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3:00 PM ET, May 18, 2011


 Top Items: 
Mike Allen / The Politico:
GOP elite see Mitch Daniels as 2012 savior  —  Top Republicans are increasingly convinced that President Barack Obama will be easily reelected if stronger GOP contenders do not emerge, and some are virtually begging Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to add some excitement to the slow-starting nomination race.
Frank Newport / Gallup:
With Huckabee Out, No Clear GOP Front-Runner  —  Bachmann and Cain generate high positive intensity among those who know them  —  PRINCETON, NJ — With Mike Huckabee out of the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, three well-known politicians, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
Republicans ‘depressed’ by 2012 options  —  The political story of the day appears to be this piece from Mike Allen, noting that “top Republicans are increasingly convinced that President Barack Obama will be easily reelected if stronger GOP contenders do not emerge.”
Discussion: CNN and The Politico
Juana Summers / The Politico:
Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin jump to top in new Gallup poll
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
Alexis Levinson / The Daily Caller:
Cain generates most enthusiasm among voters, according to Gallup poll
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Matthew Yglesias / Yglesias:
Tim Pawlenty And The Conservative Elite
Discussion: The New Republic and Eunomia
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Schumer: You're damn right we'll use Gingrich's criticism of Ryan against the GOP  —  Newt Gingrich has declared that Dems must not use his now-walked-back criticism of Paul Ryan's Medicare plan against the GOP, but guess what: Dems aren't going to listen to him.
Benjy Sarlin / TPMDC:
Newt Apologizes To Paul Ryan, Begs Democrats Not To Use His Own Quotes In Ads  —  Newt Gingrich's walk back tour reached its zenith Tuesday night, as Gingrich personally apologized to Paul Ryan for dismissing his Medicare plan as “right wing social engineering.”
Matthew Yglesias / Yglesias:
Gingrich: “Any Ad Which Quotes What I Said On Sunday Is A Falsehood”
Discussion: Salon, Wonk Room and Wonkette
Hillary Chabot / Boston Herald:
White House shuts out Herald scribe  —  The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama's Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper's front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news “fairly.”
Molly K. Hooper / Ballot Box:
King doesn't rule out White House bid
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Mark Warren / Esquire:
BREAKING: Jerome Corsi's Birther Book Pulled from Shelves!  —  In a stunning development one day after the release of Where's the Birth Certificate?  The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President, by Dr. Jerome Corsi, World Net Daily Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah …
Matthew Yglesias / Yglesias:
Catholic Church Investigation Says Hippies Made Catholic Priests Sexually Abuse Children  —  Laurie Goodstein reports on the release of an inquiry by American bishops into sex abuse scandals: … This hippie-blaming strategy seems unlikely to persuade anyone.
Discussion: alicublog
Laurie Goodstein / New York Times:
Church Report Cites Social Tumult in Priest Scandals
Discussion: Gawker, Joe. My. God. and
David Gibson / Religion News Service:
RNS Exclusive: Report spreads blame for Catholic sex abuse
Discussion: Salon, Gothamist and Washington Post
Adam Folk / Metro:
Thomas defends ideals of court  —  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas told a packed dinner crowd of Augusta's judges, lawyers and politicians Tuesday that while discourse in American society seems to be growing coarser and angrier, the Supreme Court remains a bastion of respectful disagreement …
Discussion: The Politico
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Senator questions benefits to ‘adult baby’  —  Coburn sees possible fraud  —  Stanley Thornton Jr., 30, is being fed with a bottle by his roommate, Sandra Dias.  They were featured on National Geographic Channel's “Taboo” program.  Sen. Tom Coburn is questioning their disability payment eligibility.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Democrats' plan for millionaire surtax intended to soften up GOP  —  Senate Democrats are using their proposal to raise taxes on millionaires as a stalking-horse to force Republicans to accept other tax increases.  —  Democratic officials privately acknowledge that raising personal income tax rates …
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Healthcare reform waivers part of ‘crony politics,’ Pawlenty says  —  Likely GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty on Tuesday added to already widespread criticism of healthcare reform law waivers, calling the practice an example of “crony politics.”  —  Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor …
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Nancy Pelosi Is Being ‘Thrown Under The Bus,’ Says Company That Requested Health Care Waivers
Discussion: Mother Jones and The Daily Caller
Bill Keller / New York Times:
The Twitter Trap  —  Last week my wife and I told our 13-year-old daughter she could join Facebook.  Within a few hours she had accumulated 171 friends, and I felt a little as if I had passed my child a pipe of crystal meth.  —  I don't mean to be a spoilsport, and I don't think I'm a Luddite.
Jordan Fabian / The Hill:
Obama campaign selling ‘birther’ T-shirts  —  President Obama isn't done trying to capitalize on claims that he was not born in the United States.  —  Last month, Obama released his long-form birth certificate to prove he was born in Hawaii and lampooned billionaire businessman Donald Trump …
Discussion: CNN and HotAirPundit
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
CIA flew stealth drones into Pakistan to monitor bin Laden house  —  The CIA employed sophisticated new stealth drone aircraft to fly dozens of secret missions deep into Pakistani airspace and monitor the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, current and former U.S. officials said.
Keith Koffler / White House Dossier:
Obama: My People, You Continue to Have My Blessing.  —  UPDATE: Some readers have misinterpreted the headline as an actual quote.  The headline was only meant as an ironic paraphrase of the actual statements Obama made, which are highlighted below in blue.  I did not think that anyone …
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
AIPAC: Don't boo Obama  —  A reader forwards over an email from AIPAC President Lee Rosenberg to delegates to the organization's annual policy conference, which will feature President Obama's and Prime Minister Netanyahu's coming speeches to the organization.
Associated Press:
Gingrich hit with glitter at Minneapolis event  —  Robert Erickson, a journeyman political activist prankster also known as Nick Espinosa, approached Gingriches during the signing event at a downtown Minneapolis hotel.  He dumped a cracker box full of confetti on the pair and said, “Feel the rainbow!
Wall Street Journal:
Pressure Is Building on Jailed IMF Chief  —  The Obama administration strongly signaled it was time for the International Monetary Fund to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as its chief, indicating that he can no longer be effective in his job.  —  U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner …
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
‘Gang of Six’ on verge of collapse as Republican Sen. Coburn withdraws  —  View Photo Gallery —  "You've got to have Republicans and Democrats talking and trying to find common ground," says Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.).  But in these immoderate times, his aisle-reaching is politcially dangerous.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
All Giuliani now  —  Mike Allen scoops this morning that Jon Huntsman is basing his campaign in Orlando, Florida, setting up a showdown in that state with Romney.  —  Planting a flag like that in Florida will inevitably bring comparisons (first!) to Rudy Giuliani's late strategy …
Discussion: The Note and GOP 12
Marissa Bagg / WPTV Newschannel 5:
Prayer request for Osama bin Laden at Catholic Church in West Palm Beach  —  Priest to honor request at Sunday Mass  —  Last Updated: 3 hours and 54 minutes ago  —  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The name of Osama bin Laden appears in the Holy Name of Jesus Sunday bulletin.  There's a cross next to it.
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 More Items: 
Lee Fang / ThinkProgress:
EXCLUSIVE: Eric Cantor Promises Oil Speculators That Republicans Will Block Financial Regulations
Discussion: Climate Progress
John T. Bennett / The Hill:
Analyst: Military bands to cost Pentagon $50B over next 50 years
Discussion: FrumForum
Andy Birkey / Minnesota Independent:
In close vote, anti-gay marriage amendment moves to House floor
David Catanese / The Politico:
Can anyone top Tommy Thompson?
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Daily Caller
Russell Berman / The Hill:
House GOP plans assault on federal regulations ‘gone awry’
Discussion: The Politico
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blog:
Pawlenty raising general election cash
Discussion: GOP 12
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Santorum backtracks on McCain criticism
Discussion: Washington Wire, TPMDC and News Hounds
 Earlier Items: 
Aharding / CNN:
Air Force One's forecast: missed approach
Discussion: The Politico
Dan Gainor / Fox News:
Why Is Soros Spending Over $48 Million Funding Media Organizations?
Bruce Ackerman / Washington Post:
Death of the War Powers Act?
Discussion: AmSpecBlog and Betsy's Page
Michael A. Fletcher / Washington Post:
In Rust Belt, manufacturers add jobs, but factory pay isn't what it used to be
Discussion: Yglesias and Truthdig
Indianapolis Star:
Tully: Daniels says decision on 2012 presidential run is near
Discussion: GOP 12 and The New Republic
Roni Caryn Rabin / New York Times:
Fewer Emergency Rooms Available as Need Rises