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9:15 PM ET, May 20, 2010

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 Top Items: 
David Weigel / Right Now:
Rand Paul, telling the truth  —  If we use “gaffe” in its proper, Kinsleyan form, that's what U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul issued to NPR yesterday, and that's what he defended on Rachel Maddow's show last night.  He told the truth about his stance on the Civil Rights Act.
RELATED:
Ezra Klein:
Rand Paul may not be a racist, but he is an extremist  —  Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy  —  It's safe to say Rand Paul's first few days as the Republican nominee for the open Senate seat in Kentucky are not going well.
The Huffington Post:
Rand Paul On Civil Rights Controversy: I Shouldn't Have Talked To Rachel Maddow [UPDATED]  —  See new updates below.  —  The morning after he declined to endorse the totality of the Civil Rights Act in his much-discussed appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show, Dr. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) …
Lee Fang / Think Progress:
Exclusive: DeMint Says He Disagrees With Rand Paul On Civil Rights, Needs To ‘Talk To Rand About His Positions’  —  Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) endorsed anti-government extremist Rand Paul (R-KY) in the Kentucky US Senate primary, funneling money and resources for his successful campaign.
Mike Memoli / Real Clear Politics:
Paul: I Support the Civil Rights Act  —  Reacting to an avalanche of criticism over his perceived views of the Civil Rights Act, Rand Paul's campaign issues this statement today: … Sphere It!
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Paul blames ‘loony left’ for civil rights focus  —  Rand Paul lashed out at the “loony left” for pressing him on his view of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in an interview with Laura Ingraham this morning.  —  “I've never really favored any change in the Civil Rights Act,” he said.
Ezra Klein:
Area politician has some explaining to do  —  Rand Paul is predictably walking his statements on the Civil Rights Act back as fast as he can.  “Let me be clear,” he says in a statement released today.  “I support the Civil Rights Act because I overwhelmingly agree with the intent of the legislation …
Discussion: USA Today and The Daily Dish
David Weigel / Right Now:
Rand Paul in '02: I may not like it, but ‘a free society’ will allow ‘hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin’  —  Here's another wrinkle in the controversy over U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul's arguments, made Wednesday to NPR and Rachel Maddow …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
What do Rand Paul's patrons think of Civil Rights talk?
Howard Fineman / Newsweek Blogs:
Rand Paul and D. W. Griffith
Discussion: NPR Topics and NewsBusters.org
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Freedom as White Supremacy
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Rand Paul causes Civil Rights Act controversy with desegregation remarks
Discussion: The Politico
Oscar Avila / Chicago Tribune:
Immigration crackdown for Illinois  —  Feds to step up enforcement  —  In the midst of an outcry over illegal immigration and Arizona's new crackdown, a top Department of Homeland Security official visiting Chicago on Wednesday said his agency intended to step up enforcement in places such as Illinois.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Hot Air
RELATED:
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
GOP lawmaker blasts Mexican pres. comments as inappropriate  —  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) blasted Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Thursday, calling the visiting dignitary's remarks on Arizona's recently implemented immigration law “inappropriate.”  —  Earlier Thursday …
Discussion: The Note and Weasel Zippers
Rasmussen Reports:
71% in Arizona Now Support State's New Immigration Law  —  Arizona voters now support the state's new immigration law more than ever and are still more inclined to think the law will be good for the state's economy rather than bad.  A lot of voters in the state are thinking it's payback time …
Ed O'Keefe / Federal Eye:
Mother of student who questioned Michelle Obama will not face action  —  Your Browser DoesNot Support IFrames.  —  The mother of a Maryland second-grader who questioned First Lady Michelle Obama about the Obama administration's immigration policy will not be deported, federal officials said Thursday.
The Huffington Post:
Little Girl Who Challenged First Lady Is Right: Obama Is Deporting …
Discussion: Don Surber and Suburban Guerrilla
Fox News:
Calderon Criticism of Arizona Law Overlooks Mexico's Tough Immigration Policy
Political Punch:
Exclusive: President Obama To Replace Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair*  —  ABC News has learned that President Obama will replace the Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair (ret.) His resignation will come as soon as tomorrow, sources tell ABC News.
RELATED:
Eileen Sullivan / Associated Press:
National intelligence director resigning  —  WASHINGTON - National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said Thursday he is resigning, ending a tumultuous 16-month tenure marked by intelligence failures and turf wars among the country's spy agencies.  —  Blair, a retired Navy admiral …
Agence France Presse:
Obama's intelligence czar to resign: US official
Discussion: Townhall.com and The Jawa Report
reason-contest.s3.amazonaws.com:
And The Winner of The Everybody Draw Mohammad Contest is...  To remind readers of the stakes: In recent months, a Swedish cartoonist that sketched Mohammed as a “roundabout dog” as part of a planned street installation was assaulted during a lecture and, the following week, two extremists attempted to burn his house down.
RELATED:
Zombie / Pajamas Media:
The New Free Speech Movement
Victoria Gill / BBC:
Scientists make ‘artificial life’  —  The synthetic cell looks identical to the “wild type”  —  Scientists in the US have succeeded in developing the first synthetic living cell.  —  The researchers constructed a bacterium's “genetic software” and transplanted it into a host cell.
Discussion: Don Surber and Truthdig
RELATED:
JCVI:   First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell
Neil Vigdor / News-Times:
Critics weigh Blumenthal's words  —  “I wore the uniform in Vietnam and many came back to all kinds of disrespect.  Whatever we think of war, we owe the men and women of the armed forces our unconditional support.”  —  The occasion was the Stamford Veterans Day parade Nov. 9, 2008.
RELATED:
Ann Coulter / Human Events:
Republicans on Track to Snatch Defeat From Jaws of Victory
Discussion: Swampland
David M. Herszenhorn / New York Times:
Bill to Overhaul Financial Rules Clears Hurdle in Senate Vote  —  WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Thursday afternoon to close debate on a far-reaching financial regulatory bill, putting Congress on a glide path to approving a broad expansion of government oversight of the increasingly complex …
RELATED:
Brady Dennis / Washington Post:   Senate clears way to vote on financial reform
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Gibbs mum on Sestak job offer  —  Don't ask the White House if Obama aides tried to force Joe Sestak out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary by offering him a job.  They are keeping mum on the controversy.  —  Press Secretary Robert Gibbs deflected a barrage of questions about reports …
RELATED:
Sam Youngman / The Hill:   Gibbs mum about Sestak's job offer
 
 
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 More Items: 
TUAW Blogger / TUAW:
Found Footage: Apple pulls iSlam Muhammad app
Roxana Tiron / The Hill:
Gates: Obama would veto defense authorization bill over F-35 engine
Discussion: CNN
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar / Associated Press:
FACT CHECK: Tax cut math doesn't add up for some
Discussion: Moe Lane, Hot Air and Townhall.com
Online NewsHour:
BP Official: Leaking Gulf Oil Well to Be Shut ‘Hopefully Within a Week’
Cindy Wolff / Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Officers killed in West Memphis
Discussion: CNN and Gateway Pundit
 Earlier Items: 
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Paul jumps out to a 25-point lead in KY Senate race
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
A Tax Hike Conservatives Can Love?
Discussion: FrumForum
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
EPA demands less toxic dispersant
Jake Tapper / Political Punch:
Salahis Stopped by Secret Service Near White House Last Night
Jason Horowitz / Washington Post:
Democratic New York senator Chuck Schumer is poised to become majority leader
Discussion: Hot Air, Washington Times and The Note