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10:20 AM ET, July 18, 2012


 Top Items: 
How The Romney Campaign Decided To Take The Gloves Off  —  Surrogates will bring up cocaine, Fast and Furious, and ties to Blagojevich, one aide says.  What Romneyland is thinking.  —  Image by Win McNamee / Getty Images  —  IRWIN, Penn.  — Standing before hundreds of roaring partisans …
National Review:
Release the Returns  —  Mitt Romney is steadfastly resisting calls to release additional years of his personal tax returns, arguing — not without good reason — that this demand is part of a fishing expedition by the Obama campaign, which hopes to exploit Romney's personal wealth …
Alexander Burnsand Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Conservative elites club Mitt Romney  —  In case you hadn't noticed, there are some on the right who are less than wild about Mitt Romney.  —  The former Massachusetts governor has at times been the subject of withering criticism from conservatives since he started his presidential campaign.
Discussion: CNN and Taylor Marsh
Thomas M. Defrank / NY Daily News:
Medal-winner in Mitt Romney veep stakes won't be known until after Olympic Games  —  Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and ex-Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty head list of likely running mates  —  WASHINGTON — Kicking the vice presidential sweepstakes into overdrive, Mitt Romney Tuesday announced …
Discussion: GOP 12 and Politico
Andrew Malcolm / Investor's Business Daily:
Memo to Dem press secretary: Probably best not to imply GOP billionaire is a pimp  —  When Jesse Ferguson showed up for work yesterday as a Democrat press secretary on Capitol Hill, he found a three-page FedEx letter waiting.  —  It was from someone named Lewis R. Clayton.
Las Vegas Sun Blogs:
Adelson to DCCC: Retract your “Chinese prostitution money” comments or I'll sue  —  In a scathing letter to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Sheldon Adelson's lawyer accused the organization of “maliciously branding Mr. Adelson as a pimp” and demanded the DCCC either retract and apologize or be sued.
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Romney donor Adelson threatens to sue DCCC for libel
New York Times:
Attack Kills Syrian Defense Minister in Damascus  —  BEIRUT, Lebanon — President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law and Syria's defense minister were killed on Wednesday when a suicide bomber attacked a crisis group of senior ministers and security chiefs meeting in central Damascus, according to state television and activists.
Bomb kills Syrian ministers at heart of Assad rule
Washington Post:   Intense fighting rocks Syrian capital, fueling perceptions of a turning point
Isabel Kershner / New York Times:
Israel Says Syria Pulls Troops from Golan to Suppress Revolt Elsewhere
Discussion: and Israel Matzav
Christopher Kolk /
Anthony Weiner Shares a Family Photo  —  What's next for former New York congressman Anthony Weiner?  Baby's first birthday, of course.  —  “I'm very happy in my present life,” Weiner, 47, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview.  “The only next dramatic steps I'm planning on are Jordan's first …
Tim Mak / Politico:
Nancy Pelosi: Democrats should skip the convention  —  House minority leader Nancy Pelosi says that Democratic members should stay home and campaign in their districts rather than go to the party's national convention in North Carolina.  —  “I'm not encouraging anyone to go to the convention …
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Obama jobs panel lays low  —  President Barack Obama's Jobs Council hasn't met publicly for six months, even as the issue of job creation dominates the 2012 election.  —  At this point, the hiatus — which reached the half-year mark Tuesday — might be less awkward than an official meeting …
Discussion: Yahoo! News and Betsy's Page
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
Obama has investments in companies that ship jobs overseas
Wall Street Journal:
Romney's Ticket Talk Is Heating Up  —  In the time before his party's national convention late next month, Mitt Romney still has one surefire way to draw the spotlight to his campaign: When he names a running mate, the choice will dominate the political conversation.
Discussion: BuzzFeed
New York Times:
Inside Romney's Search for a Vice President
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
Christie Balancing National Ambitions With Governorship
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
Did Mitt Romney pay any federal taxes at all in 2009?  —  On the issue of Mitt Romney's tax returns, my colleague George Will put it simply: “The cost of not releasing the returns are clear.  Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”
Robert Costa / National Review:
Romney on Tax Returns: 'I'm Simply Not Enthusiastic about Giving Them Hundreds or Thousands …
Manu Raju / Politico:
McCain: Palin was ‘better candidate’ than Romney
Javier Manjarres / The Shark Tank:
Wasserman Schultz Has Unreported Second Home in NH, Lives Large on the High Seas  —  DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and President Barack Obama's re-election campaign team have been waging a coordinated effort against Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney by repeatedly casting aspersion …
DNC Head Gets Heckled At Synagogue Rally
Discussion: Israel Matzav and Weasel Zippers
Josh Margolin / New York Post:
Christie keynote tip  —  The word is going out quietly to Republican activists across New Jersey: If you're going to the GOP convention in Tampa next month, be sure to be there by Tuesday night, Aug. 28, because Gov. Chris Christie is going to be giving the keynote speech that night.
Mike Elk / Working In These Times:
Laid Off Steelworker in Anti-Romney Ad Says He Is Not Voting for Obama  —  “We didn't know who the hell Mitt Romney was when all that stuff started,” says former GS Technologies steelworker Donnie Box of Kansas City, Missouri.  “It wasn't until later we found out who Romney was.
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:   Star of Pro-Obama Super PAC Ad Unleashed: ‘Obama Is a Jerk, a Pantywaist, a Lightweight, a Blowhard’
Rob Bluey / Hot Air:
Schumer calls for “limits on First Amendment rights” during Senate debate  —  The Senate has gone 1,175 days without passing a budget.  Taxmageddon and sequestration are threatening the economic livelihood of millions of Americans.  And yet the top order of business for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid …
Gene Healy / Reason:
Obama Descends into Self-Parody  —  It's time for the president to give his hope-and-change act a rest.  —  After much soul searching, Barack Obama has figured out where his presidency has gone wrong—and he shared it with CBS's Charlie Rose and viewers across the fruited plain Sunday morning.
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Senate Democrats Propose Letting All Tax Cuts Expire  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats — holding firm against extending tax cuts for the rich — are proposing a novel way to circumvent the Republican pledge not to vote for any tax increase: Allow all the tax cuts to expire Jan. 1 …
David Boroff / NY Daily News:
Possible serial foot-licker in custody after police bust 49-year-old Anthony Parri for inappropriately touching two young girls in upstate NY library  —  ‘I am being set up by the President Barack Obama and the city and the federal government,’ Parri said outside court.
Discussion: Mediaite and Riehl World View
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 More Items: 
Quinnipiac University:
More Virginia Voters Back Out-And-In UVA President, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds …
Discussion: Politico
Chas Sisk / In Session:
County GOP chapters circulate resolutions condemning Haslam
Greg Mankiw / Greg Mankiw's Blog:
Harry Reid's Wardrobe
Discussion: The Glittering Eye
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Obama believes success is a gift from government
Discussion: Power Line
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
Ethics Committee launches probe of Dem Rep. Robert Andrews
New cyber espionage virus found targeting Iran
 Earlier Items: 
Matt Schudel / Washington Post:
William Raspberry dies at 76: Washington Post columnist wrote about social issues including race, poverty
Poll shows race tightening for president
Discussion: Washington Post, GOP 12 and Ballot Box