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1:30 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.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Rand Paul won't answer Civil Rights Act question  —  Moving from the Republican Primary to the general election means, for Rand Paul, addressing a broader set of issues than the anti-tax, anti-spending focus of his campaign.  —  And while he's answered this question before …
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.
Ian M. / Think Progress:
Rand Paul: ‘The Hard Part Of Believing In Freedom’ Is Opposing Ban On Whites-Only Lunch Counters  —  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is one of the greatest accomplishments of the 20th century, banning whites-only lunch counters and similar discrimination in hiring, promotions, hotels and restaurants.
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
In Defense Of Rand Paul (Kinda)  —  Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy  —  It's the top story on Memeorandum this morning.  TNC watches the above Maddow interview: … Think Progress highlights an interview Paul did with the Louisville Courier-Journal:
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.) …
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!
Discussion: MyDD, TPMDC, Daily Kos and FrumForum
Jonathan Martin / The Politico:
Paul: Civil rights ‘settled’ law  —  Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul acknowledged Thursday that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was necessary to foster racial integration, a day after stumbling into a political mess by dodging questions about whether he would have voted for the law.
Myglesias / Matthew Yglesias:
Freedom as White Supremacy  —  It seems that yesterday US Senate candidate Rand Paul let the cat out of the bag and admitted that under his brand of libertarian conservatism he can't support the 1964 Civil Rights Act or other non-discrimination legislation as applied to private businesses.
Joan Walsh / Salon:
Rachel Maddow demolishes Rand Paul
CNN:
TRENDING: Paul takes heat for Civil Rights comments
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog and The Politico
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
Paul's Views on Civil Rights Cause a Stir
Discussion: TPMDC
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
The Proud Ignorance of Rand Paul
Clifton B / Another Black Conservative:
Rand Paul and the Civil Rights Act question
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
NPR to Rand Paul: Would you have voted for the Civil Rights Act?
Discussion: The FOX Nation and The Hill
David S. Broder / Washington Post:
A big hit against big government  —  As we approached the Tuesday night with the year's most significant senatorial primaries so far, I turned for guidance to a man who had already been through the fires that define the incendiary politics of 2010.  —  Ten days after he was barred from the ballot …
RELATED:
CNN:
Bill Clinton to head back on the campaign trail
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blog
Neil Vigdor / Stamford Advocate:
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 Days parade: Nov. 9, 2008.
RELATED:
Justin Gillis / New York Times:
Scientists Fault Lack of Studies Over Gulf Oil Spill  —  Tensions between the Obama administration and the scientific community over the gulf oil spill are escalating, with prominent oceanographers accusing the government of failing to conduct an adequate scientific analysis of the damage …
RELATED:
Alan Colmes' Liberaland:   BP Oil Threatens To Arrest Reporters Covering Oil Spill
Zombie / Pajamas Media:
The New Free Speech Movement  —  Today is Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, a completely made-up satirical “holiday” dedicated to the concept of drawing Mohammed cartoons, as a way of making a statement about freedom of speech.  —  Not everyone agrees with this idea, however.
RELATED:
Michelle Malkin:
Dhimmitude and Draw Mohammed Day
Jake Tapper / Political Punch:
Salahis Stopped by Secret Service Near White House Last Night  —  The Salahis were stopped by the U.S. Secret Service last night at around 8 p.m. ET during the State Dinner for Mexican President Felipe Calderon as their stretch limousine ran a red light and seemed to be trying to turn …
Rasmussen Reports:
Election 2010: South Carolina Republican Primary for Governor  —  South Carolina GOP Primary for Governor: Haley Jumps Ahead  —  With South Carolina's Republican Primary for Governor less than three weeks away, State Representative Nikki Haley, coming off a fresh endorsement by Sarah Palin, now leads the GOP pack.
PPIC:
Stunning Drop in Whitman's Support Transforms GOP Race for Governor  —  Fiorina, Campbell in Dead Heat While DeVore's Support Doubles  —  Support for Meg Whitman has plummeted 23 points since March, and she is now in a far closer race with Steve Poizner to become the Republican nominee for governor.
RELATED:
The Hill:
Bring it on: Pelosi predicts ‘for sure’ that Dems will win House  —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a message for Republicans this fall: Bring it on.  —  A buoyant Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday basked in the Democrats' special-election triumph while bashing Republicans and expressing confidence …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Andy Barr / The Politico:
Palin: ‘Emulate’ Arizona
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Mexican president urges Congress to reinstate assault weapons ban
Discussion: The Politico
CNN:
Bennett won't seek GOP nomination as a write-in
Liz Robbins / Green:
If You Build It ...  Kevin Costner has been overseeing …
Discussion: Gothamist and Joe. My. God.
Associated Press:
Gulf Oil Spill: Louisiana Wetlands Blanketed With BP Crude (VIDEO)
Discussion: The Huffington Post
 Earlier Items: 
Jason Horowitz / Washington Post:
Democratic New York senator Chuck Schumer is poised to become majority leader
Discussion: Hot Air and The BLT
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Record growth among entrepreneurs in U.S.
Discussion: The Impolitic
Wall Street Journal:
Landis Admits Doping, Accuses Others