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4:55 PM ET, August 20, 2012

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 Top Items: 
Robert Costa / National Review:
Romney: Akin's ‘Inexcusable’ Comment  —  In a phone interview this morning, Mitt Romney told National Review Online that Representative Todd Akin's recent comment on rape is “inexcusable.”  —  “Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said.
RELATED:
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Crossroads pulls out of Missouri after Akin comments  —  The conservative outside-spending powerhouse Crossroads GPS is pulling its ads from the Missouri Senate race, three sources confirmed to POLITICO.  —  The group had originally booked a new round of ads to start Wednesday but began canceling them earlier today.
National Review:
Step Aside, Todd Akin  —  Representative Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senator from Missouri, became nationally notorious yesterday for saying something stupid.  In the course of explaining why he believes abortion should be illegal even when pregnancies result from rape …
Michelle Malkin:
The Todd Akin mess  —  Ugh.  —  Over the weekend, GOP Rep. Todd Akin — the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Missouri — said some really, really stupid things.  (Twitchy has comprehensive coverage.  Click here and keep scrolling.)  —  There's no sugar-coating or whitewashing this.
Noah Bierman / Boston Globe:
Scott Brown calls on Akin to drop out of Missouri Senate race  —  In a rare intra-party rebuke, Senator Scott Brown called on Missouri Representative Todd Akin this morning to withdraw from the US Senate race in his state, after Akin made controversial remarks on rape.
David Taintor / Talking Points Memo:
Reports: Akin Advisers Make Preparations For Withdrawal Tomorrow  —  Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's advisers are making preparations to withdraw from the race Tuesday, GOP operative Richard Grenell and RedState.com editor Erick Erickson report.
Garance Franke-Ruta / The Atlantic Online:
A Canard That Will Not Die: ‘Legitimate Rape’ Doesn't Cause Pregnancy
Tony Perkins / CNN:
Leading social conservatives rally to Akin's defense
Discussion: Politico and Daily Kos
Sarah Kliff / Associated Press:
Rep. Todd Akin is wrong about rape and pregnancy, but he's not alone
Devin Dwyer / ABCNEWS:
Democrats Tie Ryan, Romney to Akin as ‘Dangerous’ for Women
Discussion: GOP 12 and ABCNEWS
BuzzFeed:   Republican Source: Akin Moving To Withdraw
Byron Tau / Politico:
Obama: ‘Rape is rape’
Evan McMorris-Santoro / Talking Points Memo:
Todd Akin: 'I've Not Yet Begun To Fight'
Discussion: Hot Air, Stinque and Hotline On Call
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
How Todd Akin And Paul Ryan Partnered To Redefine Rape
BuzzFeed:
Family Research Council Backs Akin
Scott Lemieux / Lawyers, Guns & Money:
Well, They *Should* Be Defending Akin
Dana Loesch / BREITBART.COM:
AKIN ON ‘LEGITIMATE RAPE’: “I MISSPOKE”
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
As a Harvard Alum, I Apologize  —  Yes, I know, you could imagine many sentences that would follow that headline.  But here is what I have in mind right now: A tenured professor of history at my undergraduate alma mater has written a cover story for Daily Beast/Newsweek that is so careless …
RELATED:
Niall Ferguson / The Daily Beast:
Newsweek Cover Rebuttal: Paul Krugman Is Wrong  —  The liberal New York Times blogger objected to ‘multiple errors and misrepresentations’ in this week's Newsweek cover story on Obama's record in office.  Author Niall Ferguson rebuts the charges.  —  You know you have hit the target …
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Niall Ferguson's ridiculous defense  —  Niall Ferguson's selective edit of the CBO report on Obama's Affordable Care Act.  —  Niall Ferguson, author of this week's Newsweek cover story calling for Obama's ousting, has returned fire on Paul Krugman — albeit in a ridiculous, misleading …
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Paul Krugman:
Unethical Commentary, Newsweek Edition  —  There are multiple errors and misrepresentations in Niall Ferguson's cover story in Newsweek — I guess they don't do fact-checking — but this is the one that jumped out at me.  Ferguson says: … Readers are no doubt meant to interpret this as saying …
J. Bradford DeLong / Brad DeLong:
More Lies from Niall Ferguson: Fire-His-Ass-Now Department  —  Niall Ferguson writes: … The “But” at the start of the second sentence in the quote tells readers two things: (i) that Obama has violated his pledge—that he promised that the ACA would not increase the deficit, but that it did …
Matthew O'Brien / The Atlantic Online:   A Full Fact-Check of Niall Ferguson's Very Bad Argument Against Obama
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
POLITICO e-book: Obama campaign roiled by conflict  —  President Barack Obama's campaign team, celebrated four years ago for its exceptional cohesion and eyes-on-the-prize strategic focus, has been shadowed this time by a succession of political disagreements and personal rivalries that haunted the effort at the outset.
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Condoleezza Rice among the first female members at Augusta National Golf Club  —  The site of the Masters tournament has granted entry to female members for the first time in its 80-year history.  —  Augusta National Golf Club has admitted female members for the first time in its history …
RELATED:
TMZ.com:
Phyllis Diller Dead — Legendary Comic Dies at 95  —  Dead at 95  —  EXCLUSIVE DETAILS  —  Comedian Phyllis Diller — who paved the way for today's female comics — died this morning, TMZ has learned.  —  Sources close to Diller tell us the comedian died in her sleep at her L.A. home, surrounded by family.
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
Ryan Dips Into Foreign Policy  —  GOFFSTOWN, N.H. — Since Representative Paul D. Ryan was named the vice-presidential nominee, his schedule has included briefings on foreign policy with a top aide to Mitt Romney, with the Republican Party sensitive to the charge that neither man on the ticket has extensive national security experience.
Discussion: Washington Post
RELATED:
Byron Tau / Politico:
Obama campaign wants to see Romney's ‘secret plan’ on Afghanistan
Discussion: CNN and GOP 12
Mackenzie Weinger / Reuters:
Study: Red states more charitable  —  Red states give more money to charity than blue states, according to a new study on Monday.  —  The eight states with residents who gave the highest share of their income to charity supported Sen. John McCain in 2008, while the seven states …
RELATED:
The Chronicle of Philanthropy:   America's Generosity Divide
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
An Unserious Man  —  Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate led to a wave of pundit accolades.  Now, declared writer after writer, we're going to have a real debate about the nation's fiscal future.  This was predictable: never mind the Tea Party, Mr. Ryan's true constituency …
Politico:
Exclusive: GOP scolded after drinking, nudity in Israel  —  The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff - and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Obama engages White House press corps for the first time in weeks
Alexis Levinson / The Daily Caller:
Shock poll: Obama could lose Illinois
Discussion: Hot Air and Clayton Cramer's Blog
Eugene Volokh / The Volokh Conspiracy:
$60,000 Verdict for Blogging the Truth About A Person Intending to Get Him Fired — Reversed
Discussion: The Other McCain
Henry I. Miller / Forbes:
Joe Biden's Gaffes Call For A Thorough Neurological Examination
Discussion: Hot Air and The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
Campbell Brown / Slate:
Confessions of a Romney Wife
Los Angeles Times:
‘Top Gun’ director Tony Scott jumps to his death from L.A. bridge
Discussion: L.A. NOW and Deadline.com
Manu Raju / Politico:
Donald Trump gets ‘surprise’ convention role
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Hot Air
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Frances Perraudin / Guardian:
Vine shifts from comedy clips to a valid journalistic tool

Peter Kafka / Re/code:
ESPN Gets Ready to Launch Its First Web Video Subscription Service — For Cricket's World Cup

David Carr / New York Times:
‘Serial,’ Podcasting's First Breakout Hit, Sets Stage for More

 
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