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1:20 AM ET, April 17, 2012


 Top Items: 
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Romney, Obama in Tight Race as Gallup Daily Tracking Begins  —  Romney voters slightly more certain they will vote  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Mitt Romney is supported by 47% of national registered voters and Barack Obama by 45% in the inaugural Gallup Daily tracking results from April 11-15.
CNN Poll: Gender gap and likeability keep Obama over Romney  —  (CNN) - President Barack Obama holds a nine-point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney thanks in part to the perception that the president is more likeable and more in touch with the problems facing women and middle class Americans, according to a new national poll.
By Historic Standards, Obama Is In Trouble  —  Modern presidents who got re-elected were all leading in the polls at this point in their presidencies — as were some who lost anyway.  Obama is in a statistical tie with Romney in the first Gallup daily tracking poll of the general election, and that might not be enough.
Romney woos Red Sox Nation
Discussion: The Hill and Israel Matzav
Roseanne Barr / The Daily Beast:
Roseanne Barr on Ann and Mitt Romney and the Mommy Wars  —  Let us not be dragged back into the “working mom versus stay-at-home mom” dialogue.  By Roseanne Barr.  —  I almost got sick to my stomach when I heard Hilary Rosen's unfortunate words regarding Mrs. Mitt Romney.
Russell Goldman / ABCNEWS:
Dog Seamus ‘Loved’ Trips Atop Family Car, Says Ann Romney  —  Seamus, Mitt Romney's Irish setter who traveled with his young family strapped to the roof of their station wagon, “loved” those trips, despite once getting ill, Ann Romney told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.
Romney Tells Obama to ‘Start Packing’ in ABC News Exclusive Interview  —  Acting very much like the GOP nominee, Mitt Romney sent a curt message to President Obama today: “Start packing.”  —  The message, delivered with a chuckle, came in an exclusive interview with “World News” …
Why Ann Stayed Home
Discussion: and Religion Dispatches
Transcript: Mitt and Ann Romney's Interview With Diane Sawyer
Discussion: Ballot Box
Nile Gardiner /
Is Hillary Clinton becoming an embarrassment as Secretary of State?  —  The pictures of Hillary Clinton dancing the night away in Colombia during the Summit of the Americas are now all over Twitter, and were first reported by ABC News: … The overwhelmingly liberal US media is treating …
David A. Graham / The Atlantic Online:
Hillary Clinton Loses the Scrunchie in Colombia  —  The secretary of state lets her hair down in Cartagena — leading to the inevitable Drunk Texts from Hillary meme.  —  Hillary Clinton is seriously having a moment.  Her approval ratings are sky-high.  Her name is constantly floated as a vice presidential or presidential candidate.
Dylan Stableford / Yahoo! News:
Hillary Clinton parties in Colombia: Photos of dancing, beer-slugging secretary of state cause stir
Discussion: ABCNEWS, neo-neocon and
Chris Francescani / Reuters:
Trayvon Martin's killer showed signs of injury: neighbors  —  (Reuters) - Neighbors of George Zimmerman say he had bandages on his nose and head the day after he shot dead Trayvon Martin, supporting statements by the neighborhood watch volunteer that he was beaten in a confrontation with the black Florida teenager.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Trayvon Martin: Reuters Finds Bandages On Zimmerman, But Why Now?  —  Matt Drudge links to a Reuters story with the following “news”:  —  Trayvon Martin's killer showed signs of injury: neighbors  —  (Reuters) - Neighbors of George Zimmerman say he had bandages on his nose and head …
Discussion: Pat Dollard
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
In Senate, Republicans Block Debate on ‘Buffett Rule’  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a move to open debate on the so-called Buffett Rule, ensuring that a measure pressed for months by President Obama and Senate Democrats to ensure that the superrich pay a tax rate …
Discussion: Gothamist, CNN and Truthdig
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Less Than Half of Americans Consider Tax Bill Too High
Caitlin McDevitt / Politico:
Newt Gingrich bitten by a penguin  —  Newt Gingrich loves animals, but sometimes love hurts.  A small penguin at the St. Louis Zoo bit the former House speaker on the finger last week, the AP reports:
The Huffington Post:
Newt Gingrich Bitten By Penguin At St. Louis Zoo
Katie Roiphe / The Daily Beast:
Spanking Goes Mainstream  —  From the steamy bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey to HBO's Girls, sexual domination is in vogue.  Katie Roiphe on why women's power at work may be fueling the craze.  Plus, Fifty Shades of Grey's naughtiest bits.  —  If every era gets the sadist it deserves …
David Nir / Daily Kos:
WI-Gov: Scott Walker takes leads, but sits right at the 50% mark  —  Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos. 4/13-15.  Likely voters.  MoE: ±2.9% (2/23-26 results): … These numbers show a drop for Democrats from PPP's last survey of the race, which of course makes you ask, why?  What's changed?
Jonathan Gilbert / Telegraph:
Barack Obama makes Falklands gaffe by calling Malvinas the Maldives  —  Barack Obama made an uncharacteristic error, more akin to those of his predecessor George W Bush, by referring to the Falkland Islands as the Maldives.  —  Barack Obama made a gaffe more associated with predecessor George W Bush
Henry Paul Monaghan / The New Republic:
A Conservative Law Professor on the Obvious Constitutionality of Obamacare  —  The Constitution of the United States creates a national government of enumerated and therefore limited powers.  Accordingly, troubled members of the Court should be applauded for their efforts to search for the limits …
Rene Stutzman / Orlando Sentinel:
Zimmerman's lawyer: I want a new judge  —  George Zimmerman's attorney on Monday asked the judge in the case to step down because of a possible conflict of interest.  —  On Friday, O'Mara told Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler he was on the verge of asking her to step aside.
Memet Walker / The Daily Tar Heel:
Column: GOP hopeful Newt Gingrich cuts interview short with UNC student  —  As a reporter, I'm rarely at a loss for words when it comes to interviewing almost anyone.  By now, I've heard and seen a lot.  —  But there I was Saturday, standing alone with my recorder in a quiet stupor, as my subject, Newt Gingrich, rushed away.
David Weigel / Slate:
Herman Cain Rally at the Capitol Fails Spectacularly … - Vincent Kartheiser on What It's Like To Play Mad Men's Pete Campbell - Cocaine Is Unbelievably Cheap Now.  Why?  - Guys on Girls: What a Pack of Dudes Thought of the Premiere - Girls on Girls: What a Bunch of Ladies Thought …
Discussion: BuzzFeed and Indecision Forever
James Pethokoukis / The Enterprise Blog:
Here's how big the potential 2013 tax hikes would be  —  If you combine all the other tax increases from 1980-1993, they add up to 3.3% of GDP, according to the brilliant budget team at Strategas Research.  The coming “taxmageddon” of 2013 surpasses all those tax hikes combined!
Discussion: Business Insider and Doug Ross
John Frank / Raleigh News & Observer:
Top Democratic staffer steps down amid claims of sexual harassment  —  The executive director of the N.C. Democratic Party resigned Sunday as questions mounted about a secret agreement to pay a former staffer to keep quiet about sexual harassment allegations.
Kirk Semple / New York Times:
More U.S. Children of Immigrants Are Leaving U.S.  —  Samir N. Kapadia seemed to be on the rise in Washington, moving from an internship on Capitol Hill to jobs at a major foundation and a consulting firm.  Yet his days, he felt, had become routine.  —  By contrast, friends and relatives in India …
Joe Hagan / Texas Monthly:
Truth or Consequences  —  Eight years ago, Dan Rather broadcast an explosive report on the Air National Guard service of President George W. Bush.  It was supposed to be the legendary newsman's finest hour.  Instead, it blew up in his face, tarnishing his career forever and casting a dark cloud …
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 More Items: 
Colin Moynihan / City Room:
Protesters Arrested in Sleep-Out and Demonstration Near Stock Exchange
Discussion: ANIMAL, New York Magazine and Gothamist
Alex Alvarez / Mediaite:
Fox & Friends Anchors Grill ‘Anti-Mormon’ Pastor Jeffress Over His Flip-Flop On Romney
Cuomo Aide Slammed Reporter In Dossier
Atrios / Eschaton:
Discussion: US Politics and TalkLeft
David Rogers / Politico:
Republicans to slash food stamps
Judd Gregg / The Hill:
Let Bowles, Simpson finish their job
Discussion: Hullabaloo and
Healthy Lives:
Prison Time Considered for Teenagers Who Use the Morning After Pill
Discussion: Jezebel and ThinkProgress
 Earlier Items: 
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Two Federal Judges Suggest All Labor, Business or Wall Street Regulation Is Unconstitutional
Discussion: Firedoglake
Bill Keller / New York Times:
The Sweet Spot  —  THE other day Rick Santorum, with rigor …
Katie Pavlich /
Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
Ross Douthat:
The Palin Counterfactual  —  After Rick Santorum's exit …