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5:35 PM ET, May 18, 2012


 Top Items: 
Nick R. Martin /
TPMMuckraker  —  Arizona Goes Birther: Secretary Of State Says It's ‘Possible’ Obama Won't Be On Ballot  —  The man in charge of running Arizona's elections has gone to the birthers.  Secretary of State Ken Bennett now says he's not convinced Barack Obama was really born in the United States …
Meenal Vamburkar / Mediaite:
AZ Sect.  Of State Threatens To Remove Obama From Ballot Without Birth Certificate Verification From Hawaii
Discussion: Valley Fever
Mike Broomhead /
Obama's Name On Ballot In Arizona In Jeopardy?
Matt Negrin / ABCNEWS:
Bush and Romney Talk After Elevator Endorsement  —  George W. Bush and Mitt Romney have connected.  —  Romney called Bush after the former president offered his fleeting support for the Republican candidate in an elevator this week, a person on Romney's campaign tells ABC News.
Discussion: The Hill, CNN, Lippmann's Ghost and GOP 12
Tom Benning / Trail Blazers Blog:
George W. Bush to return to White House this month to be honored by President Obama with official portrait  —  George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are expected to return to the White House later this month to be honored by President Barack Obama with the unveiling of their official portraits that will hang at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Romney to address Latino business summit
Discussion: GOP 12
Daniel Malloy / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Gingrich returns to the trail — backing Romney
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Daily Kos and
Michael Patrick Leahy / BREITBART.COM:
DID ELIZABETH WARREN PLAGIARIZE HER ‘POW WOW CHOW’ RECIPES?  —  The credibility of Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren took another hit today as Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr released evidence that appears to confirm Ms. Warren may have plagiarized at least three …
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
AUDIO: Witness Says George Zimmerman Repeatedly Bullied Him At Work, Targeted Him With Racist Jokes  —  Among the evidence in the Trayvon Martin case released by the Florida state prosecutor yesterday was a 15-minute interview with a former work collegue of George Zimmerman.
The Reliable Source / Washington Post:
Al Gore has a girlfriend: California donor and activist Elizabeth Keadle  —  Al Gore has been seriously dating Elizabeth Keadle, right, of California.  (Joe Kohen/Getty; Jon Clark/Rancho Santa Fe Review)  —  It's never easy to re-enter the dating pool after years away …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Apocalypse Fairly Soon  —  Suddenly, it has become easy to see how the euro — that grand, flawed experiment in monetary union without political union — could come apart at the seams.  We're not talking about a distant prospect, either.  Things could fall apart with stunning speed, in a matter of months, not years.
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Obama's North Carolina math problem  —  Raleigh, North Carolina (CNN) — The state Democratic Party here is consumed with an ongoing sexual harassment scandal.  The embattled governor is so unpopular she decided not to run for a second term.  And supporters of same-sex marriage were dealt a crushing defeat at the ballot box last week.
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Biden on W. Va. felon vote: 'I don't blame people, they're frustrated, they're angry'  —  Here's a clip from Vice President Joe Biden's interview with WTOV-TV in West Virginia yesterday, the latest stop he's made this week, where he was asked about what he made of out-of-state incarcerated …
Rick Hasen / Election Law Blog:
Breaking News: Divided D.C. Circuit Panel Upholds Constitutionality of Voting Rights Act, Teeing Up Issue for Supreme Court  —  The Shelby County opinion is here.  Judge Williams dissented.  The court also issued a unanimous opinion in the related LaRoque case, finding the issue mooted …
Discussion: ACS Blog
The Age:
Wong's affirmation of gay families ‘a watershed’  —  The exchange between Penny Wong and Joe Hockey on Q&A this week about gay parents is only about two and half minutes long.  —  Prompted by an audience question about why the shadow treasurer thinks he and his wife make better parents …
Carl Campanile / New York Post:
Sorry, Charlie  —  Bill Clinton is abandoning his old ally Charles Rangel, who is fighting for his political life as he seeks re-election to a 22nd term, The Post has learned.  —  Harlem Rep. Rangel won't be getting an endorsement from the former president, who will sit out the primary, a Clinton source said.
Discussion: Politicker and Mediaite
Lois Romano / Politico:
Meet the Rubios  —  WEST MIAMI, Fla. — Marco and Jeanette Rubio, sitting side by side on their brown sofa in their sunny house, could be any young couple musing about life: juggling four kids, a job that separates them, aging parents, their faith and whether or not to move.  —  Only they're not just any couple.
Discussion: ABCNEWS and GOP 12
Chrystia Freeland:
Equal rights and the U.S. economy  —  Are equal rights good for the economy?  Campaigns against discrimination, like the battles for women's rights and civil rights in the 1960s and the fight for gay marriage equality today, are usually framed as struggles for justice.
Monica Langley / Wall Street Journal:
Inside J.P. Morgan's Blunder  —  CEO Dimon Blessed the Concept Behind Disastrous Trades; ‘Blood in the Water’  —  J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Dimon had just committed the most expensive blunder of his 30-year career, failing to detect the risk of trades …
Wall Street Journal:
Facebook Falls Back to IPO Price  —  Underwriters Stepped In to Support Social Network's Shares at Offering Price  —  Facebook Inc.'s public debut had plenty of buzz but not much pop. The shares opened 11% higher, but struggled to stay above their $38 offering price and ended the day up just 23 cents.
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
Sebelius stays away from contraception fight at Georgetown  —  Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius didn't mention the controversy over the administration's contraception mandate during a Friday commencement speech at Georgetown University.
Jake Sherman / Politico:
John Boehner adds to pressure on Eric Holder  —  There's about to be a lot more pressure on Eric Holder from Capitol Hill about the Fast and Furious investigation.  —  Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Whip Kevin McCarthy joined with Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa …
Discussion: Hot Air
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Romney's Smart, Unsentimental Strategy  —  Presidential campaigns often delude themselves about what forces control the fate of the campaign.  They believe that the charisma of the candidate, or the force of his ideas, or the tactical brilliance of his advisers hold the key to victory.
Discussion: Swampland
Jonathan Martinand James Hohmann / Politico:
Race issues return with Rev. Jeremiah Wright  —  The renewed focus on President Barack Obama's controversial pastor is reviving the issue that neither presidential campaign wants to discuss directly: race.  —  But the differing reactions Thursday from Obama aides and Romney officials …
The Gallup Organization / Gallup:
Stay-at-Home Moms Report More Depression, Sadness, Anger  —  But low-income stay-at-home moms struggle the most  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — The degree of difficulty of being a stay-at-home parent is evident in a new Gallup analysis of more than 60,000 U.S. women interviewed in 2012.
Discussion: Reuters
Gonzalo Cordova / Indecision Forever:
Conservative Hashtag Games Are Ruining Twitter  —  Today Former White House Press Secretary Bill Burton attempted to start a hashtag game called #RomneyYachtNames.  It's so unfunny and forced, it's exactly the kind of thing that would trend on Twitter.  And it did, but not the way Bill Burton intended.
Alexander Bolton / Ballot Box:
Romney begins vetting veep picks  —  Mitt Romney's campaign has begun vetting running mates, a process that will narrow his list of possible veep picks.  —  The team for Beth Myers, the Romney adviser leading the search for the GOP's vice presidential nominee, has already contacted potential running mates …
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 More Items: 
Ann Romney / CNN:
First on CNN: Romneys donated $150,000 of own money to presidential bid
Gerard V. Bradley / Public Discourse:
The Audacity of Faith  —  Amidst great expectations …
Online NewsHour:
Geithner: 'I Don't Understand' Why Debt Ceiling Debate Is Back
David Skolnick / Vindicator:
Biden snubs are getting old
Discussion: Politico
Meghan Neal / NY Daily News:
Second-grader Sean King gets in trouble for dressing in blackface as tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.
Discussion: Fox News and Joanne Jacobs
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Age of Innocence  —  The people who pioneered democracy …
Benjy Sarlin /
TPM2012  —  Romney's Past Opponents Warn Democrats: He Could Win
 Earlier Items: 
Alexei Barrionuevo / New York Times:
Midtown Penthouse Is Sold for Most Ever in New York
The Reliable Source / Washington Post:
Justice Breyer's Georgetown home hit by burglar