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Daily Briefing

Deep buzz for the content-deprived

Every weekday, while you get showered and dressed, we pluck these dewy- fresh, breaking stories from the info-clogged byways of the datasphere. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and stoke up on everything you need to know, or at least enough to fake it.

Obama's Tax Gauntlet
Zachary Karabell, The Daily Beast | Obama's Tax Gauntlet | September 19, 2011

The Republicans are crying "class warfare," but the president is pledging to fight for Warren Buffett's proposal that millionaires should pay higher taxes -- and he just might win...

Ron Paul the Unlikely Star of State GOP Convention
Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle | Paul the Unlikely Star of State GOP Convention | September 18, 2011

At California's usually staid GOP state convention, hundreds of unlikely Republican activists - many sporting porkpie hats, dreadlocks and tie-dyed shirts - lined up Saturday to cast ballots in the party straw poll, then jammed meeting rooms and hallways to ecstatically greet their favorite candidate. "President Paul! President Paul!" they chanted...

In South China Sea, a Dispute Over Energy
Andrew Higgins, The Washington Post | In South China Sea, A Dispute Over Energy | September 18, 2011

When China’s largest offshore petroleum producer launched a $1 billion oil rig this summer from Shanghai, Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban, the commander of Philippine military forces 1,500 miles away in the South China Sea, began preparing for trouble.

The drilling platform, said China, would soon be heading in the general’s direction — southward into waters rich in oil and natural gas, and also in volatile fuel for potential conflict...

Gaddafi Loyalists Stage Desperate Defence in Stronghold of Sirte
Chris Stephen, The Guardian | Gaddafi Loyalists Stage Desperate Defence in Stronghold of Sirte | September 18, 2011

The three rockets came out of a blue sky with a sound something between a howl and a hiss, exploding with harsh, dry detonations on the far side of the hill from the rebel field hospital outside Sirte...

Rick Perry Is George W. Bush 2.0
Meghan McCain, The Daily Beast | Rick Perry Is George W. Bush 2.0 | September 17, 2011

When the initial buzz about Rick Perry started getting louder and louder this summer, I asked a friend of mine, who is a longtime veteran of Republican politics, what I should expect from the Texas governor who was trying to become our party's next nominee for president. The response was quick and to the point: “Rick Perry is George Bush on crack, just wait.” So far, I don't necessarily agree that Rick Perry is George Bush on crack, but he could definitely be described as George Bush 2.0...

Libya Counts More Martyrs Than Bodies
Rod Nordland, The New York Times | Libya Counts More Martyrs Than Bodies | September 17, 2011

Officially, according to Libya’s new leaders, their martyrs in the struggle against the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi should number 30,000 to 50,000, not even counting their enemies who have fallen. Yet in the country’s morgues, the war dead registered from both sides in each area so far are mostly in the hundreds, not the thousands...

Sarah Palin is Defended by 'Lamestream Media'
Molly Ball, Politico | Sarah Palin is Defended by 'Lamestream Media' | September 16, 2011

They kicked her around, victimized her, tried to destroy her. But all of a sudden, the lamestream media is coming to Sarah Palin’s defense...

Unfurling a Life of Creative Exuberance
Holland Cotter, The New York Times | Unfurling a Life of Creative Exuberance | September 16, 2011

The Museum of Modern Art has never known quite what to do with Willem de Kooning. You can package Jackson Pollock as drips and Barnett Newman as zips, but de Kooning, who painted both opulent abstractions and big, blowsy dames, resists easy branding. So, apart from a show of late work in 1997, the museum has neglected him, until now...

Solyndra is the Next 'Climatgate'
David Roberts, Grist | Solyndra is the Next 'Climategate' | September 16, 2011

What actually happened, how it could have been prevented, who's responsible -- these things are orthogonal to the battle taking place in political circles. That battle has nothing to do with the facts....

Al Qaeda Chief of Operations in Pakistan Killed
Jake Tapper and Pierre Thomas, ABC News | Al Qaeda Chief of Operations in Pakistan Killed | September 15, 2011

Al Qaeda's chief of operations in Pakistan was killed earlier this week, senior administration officials said today.

Abu Hafs al-Shahri, killed in Pakistan's Waziristan region, "played a key operational and administrative role for the group," a senior official told ABC News...