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2:45 PM ET, April 18, 2012


 Top Items: 
David Zucchino / Los Angeles Times:
U.S. troops posed with body parts of Afghan bombers  —  An American soldier says he released the photos to the Los Angeles Times to draw attention to the safety risk of a breakdown in leadership and discipline.  The Army has started a criminal investigation.
Jim Treacher / The Daily Caller:
Hey, if we're going to talk about how presidential candidates treated dogs decades ago, let's talk about how presidential candidates treated dogs decades ago.  —  Can you name the author of this quote? … Give up?  That's Barack Obama, writing about his childhood with his stepfather Lolo Soetoro …
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Phony Mommy Wars  —  Ann Romney is a good mom.  —  She's also a good pol.  —  And though her people skills are far superior to Mitt's, it turns out that Ann is just as capable as her husband of turning an advantage into a disadvantage.  —  After the liberal strategist Hilary Rosen …
Obama as a Boy Ate Dog Meat  —  Much has been made about Mitt Romney, in 1983, putting his family dog Seamus in a kennel on top of his roof and driving from Boston to Canada, with said canine Seamus making his displeasure known in a rather scatological way.  —  Democrats have signaled …
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Obama flips, re-labels likely foe Romney
Discussion: CNN and Washington Free Beacon
Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post:
WORK Act Would Give Low-Income Moms The Same Option As Ann Romney (For 3 Years)
Discussion: Daily Kos, Jezebel and The Maddow Blog
Arthur Delaney / The Huffington Post:
Dog Wars Escalate: Barack Obama Ate Dog Meat
Rusty / Dogs Against Romney:
Dogs Against Romney: On Obama, Dog Meat, and Mitt
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Mediaite
Peter Van Buren / We Meant Well:
Rule No. 1: It is Poor Judgement to Talk About Fight Club  —  What counts as poor judgement or lack of discretion these days such that Federal employment is no longer suitable?  It is a good question, because the State Department is proposing to fire me in part for my “poor judgement” …
Whistleblower Alleges Top U.S. Official Got Blowjob On Roof Of Baghdad Embassy  —  State Department gadfly Peter Van Buren drops a bombshell on his blog.  He claims there's a sex tape.  —  A Foreign Service Officer who once posed for Playboy, according to State Departement official and blogger Peter Van Buren.
Alex Sundby / CBS News:
Obama, Romney in dead heat, CBS News/New York Times poll finds  —  CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.  —  Mitt Romney has closed the gap with President Obama among registered voters, a CBS News …
New York Post:
New low ‘blow’: Coke eyed at Secret Service ho-down  —  By HARRISON HERNANDEZ in Cartagena, Colombia and CHUCK BENNETT and LORENA MONGELLI in NY  —  The Secret Service sure knows how to party.  —  Cocaine and several bottles of whiskey apparently fueled the elite agents' boneheaded fling …
Discussion: Don Surber, Gawker and New York Times
NBC: Prostitute's $50 fee for two agents triggered Secret Service scandal
Discussion: New York Magazine and emptywheel
Joel Roberts / Yahoo! News:
Santorum letter: Romney as nominee ‘truly frightens me’  —  A late-arriving Rick Santorum fund-raising letter to Iowa voters is causing a stir for its harshly worded attack on presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.  —  The letter, first reported on and reprinted in full by the Des Moines Register …
Nick Wing / The Huffington Post:
Ted Nugent Stands By Obama Remarks, Compares Himself To ‘Black Jew At A Nazi-Klan Rally’ (AUDIO) … FOLLOW:  —  Video, Ted Nugent, Ted Nugent Obama, Dana Loesch, Dana Loesch Ted Nugent, Nugent, Nugent Obama, Obama Nugent, Ted Nugent Dana Loesch, Ted Nugent Nancy Pelosi, Ted Nugent Obama Comments …
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
One for the Country  —  I had to catch a train in Washington last week.  The paved street in the traffic circle around Union Station was in such poor condition that I felt as though I was on a roller coaster.  I traveled on the Amtrak Acela, our sorry excuse for a fast train …
Catholic League Promises To “Mobilize” Religious Groups Against Jon Stewart  —  A bit about a “vagina manger” offends.  “We will not stop with a boycott,” the League's president writes.  —  A segment of The Daily Show skewering the media fervor over the “war on women” that recommended that women use …
Investor's Business Daily:
IRS Might Have Stalinist Powers Under New Law  —  Liberty: The Republican House of Representatives may soon follow the Democratic Senate and give the IRS the power to confiscate your passport on mere suspicion of owing taxes.  There's no place like home, comrade.
John Frank / Raleigh News & Observer:
Perdue asks Democratic Party chairman David Parker to resign  —  David Parker, NC Democratic Party Chairman, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012.  —  Democrats |  Democratic Party |  NC |  North Carolina |  scandal |  controversy |  Jay Parmley |  resignation |  Council of State |  Janet Cowell |
Discussion: Hot Air, Politico and The Daily Caller
Matthew Boyle / The Daily Caller:
NC Gov. Bev Perdue admits first learning about Dem sexual harassment allegations ‘late last year’
Discussion: Pirate's Cove
Wall Street Journal:
In Facebook Deal, Board Was All But Out of Picture  —  On the morning of Sunday, April 8, Facebook Inc.'s youthful chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, alerted his board of directors that he intended to buy Instagram, the hot photo-sharing service.  —  It was the first the board heard of what …
Dahr Jamail / AJE - Al Jazeera English:
Gulf seafood deformities alarm scientists  —  Eyeless shrimp and fish with lesions are becoming common, with BP oil pollution believed to be the likely cause.  —  New Orleans, LA - “The fishermen have never seen anything like this,” Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera.
Michael Howard Saul / Wall Street Journal:
Mayor Taking New Step on Smoking  —  Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday plans to propose legislation that would require residential buildings to adopt written policies on where smoking is permitted or prohibited and disclose those rules to prospective tenants and owners …
Daily Mail:
BAR RAFAEL!  (A Ninja Turtle???)  LOL!!!!!!!  Give me a break.  How full of yourself can you get “BAR?”  So pretentious!  Anything for some press too!  Sick....  I think Bar is the least beautiful of the VS Models.  —  It amazes me that some of you idiots still think that these pat downs are about security.
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
The $5 Trillion Man: Debt Has Increased Under Obama by $5,027,761,476,484.56  —  ( In the 39 months since Barack Obama took the oath of office as president of the United States, the federal government's debt has increased by $5,027,761,476,484.56.
The List of Top Republican VP Candidates  —  Mitt Romney's search for a vice presidential running mate has only just begun, but speculation among top Republicans and Romney's close allies is well under way.  Here is how the list of potential running mates looks today.  —  Top Tier
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Darrell Calhoun / CNN:
Police: Man strips naked at Oregon airport in TSA protest  —  (CNN) — A 50-year-old man who said he felt that airport screeners were “harassing” him stripped naked at Portland International Airport, police in Oregon said.  —  Police charged John E. Brennan with disorderly conduct …
Discussion: The Latest Word and Gawker
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Catholic Priest Receives Standing Ovation For Shunning Anti-Marriage Equality Petition Drive  —  At least six Catholic parishes in Washington state have ignored the Seattle Archbishop's call to gather signatures for a referendum repealing the state's recently-enacted marriage equality law …
Barack Obama:
Spanish language ads highlight President Obama's commitment to issues important to Latinos  —  Obama for America today released the first in a series of Spanish language television and radio ads.  The ads feature first person accounts from Obama for America organizers sharing their personal stories …
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Choe Sang-Hun / New York Times:
North Korea Says It Will Abandon Deal With U.S.  —  SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said on Tuesday that it was abandoning an agreement it made in February with the United States, in which it promised to suspend uranium enrichment, nuclear tests and long-range missile tests.
Gina Kolata / New York Times:
Studies Question the Pairing of Food Deserts and Obesity  —  It has become an article of faith among some policy makers and advocates, including Michelle Obama, that poor urban neighborhoods are food deserts, bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables.  —  But two new studies have found something unexpected.
Discussion: Ezra Klein and Hit & Run
Gregory J. Krieg / ABCNEWS:
From his first days on the political scene, Sen. Marco Rubio has never strayed far from his close friend, Rep. David Rivera.  The men first met while volunteering for then Florida State Senator Lincoln Diaz-Balart's first congressional campaign in 1992.  A few years later …
Discussion: Washington Post, Ballot Box and GOP 12
The Daily Beast:
Citigroup Shareholders Reject Pay  —  Citigroup shareholders sounded a bit like Occupy Wall Street yesterday when they rejected a pay package for its chief executive, Vikram S. Pandit, who was set to receive $15 million.  “C.E.O.'s deserve good pay but there's good pay and there's obscene pay …
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 More Items: 
Lizette Alvarez / New York Times:
No Savings Are Found From Welfare Drug Tests
Saeed Kamali Dehghan / Guardian:
Homosexuals are inferior to dogs and pigs, says Iranian cleric
Discussion: ThinkProgress and
Joe Battenfeld / Boston Herald:
Scott Brown taps evil empire
Wall Street Journal:
Shutting Down ALEC  —  Playing the race card to silence a free-market policy voice.
Discussion: RedState
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
Current TV to Hire Gavin Newsom, California's Lieutenant Governor
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Mica: Reid trying to ‘intimidate’ GOP into halting GSA investigation
Discussion: Politico
Christopher Bedford / The Daily Caller:
Joe Kennedy III calls for ending ‘cheap oil’
 Earlier Items: 
Archbishop of Wales says gay marriage deserves welcome of church
Discussion: ThinkProgress and
Kenneth P. Vogel / Politico:
Crossroads: The ATM of the Right
Tolkien and Dickens grandsons join for book
Discussion: ArtsBeat
'Don't Say Gay' bill advances in the House
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
Kelly wins GOP primary in contest for former Rep. Giffords's seat
Discussion: CNN and Politico
Daily Mail:
Revealed; Official fears from U.S. and UK over President Obama's ‘anti-American’ and ‘anti-white’ father
Discussion: Weasel Zippers