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Morning EDition: July 18, 2011

TODAYthe Senate debates military and VA spending.NO presidential-level talks scheduled on the debt ceiling.


  • the Senate debates military and VA spending.
  • NO presidential-level talks scheduled on the debt ceiling.


  • Both parties try to work up support for the McConnell Plan.
  • Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) is working against the McConnell Plan.
  • Congress sets up votes on the $1.5-trillion-cuts deal.
  • House tomorrow brings to the floor a new debt-ceiling bill utterly devoid of compromise. (Note: It's hard for Villagers to deny that a party is devoid of compromise when they ran against the evils of compromise.)
  • Analysis: "Cut, Cap and Balance" Act makes the Ryan Plan look like the New Deal. Okay, I'm paraphrasing.
  • More on the substance and politics of Cut, Cap and Balance.
  • The political chances of passing Cut, Cap and Balance.
  • The bond market thinks DC's debates are all theater.
  • The GOP readies its makeup and costumes for this week's debut of We're Not Really Raising the Debt Ceiling.
  • House GOP freshmen slowly but surely join the cast.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) runs his lines, kicking off the long-awaited "The Debt Ceiling Doesn't Really Matter" scene.
  • And the not-ready-for-Broadway production of We're Not Cutting Entitlements is also in rehearsals.
  • The Balanced-Budget Players don't want anyone spoiling the ending in Act III of We're Not Cutting Entitlements.
  • Ronald Reagan tried to raise the debt ceiling almost 20 times.
  • Another Villager is shocked, shocked at the GOP's intransigence on taxes. Credibility reassessments for all these stunned pundits, please.
  • The banks own our government.
  • Moody's tells its employees in Congress to eliminate the debt ceiling altogether.
  • Goldman Sachs tells its employees in Congress to reach a new budget deal.
  • Remember Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) claim that Pres. Obama was using scare tactics? Well, Speaker Boehner (R-OH) agrees with Obama.
  • Most economists blame weak demand for poor job creation, rejecting GOP explanations.
  • Ad from Rove group targets House Dems on the economy.
  • America's economic woes are largely due to consumers' fears of economic woes.
  • Poll: Americans overwhelmingly disapprove of GOP handling of debt ceiling.
  • Poll chart: What Americans' support looks like for the president, and both parties in Congress.
  • Poll: Self-described centrists blame both parties. What do you expect from someone whose position is defined by however others define the spectrum?


  • Pres. Obama whiffs on nominating a regulator real bankers like, and Wall St. hates...and gains nothing in return.
  • Senate Republicans don't want anyone to protect you from the banks. They even signed a letter making it official.
  • Ezra Klein makes the argument for not nominating Elizabeth Warren.
  • Will Warren run for Senate instead?
  • High-frequency traders try to fend off attempts to keep them from breaking the market.


  • E.J. Dionne calls on Obama to take a stand for jobs spending.


  • Herman Cain claims communities can ban mosques.
  • VIDEO: Cain argues that Sharia laws make Islam exempt from First Amendment protections. Um, Ten Commandments on the courtroom lawn, anybody?


  • Gov. Mary Fallin (R-OK) responds to heat wave by asking people to pray to her God to stop it.


  • VIDEO: What it looks like to fight back against class warfare. DC Dems, are you watching?


  • Murdoch exec arrested.
  • The UK's major-fraud agency gets into the Murdoch scandal.
  • CNN ignores Piers Morgan's ties to Murdoch scandal.
  • Sen. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) calls for hearings, investigations of Murdoch scandal.
  • A short history of the organized-crime outfit known as the Murdoch Crime Family. Complete with Al Capone as official role model.
  • Senior London police officer resigns in Murdoch scandal.
  • WSJ editorial: Police failure to stop hacking is worse than the hacking itself.



  • Gay-rights groups hope to deny Bachmann the mantel of economic populism by hammering at her roots in social conservatism.


  • Perry says he's getting more comfortable that he's been "called" to run for president.


  • Pawlenty makes an all-or-nothing bid for Iowa. Pawlenty, we should note, is a former Minnesota governor now running for the GOP presidential nomination.



(What I'm reading: Greg Sargent's Plum Line, Think Progress, Matt Yglesias, Talking Points MemoTPMDC, Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, the Washington Monthly, CNN's PoliticalTicker, the National Journal, Ezra Klein, Politico's Playbook and Huddle, Dave Weigel, Wonkette, Firedoglake, the NYT Caucus, Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars. What my iPod has me listening to: Ways and Means by Mike Doughty.)

Follow Senior Producer Jonathan Larsen (@jtlarsen) on Twitter