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3:20 PM ET, April 19, 2012


 Top Items: 
Secret Service Pre-Planned Party at Colombian Hotel  —  ABC News' Reena Ninan, Christine Romo and Mary Bruce Report:  —  CARTAGENA, Colombia — Secret Service officials planning a wild night of fun in Colombia did some of their own advanced work last week, booking a party space at the Hotel Caribe …
Norah O'Donnell / CBS News:
Source: Ousted Secret Service agent plans to sue  —  PLAY CBS NEWS VIDEO  —  (CBS News) One of the Secret Service agents who has been forced out of his job is already planning a lawsuit, a congressional aide told CBS News after Mark Sullivan, the agency's director, briefed lawmakers Wednesday night.
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Gingrich's Secret Service detail likely costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a day  —  Even though by his own estimates he has very little prospect of winning the Republican nomination, Newt Gingrich is still likely costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a day with his Secret Service detail on the campaign trail.
Un Bylined / Bangor Daily News:
Were those prostitutes spies? Officials check identities in Secret Service scandal
Discussion: The Other McCain and Corrente
Quinnipiac University:
Big Lead With Women Gives Obama An Edge On Romney, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Christie, Rubio, Ryan Top GOP Running Mate List  —  President Barack Obama holds a thin 46 - 42 percent lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
Michael Patrick Leahy / The Daily Caller:
The coming conservative landslide  —  Wishful liberals and Chicken Little conservatives who watch the weekly fluctuations in the presidential polls have concluded that President Obama is a shoo-in for re-election.  They point out that Mitt Romney, the likely Republican nominee …
Annie-Rose Strasser / ThinkProgress:
Cantor Suggests Anti-Semitism Is A Problem Within The House GOP Caucus  —  A few weeks ago, the House GOP was up in arms over House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) $25,000 donation to anti-incumbent candidate Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who ultimately defeated his opponent, incumbent Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL).
Travis Waldron / ThinkProgress:
Cantor Suggests Raising Taxes On The Poor: 'You've Got To Discuss That Issue'  —  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) revived one of the GOP's favorite talking points this morning, telling attendees at a Politico-sponsored breakfast event that it was imperative that Congress address the …
Discussion: Faith in Public Life and Daily Kos
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Cantor: GOP will expand majority
Discussion: Politico
Marco Rubio Says He Would Turn Down VP Slot If Asked  —  Sen. Marco Rubio said today he would decline any offer from Mitt Romney to be a part of the GOP ticket this fall.  —  “I don't want to be the vice president,” the Florida Republican said during an interview with Major Garrett of the National Journal.
Darius Dixon / Politico:
Abby Huntsman: Romney won't pick dad for VP
Discussion: Alan Colmes' Liberaland and CNN
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Rep. West doubles down on Communist ‘ideology’ of progressive caucus  —  Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) on Thursday maintained that the “the strategy, the tactics, the ideology” of progressive caucus members in Congress are the same as that of the Communist Party.
Darius Dixon / Politico:
West backs ‘Motor City Madman’
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and Weasel Zippers
Josh Israel / ThinkProgress:   Allen West Says Congressional Progressive Caucus Is Communist But Won't Name Names
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Obama warns GOP not to move spending bills that break debt deal  —  The Obama administration on Wednesday stated for the first time that the president will not sign any 2013 spending bills until the House abandons the spending levels in Rep. Paul Ryan's budget.
Discussion: Politico and The Maddow Blog
Virginia / CNN:
Romney to deliver Liberty University commencement speech  —  (CNN) - Mitt Romney will deliver the commencement address at the evangelical Christian university led by Jerry Falwell, Jr., Liberty University said in a Thursday post to their website.  —  The school, located in Lynchburg …
Kris Maher / Washington Wire:
Romney's Cookie Comment Bites Back  —  In a campaign stop Tuesday outside Pittsburgh, Mitt Romney made what many locals considered a tasteless remark about cookies from a local landmark bakery. … Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, met with four couples …
TRENDING: Romney comments spark ‘CookieGate’ special
Julie Bykowicz / Business Week:
The Business of Ending a Presidential Campaign  —  Hours after dropping out of the presidential race this month, Rick Santorum fired off an e-mail to supporters asking for “one more” contribution: “I am planning to do everything in my power to bring a change about in the White House,” he wrote.
Discussion: Capital Tonight
Michael Falcone / ABCNEWS:
Chris Kleponis/AFP/Getty Images; Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
Discussion: BuzzFeed and Daily Kos
Steve Benen / The Maddow Blog:
Violence Against Women Act takes center stage  —  We first began reporting two months ago on the legislative fight surrounding the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which has traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support.  This year's effort has drawn Republican opposition, however …
Steven T. Dennis / Roll Call:
Chuck Grassley: GOP Won't Filibuster Violence Against Women Act
Javier Manjarres / The Shark Tank:
Michele Bachmann- Obama “Waving a Tar Baby in the Air”  —  During our sit-down interview with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Bachmann skewered President Obama's energy policy and his farcical view of energy “independence.”  —  Bachmann said that Obama doesn't know “zilch about the economy …
Molly Ball / The Atlantic Online:
What Newt Gingrich Lost by Running for President  —  His almost certainly failed campaign for the Republican nomination leaves his stature diminished — and his empire in shambles.  —  LANCASTER, Penn.  — Newt Gingrich has gotten noticeably fatter over the course of his campaign.
Discussion: GOP 12 and Guardian
Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. / The Jawa Report:
OWS Celebrates Holocaust Day w/ Antisemitic Cartoons  —  To give them their due, there are a lot of people in the comments pissed off about the picture.  But, there are also 43 likes and 59 people sharing the photo (as of this writing).  —  So, is this a one-offer that we who already …
Mark Murray /
NBC/WSJ poll: Romney's image improves but remains a net-negative  —  Since emerging as the Republican Party's presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney has seen his favorability score increase to its highest mark, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Discussion: CNN, Washington Post and ABCNEWS
Amy Gardner / Washington Post:
Obama: 'I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth'  —  ELYRIA, Ohio — President Obama took his economic argument on the road Wednesday, declaring at a community college in hard-hit manufacturing country that his commitment to workforce training programs — programs, he said …
Tim Mak / Politico:
Leon Panetta: U.S. ‘within an inch of war’  —  Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Wednesday that the United States was “within an inch of war almost every day” in the region around North Korea.  —  “We're within an inch of war almost every day in that part of the world …
Discussion: Connecting.the.Dots
Washington Examiner:
K Street and Tea Party again fight for soul of GOP  —  Former Sen. Trent Lott looks on prior to the first of three presidential debates before the 2008 election on Sept. 26, 2008 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Discussion: protein wisdom
Charles Mahtesian / Politico:
Raese: Smoking regs like Hitler's Jewish star  —  Lots of Senate candidates rail against onerous government regulations.  But West Virginia Republican John Raese , who's looking to knock off Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, took it to another level recently at the Putnam County Lincoln Day dinner.
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 More Items: 
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Ill. Rep. Walsh settles with his ex-wife over unpaid child support
Discussion: Daily Kos
Darren Goode / Politico:
Obama to renominate Svinicki to NRC
Discussion: Reuters and New York Times
Stuart Winer / The Times of Israel:
Elie Wiesel rejects Netanyahu's comparisons of Iranian threat to the Holocaust
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Haaretz and Ynetnews
Nancy Pelosi / Chicago Tribune:
Respecting the Constitution and the role of the Supreme Court
Discussion: American Spectator
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Maddow Covers The Demise Of The Ex-Gay Movement
Discussion: Truthdig and Towleroad News #gay
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:
Romney: Obama won't use Greek columns this time
George Washington / naked capitalism:
2 Years After the BP Oil Spill, Is the Gulf Ecosystem Collapsing?
 Earlier Items: 
Jay Cost / Weekly Standard:
Morning Jay: Obama the Underdog
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Congressional Approval Recovers Slightly, Now 17%
Marty Nemko / The Atlantic Online:
Why the U.S. Economy Is Biased Against Men
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
CIA seeks new authority to expand Yemen drone campaign