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11:00 AM ET, August 21, 2012


 Top Items: 
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Akin 44 McCaskill 43  —  Missouri voters strongly disagree with the comments Todd Akin made about abortion over the weekend, but it hasn't moved the numbers a whole lot in the Senate race.  Akin leads Claire McCaskill by a single point, 44-43.  That's basically identical to our last poll …
TRENDING: First on CNN: GOP prepares tough anti-abortion platform  —  Tampa, Florida (CNN) - The Republican Party is once again set to enshrine into its official platform support for “a human life amendment” to the Constitution that would outlaw abortion without making explicit exemptions for rape or incest …
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Exclusive: Akin ad asks for ‘forgiveness’  —  Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin has recorded a television ad asking for “forgiveness” from the voters of his state and acknowledging that he used “the wrong words in the wrong way” when he suggested last weekend that rape rarely leads to pregnancy.
Alex Roarty /
Could Akin Damage the Top of the GOP Ticket?  —  Democrats could suggest Ryan and, by proxy, Romney share many of the congressman's views on abortion rights.  —  Isolated comments from a political candidate — even remarks as incendiary as Todd Akin  —  's suggestion that “legitimate rape” …
Andrew Grossman / Washington Wire:
GOP Panel Rejects Plank on Mortgage-Interest Deductions  —  The committee drafting the Republican Party's platform rejected a bid to include a plank calling for preservation of the mortgage interest tax deduction Monday.  —  The battle pitted allies of the beleaguered real-estate industry …
Catalina Camia / USA Today:
Embattled Rep. Akin apologizes again in new TV ad  —  Amid growing GOP pressure to quit the Missouri Senate race, Rep. Todd Akin has recorded a new TV ad seeking forgiveness for his controversial comments about “legitimate rape.”  —  “Rape is an evil act.  I used the wrong words in the wrong …
Discussion: The Agonist
In Missouri: 54% Call For Akin to Quit Bid for U.S. Senate; 76% Do Not Share His Views on Rape and Abortion  —  By 5:3, Missourians say Congressman Todd Akin, a Republican running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, should drop out of the race …
Meredith Shiner / Roll Call:
Missouri: What Happens If Todd Akin Drops Out  —  (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)  —  If Rep. Todd Akin (R) does drop his Missouri Senate bid within the next 24 hours, as the GOP establishment is pressuring him to do, at least his timing will be impeccable.
Clock ticking for Akin as GOP urges him to withdraw after rape comment  —  (CNN) — The Missouri GOP Senate candidate under fire for his controversial comments about rape plans to pursue his bid for office despite calls to withdraw.  —  Todd Akin faces a Tuesday deadline to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race in Missouri.
James Hohmann / Reuters:
Tampa platform's 5 flashpoints  —  TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney's motto during two days of marathon meetings here to craft the 2012 Republican platform could be: Do no harm.  —  In order to keep the peace, his team must concede some things to the conservative base.
Discussion: CNN
Dennis Prager /
The Pro-Life Movement Must Disavow Akin Comment
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Evan McMorris-Santoro / Talking Points Memo:
Todd Akin Launches 'I'm Not Quitting' Ad Campaign
Allison Hantschel / Firedoglake:
Late Night: On Legitimacy, Or Why Akin's Comments Weren't (Just) About Rape
Discussion: The Fix and CBS News
Chris Christie / CNN:
Christie says ‘I was right’ about Romney's VP pick
Discussion: Politico
National Review:
Step Aside, Todd Akin
Tony Perkins / CNN:
Leading social conservatives rally to Akin's defense
Republican Source: Akin Moving To Withdraw [UPDATED]
New York Times:
Romney Gains Huge Cash Advantage Over Obama  —  Mitt Romney's cash advantage over President Obama and the Democrats more than doubled in July, as intense Republican fund-raising and heavy spending by Mr. Obama and his allies left Mr. Romney and the Republican National Committee with $62 million …
Justin Sink / The Hill:   RNC ad: Obama ‘ignores the truth’ over ‘felon’ comment
Aaron Blake / The Fix:
Romney grows cash advantage on Obama
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Here's Your Beltway Pundit Constituency  —  As part of a series of Pre-Convention Front-Pagers based on a new WaPo-Kaiser Family Foundation survey, Jon Cohen and Dan Balz deliver a solid assessment of political independents that is most impressive for its succinctness.  Here's all you really need to know from the piece:
Discussion: Washington Post and Eschaton
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
Alicia Mundy / Washington Wire:
Rabbi Shmuley Gets Boost From Adelsons  —  Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, among the top donors to the Republican machine this election, is also now the top giver - along with his wife - to the New Jersey congressional race of the reality-TV rabbi, Shmuley Boteach.
Ryan J. Reilly / Talking Points Memo:
Justice Department Approves Va. Voter ID Law  —  The Justice Department approved changes to Virginia's voter ID law Monday, suggesting there is a way forward for such laws — even in states that must have election laws pre-cleared under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act …
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Janet Hook / Washington Wire:
Paul Ryan Sticks to Fitness Routine on Road  —  PITTSBURGH-Rep. Paul Ryan, renowned fitness devotee, doesn't want the presidential campaign to wreck havoc on his exercise routine.  —  Mitt Romney's running mate is trying to continue doing the grueling P90X routine he has practiced for years …
Discussion: Election 2012
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 More Items: 
Nicholas Ballasy / The Daily Caller:
LaHood: 'I'm very proud' of DOT stimulus spending at $738,000 per job [VIDEO]
Charles Riley /
Obama-friendly CEO gave to Paul Ryan
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Zack Colman / The Hill:
Green group urges Interior to delay Shell's Arctic drilling plans
Tom Chivers /
George Galloway's Julian Assange ‘rape’ comments: surely, this is finally the end for Gorgeous George
Paul J Davies / Financial Times:
Citi chief rejects calls for bank splits
Discussion: Forbes
Justin Sink / Ballot Box:
Romney ad: Obama welfare change leads to ‘cycle of dependency’
 Earlier Items: 
The White House:
Remarks by the President to the White House Press Corps
Isabel Kershner / New York Times:
Israeli Teenagers Held in Attack on Palestinian Youths
Toby Harnden / Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE: Obama 'cancelled missions to kill bin Laden THREE TIMES after getting cold feet …
Discussion: Jammie Wearing Fools
Michelangelo Signorile / The Huffington Post:
An Open Letter to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council: Let's Talk About Hate
Discussion: The Daily Dish and Joe. My. God.
Alexis Levinson / The Daily Caller:
Shock poll: Obama could lose Illinois