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9:55 AM ET, May 24, 2012


 Top Items: 
Mark Murray /
NBC polls: Obama edges Romney in three key battleground states  —  President Barack Obama holds a narrow advantage over presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in three of the most pivotal presidential battleground states — Florida, Ohio and Virginia — according to new NBC-Marist polls.
City Room:
Man Claims Role in Disappearance of Etan Patz, Police Say  —  New York authorities are investigating the claims of a man who has told investigators that he had a role in the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who vanished in SoHo on his way to school and is believed to have been murdered, officials said on Thursday.
New York Post:
Man implicated himself in Etan Patz disappearance: Commissioner Kelly  —  A man is in custody for the 1979 disappearance of Etan Patz, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly confirmed this morning.  —  Kelly issued a release stating that the man made statements to NYPD detectives implicating himself in the boy's disappearance.
Alexander Burns / Politico:
'Those of us who've spent time in the real world ...'  —  The Obama campaign has tried in a number of ways to define Mitt Romney as a guy who's out of touch with the reality most Americans experience, and at a campaign event in Denver last night the president trotted out this Mitt-just-doesn't-get-it line:
Discussion: protein wisdom
Justin Sink / Ballot Box:
Romney defends Bain record, says Obama is ‘attacking capitalism’  —  Mitt Romney accused President Obama of “attacking capitalism” and defended the record of Bain Capital as “solid” in a rebuttal Thursday to the president's critique of his tenure at the private equity firm.
Discussion: CNN
David Rogers / Politico:
Democrats stiffen spine on sequester  —  Power in Washington these days is most defined by saying “no,” which helps explain why Speaker John Boehner felt compelled last week — in the middle of May — to bring up a wintry debt ceiling fight more than six months away.
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Ezra Klein and The Hill
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
With his eye on 2013 majority, McConnell lets Boehner lead  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has let House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) take the lead in recent political slugfests with President Obama and congressional Democrats.  —  The strategy has saved his Senate conference …
Discussion: Politico
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
Indelible Image of Boy's Pat on Obama's Head  —  WASHINGTON — For decades at the White House, photographs of the president at work and at play have hung throughout the West Wing, and each print soon gives way to a more recent shot.  But one picture of President Obama remains after three years.
Discussion: Marbury and Althouse
Hannah Furness / Telegraph:
Bill Clinton's glamorous fundraiser called “worst party ever” by angry guests  —  An exclusive event hosted by Bill Clinton and attended by a host of celebrity friends has been criticised after guests who paid up to £1,000 for tickets were left queuing outside for hours.
Sean Trende / Real Clear Politics:
Why Tuesday's Democratic Primaries Matter  —  Tuesday night, President Obama continued his streak of poor primary performances in culturally Southern states.  He received 58.4 percent of the vote in the Arkansas Democratic primary against token opposition, and 57.9 percent of the vote …
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
White Resentment, Obama, and Appalachia
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt / New York Times:
Paul Fussell, Literary Scholar and Critic, Is Dead at 88  —  Paul Fussell, the wide-ranging, stingingly opinionated literary scholar and cultural critic whose admiration for Samuel Johnson, Kingsley Amis and the Boy Scout Handbook was balanced against his withering scorn for the romanticization of war …
Discussion: Shakesville
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Paul Fussell, RIP
Discussion: Associated Press and Bookworm Room
The Complete Romney Interview Transcript  —  Halperin: So Governor, the economy is the big issue in this campaign.  I want to talk about a range of things, as much as we can fit in in the time, but, obviously, jobs is the biggest issue.  You've started to tell people what you believe in …
Mark Halperin / The Page:
Romney Talks  —  In a 36-minute Wednesday Manhattan interview …
Javier Manjarres / The Shark Tank:
Wasserman Schultz On Verge of Being Cancelled at Temple Israel  —  The blowback from Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz' political tactics that the Shark Tank first reported on last week has resulted in a unprecedented public outcry and political pressure being brought to bear on the Trustees …
Discussion: Israel Matzav and EBL
James Forsyth / Spectator:
Ukip's new deal  —  /article_images/articledir_15729/ 7864578/1_listing.jpg  —  Nigel Farage is relishing the chance to sow discord in Tory ranks  —  Nigel Farage looks round with mild disgust at the antiseptic Westminster restaurant in which we're meant to be having lunch.
New York Times:
Welcome End of a Pseudotheory  —  Many opponents of giving equal rights and protections to gay Americans — at the workplace, in the military, in marrying and forming families — make the claim that homosexuality is a chosen way of life.  They have long seized on the work of a towering figure in psychiatry to justify their position.
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain:
‘He Has No F-king Soul’  —  Today there is a massive Memeorandum aggregation about convicted terrorist Brett Kimberlin, including one on an article by my filmmaker buddy Ladd Ehlinger Jr.:  —  What Did Barbara Streisand Know ...  And When Did She Know It?
Bonnie Kavoussi / The Huffington Post:
Youth Unemployment: One In Eight Global Youths Will Be Unemployed This Year, Report Says … FOLLOW:  —  Unemployment, Video, Unemployment, Global Unemployment Among Youth, Global Unemployment Youth, Global Youth Unemployed, Global Youth Unemployment, Unemployed Youth Global …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Tim Mak / Reuters:
Colin Powell endorses gay marriage  —  Former Secretary of State Colin Powell supports same-sex marriage — and he doesn't necessarily believe the issue should be left up to states.  —  “I have no problems with it,” Powell, who served under George W. Bush, says in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer …
Wall Street Journal:
Europe Girds for Greek Exit  —  Leaders Plot Contingencies as They Find Little Compromise; Euro at 2-Year Low  —  BRUSSELS—European officials are stepping up contingency planning for a possible Greek exit from the euro zone, even as Europe's leaders struggled to overcome differences …
David Carr / Media Decoder:
New Orleans Paper Said to Face Deep Cuts and May Cut Back Publication  —  The New Orleans Times-Picayune, which distinguished itself amid great adversity during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, is about to enact large staff cuts and may cut back its daily print publishing schedule …
Air Force Academy Graduates First Openly Gay Cadets  —  COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Eight months after a repeal of the military's “don't ask , don't tell” policy, the U.S. Air Force Academy today graduated its first group of openly gay cadets.  —  As President Obama addressed the graduates, no rainbow flags could be seen on display.
President Obama Denounces Republican ‘Wild Debts’: I'm Not an Over-Spender  —  COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — At a fundraiser for his re-election campaign in Denver tonight, President Obama set out to upend conventional Republican wisdom that his administration has been defined by excessive government spending.
Ben Poston / JSOnline:
State, local officials seek audit of MPD crime numbers  —  State and local leaders on Wednesday called for independent audits of the Milwaukee Police Department's crime numbers, citing a Journal Sentinel investigation that found more than 500 cases in which serious assaults were misclassified as lesser offenses.
Discussion: RedState, National Review and Hot Air
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
Romney Calls Education ‘Civil Rights Issue of Our Era’ and Urges Shift  —  Lamenting that millions of American children receive “a third world education,” Mitt Romney on Wednesday called for poor and disabled students to be able to use federal funds to attend any public, private or online school they choose.
Discussion: The Caucus, ABCNEWS and The Page
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Pelosi Shifts the Goalposts - Now Draws Line on Bush Tax Cuts at $1 Million  —  House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi asks to extend Bush Tax Cuts up to $1 million  —  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, responding to an expected acceleration of John Boehner's timeline on the Bush tax cuts …
Discussion: Washington Wire
Nancy Pelosi / Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:   Pelosi Letter to Boehner: Allow House to Vote Now on Permanent Extension of Middle Income Tax Cuts
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 More Items: 
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
Too bad, Limbaugh ratings not plunging
Noah Smith / Noahpinion:
In defense of private equity: Japan.
Suzy Khimm / Ezra Klein:
Dodd-Frank is hard to understand, and that's why it has so many enemies
Discussion: Campaign 2012 and Washington Post
Rich Connell / L.A. NOW:
Ban on plastic bags at L.A. markets is approved
Mhigginscbs / CBS DC:
Groups Concerned Over Arming Of Domestic Drones
Discussion: Hit & Run and Cold Fury
Louisa Peacock / Telegraph:
Welfare to work ‘fraud scandal’
Washington Free Beacon:
Obama Joins PNAC
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
MSNBC Primetime Makes Zero Mentions Of Trayvon Martin Case After Pro-Zimmerman Evidence Surfaces
 Earlier Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Morgan Stanley Revisits Facebook Trades; Investors File Suit
Dave Levinthal / Politico:
Congress wins fight for election docs
Discussion: Ballot Box
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez / Arizona Republic:
Hawaii sends Arizona verification of Obama's birth
Jodi Jacobson / RH Reality Check:
American Airlines Rejects Female Passenger Because Political Pro-Choice T-Shirt is “Inappropriate”