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2:50 PM ET, August 18, 2012


 Top Items: 
Mitt Romney for President of the United States …:
AUDIO REMARKS ON PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CUTS TO MEDICARE  —  This November, America will make a choice about the direction we want to go as a country - and nowhere is that choice clearer than on the issue of Medicare.  —  President Obama's healthcare law raided $716 billion from the Medicare trust fund.
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
Ryan saves boldest plan for Medicaid  —  Medicare is not the only entitlement Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has big plans to reform.  —  Its sister program, Medicaid, would lose about three-quarters of its federal funding by 2050 under proposals from the Republican vice presidential candidate, according to federal budget auditors.
Emily Schultheis / Politico:
GOP advice on Medicare: Attack  —  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan say that they welcome a debate about the federal budget and their plans to reform Medicare.  —  But Republican strategists believe that there is really only one way to win the Medicare message wars: mount a bruising offense …
Mike Lillis / Ballot Box:
Obama: Paul Ryan plan would cut Romney's tax rate to 1 percent  —  Stumping in the swing state of New Hampshire on Saturday, President Obama hit Mitt Romney on a topic that's haunted the GOP presidential contender all summer: taxes.  —  The president hammered the Democrats' long-running charge …
Discussion: Politico
Alicia Mundy / Washington Wire:
Paul Ryan Discloses $1 Million to $5 Million Family Trust
MS Bellows Jr / Guardian:
Mitt Romney's tax returns: the ‘voter fraud’ theory |  MS Bellows Jr  —  There has been much speculation about why Romney refuses to disclose earlier tax returns.  Could it be as simple as an address?  —  Friday's exchange of letters between the election campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney …
How Management Killed “The Village Voice”  —  Mike Lacey figured out sex ads on the Internet, but little else.  The paper edges toward collapse.  —  Alt-weeklies are always dying.  But the news Friday that four editorial staffers were laid off or had their hours cut to part-time at The Village Voice …
Foster Kamer / The New York Observer:
Layoffs Hit Editorial Staff at The Village Voice
Dennis / Gallup.Com:
August Unemployment Not Looking Good  —  New Gallup unemployment data suggest an increase in the government's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August when it is reported on Friday, Sept. 7.  During recent months, Gallup's measurements have been more optimistic than those of the BLS.
Jon Swaine / Telegraph:
US election: Mitt Romney may have breached ethics laws through company linked to Paul Ryan's brother  —  Mitt Romney may have breached state ethics laws as Governor of Massachusetts by holding a stake in a company that did lucrative work for his administration and was linked to the family of Paul Ryan …
Washington Post Strikes Out in Attack on Joe Biden's Courage on Social Security  —  The Washington Post once again confounded its critics who insisted that it couldn't get any worse.  Yesterday the paper ran an editorial that criticized Vice President Joe Biden for his lack of courage …
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Hullabaloo
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Paul Ryan Claims He Didn't Know He Signed Letters Asking For Stimulus Funds  —  During an interview with Fox News' Carl Cameron on Saturday, Paul Ryan tried to explain why he denied requesting stimulus funds for a local energy company in 2009 after voting against and demagoguing the Recovery Act.
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Why doom has not materialized  —  Sometimes the news is that something was not newsworthy.  The United Nations' Rio+20 conference — 50,000 participants from 188 nations — occurred in June without consequences.  A generation has passed since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, which begat other conferences and protocols (e.g., Kyoto).
Discussion: Cold Fury and AEIdeas
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
With a Full Quiver, Senator Schumer Is Quick to Release Cupid's Arrows  —  Even by the standards of Capitol Hill, where ambitious and awkward young people are thrust together in cramped workplaces and crowded bars, the nuptial output of Senator Charles E. Schumer's office stands out.
Discussion: Althouse
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
GOP convention's focus: Romney the professional  —  BOSTON — Mitt Romney's advisers are orchestrating a four-day Republican National Convention that is not so much designed to make Americans fall in love with the nominee, but rather to fall in like with the idea of him as the nation's leader …
Steve Benen /
Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol.  XXX  —  Mitt Romney gave a speech Beallsville, Ohio, this week, and presented an unfortunate attack against President Obama.  “How can you go out there and tell people things that just aren't true?” he asked rhetorically.  He added, “This is a time for truths.”
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
A Measure of Change: Obama Lags on Filling Seats in the Judiciary  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama is set to end his term with dozens fewer lower-court appointments than both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush achieved in their first four years, and probably with less …
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 More Items: 
Nikki Finke /
‘The Tonight Show’ Lays Off 20 Staffers And Host Jay Leno Takes Pay Cut To Save Jobs
Kristin J. Bender / insideBayArea:
Oakland: Six arrested as protest at Obama campaign headquarters ends peacefully
Discussion: Hot Air and The Raw Story
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Rep. Hartzler: Dems politicizing drought-relief measures
Discussion:, CNN, USA Today and Politico
Syria's neighbors braced for chemical threat. Assad warns Turkey on Stingers
Protester spits on Romney supporter in Wisconsin
Amy Worden /
Pa. drops plans for 2 online initiatives to boost voting
 Earlier Items: 
Byron Tau / Politico:
Kerry defends Obama against vets attack
Craig Gilbert / JSOnline:
Ryan releases tax returns for last two years
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
The Charts That Doom Obama
Discussion: Sober Look, Doug Ross, CNBC and The Hill
Ohio Elections Chief Suspends Democrats From County Board
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and Election Law Blog
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Barton's Fall From Grace
Rebecca Leber / ThinkProgress:
Pro-Gun Group Floods Public Library With Armed Protesters, Compares Gun Regulation To Jim Crow
President Obama Only Answers Ridiculous Questions
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Power Line