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2:50 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.
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.
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.
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.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Akin Comments Could Swing Missouri Senate Race  —  In my review of Senate races last week, I classified Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, who won the Republican primary earlier this month, as a very slight favorite over the Democratic incumbent in the state, Claire McCaskill.
Garance Franke-Ruta / The Atlantic Online:
A Canard That Will Not Die: ‘Legitimate Rape’ Doesn't Cause Pregnancy  —  Republicans have been getting in trouble for asserting this since at least 1988 — but anti-abortion politicians keep hauling out this old idea for a reason.  —  Here we go again.  Trotting out the contemporary equivalent …
Sarah Kliff / Associated Press:
Rep. Todd Akin is wrong about rape and pregnancy, but he's not alone
Byron Tau / Politico:
Obama: ‘Rape is rape’
Mitt Romney Said In 2007 He Would Be “Delighted” To Sign A Bill Banning All Abortions Nationally
Discussion: The Maddow Blog
Dana Loesch / BREITBART.COM:
Evan McMorris-Santoro / Talking Points Memo:
Todd Akin: 'I've Not Yet Begun To Fight'
Scott Lemieux / Lawyers, Guns & Money:
Well, They *Should* Be Defending Akin
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
How Todd Akin And Paul Ryan Partnered To Redefine Rape
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
Dems pounce on GOP Rep. Akin's controversial rape comments
Discussion: Politico, The Fix and The Daily Caller
Zerlina Maxwell / NY Daily News:
Todd Akin, Paul Ryan and the very real war on women
Naftali Bendavid / Washington Wire:
Romney Calls Akin Comments ‘Inexcusable’
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and The Fix
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Scott Brown: Akin should withdraw
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.
New York Post:
See no evil  —  One of President Obama's advisers took money …
Discussion: protein wisdom
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 …
Paul Krugman:
Unethical Commentary, Newsweek Edition
Exclusive: GOP scolded after drinking, nudity in Israel  —  The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff - and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Condoleezza Rice among the first female members at Augusta National Golf Club  —  The site of the Masters tournament has granted entry to female members for the first time in its 80-year history.  —  Augusta National Golf Club has admitted female members for the first time in its history …
USA Today:
Augusta National admits two women, including Condoleezza Rice
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
An Unserious Man  —  Mitt Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate led to a wave of pundit accolades.  Now, declared writer after writer, we're going to have a real debate about the nation's fiscal future.  This was predictable: never mind the Tea Party, Mr. Ryan's true constituency …
Los Angeles Times:
‘Top Gun’ director Tony Scott jumps to his death from L.A. bridge  —  Tony Scott, a director known for ‘Top Gun’ and a producer, jumped off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro without hesitation, witnesses tell police.  —  Director and producer Tony Scott jumped to his death …
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 More 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
Henry I. Miller / Forbes:
Joe Biden's Gaffes Call For A Thorough Neurological Examination
Discussion: Hot Air
Campbell Brown / Slate:
Confessions of a Romney Wife
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Obama drops by first lady's ‘Kids’ State Dinner'
Discussion: Jammie Wearing Fools
Republican Platform Could Give Nod To “Dignity And Respect” For Gay People
Discussion: Washington Post and Election 2012
The Real Conservative Opportunity This November
 Earlier Items: 
Romney super PAC spends $10.5 million on economy ad
Discussion: Politico and GOP 12
Jane Mayer / New Yorker:
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Ed Vogel / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Same-sex couple in Henderson upset with hospital's treatment
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Joe. My. God.
Christine Haughney / New York Times:
A Scandal Threatens Zakaria's Image as a Media Star
Manu Raju / Politico:
Donald Trump gets ‘surprise’ convention role
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Romney Campaign Works Feverishly to Project Relaxed Image