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3:55 PM ET, July 21, 2012


 Top Items: 
Associated Press:
Colorado suspect was brilliant science student  —  DENVER (AP) — James Eagen Holmes came from a well-tended San Diego enclave of two-story homes with red-tiled roofs, where neighbors recall him as a clean-cut, studious young man of sparing words.  —  Tall and dark-haired …
Discussion: Chicago Boyz
Jason Sickles / Reuters:
Movie theater gunman had been stockpiling arsenal  —  AURORA, Colo. — The gunman who blasted his way through a packed movie house early on Friday, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others, had apparently been planning his attack for weeks.  —  “In the last 60 days he purchased four guns …
John Schwartz / New York Times:
Colorado Gun Laws Remain Lax, Despite Changes After Columbine  —  The news of the horrifying armed assault in Aurora, Colo. — just a half-hour drive from the site of the Columbine High School shootings in 1999 — has a freakish resonance in a state that has long played an unsought role …
David Weigel / Slate:
Could an Armed Person Have Stopped the Aurora Shooting? A Second Opinion.
Discussion: Eschaton
Carolyn Kellogg / Los Angeles Times:
Leftist journalist Alexander Cockburn dies at 71  —  Alexander Cockburn's books include the bestselling “Whiteout,” with Jeffrey St. Clair, and “A Short History of Fear.”  —  Alexander Cockburn, the leftist journalist, has died.  The 71-year-old had been living in Berlin and fighting cancer.
P.J. Gladnick / blogs:
RIP Alexander Cockburn; Leftist Global Warming ‘Heretic’  —  It has been announced that Alexander Cockburn, a columnist for The Nation and co-editor of CounterPunch, died yesterday.  Although Cockburn reflected a leftist viewpoint (mandatory if you write for The Nation) …
Jeffrey St. Clair / CounterPunch:
Farewell, Alex, My Friend  —  Our friend and comrade Alexander Cockburn died last night in Germany, after a fierce two-year long battle against cancer.  His daughter Daisy was at his bedside.  —  Alex kept his illness a tightly guarded secret.  Only a handful of us knew how terribly sick he truly was.
Discussion: BuzzFeed, Hit & Run and The Raw Story
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
With Extreme Prejudice  —  How ABC News “investigates” a horrific crime.  —  “An off-duty Los Angeles police officer and three bodybuilder friends have been arrested for allegedly punching and kicking a New York man in an alley near a cafe on West Hollywood's Restaurant Row,” the Los Angeles Times reported July 30, 1991.
Zach Green /
IS MITT ROMNEY BUYING TWITTER FOLLOWERS?  —  I'm not saying he bought them, but Romney's follower stats have taken a sharp and sudden rise since Friday 5PM EST. Could it be a weekend blitz?  Twitter noticed.  Personally, I think this is too obvious for the Romney campaign to have done.
Discussion: BuzzFeed and TBogg
Charles Johnson / Little Green Footballs:
Is Mitt Romney Buying Twitter Followers?  —  Today we learn that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is apparently buying Twitter followers to inflate his popularity in social media.  The graph from looks like a hockey stick:  —  Here's Romney's profile page: Mitt Romney (MittRomney) on Twitter.
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Christian Bale / The Onion:
Sadly, Nation Knows Exactly How Colorado Shooting's Aftermath Will Play Out  —  WASHINGTON—Americans across the nation confirmed today that, unfortunately, due to their extreme familiarity with the type of tragedy that occurred in a Colorado movie theater last night, they sadly know exactly …
Adam Peck / ThinkProgress:
NRA Magazine Sends Insensitive Tweet Hours After Colorado Shooting, Then Deletes Social Media Accounts
Brian Tashman /
AFA News Director Says Liberal Churches, Media Share Responsibility for Colorado Shooting
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay and Gawker
Associated Press:
Obama effort spends more in June than it takes in  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid a heavy barrage of advertising by opposing “super” political groups, President Barack Obama's re-election campaign spent more than it collected in June.  While outraised again by Republican Mitt Romney …
Meghashyam Mali / Ballot Box:
Pro-Obama super-PAC raises $6M in June, hits Romney with ad blitz
Discussion: CNN
New York Times:
Obama Spends the Most, but Romney Raises More
Discussion: The Caucus
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama out-raises Romney in direct contributions for month of June
Discussion: CNN, Politico and Prairie Weather
Jim Merlino / Politico:
Post Aurora: Don't expect new gun laws  —  I served as Democratic policy director for the Colorado Senate minority in 2003 — when the state legislature passed the gun law package that is now the law in Colorado.  —  These bills had been delayed since the 1999 Columbine shootings.
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Gun control calls follow Colorado theater shootings, but few expect major changes
Discussion: Reuters
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
In ‘Black Liquor,’ a Cautionary Tale for Deficit Reduction  —  WASHINGTON — As a member of the “Gang of Six,” Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho has emerged as something of a hero among advocates of bipartisanship, one of three conservative Republicans working with three Democrats to cut the deficit …
Discussion: Hullabaloo
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 More Items: 
MoJo Articles:
Romney Invested Millions in Firms That Pioneered High-Tech Outsourcing
Discussion: The Maddow Blog and Daily Kos
Susan Davis / USA Today:
House intel leaders disavow Bachmann allegations
Rob Bluey / Hot Air:
Flashback: Obama praised welfare work requirements his administration just gutted
David Weigel / Slate:
Could A Brave Citizen With a Concealed Weapon Have Prevented the Aurora Shootings?
 Earlier Items: 
Jamie Grierson / The Independent:
Blow to George Osborne as borrowing rises
Discussion: Firedoglake
Jon Campbell / Albany Watch:
Cuomo's Office Releases 2,200-Word Letter on Lobbying Group
Caitlin McDevitt / Reuters:
Cher criticizes Mitt's response to shooting