mobilized beyond Presidential elections.  That means between elections in the struggle to achieve legislative victories …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
American Conservative Union Fighting Spending Cuts  —  As one of the country's largest and oldest conservative advocacy groups, the American Conservative Union has long fought to rein in federal spending and limit the size of government.  —  But behind the scenes, the group has formed …
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Elahe Izadi /
Rand Paul's Play to Win Over Black Voters at Howard University  —  How the libertarian-minded senator is received will indicate how well GOP is making inroads with minorities.  —  The GOP minority outreach efforts continue: This time, it's Sen. Rand Paul taking the message to a historically black university.
Discussion: American Spectator and FishbowlDC
J.D. Tuccille / Hit & Run:
Man Faces Charges After Defending Himself from a Bear in His Own Yard  —  Richard Ahlstrand, of Auburn, Massachusetts, faces criminal charges after encountering a bear in his back yard and shooting the damned thing to avoid being mauled or eaten.  Specifically, as noted at Reason 24/7 …
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Michael Bloomberg group's gun-control scorecard will give lawmakers letter grades  —  New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, one of the nation's most committed and deep-pocketed gun-control proponents, is ratcheting up pressure on lawmakers by launching a new system to grade them based on their votes and statements on gun issues.
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 More Items: 
Toddstarnes / Fox News:
School: Americans Don't Have Right to Bear Arms
Discussion: BizPac Review and Weasel Zippers
Matt Duss / ThinkProgress:
Washington Post Editors Get Mixed Up On Iran's Nuclear Program
Discussion: Washington Post
Bruce Bartlett / Economix:
America's Most Profitable Export Is Cash
Discussion: Wonkblog
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Rappers, Stars Ask Obama to Ease Drug Policy, Reform Prisons
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Dara Kam / Palm Beach Post:
Bill banning Shariah law in Florida family cases passes Senate panel
Jamelle Bouie / American Prospect:
Did Obama Lose Votes Because of His Race?
Wall Street Journal:
Fisker Edges Closer to Chapter 11
Daily Mail:
VIDEO Mobs clash with police during ‘celebrations’ in Bristol
Discussion: Spectator and Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Vice President as Underdog? That Could Be Biden in 2016
Discussion: Reuters, Weasel Zippers and The Caucus
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Liberals warn Democrats on Obama budget
Discussion: The Hill and
Dylan Matthews / Wonkblog:
Why do people hate deficits?
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
A Futile Protest  —  Femen is a feminist group that began …
Discussion: PhotoBlog