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1:15 AM ET, July 18, 2012


 Top Items: 
Manu Raju / Politico:
McCain: Palin was ‘better candidate’ than Romney  —  Mitt Romney's tax returns had nothing to do with Sen. John McCain's decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, according to the Arizona Republican, saying he chose the former Alaska governor because she was a “better candidate.”
Robert Costa / National Review:
Romney on Tax Returns: 'I'm Simply Not Enthusiastic about Giving Them Hundreds or Thousands of More Pages to Pick Through, Distort, and Lie About'  —  Earlier today, Mitt Romney spoke with National Review Online about life on the trail, his meeting with Dick Cheney,and his upcoming trip to Europe.
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 …
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.”
McCain: Palin was better VP choice than Romney in 2008
Discussion: Politico, Ballot Box and Booman Tribune
NY Daily News:
Top Romney surrogate John Sununu, the fomer N.H. Gov., apologizes after charging that Obama needs ‘to learn how to be an American’  —  Sununu also said the President doesn't understand the economy because he spent his youth ‘smoking something’  —  Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu …
Romney surrogate Sununu: ‘I wish this president would learn how to be an American’
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Romney surrogate: Obama spent youth ‘in Hawaii smoking something’
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Star of Pro-Obama Super PAC Ad Unleashed: ‘Obama Is a Jerk, a Pantywaist, a Lightweight, a Blowhard’  —  The star of a pro-Obama super PAC ad is speaking out against ... President Barack Obama.  —  “I could really care less about Obama,” Donnie Box says of President Obama, according to In These Times.
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.
Discussion: Mediaite and theGrio
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 …
Discussion: The Right Scoop and BuzzFeed
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Reid: Cheney motivated to stop defense cuts because of Halliburton ties
Suzy Khimm / Washington Post:
Harry Reid promises filibuster reform if Dems win the election
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 …
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Romney Knocks It Out of the Park  —  By all accounts, Mitt Romney was sensational today in Pennsylvania.  His theme was Barack Obama's revelatory “you didn't build that” speech.  Over the lunch hour (here in the Midwest), Twitter was burning up with commentary from those who were watching Romney's speech live.
Discussion: Scared Monkeys and Wake up America
Poll shows race tightening for president  —  Presidential approval rating slips in NH  —  Despite more Granite Staters disapproving of the job he has done, President Barack Obama still holds a slim lead over Republican Mitt Romney in a new poll.  —  The WMUR Granite State Poll shows …
Discussion: Ballot Box
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Obama leads in Iowa
Discussion: Ballot Box
Patrick Gavin / Politico:
George W. Bush: ‘8 years was awesome’  —  In case there was any doubt, George W. Bush made it abundantly clear in a recent interview that although it was “awesome” being president for eight years, he doesn't miss life in political office.  —  “Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful …
Rush Limbaugh:
The Batman Campaign?  —  RUSH: Have you heard this new movie, the Batman movie, what is it, The Dark Knight Lights Up or whatever the name is.  That's right, Dark Knight Rises.  Lights Up, same thing.  Do you know the name of the villain in this movie?  Bane.  The villain in The Dark Knight Rises is named Bane, B-a-n-e.
K. Allan Blume / Baptist Press News:
‘Guilty as charged,’ Cathy says of Chick-fil-A's stand on biblical & family values  —  CARY, N.C. (BP) — Dan Cathy oversees one of the country's most successful businesses.  As president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, Cathy leads a business with 1,608 restaurants that had sales of more than $4 billion dollars last year.
G-A-Y / Good As You:
Chick-fil-A's flippant response to years of LGBT controversy: ‘Guilty as charged’
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
Obama has investments in companies that ship jobs overseas … More Photos  —  Popular in Politics  —  President Obama has accused Mitt Romney of raking in profits from investing in companies that ship American jobs overseas, but according to his most recent financial disclosure …
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. Entertainment News:
Mark Hamill: Mitt Romney is ‘not actually human’ (Video)  —  Mark Hamill says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is “not actually human” and that people who don't vote to re-elect Barack Obama in the upcoming November election are “insane.”  —  The 60-year-old actor …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
How did vaunted Romney Death Star break down?  —  More Photos  —  Popular in Politics  —  A few days before the January 31 Florida Republican primary, a number of Mitt Romney's top aides took to the pages of the New York Times to brag about how they had destroyed Newt Gingrich.
Stephanie Warsmith / Akron Beacon Journal:
Obama campaign sues Ohio over early voting restrictions  —  President Barack Obama's campaign filed a lawsuit in Columbus this afternoon, seeking to restore the three days of early voting prior to Election Day that the GOP-controlled legislature eliminated, the campaign announced in an exclusive interview with the Beacon Journal today.
Byron Tau / Politico:
Obama campaign, DNC sue Ohio over early voting
Discussion: The Raw Story
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 More Items: 
Binyamin Appelbaum / New York Times:
Bernanke Hints More Stimulus Is Unlikely Now
Aaron Carroll / The Incidental Economist:
Tyler Cowen on me on Medicaid Wars
Matt Schudel / Washington Post:
William Raspberry dies at 76: Washington Post columnist wrote about social issues including race, poverty
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Mike Huckabee: New welfare changes are ‘trap’
Discussion: The Raw Story and The Maddow Blog
Andrew Malcolm / Investor's Business Daily:
Orator Obama offers fainting crowd advice on how to stand listening to him
Discussion: protein wisdom and Althouse
 Earlier Items: 
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
GOP Rep Drives Away From Constituent Asking About Minimum Wage Increase
Patrick Gavin / Politico:
John Rocker is still throwing heat
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay and Outsports
The Voice:
ACCESS DENIED: Voice Readers Furious Over Olympic Snub
Discussion: ThinkProgress, theGrio and Guardian
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Is Romney Overreacting to Bain Attacks?