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6:50 PM ET, August 20, 2012


 Top Items: 
Robert Costa / National Review:
Romney: Akin's ‘Inexcusable’ Comment  —  In a phone interview this morning, Mitt Romney told National Review Online that Representative Todd Akin's recent comment on rape is “inexcusable.”  —  “Congressman's Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said.
David Taintor / Talking Points Memo:
Reports: Akin Advisers Make Preparations For Withdrawal Tomorrow  —  Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin's advisers are making preparations to withdraw from the race Tuesday, GOP operative Richard Grenell and editor Erick Erickson report.
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Crossroads pulls out of Missouri after Akin comments  —  The conservative outside-spending powerhouse Crossroads GPS is pulling its ads from the Missouri Senate race, three sources confirmed to POLITICO.  —  The group had originally booked a new round of ads to start Wednesday but began canceling them earlier today.
National Review:
Step Aside, Todd Akin  —  Representative Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senator from Missouri, became nationally notorious yesterday for saying something stupid.  In the course of explaining why he believes abortion should be illegal even when pregnancies result from rape …
Michelle Malkin:
The Todd Akin mess  —  Ugh.  —  Over the weekend, GOP Rep. Todd Akin — the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Missouri — said some really, really stupid things.  (Twitchy has comprehensive coverage.  Click here and keep scrolling.)  —  There's no sugar-coating or whitewashing this.
Tony Perkins / CNN:
Leading social conservatives rally to Akin's defense  —  Tampa, Florida (CNN) - While much of the Republican universe spent Monday condemning Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Akin for his comments about “legitimate rape” and abortion, one of the nation's most prominent conservative organizations rallied to his defense.
Noah Bierman / Boston Globe:
Scott Brown calls on Akin to drop out of Missouri Senate race  —  In a rare intra-party rebuke, Senator Scott Brown called on Missouri Representative Todd Akin this morning to withdraw from the US Senate race in his state, after Akin made controversial remarks on rape.
Republican Source: Akin Moving To Withdraw  —  The controversial candidate is “taking concrete steps.”  UPDATE: Another Republican close to Akin says he's “in the campaign.”  —  Rep. Todd Akin, left.  —  Image by Orlin Wagner / AP  —  Missouri Republican Todd Akin has begun moving toward ending …
Discussion: The PJ Tatler and The Daily Caller
Washington Post:
National GOP pulls funding from Todd Akin's Missouri race
Sarah Kliff / Associated Press:
Rep. Todd Akin is wrong about rape and pregnancy, but he's not alone
Family Research Council Backs Akin
Pema Levy / Talking Points Memo:
'God's Little Shield': A Short History Of The False No-Pregnancy-From-Rape Theory
Garance Franke-Ruta / The Atlantic Online:
A Canard That Will Not Die: ‘Legitimate Rape’ Doesn't Cause Pregnancy
Rosalind S. Helderman / Election 2012:
Jim Talent won't replace Akin
Todd Akin Says He Won't Drop Out
Discussion: The Raw Story
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Akin Comments Could Swing Missouri Senate Race
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
As a Harvard Alum, I Apologize  —  Yes, I know, you could imagine many sentences that would follow that headline.  But here is what I have in mind right now: A tenured professor of history at my undergraduate alma mater has written a cover story for Daily Beast/Newsweek that is so careless …
Niall Ferguson / The Daily Beast:
Newsweek Cover Rebuttal: Paul Krugman Is Wrong  —  The liberal New York Times blogger objected to ‘multiple errors and misrepresentations’ in this week's Newsweek cover story on Obama's record in office.  Author Niall Ferguson rebuts the charges.  —  You know you have hit the target …
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Niall Ferguson's ridiculous defense  —  Niall Ferguson's selective edit of the CBO report on Obama's Affordable Care Act.  —  Niall Ferguson, author of this week's Newsweek cover story calling for Obama's ousting, has returned fire on Paul Krugman — albeit in a ridiculous, misleading …
J. Bradford DeLong / Brad DeLong:
More Lies from Niall Ferguson: Fire-His-Ass-Now Department  —  Niall Ferguson writes: … The “But” at the start of the second sentence in the quote tells readers two things: (i) that Obama has violated his pledge—that he promised that the ACA would not increase the deficit, but that it did …
Discussion: Economist's View
Matthew O'Brien / The Atlantic Online:   A Full Fact-Check of Niall Ferguson's Very Bad Argument Against Obama
Paul Krugman:
Unethical Commentary, Newsweek Edition
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
POLITICO e-book: Obama campaign roiled by conflict  —  President Barack Obama's campaign team, celebrated four years ago for its exceptional cohesion and eyes-on-the-prize strategic focus, has been shadowed this time by a succession of political disagreements and personal rivalries that haunted the effort at the outset.
Phyllis Diller Dead — Legendary Comic Dies at 95  —  Dead at 95  —  EXCLUSIVE DETAILS  —  Comedian Phyllis Diller — who paved the way for today's female comics — died this morning, TMZ has learned.  —  Sources close to Diller tell us the comedian died in her sleep at her L.A. home, surrounded by family.
Discussion: BuzzFeed
Jamelle Bouie / Washington Post:
Why Romney keeps lying about Obama and welfare  —  It's been three weeks since Mitt Romney first took fire for asserting that the Obama administration “gutted” work requirements in welfare.  When the first ad was released, PolitiFact took the lead in debunking its claim that under Obama's plan …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Obama to media: Romney's whole campaign is based on lies
Mackenzie Weinger / Reuters:
Study: Red states more charitable  —  Red states give more money to charity than blue states, according to a new study on Monday.  —  The eight states with residents who gave the highest share of their income to charity supported Sen. John McCain in 2008, while the seven states …
The Chronicle of Philanthropy:   America's Generosity Divide
Trip Gabriel / The Caucus:
Ryan Dips Into Foreign Policy  —  GOFFSTOWN, N.H. — Since Representative Paul D. Ryan was named the vice-presidential nominee, his schedule has included briefings on foreign policy with a top aide to Mitt Romney, with the Republican Party sensitive to the charge that neither man on the ticket has extensive national security experience.
Discussion: Washington Post and Election 2012
Byron Tau / Politico:
Obama campaign wants to see Romney's ‘secret plan’ on Afghanistan
Discussion: CNN and GOP 12
Augusta adds first woman members  —  NEW YORK — For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.  —  The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the past decade because of its all-male membership, invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice …
Alexis Levinson / The Daily Caller:
Shock poll: Obama could lose Illinois  —  President Barack Obama could lose his home state of Illinois in November, a new poll shows.  —  A poll conducted by Illinois-based pollster and political strategist Michael McKeon found Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney by 49 percent to 37 percent in Cook County, the home of Chicago.
Discussion: Hot Air and Clayton Cramer's Blog
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 More Items: 
Byron Tau / Politico:
Report: NBA gives more to Romney than Obama
Discussion: The Fix, The Caucus and Mediaite
House Republican Hijinks Embarass The Ticket
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Zombie / PJ Media:
Where Our $500 Million Went: Solyndra Glass Tubes Used as Modern Art
David Leonhardt / Economix:
The 14 Potential Causes of the Income Slump
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
New York Times:
Majority in Poll of New Yorkers Say Police Favor Whites
 Earlier Items: 
Eugene Volokh / The Volokh Conspiracy:
$60,000 Verdict for Blogging the Truth About A Person Intending to Get Him Fired — Reversed
Discussion: The Other McCain
Campbell Brown / Slate:
Confessions of a Romney Wife
Manu Raju / Politico:
Donald Trump gets ‘surprise’ convention role
Discussion: Hot Air and Outside the Beltway