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9:20 AM ET, July 18, 2012


 Top Items: 
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 …
Manu Raju / Politico:
McCain: Palin was ‘better candidate’ than Romney
Robert Costa / National Review:
Romney on Tax Returns: 'I'm Simply Not Enthusiastic about Giving Them Hundreds or Thousands …
McCain: Palin was better VP choice than Romney in 2008
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.  —  Romney's top aides in Florida in January.  —  Image by Joe Raedle / Getty Images  —  IRWIN, Penn.
Discussion: Los Angeles Times and ABCNEWS
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
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.
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.
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Romney donor Adelson threatens to sue DCCC for libel
New York Times:
Blast Kills Top Security Aides to Assad  —  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.
Discussion: Via Meadia
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
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’
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: Weasel Zippers and Israel Matzav
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 …
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
Obama has investments in companies that ship jobs overseas
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 …
Discussion: CNN and Politicker
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 …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Reid: Cheney motivated to stop defense cuts because of Halliburton ties
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 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.
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.
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.
Discussion: Ed Driscoll
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 …
Discussion: White Blog
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
Ethics Committee launches probe of Dem Rep. Robert Andrews  —  The House Ethics Committee announced on Tuesday it was probing allegations that Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) violated House ethics rules.  —  The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) referred the case to the secretive ethics panel …
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 More Items: 
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Obama believes success is a gift from government
Discussion: Power Line
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
Christie Balancing National Ambitions With Governorship
New cyber espionage virus found targeting Iran
Bernanke offers few hints on further Fed easing
Discussion: Vodkapundit, Bloomberg and Firedoglake
New York Times:
Inside Romney's Search for a Vice President
Annie-Rose Strasser / ThinkProgress:
National Review Writer Stands By Racial Slur
Aaron Carroll / The Incidental Economist:
Tyler Cowen on me on Medicaid Wars
Discussion: Brad DeLong
Matt Schudel / Washington Post:
William Raspberry dies at 76: Washington Post columnist wrote about social issues including race, poverty
 Earlier Items: 
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Mike Huckabee: New welfare changes are ‘trap’
Discussion: The Raw Story
Poll shows race tightening for president
Discussion: GOP 12, Washington Post and Ballot Box
Andrew Malcolm / Investor's Business Daily:
Orator Obama offers fainting crowd advice on how to stand listening to him
Discussion: protein wisdom and Althouse
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
How did vaunted Romney Death Star break down?