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11:30 PM ET, August 20, 2012

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 Top Items: 
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 RedState.com editor Erick Erickson report.
Discussion: Donklephant and Daily Kos
RELATED:
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.
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.
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 …
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.
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Hannity to Akin: You know you could cost us the Senate, right?  —  Via BuzzFeed, it's important that people like Hannity, Coulter, and the boss emeritus are leaning on this guy too, not just Romney and Reince Priebus.  Without pressure from all-stars on the right, he can dig in and turn it into a …
Manu Raju / Politico:
Piers Morgan calls Todd Akin ‘gutless little twerp’  —  An angry Piers Morgan lashed out at Todd Akin for skipping a scheduled interview on his primetime cable news show Monday night, calling him a “gutless little twerp.”  —  According to Morgan, Akin backed out at the last minute …
Chris Christie / CNN:
Christie says ‘I was right’ about Romney's VP pick  —  (CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was rumored to be a potential V.P. pick for Mitt Romney, gave new details Monday on the moment he learned his name would not appear on the ballot as Romney's running mate.
Discussion: Politico
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.
Pam Belluck / New York Times:
Health Experts Dismiss Assertions on Rape  —  Representative Todd Akin's assertion that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant provoked outrage across the political spectrum, but the views he articulated are far from new in anti-abortion circles.
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Family Research Council head defends Akin  —  From POLITICO's James Hohmann in Tampa: … The officials at SBA List have also reportedly defended Akin, setting up a dynamic in which the party's conservative base is protecting the staunchly pro-life candidate.
BuzzFeed:
Republican Source: Akin Moving To Withdraw [UPDATED]
Discussion: The Daily Caller and The PJ Tatler
Noah Bierman / Boston Globe:
Scott Brown calls on Akin to drop out of 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 …
RELATED:
Matthew O'Brien / The Atlantic Online:
A Full Fact-Check of Niall Ferguson's Very Bad Argument Against Obama
Niall Ferguson / The Daily Beast:
Newsweek Cover Rebuttal: Paul Krugman Is Wrong
J. Bradford DeLong / Brad DeLong:
More Lies from Niall Ferguson: Fire-His-Ass-Now Department
Aaron Blake / The Fix:
Romney grows cash advantage on Obama  —  Mitt Romney extended his cash edge over President Obama in July and entered the final three-plus months of the campaign with about 50 percent more in the bank than the incumbent president.  —  Romney led Obama in cash on hand at the end of July $185.9 million …
RELATED:
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:   Obama campaign holds $123 million in cash
Reuters:
Obama campaign spent more than it raised in July
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
POLITICO e-book: Obama campaign roiled by conflict
TMZ.com:
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.
Rosie.com:
my heart attack  —  while walking in a parking lot in nyack  —  “can u help me?  she asked again  —  as i walked toward her  —  “oh u r rosie odonnell”  —  yes i am  —  the ghost of christmas future  —  me - if i did not wake  —  there r no accidents i thought  —  as i braced myself and lifted her
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Obama to media: Romney's whole campaign is based on lies  —  In a surprise appearance before reporters at the White House just now, Obama made a striking, if perhaps long overdue, charge: He pushed back on GOP claims he's running a dirty campaign by arguing that Romney's entire campaign is based on flat out lies.
RELATED:
Steve Benen / The Maddow Blog:
The post-truth campaign continues apace
Toby Harnden / Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE: Obama ‘cancelled missions to kill bin Laden THREE TIMES after getting cold feet - until Hillary Clinton stepped in’, claims explosive new book  — Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him will be published on Tuesday
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
RELATED:
Jammie Wearing Fools:
Book Says Obama Deferred to Valerie Jarrett Over Whether To Go After bin Laden: ‘Obama feared taking responsibility’
Discussion: Cold Fury
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.
Michelangelo Signorile / The Huffington Post:
An Open Letter to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council: Let's Talk About Hate … FRC SPLC , FRC Tony Perkins , FRC Hate Group , FRC Shooting , Family Research Council , Family Research Council Southern Poverty Law Center , Family Research Council Tony Perkins , Family Research Council Hate Group …
RELATED:
BuzzFeed:
Family Research Council Backs Akin
 
 
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 More Items: 
Isabel Kershner / New York Times:
Israeli Teenagers Held in Attack on Palestinian Youths
Alicia Mundy / Washington Wire:
Rabbi Shmuley Gets Boost From Adelsons
Discussion: Algemeiner.com and Israel Matzav
NOM Blog:
The National Organization for Marriage Announces Success of Starbucks Protest
New York Times:
In Congress's Paralysis, a Mightier Supreme Court
Caitlin McDevitt / Reuters:
Kelsey Grammer praises Mitt Romney
Kate Wiltrout / Virginian-Pilot:
Obama calls for compromise to head off military cuts
Discussion: Politico and Weasel Zippers
Byron Tau / Politico:
Report: NBA gives more to Romney than Obama
Discussion: The Fix, Mediaite and The Caucus
 Earlier Items: 
BuzzFeed:
House Republican Hijinks Embarrass The Ticket
Discussion: Booman Tribune
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
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