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3:20 PM ET, May 17, 2012


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
G.O.P. ‘Super PAC’ Weighs Hard-Line Attack on Obama  —  WASHINGTON — A group of high-profile Republican strategists is working with a conservative billionaire on a proposal to mount one of the most provocative campaigns of the “super PAC” era and attack President Obama in ways that Republicans have so far shied away from.
Guy Benson /
EXCLUSIVE: Romney ‘Repudiates’ Conservative Group's Planned Rev. Wright Attacks  —  In an exclusive interview with Townhall, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney rebuked a conservative group that is reportedly planning to assail President Obama over his 20-year relationship …
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Statement: Ricketts rejects ‘Ricketts plan’  —  Brian Baker, president of the Ending Spending Action Fund, has released the following statement on behalf of Joe Ricketts, the conservative billionaire behind the proposal to attack President Obama's connections to Rev. Jeremiah Wright,:
Discussion: and CBS Chicago
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Ricketts flack says Wright attack plan has been rejected  —  TD Ameritrade billionaire and super PAC financier Joe Ricketts has rejected a plan to attack President Barack Obama for his association with the firebrand preacher Jeremiah Wright, according to a spokesman for Ricketts.
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
McCain, Romney Camps Decry Super-PAC Proposal to Attack Obama on Rev. Wright
Senators to Unveil the ‘Ex-Patriot Act’ to Respond to Facebook's Saverin's Tax ‘Scheme’  —  Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has a status update for Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin: Stop attempting to dodge your taxes by renouncing your U.S. citizenship or never come to back to the U.S. again.
Quentin Hardy / New York Times:
A Facebook Co-Founder Reflects on the Path Forward  —  Eduardo Saverin can escape the United States, but he can't slip Facebook.  —  “Everything I do in my personal life, in my professional life, it's completely there,” said Mr. Saverin, a Facebook co-founder, in his first major interview.
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Dems take aim at Facebook founder for renouncing citizenship
Sabrina Tavernise / New York Times:
WASHINGTON — After years of speculation, estimates and projections, the Census Bureau has made it official: White births are no longer a majority in the United States.  —  Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 49.6 percent of all births in the 12-month period that ended last July …
Washington Post:
Census: Minority babies are now majority in United States
Donna Summer Dead — Disco Legend Dies After Battle with Lung Cancer  —  DEAD AT 63  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  9:27 AM PST- TMZ has learned ... Donna died from lung cancer.  Several sources are telling us Donna believed she contracted it by inhaling toxic particles after the 9/11 attack in New York City.
Kiki Von Glinow / The Huffington Post:
Donna Summer Dead: Queen Of Disco Dies At 63
New York Post:
RFK Jr.'s wife hangs herself  —  Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Mary arrive at Sen. Ted Kennedy's funeral in 2009.  —  Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s estranged wife, Mary, who battled her husband's rumored philandering by turning to alcohol and prescription drugs, hanged herself in a barn …
Matt Flegenheimer / New York Times:
Estranged Wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Is Found Dead at Home in Westchester
Discussion: Truthdig and Sky Dancing
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Romney Registers Personal Best 50% Favorable Rating  —  Up from 39% in February, but one of lowest for a presumptive nominee  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Fifty percent of Americans now have a favorable opinion of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, up from 39% in February and his highest by 10 percentage points.
Discussion: Firedoglake, GOP 12 and Campaign 2012
JPMorgan's Trading Loss Is Said to Rise at Least 50%  —  The trading losses suffered by JPMorgan Chase have surged in recent days, surpassing the bank's initial $2 billion estimate by at least $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the losses.  —  When Jamie Dimon …
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Biden Calls Himself ‘Middle Class Joe,’ Owns Mansion  —  Joe Biden, speaking in Ohio today, said that he is “tired of being called a ‘Middle Class Joe.’”  —  While it's not clear who actually calls the vice president that, it is clear that his house and finances tell a different story.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Jim Tankersley /
Too Hot for TED: Income Inequality  —  If you're plugged into the Internet, chances are you've seen a TED talk - the wonky, provocative web videos that have become a sort of nerd franchise. is where you go to find Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg explaining why the world has too few female leaders …
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Romney talks ‘character assassination’ by Obama  —  In a pool report from his Florida fundraiser, The Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson flags this comment he made about the state of the narrative: … Obama's campaign's attacks have been about Bain Capital, which has been a key element …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Democrats' Odds of Retaining Senate Improve  —  When we last took an overview of Senate races in December, Republicans appeared to be slight favorites to take control from Democrats, with a net gain of four to five seats representing the most likely outcome.
Plans to strike Iran “ready,” says U.S. Israel envoy  —  JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. plans for a possible military strike on Iran are ready and the option is “fully available”, the U.S. ambassador to Israel said, days before Tehran resumes talks with world powers which suspect it of seeking to develop nuclear arms.
Fox News:
Autopsy of Trayvon Martin reportedly shows fatal bullet fired from ‘intermediate range’  —  Trayvon Martin, pictured on left, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman on Feb. 26 outside a gated community in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman, 28, has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
A Pro-Austerity Chart, and Why the President Is Touting It  —  This chart, put together by Michael Linden at the Center for American Progress, shows the Obama Administration's performance on fiscal policy over his term in office.  It shows that spending, taxes and the deficit are all lower …
Discussion: BBC, Hullabaloo and Bark Bark Woof Woof
Caitlin McDevitt / Politico:
Ben Stein: Obama's not very smart  —  Is President Obama smart?  Ben Stein wouldn't put his money on it.  —  During an appearance on Fox News, the economist and actor said he doesn't consider the president to be very intelligent.  —  “Barack Obama is a smart man, you would say that, right?” host Bill O'Reilly asked.
Discussion: The Raw Story
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Movement among black North Carolinians on gay marriage  —There's been a noticeable shift in the attitudes of African Americans in North Carolina toward rights for gay couples in the wake of President Obama's announcement last week that he supports gay marriage.
Discussion: Politico and ThinkProgress
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 More Items: 
Paul Farhi / Washington Post:
NPR sees sharp downturn in advertising revenue, leading to talk of cuts
Carol Marin / Chicago Sun Times:
Obama-Clinton? That's the ticket
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Philip Klein / Campaign 2012:
Ryan: GOP won't offer Obamacare substitute in 2012
Judson Berger / Fox News:
Florida Catholic school considers dropping student health plan, on heels of Ohio decision
Associated Press:
Massachusetts marks 8th anniversary of same-sex marriages
Discussion: ThinkProgress
7 Times In 2008 Obama Promised To Create 7 Million New Jobs
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
South Carolina Democrat Labels Haley “Sikh Jesus”
Discussion: FITSNews and The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
Fiona Govan / Telegraph:
Queen Sofia to snub Diamond Jubilee lunch over Gibraltar row
Discussion: Guardian
Gustin L. Reichbach / New York Times:
A Judge's Plea for Pot
Reid J. Epstein / Politico:
Mitt Romney's Bill Clinton strategy
Mj Lee / Politico:
Scott Walker: Tom Barrett getting ‘desperate’
Discussion: Associated Press, Althouse and CNN
Wall Street Journal:
Tea Party Terror Flakeout
Discussion: EconLog and Blog
Julia Edwards /
House Burglaries Baffle Staff, Police
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Hot Air
Jon Ralston / Las Vegas Sun Blogs:
RNC, Romney campaign will erect new organization to bypass state GOP
Dinner for 2? Romney Spox Throws a Question at Biden at Dinner Run-In