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2:40 PM ET, August 18, 2011


 Top Items: 
Justin Elliott / Salon:
“Have you ever had sex with Rick Perry?”  —  An Austin Ron Paul supporter has taken out a full-page ad in the local alt weekly newspaper seeking any “stripper ... escort ... or ‘young hottie’” who has slept with Rick Perry, part of his single-minded jihad against the presidential candidate.
A.Killough / CNN:
TRENDING: Perry heckled as campaign shifts into new phase  —  Portsmouth, New Hampshire (CNN) - Rick Perry was greeted by protesters Thursday morning as he met with voters at a Seacoast cafe, a clear sign that the 2012 campaign for the presidency has entered a new phase.
Michael O'Brien / The Hill:
Perry faces some jeers, pointed questions in NH appearance  —  Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) faced some jeers and tough questions during a meet-and-greet on Thursday in New Hampshire.  —  During another day of stumping in the first-in-the-nation primary state, Perry was met by supporters, but also faced jeers from some in the crowd.
Wall Street Journal:
Perry's Public Service  —  Behold, a hard-money Texas politician.  —  All the world's right-thinkers are denouncing Rick Perry for suggesting this week that Texans would get “pretty ugly” with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke if he guns the money supply any more between now and the 2012 election.
Maeve Reston / Los Angeles Times:
Rick Perry calls global warming an unproven, costly theory  —  The Texas governor says scientists have ‘manipulated data’ to win research dollars.  —  Reporting from Bedford, N.H.— Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday reaffirmed his view that global warming is an unproven scientific theory …
John M. Broder / New York Times:
Bashing E.P.A. Is New Theme in G.O.P. Race  —  WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency is emerging as a favorite target of the Republican presidential candidates, who portray it as the very symbol of a heavy-handed regulatory agenda imposed by the Obama administration that they say is strangling the economy.
The Note:
Rick Perry Encounters Protesters In New Hampshire, Gets Grilled On Social Security
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Louise Story / New York Times:
U.S. Inquiry Is Said to Focus on S.&P. Ratings  —  The Justice Department is investigating whether the nation's largest credit ratings agency, Standard & Poor's, improperly rated dozens of mortgage securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis, according to two people interviewed …
Reid J. Epstein / The Politico:
Coburn: Good thing I can't pack a gun  —  Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) ripped his colleagues during a tour of northeast Oklahoma, calling them “career elitists,” “cowards” and said, “It's just a good thing I can't pack a gun on the Senate floor.”  —  Coburn's gun-on-the- floor comment comes less …
Josiah Ryan / The Hill:
Sen. Coburn: It's a 'good thing I can't pack a gun on the Senate floor'
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Gawker
Bachmann: I'll bring back $2 gas  —  NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — President Michele Bachmann has a promise: $2 gas.  —  “Under President Bachmann you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again,” Bachmann told a crowd Tuesday in South Carolina.  “That will happen.”
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
A ‘policy-induced slowdown’  —  The markets are tanking.  Again.  And it's in part because they expect us to screw up.  Again.  —  That, at least, is what JP Morgan is saying.  Part of what's driving the market down is that the company announced that it was cutting its global growth forecasts …
Neil Hume / FT Alphaville:
The BBB recovery  —  An early morning helping of doom and gloom …
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
West: I'll lead you off ‘plantation’  —  Rep. Allen West says he is a “modern-day Harriet Tubman” who wants to lead black voters away from the “plantation” of the Democratic Party.  —  There is a “21st century plantation” of African-American voters unwaveringly supporting Democrats …
Jacob Weisberg /
Jon Huntsman: The Outsider  —  Kate Moss:  —  Kiss Me, Kate  —  Photographed by Annie Leibovtiz  —  If you're looking for the most conservative region in America, upcountry South Carolina would be a strong contender.  Greenville, the area's biggest city, is home base to Senator Jim DeMint …
Lee Fang / ThinkProgress:
Exclusive: Goldman Sachs VP Changed His Name, Now Advances Goldman Lobbying Interests As Top Staffer To Darrell Issa  —  Peter Haller, also known as Peter Simonyi, a former Goldman Sachs VP now working for Chairman Issa to block regulations on Goldman Sachs  —  Has Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Obama calls for Assad to resign, freezes Syrian assets  —  Hosni Mubarak got eight days of protests before Barack Obama demanded his resignation in a speech.  Libyan thug Moammar Gaddafi got 16 days before Obama called for him to leave power, and eventually went to war to push for his removal.
Kirit Radia / ABCNEWS:
Obama Calls on Syria's Assad to Step Down, Freezes Assets
New York Times:
Wrong Answers in Britain  —  Nothing can justify or excuse the terrifying wave of violent lawlessness that swept through London and other British cities earlier this month.  Hardworking people in struggling neighborhoods were its principal victims.  Public support for racial and ethnic coexistence …
Martin Wisckol / Total Buzz:
Gingrich makes his case in Yorba Linda  —  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told me that his campaign for president, now stalled in seventh place, will be springing to life in the next two months.  —  “I actually think this is a little bit like watching Walmart grow,” …
Discussion: GOP 12
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia:
August 2011 Business Outlook Survey  —  Responses to the Business Outlook Survey this month suggest that regional manufacturing activity has dipped significantly.  The survey's broad indicators for activity, shipments, and new orders all declined sharply from last month.
Amelia Hill / Guardian:
Phone hacking: News of the World Hollywood reporter is arrested  —  James Desborough is arrested by London police investigating UK hacking allegations  —  James Desborough, an award-winning reporter at the former News of the World newspaper, has been arrested by officers investigating the phone-hacking scandal.
New York Post:
Chris muscles Mike on 9/11 invite for pol  —  Hot-headed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie yesterday threw his weight around to get his way for the upcoming 10th-anniver-  —  sary 9/11 ceremony after blasting Mayor Bloomberg for excluding ex-Jersey Gov. Donald DiFrancesco from the solemn event.
Discussion: Gothamist and New York Magazine
Jonah Jones / The Official Google Blog:
Rain or shine, see the weather in Google Maps  —  Whether you're organizing a trip overseas or a picnic at a local park, knowing the weather forecast is a crucial part of the planning process.  Today, we're adding a weather layer on Google Maps that displays current temps and conditions around the globe …
Top 10 Least Wanted  —  “Oh, there's nothing halfway about the Iowa way to treat you,  —  When we treat you which we may not do at all.  —  There's an Iowa kind of special chip-on-the-shoulder attitude.  —  We've never been without that we recall.  -"Iowa Stubborn" from The Music Man
Carl / Israel Matzav:
Liveblog: Coordinated terror attacks near Egyptian border  —  This is a liveblog of the events currently going on near the Egyptian border in the area of Eilat.  There are three events.  —  1. ‘Palestinian’ terrorists shot at an Egged bus - number 392 - from Beer Sheva to Eilat.
Josh Boak / Reuters:
Grim economic data send U.S. markets tumbling  —  Stocks plummeted Thursday morning, following on a big selloff in Europe and the release of a series of disappointing government reports that stirred anxiety about a gasping economy.  —  Two hours into the trading day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average spiraled …
Discussion: Truthdig
Rick Perlstein / Swampland:
How Democrats Win: Defending the Social Safety Net  —  I was flattered to learn from Joe Klein's Aug. 15 column in TIME that Barack Obama is reading my book ­Nixonland.  The book is about the “separate and irreconcilable fears” over the past 50 years that came to define …
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Sabato's Crystal Ball:
The Dirty Thirties  —  Larry J. Sabato, Director, U.Va. Center for Politics  —  President Obama has found himself in the cellar for the first time since taking office: He fell to 39% in Gallup Poll tracking over the past weekend.  Obama may or may not have a month or months when his average is below 40%.
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 More Items: 
Mosi Secret / New York Times:
No Cause for Marijuana Case, but Enough for Child Neglect
Shobhana Chandra / Bloomberg:
Jobless Claims in U.S. Top Forecast
Discussion: Daily Kos and Pajamas Media
Neely Tucker / Washington Post:
Independent bookstores add a new chapter
Discussion: Making Light
Walter Russell Mead / Via Meadia:
Erdogan's Big Fat Turkish Idea
Discussion: Eunomia
Amy Teibel / Associated Press:
3 attacks target Israelis near Egypt, 6 dead
 Earlier Items: 
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
Malcolm's moment  —  As I read Paul Rahe's recent Ricochet post …
Discussion: Wall Street Journal
The Politico:
White House, Senate Democrats clash over campaign cash
A.Killough / CNN:
O'Donnell walks out of CNN interview
Ana Campoy / Wall Street Journal:
Hispanic Democrats Set Sights on New Texas Seat
Discussion: Rhymes With Right