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12:55 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.
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.
Alexander Burns / Politico:
DNC email ties Romney to Todd Akin  —  In an email to supporters sent overnight, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz went after Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's comments about whether women get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” and attempted to discredit the whole Republican Party and GOP presidential ticket in a condemnation of Akin's views:
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 …
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.
Discussion: Blogs
Evan McMorris-Santoro / Talking Points Memo:
Republican Senate Nominee: Victims Of ‘Legitimate Rape’ Don't Get Pregnant  —  This post has been updated.  —  Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill, justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape …
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
How Todd Akin And Paul Ryan Partnered To Redefine Rape
Michelle Malkin:
The Todd Akin mess
Discussion: Washington Examiner, GOP 12 and Twitchy
Sarah Kliff / Associated Press:
Rep. Todd Akin is wrong about rape and pregnancy, but he's not alone
New York Times:
Senate Candidate Provokes Ire With ‘Legitimate Rape’ Comment
Todd Akin for U.S. Senate 2012:
Akin Statement on “Jaco Report” Interview
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:   Romney campaign criticizes Akin remarks on rape, abortion
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.
Exclusive: FBI probed GOP trip with drinking, nudity in Israel
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
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 …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Swing-State Voters Say They Are No Better Off Than in 2008  —  Divided as to whether they would be better off in four years under Obama or Romney  —  PRINCETON, NJ — A majority of voters in key 2012 election swing states say they are not better off than they were four years ago; 40% say they are better off.
Susan Page / USA Today:
Poll: Voters say they are no better off than 4 years ago
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 …
Manu Raju / Politico:
Donald Trump gets ‘surprise’ convention role  —  The Donald is gearing up for Tampa.  —  When the Republican National Convention kicks off next Monday, Donald Trump will have a “surprise” role on its first day, people familiar with the matter said Sunday evening.
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Romney Campaign Works Feverishly to Project Relaxed Image  —  TAMPA, Fla. — They hail from the Broadway stage, the control rooms of NBC and the design studios that created sleek sets for Oprah Winfrey and Jon Stewart.  —  Their craft is slick packaging and eye candy that audiences consume by the millions.
Romney super PAC spends $10.5 million on economy ad  —  (CNN) - The pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future released a television ad Monday contrasting the economic plans from Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, arguing that Romney's private sector experience better prepared him to solve America's economic problems.
Discussion: GOP 12
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 More Items: 
The Real Conservative Opportunity This November
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Condoleezza Rice joins selective Augusta National Golf Club
Discussion: CNN
Binyamin Appelbaum / New York Times:
A Measure of Change: Slow Response to Housing Crisis Now Weighs on Obama
August 19: Bob McDonnell, Martin O'Malley, Ted Cruz, Kasim Reed, E.J. Dionne, Peggy Noonan, Chuck Todd
Discussion: Power Line and Political Insider
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama campaign launches swing-state radio ads blasting Romney-Ryan budget
Discussion: CNN
Jane Mayer / New Yorker:
Discussion: Prairie Weather and The Awl
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Rep. Neal: Biden ‘walked back’ his ‘chains’ remark
Discussion: Politico
Ed Vogel / Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Same-sex couple in Henderson upset with hospital's treatment
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Joe. My. God.
 Earlier Items: 
Mickey Kaus / The Daily Caller:
Thank goodness all that veepstakes/Paul Ryan business …
Christine Haughney / New York Times:
A Scandal Threatens Zakaria's Image as a Media Star
Lisa Hirsch /
President Obama on Friendship with George Clooney
James Pethokoukis / New York Post:
The ‘new normal’ excuse
Discussion: AEIdeas
Justin Sink / The Hill:
New Romney ad decries Obama welfare changes as ‘nuts’
Jeremy W. Peters / The Caucus:
Obama Opens Up to ‘Moneyball’ Writer for Vanity Fair
Discussion: Politico and New York Magazine
Niall Ferguson / The Daily Beast:
Niall Ferguson: Hit the Road, Barack