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10:55 AM ET, April 12, 2012


 Top Items: 
Ann Romney Fights Back: Debuts on Twitter to Counter DNC Advisor's Insult  —  PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Ann Romney's debut on Twitter couldn't have come at a more opportune time.  —  Ann's first tweet came just moments after Democratic strategist and DNC adviser Hilary Rosen lobbed an insult at Ann Romney …
Hilary Rosen / The Huffington Post:
Ann Romney and Working Moms  —  My Twitter feed was on fire after an appearance last night on CNN's AC360, where I said that I thought it was wrong for Mitt Romney to be using his wife as his guide to women's economic struggles when she “had never worked a day in her life.”
Ann Romney / CNN:
Democrat's comment about Ann Romney creates firestorm on Twitter  —  (CNN) - Democratic Strategist Hilary Rosen generated instant bipartisan criticism Wednesday night for her statement that Ann Romney has “actually never worked a day in her life.”  —  The reaction on Twitter from high level politicos …
Haley Barbour / CNN:
Barbour won't formally endorse Romney, but offers advice  —  Washington (CNN) - Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has no plans to formally endorse Mitt Romney now that his fiercest challenger, Rick Santorum, is no longer in the presidential race.  —  But Barbour, a respected Republican party elder …
Discussion: GOP 12
Mollie Reilly / The Huffington Post:
Hilary Rosen, Democratic Strategist, Criticizes Ann Romney For Having ‘Never Worked A Day In Her Life’ … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  Elections 2012, Mitt Romney, Elections 2012, Video, Women's Empowerment, Ann Romney, Hilary Rosen, Politics News, Hilary Rosen Ann Romney, Lily Ledbetter Act …
Andrew Stiles / Washington Free Beacon:
Hostile Workplace  —  Female employees in the Obama White House make considerably less than their male colleagues, records show.  —  According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).
Paul Waldman / American Prospect:
Conservative Journalism Keeps Getting Better  —  A couple of months ago, Washington Free Beacon (and yes, that's “beacon,” not “bacon") launched with some reasonably experienced conservative journalists and a mandate to hold their political opponents accountable with rock-solid journalism.
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Dem operative criticizes Ann Romney, ignites storm (Updated)
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Macsmind
Phil Pruitt / ABCNEWS:
Ann Romney speaks up on Twitter, Obama has more to say on ‘Buffett Rule,’ plus more to watch for Thursday in politics
Discussion: CNN, New York Magazine and Yahoo! News
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
Mitt Romney's campaign stumbles in effort to court female voters
Discussion: CNN and Alan Colmes' Liberaland
Joe Muto / Gawker:
Hi Roger.  It's Me, Joe: The Fox Mole  —  Hi.  My name is Joe Muto.  I was the Fox Mole.  —  Two hours ago I was called into a meeting with Dianne Brandi, the Fox News Executive Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs and suspended indefinitely... with pay, oddly enough.  —  They nailed me.
Scott Conroy / Real Clear Politics:
Gingrich Unloads on FOX News in Private Meeting  —  DOVER, Del. — During a meeting with 18 Delaware Tea Party leaders here on Wednesday, Newt Gingrich lambasted FOX News Channel, accusing the cable network of having been in the tank for Mitt Romney from the beginning of the Republican presidential fight.
CBS News:
Zimmerman booked on 2nd-degree murder charge  —  PLAY CBS NEWS VIDEO  —  Trayvon Martin Shooting  —  (CBS/AP) JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The neighborhood watch volunteer who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was arrested and charged with second-degree murder Wednesday after months of mounting tensions and protests across the country.
Sari Horwitz / Washington Post:
George Zimmerman to be charged in Trayvon Martin shooting, official says
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
Obama Won't Order Ban on Gay Bias by Employers  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama disappointed and vexed gay supporters on Wednesday with his decision, conveyed to activists by a senior adviser, not to sign an executive order banning discrimination by employers with federal contracts.
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Rebuffing Obama's gimmicky ‘Buffett Rule’  —  President Obama admits it: His proposed “Buffett Rule” tax on millionaires is a gimmick.  —  “There are others who are saying: 'Well, this is just a gimmick.  Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule …
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Rep. Mica: GSA officials spent week in Hawaii for one-hour ribbon cutting  —  Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said Wednesday that the ongoing probe into the wasteful spending habits of the General Services Administration (GSA) has uncovered that several GSA officials were flown to Hawaii for a week to attend a one-hour ribbon cutting ceremony.
Joel Gehrke / Campaign 2012:
Biden: Al Franken is a ‘leading legal scholar’  —  Vice President Joe Biden described former Saturday Night Live comedian, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., as a “leading legal scholar,” presumably in the Senate, today.  —  “He has been one of the leading legal scholars,” Biden said of Franken today, according to the pool report.
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Analysts: Gas prices may have peaked  —  Gasoline prices, which have vexed President Obama politically in recent months, may have reached their peak, according to energy analysts.  —  Prices at the pump reached nearly $3.94 last Friday, the highest point this year, according to AAA.
Steven Nelson / The Daily Caller:
‘Stupid reporter’ took ‘Communist’ allegation out of context, says Allen West's campaign  —  During a Tuesday town hall meeting with constituents, Florida Republican Rep. Allen West said that 80 or so Democratic congressmen are “members of the Communist Party.”
Donors split with Mitt on gay marriage  —  Mitt Romney's opposition to gay marriage, which helped endear him to conservative activists during the dog days of the presidential primary, puts him at odds with three of his most prominent donors, all of whom helped fund a successful effort to legalize same-sex nuptials in New York last year.
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Darius Dixon / Politico:
Michael Bloomberg on Florida: ‘License to murder’  —  The so-called Stand Your Ground self-defense laws in Florida and some other states amount to “a license to murder” and an excuse for “vigilante justice,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg charged Wednesday.
Ruy Teixeira / The New Republic:
Why There Are Many More Swing Voters Than You Think  —  With the GOP primary now all but officially over—congratulations, Mr. Romney—we can safely declare it swing voter season.  As the general election campaign heats up, ever more attention is going to shift to that special class of voters …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Javier Blas / Financial Times:
Iran woos oil buyers with easy credit  —  Iran is trying to skirt US and European sanctions by luring nations to buy its oil on highly advantageous credit terms, say officials in the industry.  —  Tehran has been offering a handful of potential customers in Asia, including India, 180 days of free credit, according to the officials.
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Mother Jones
Quinnipiac University:
Obama Tops Romney-Christie In New Jersey, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Mendendez Has 9-Point Lead Over Little Known Opponent  —  President Barack Obama leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 49 - 40 percent in the New Jersey presidential race, a lead that shrinks to 49 …
Discussion: GOP 12, Daily Kos and Hotline On Call
Faiz Shakir / ThinkProgress:
Zimmerman Attorney Defends ‘Troubled’ Client: ‘It Must Be Frightening Not To Be Able To Go Into A 7/11’  —  On the rainy night he was gunned down by George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin was walking back to his father's house from a nearby 7/11 with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea.
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Sara Sorcher /
Clinton Overrules Republican Lawmaker's Hold on Palestinian Aid  —  Ros-Lehtinen: “Where is the accountability for U.S. taxpayer dollars?”  —  Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses the G8 foreign ministers at the start of a working session at Blair House in Washington on Wednesday.
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 More Items: 
KC Johnson / Originals:
The “Mismatch Thesis,” Eye-Opening Research, and the Fisher Case
Discussion: National Review
Steve Kornacki / Salon:
The gay marriage long game
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Washington Post:
Post-ABC News poll shows drop in Republican support for Afghan war
Boston Herald:
Pols: Welfare abuse runs deep
Discussion: GILL REPORT and Doug Ross
John Sides / FiveThirtyEight:
Romney's ‘Empathy Gap’
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Against All Odds, Gingrich Donors Want Him To Stay In
Discussion: New York Magazine
 Earlier Items: 
David Catanese / Politico:
Indiana Senate: No sniping or KO in Lugar-Mourdock debate
Discussion: CNN
Mark A. R. Kleiman / Washington Monthly:
Jail Break  —  How smarter parole and probation can cut the nation's incarceration rate.
Atrios / Eschaton:
Kenneth P. Vogel / Politico:
Sarah Palin PAC pays for space in Tampa
Discussion: The Impolitic and Wonkette
Katelyn Ferral / McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Condoleezza Rice at Duke: 'I don't know when immigrants became the enemy'
Discussion: The Hill and INSTAPUTZ