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2:45 PM 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 …
Latino Decisions:
New poll: After SB1070 decision Obama widens lead over Romney among Latinos  —  Latino Decisions released new national poll of Latino registered voters showing Barack Obama winning 70% of the Latino vote compared to 22% for Mitt Romney.  The poll, commissioned by the Center …
Seema Mehta / Los Angeles Times:
Romney campaign's attacks on Obama play on ‘birther’ fears  —  Mitt Romney says the Obama administration resembles foreign governments, and a chief surrogate for the GOP candidate says the president needs to ‘learn how to be an American.’  —  IRWIN, Pa. — In remarks that played …
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Is Team Romney Becoming Unhinged?  —  It's beginning to look like John Sununu's Day of Rage yesterday wasn't an outlier for the Romney campaign but a sign of things to come.  Here's McKay Coppins' report on where Team Romney seems to be going: … So it's the Obama campaign's “ruthless” …
Americans view Romney's campaign more unfavorably than Obama's  —  (CNN) - After weeks of scathing back-and-forth between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a plurality of the American public views the incumbent Democrat as running a more favorable campaign, according to a poll released Wednesday.
Another day on the trail: Dancing horses, cronyism
Thomas M. Defrank / NY Daily News:
Medal-winner in Mitt Romney veep stakes won't be known until after Olympic Games
Justin Sink / The Hill:
George W. Bush: Romney ‘can do well without me’
Discussion: CNN
Michael Falcone / ABCNEWS:
When Going Negative Becomes A Positive (The Note)
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Poll: Obama winning 70 percent of Hispanics
Discussion: Politicker
7 reported killed in terror attack against Israelis in Bulgaria  —  Haaretz brings you minute-by-minute updates on the deadly attack; Israeli rescue services en route to country; Terror attack occurs on 18th anniversary of attack on Jewish community in Buenos Aires.
Discussion: and The Gateway Pundit
Jerusalem Post:
5 dead in suicide bombing on Israeli bus in Bulgaria  —  At least 20 injured after attack on Israeli tour bus at the Burgas Airport on 18th anniversary of Iran-sponsored bombing of Jewish center in Argentina; Bulgarian FM in touch with Liberman, headed to site.
Marcus Dysch /
The scene at the airport  —  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blamed Iran for the bombing of a bus which killed at least three Israelis in a Bulgarian resort.  —  He said “all signs point to Iran” and said Israel would “respond with force”.  —  It is not clear whether the attack …
Fox News:
Israel blames Iran for deadly bus explosion targeting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria
Discussion: The Jawa Report and Mondoweiss
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 …
Lucy Madison / CBS News:
Anthony Weiner: Not running for office - for now  —  (CBS News) Despite recent talk of a possible political reemergence, former New York congressman Anthony Weiner insists he has no political comeback planned - at least for the moment.  —  Weiner, who resigned from Congress last summer following …
Andrew Malcolm / Investor's Business Daily:   Memo to Dem press secretary: Probably best not to imply GOP billionaire is a pimp
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 …
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
4 Pinocchios for an unproven Romney claim of ‘crony capitalism’  —  “I am ashamed to say that we're seeing our President hand out money to the businesses of campaign contributors, when he gave money, $500 million in loans to a company called Fisker that makes high end electric cars, and they make the cars now in Finland.
Eric Lach /
TPMMuckraker  —  Tennessee Tea Partiers To GOP Gov: Stop Employing Muslims, Gays, Democrats!  —  Conservatives and Tea Party activists in Tennessee have recently pushed several Republican Party county organizations to pass resolutions criticizing the state's Republican governor for …
New York Times:
Blast Kills Core Syrian Security Officials  —  BEIRUT, Lebanon — An explosion that Syria state television called a suicide bomb attack killed at least three top aides to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on Wednesday including the defense minister and Mr. Assad's powerful brother-in-law.
Zach Carter / The Huffington Post:
Mitt Romney Taxes For 2010 Not Fully Disclosed … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  Elections 2012, Elections 2012, Mitt Romney, Elections 2012, Politics, Taxes , Video, Mitt Romney Tax Returns, Mitt Romney Taxes, Election 2012, Fbar, Mitt Romney 2012, Mitt Romney Taxes 2010, Politics News
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
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 …
Mark Blumenthal / The Huffington Post:
Likely Voter Polls: Mitt Romney's Hidden Edge? … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  Barack Obama , Barack Obama , Mitt Romney, Barack Obama 2012 , Elections 2012, Video, Mitt Romney Polls, Obama Romney Polls, Likely Voters, Mitt Romney 2012, Polls 2012, Pollster Analysis, Presidential Polls, Politics News
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Awkward: Obama jobs panel MIA  —  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 …
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:
CFPB probe into Capital One credit card marketing results in $140 million consumer refund  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced its first public enforcement action with an order requiring Capital One Bank (U.S.A.), N.A. to refund approximately $140 million …
John Kass / Chicago Tribune:
Who else, Mr. President? … When President Barack Obama hauled off and slapped American small-business owners in the mouth the other day, I wanted to dream of my father.  —  But I didn't have to close my eyes to see my dad.  I could do it with my eyes open.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
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 More Items: 
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Lautenberg: Boycott My Constituents!
James Pethokoukis / AEIdeas:
The chart that shows just how much reelection trouble Obama is in
Discussion: Washington Post
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
GOP Spending Bill Aims To Defund Planned Parenthood, Up Abstinence-Only Funds (UPDATE)
Discussion: The Raw Story and ThinkProgress
Brennan Center for Justice:
The Challenge of Obtaining Voter Identification
Merrill Matthews / Investor's Business Daily:
Plunge In CO2 Output Due To Natural Gas Fracking
Discussion: RedState
Ben Shapiro / BREITBART.COM:
Discussion: Michelle Malkin
 Earlier Items: 
Conservatives' New Legal Attack On Health Care Reform: Opposition To Middle-Class Tax Credits
Obama Official Was Like “A Hooker Dropped Into A Prison Exercise Yard”
Discussion: Hot Air
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Reps. Ron Paul, Barney Frank join forces to back bipartisan medical marijuana bill
David Boroff / NY Daily News:
Possible serial foot-licker in custody after police bust 49-year-old Anthony Parri for …
Gene Healy / Reason:
Obama Descends into Self-Parody