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1:55 PM 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.
Tim Mak / Politico:
‘Stand Your Ground’ backed in Florida, poll shows
Discussion: ThinkProgress
First Read /
First Thoughts: Mr. 48%  —  Mr. 48%: Obama at or near 48% …
Discussion: Yahoo! News and 2012 Decoded
Marist Poll:
5/24: Obama Leads Romney by Six Percentage Points in Ohio
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Caucus
Robin Bravender / Politico:
Has recall election made Scott Walker a GOP hero?  —  Democrats leapt at the chance to use Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to send a message to all the budget-cutting, union-busting conservatives across the land: If you mess with Big Labor, there's a heavy price to pay.  —  But if you shoot at the king, you'd better not miss.
Ann Althouse / Althouse:
“Has recall election made Scott Walker a GOP hero?”  —  Asks Politico: … The recall has put Walker in the position where he must advertise and promote himself, which might have been awkward before — and it was never his thing.  TV viewers are getting barraged with Walker ads …
Turnout  —  You have to hand it to Wisconsin's electorate: they are passionate about their politics.  When we first polled the Dairy State's voters about Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plummeting approval ratings, many right-leaning types let the blogosphere know how We Ask America's minions …
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:
Darleen Click / protein wisdom:   Hey, Barry ... who is this “we” you speak of?
Bill Clinton — SURROUNDED By Porn Stars in Monaco  —  SURROUNDED  —  By Porn Stars  —  EXCLUSIVE  —  Bill Clinton just out-Clinton'd himself — posing with two famous porn stars in Monaco moments ago ... and one of them's a real up-and-comer.  —  Clinton's in a Monte Carlo casino right …
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Two Dem recruits back away from Obama  —  National Democrats are upbeat about former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp's prospects as a Senate candidate.  And on the House level, Dems are optimistic that former Gabrielle Giffords aide Ron Barber will keep Giffords's open seat in Democratic hands.
Associated Press:
Competitive Senate race shaping up in North Dakota
Discussion: New York Times
Tim Mak / Politico:
Heidi Heitkamp, Democratic Senate candidate, knocks Obama
Discussion: Washington Post
Lanny Davis / The Hill:
Cory Booker got it right  —  The attacks on Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker (D) by the more vitriolic liberal commentators for what he said about Bain Capital on this past Sunday's “Meet the Press” are just as indefensible as the Republican Party's cynical and dishonest attempt to exploit …
Jan Crawford / CBS News:
Attacks on Romney's business past not sticking
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Romney defends Bain record, says Obama ‘attacking capitalism’
Discussion: CNN, Hot Air and CANNONFIRE
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.
City Room:
Man Confesses to Strangling Etan Patz, Police Say  —  A man in custody in Manhattan has confessed to strangling Etan Patz, the 6-year-old boy who vanished in SoHo on his way to school in 1979, wrapping his body in a bag and putting it in a box, a law enforcement official said on Thursday.
Michael Levenson / Boston Globe:
Elizabeth Warren pulls even with Scott Brown in new poll  —  Elizabeth Warren, emerging from what many consider the roughest patch yet in her Senate campaign, has pulled into a virtual tie with US Senator Scott Brown, according to a new Suffolk University/7News poll.
Discussion: American Spectator
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Elizabeth Warren's identity politics
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Rachel Maddow fails the Carney test  —  Last night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow attributed statements to Mitt Romney that he did not make.  —  In a segment pegged, ironically, to White House criticism of the Washington press corps, Maddow attempted to rise to the White House's challenge by calling …
Michael K. Lavers / Washington Blade:
Poll: Majority of black Marylanders back same-sex marriage  — Email this to a friend?  — Share this on Google+  —  Marylanders for Marriage Equality.  (Blade photo by Michael Key)  —  A new poll indicates that a majority of black Marylanders would vote for the state's same-sex marriage law in the likely November referendum.
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.
Dennis Cauchon / USA Today:
Real federal deficit dwarfs official tally  —  The typical American household would have paid nearly all of its income in taxes last year to balance the budget if the government used standard accounting rules to compute the deficit, a USA TODAY analysis finds.
Boston Globe:
Unabomber sends Harvard class update  —  Ted Kaczynski — the domestic terrorist known as the Unabomber, who is serving life in prison for sending deadly mail bombs — will not be able to attend his 50th class reunion at Harvard College.  But he did contribute a bizarre entry to the alumni report for the class of 1962.
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
On Health Care, Romney Goes Retro  —  Editor's Note: After looking at the economic platform of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, this installment of our series on his policy plans examines the details of his health care agenda.  —  The gist: Repeal the Affordable Care Act …
Romney defends class size stance to teachers  —  (CNN) - Mitt Romney, who is spending this week promoting a plan for America's public school system, spent Thursday morning defending his stance that smaller class sizes don't necessarily equate with better learning in schools.
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.
Keith Koffler / White House Dossier:
Obama Misses His Entrance  —  President Obama failed to appear on cue last night at the Fox Theater in Redwood, California, a weird lapse for a president who may have been exhausted at the end of a marathon day of speechifying and campaigning.  —  Pool reporter Peter Baker of the New York Times offers …
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 …
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 More Items: 
Rachel Rose Hartman / ABCNEWS:
Santorum endorses Ted Cruz in Texas Senate race
Discussion: CNN
Sabrina Ford / New York Post:
Arabic mandatory at city public school
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Andrew Malcolm / Investor's Business Daily:
Joe Biden's act growing old for more Americans
Discussion: protein wisdom, Ballot Box, Politico and CNN
Heather Stewart / Guardian:
UK recession deeper than expected
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Alec Baldwin mocks Andrew Breitbart's death
 Earlier Items: 
Fetisheers Take On Union In Chicago
Discussion: Joe. My. God.
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
Political Memo: Bain Strategy Against Romney May Have Pitfalls for Obama
Chrystia Freeland / Reuters:
Like an Anorexic, U.S. Sees Itself Fat With Taxes
Discussion: The Agonist
New York Times:
Welcome End of a Pseudotheory
Discussion: Good As You
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt / New York Times:
Paul Fussell, Literary Scholar and Critic, Is Dead at 88
Discussion: National Review and Shakesville