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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.

D.C.'s Leading Export: Partisan War
Molly Ball, Politico | D.C.'s Leading Export: Partisan War | March 31, 2011

Camped-out protesters, an incendiary judicial battle, wall-to-wall attack ads: the scorched-earth politics that resulted from Gov. Scott Walker’s recent effort to limit collective bargaining rights have made it seem as if Washington had come to Wisconsin.It’s not an isolated incident. In capital after state capital, Washington’s toxic culture is seeping in, suffocating local tradition and replacing it with the Beltway’s unique contribution to American politics—the practice of permanent, total war...

 

Musa Kusa Defects: How He Used Bush, Blair and Berlusconi
Christopher Dickey, The Daily Beast | Musa Kusa Defects: How He Used Bush, Blair and Berlusconi | March 31, 2011

Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa arrived in London Wednesday night, the most senior member of Gaddafi's government to defect, reportedly because of Gaddafi's attacks on civilians. Now, British officials are urging other top-level Gaddafi ministers to follow his lead. Christopher Dickey looks at how Kusa used George W. Bush, Tony Blai and Silvio Berlusconi to give the Gaddafi regime an image makeover...

Microsoft's Odd Couple
Paul Allen, in Vanity Fair | Microsoft's Odd Couple | March 30, 2011

Adapted from the forthcoming memoir Idea Man, by Paul Allen....

Libyan Rebels Retreat Further
C.J. Chivers and David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times | Libyan Rebels Retreat Further | March 30, 2011

The momentum of ground combat appeared to tilt in favor of forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi on Wednesday, as rebels seeking to oust him embarked on a large-scale withdrawal from the coastal oil town of Brega — the latest in a string of apparent setbacks...

Living Legend Tries to Make a Living
Ben Sisario, The New York Times | Clyde Stubblefield, Living Legend | March 30, 2011

Aside from musicians, record collectors and D.J.’s, the name Clyde Stubblefield does not make many ears perk up. But no matter who you are, you probably know his drumming...

Carnage 'Beyond Imagination' In Misrata, Says Witness

Libyan forces pounded parts of Misrata on Tuesday, with tanks firing mortar shells and troops using heavy artillery in an effort to retake control of the city, a witness told CNN. Coalition planes circled overhead but did not strike the tanks, he said. As representatives of numerous countries met in London to decide the next steps in the Libya effort, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi showed no sign of letting up his effort to crush the rebellion that seeks an end to his nearly 42 years in power...

Government Shutdown Grows Likelier
Carol E. Lee and Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal | Government Shutdown Grows Likelier | March 29, 2011

Talks between congressional leaders and the White House on a deal to fund the government for the rest of the year appear to have slowed, with Democrats and Republicans loudly bickering over the fate of their negotiations. Failure to reach a deal by April 8, a milestone that appears increasingly difficult to achieve, would result in a government shutdown. In the absence of any visible signs of progress on negotiations, Democrats and Republicans on Monday ratcheted up criticism of each other...

Kan: Japan On "Maximum Alert" Over Nuke Crisis
Yuri Kageyama and Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | Kan: Japan On "Maximum Alert' Over Nuke Crisis | March 29, 2011

Japan's prime minister insisted Tuesday that the country was on "maximum alert" to bring its nuclear crisis under control, but the spread of radiation raised concerns about the ability of experts to stabilize the crippled reactor complex. Prime Minister Naoto Kan told parliament that Japan was grappling with its worst problems since World War II...

Libya Crisis: Live Updates
The Guardian, UK | Libya Crisis: Live Updates | March 29, 2011

Page refreshes every minute...

Japan Fears Nuclear Reactor Is Leaking Contaminated Water
Hiroko Tabuchi and Ken Belson, The New York Times | Japan Fears Nuclear Reactor Is Leaking Contaminated Water | March 28, 2011

Highly contaminated water is escaping a damaged reactor at the crippled nuclear power plant in Japan and could soon leak into the ocean, the country’s nuclear regulator warned on Monday. The discovery raises the danger of further radiation leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and is a further setback to efforts to contain the nuclear crisis as workers find themselves in increasingly hazardous conditions...