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3:45 PM ET, June 20, 2012


 Top Items: 
Fox News:
Obama grants Holder request on ‘Furious’ documents as contempt vote looms  —  DEVELOPING ...  President Obama has granted an 11th-hour request by Attorney General Eric Holder to exert executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents, a last-minute maneuver that appears unlikely to head off …
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Obama Executive Privilege Asserted Over Fast And Furious Documents … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  Eric Holder, Barack Obama , Barack Obama , Video, Executive Privilege, Executive Privilege Obama, Executive Privilege President Obama, Eric Holder Contempt, Eric Holder Fast And Furious …
Byron Tau / Politico:
Boehner: Privilege claim implies White House cover-up  —  On the heels of President Obama's decision to shield Department of Justice documents under the doctrine of executive privilege, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner wondered if White House officials were being involved in a cover-up.
Washington Post:
Fast and Furious scandal: Obama invokes executive privilege; House panel moves forward with Holder contempt vote  —  President Obama asserted executive privilege over documents related to the “Fast and Furious” operation Wednesday as a House panel moved to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr …
Donovan Slack / Politico:
White House: No cover-up, GOP playing politics with Fast & Furious
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and The PJ Tatler
President Obama uses executive privilege on Fast and Furious
Discussion: Univision News Tumblr
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Obama asserts executive privilege ahead of Holder contempt vote
John H. Cushman Jr / New York Times:
Obama Claims Executive Privilege in Gun Case
New York Post:
Is this the end of Eric Holder's games?
Discussion: National Review and RedState
Scott Whitlock / blogs:
Matthews Slimes GOP as Racist for Going After Holder: An ‘Ethnic’ ‘Stop-and-Frisk’
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Michelle Malkin:
Transparency: Eric Holder runs for White House cover; obtains executive privilege over Fast …
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:   White House asserts executive privilege claim to further DOJ's Fast and Furious cover-up
Julie Hirschfeld Davis / Bloomberg:
Obama Leads In Poll As Voters View Romney As Out Of Touch  —  Barack Obama has opened a significant lead over Mitt Romney in a Bloomberg National Poll that reflects the presumed Republican nominee's weaknesses more than the president's strengths.  —  Obama leads Romney 53 percent …
David J. Lynch / Bloomberg:
Americans Say They'Re Better Off Since Obama Took Office  —  A plurality of Americans now say they are better off than they were when President Barack Obama was inaugurated, providing a surprising lift to Obama's re- election campaign despite troublesome economic news.
New poll: Obama has double digit advantage  —  Washington (CNN) - A new national survey indicates President Barack Obama has opened up a double digit lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in the race for the White House, an advantage for Obama that no other major poll released this month has found.
Maggie Habermanand Alexander Burns / Politico:
The 2012 campaign is the smallest ever  —  For years, operatives, reporters and potential nominees envisioned the 2012 presidential campaign as a titanic clash of media-swarmed combatants with big ideas about the future.  In the Republican primaries, this was almost a mantra: this is the most important campaign in a generation.
Mitt Romney Is Terrible For Traffic  —  We admit it, and so do other bloggers and editors: Nobody seems to want to read stories about Mitt Romney.  For the candidate, a blessing or a curse?  —  In the war of partisan trash talk that frequently consumes online political media …
First Read /
First Thoughts: Why Rubio probably won't be the pick  —  Why Rubio probably won't be Romney's VP pick... And why T-Paw seems to be rising... Obama campaign releases two new TV ads hitting Romney's record as Massachusetts governor... Romney's boxed in on immigration... Romney raises money in Michigan …
Mike Allenand Jim Vandehei / Politico:
Tim Pawlenty's stock soars in Romney-world  —  Tim Pawlenty has jumped to the top of the vice presidential shortlist of several Mitt Romney advisers after emerging as the most effective — and well-liked — surrogate for the GOP nominee-to-be, according to several Republicans familiar with campaign deliberations.
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
Middle class could face higher taxes under Republican plan, analysis finds  —  The tax reform plan that House Republicans have advanced would sharply cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and could leave middle-class households facing much larger tax bills, according to a new analysis set to be released Wednesday.
Pat Garofalo / ThinkProgress:
Study: House Republican Budget Would Raise Taxes On The Middle Class, Cut Them For Millionaires
Discussion: American Prospect
Brian Beutler / Talking Points Memo:
Soak The Middle Class
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
For immediate release  —  Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the economy has been expanding moderately this year.  However, growth in employment has slowed in recent months, and the unemployment rate remains elevated.  Business fixed investment has continued to advance.
Jordan Michael Smith / Salon:
New NSA docs contradict 9/11 claims  —  “I don't think the Bush administration would want to see these released,” an expert tells Salon  —  Over 120 CIA documents concerning 9/11, Osama bin Laden and counterterrorism were published today for the first time, having been newly declassified and released to the National Security Archive.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand / The Huffington Post:
Food Stamp Vote In Senate Blocks Bid To Restore $4.5 Billion In Aid … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  Video, 2012 Farm Bill, Farm Bill, Farm Bill 2012, Kirsten Gillibrand, Debbie Stabenow, Debbie Stabenow Food Stamps, Farm Bill Food Stamps, Food Stamp Cuts, Food Stamps, Kirsten Gillibrand Farm Bill, Politics News
Discussion: Firedoglake and ThinkProgress
Wall Street Journal:
Food Stamp Fiasco
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Romney plans posh weekend donor retreat featuring Rove and V.P. hopefuls  —  Fresh off the best fundraising stretch of his presidential campaign, Mitt Romney plans to spend this weekend strategizing and fraternizing with his biggest bundlers at a posh resort in Park City, Utah.
Discussion:, ABCNEWS, Shakesville and GOP 12
Scott Jaschik / Inside Higher Ed:
E-mails show U.Va. board wanted a big online push  —  By  —  E-mail messages were flying among leaders of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia in the weeks leading up to the ouster of Teresa A. Sullivan as president of the university.  The e-mail messages show …
Discussion: naked capitalism
Salena Zito / Greensburg Tribune-Review:
Rep. Mark Critz, other Dems, to skip convention in favor of campaigning in Pennsylvania  —  U.S. Rep. Mark Critz said on Tuesday he will skip the Democratic National Convention in favor of campaigning in Pennsylvania, much like top elected Democrats in neighboring West Virginia who are disgruntled with President Obama.
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 More Items: 
Alicia M. Cohn / Ballot Box:
Super-PAC plans to help McCaskill in tough Senate race
Discussion: CNN and Associated Press
Military instructor suspended over Islam course
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Atlas Shrugs
New York Times:
Public Workers Face Continued Layoffs, Hurting the Recovery
Discussion: blogs and Politico
Jenna Portnoy / New Jersey Online:
Gov. Chris Christie compares Democrats to vampires at town hall
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Kieran Healy / Crooked Timber:
The Declaration of Independence
Don Kaplan / New York Post:
Inside gov's ‘cave’
Discussion: Politicker and New York Magazine
 Earlier Items: 
Ginia Bellafante / New York Times:
As Issue Divides School, Congressman Takes a Side
IA & MI  —  We kick off our “Big Ten” series with polls in Iowa and Michigan.
Discussion: Ballot Box and GOP 12
Matt Duss / ThinkProgress:
National Review's New Contributor: White Nationalist David Yerushalmi