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5:45 PM ET, May 5, 2012


 Top Items: 
Jamie Klatell / The Hill:
The gloves come off as Obama launches reelection campaign  —  COLUMBUS, Ohio - The gloves are off.  —  Opening what is likely to be a bitter and grueling election, President Obama held his first official campaign rally here in the Buckeye State, cranking up his populist pitch while slamming …
New York Times:
Obama Formally Kicks Off Campaign With Rallies in Ohio and Virginia  —  COLUMBUS, Ohio — President Obama sought to rekindle the passion of his 2008 victory with a pair of huge rallies on Saturday that signaled a new, politically aggressive phase in the debate over the country's direction …
Discussion: Gothamist and The Caucus
Obama outlines case for re-election at first official campaign rally
Discussion: Guardian and Weasel Zippers
Holly Bailey / Yahoo! News:
Obama's re-election rallies on Saturday to be blitzed by Romney campaign
Discussion: The Caucus and ABCNEWS
George Talbot / Breaking News from the Press-Register:
Alabama politician Bill Johnson ‘obsessed’ with donating sperm  —  Bill Johnson, a former Alabama gubernatorial candidate, has left his wife and family in Prattville to be with babies he secretly conceived as a sperm donor in New Zealand.  —  Johnson's wife, Kathy Hale Johnson …
Discussion: Politico and Taegan Goddard's …
David Fisher / New Zealand Herald:
Sperm donor ‘left me for babies’  —  The heartbroken wife of a politician who secretly acted as a sperm donor behind her back says he has left her to be with babies conceived with other women.  —  Speaking from her home in the United States, Kathy Johnson says her husband Bill has returned …
Discussion: The Raw Story
Associated Press:
APNewsBreak: Former President Clinton opposes NC amendment that would ban gay marriage  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — Former President Bill Clinton has recorded an audio advertisement opposing North Carolina's proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Discussion: Advocate
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
North Carolina's Ban on Gay Marriage Appears Likely to Pass
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
Bill Maher Tears Into Romney For Giving Money To Mormon Church Instead Of Directly To Charity  —  On last week's edition of Real Time, Bill Maher argued during the panel discussion that Mitt Romney should be giving money to an actual charity rather than just the standard tithe to the Mormon church.
Discussion: The Raw Story and The Other McCain
Erik Eckholm / New York Times:
Family Battle Offers Look Inside Lavish TV Ministry  —  NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — For 39 years, the Trinity Broadcasting Network has urged viewers to give generously and reap the Lord's bounty in return.  —  The prosperity gospel preached by Paul and Janice Crouch, who built a single station …
Discussion: Mediaite
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
Cherokee Nation, cont'd  —  In a 1998 editorial celebrating the law school's award of tenure to — how to put it? — great legal scholar Lani Guinier, the Harvard Crimson noted: “Harvard Law School currently has only one tenured minority woman, Gottlieb Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren, who is Native American.”
Paul Krugman:
Economic Tribalism  —  Hmm.  This seems to be meta Saturday, with reactions to how people think - or, all too often, don't think — about economics taking center stage.  —  Justin Fox has an interesting post documenting something I more or less knew, but am glad to see confirmed …
Discussion: The Mahablog and Dave Winer's …
Connecticut Passes Marijuana Bill  —  HARTFORD (Reuters) — The Connecticut Senate passed a bill on Saturday legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, with tight restrictions intended to avoid the problems that have plagued some of the other states where it is now legal.
Robert Samuels / Washington Post:
At Union Station late at night, all's fare when seeking a cab  —  The Amtrak passengers rushed out of Union Station at 1:33 a.m. on a chilly, April Monday, the wheels of their luggage clacking against tiles so loudly they startled a young child sleeping in her mother's lap.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and DCist
Andrew Jacobs / New York Times:
For China, a Dissident in Exile Is One Less Headache Back Home  —  After more than a week of high-level diplomacy over the fate of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese government was widely seen as making a major concession on Friday by agreeing to allow Mr. Chen to apply to leave for the United States.
Amy Bingham / ABCNEWS:
Abby Huntsman: Romney's Chen Guangcheng Criticism Was ‘Very Foolish’
Discussion: Taylor Marsh, The Raw Story and ABCNEWS
Brad Plumer / Ezra Klein:
The incredible shrinking labor force  —  If the same percentage of adults were in the workforce today as when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11.1 percent.  If the percentage was where it was when George W. Bush took office, the unemployment rate would be 13.1 percent.
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 More Items: 
Dan Hodges /
So long Ken Livingstone: the era of Boris has begun in earnest
Discussion: normblog
Mike Riggs / Hit & Run:
Republican Congressman Opens Inquiry Into DEA's Inhumane Detention of College Student Daniel Chong
Mary Williams Walsh / New York Times:
State Bonds in Jeopardy as Tobacco Cash Fades
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Occupy Violence: It's Different, Somehow
Booth Gunter / Investigation …:
Investigation, Lawsuit Expose Barbaric Conditions at For-Profit Youth Prison in Mississippi
Jonathan Martin / Politico:
Liz Cheney eyes the political stage
 Earlier Items: 
Rep. Tim Griffin / Politico:
Can Democrats retake the House in November?
Washington Post:
The EPA is earning a reputation for abuse
David Cross / Movoto Real Estate Watch:
White House For Sale (Infographic)
Discussion: DCist and Politico
TSA Reveals Passenger Complaints ... Four Years Later
Discussion: Gov 2.0, Gothamist and Politico
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Center-Right Meltdown Spreads