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11:50 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.
Dennis Prager /
The Pro-Life Movement Must Disavow Akin Comment  —  Rep. Todd Akin has, unwittingly to be sure, harmed the pro-life movement, his senatorial race in Missouri, the Republican Party, and therefore quite possibly the nation.  —  Every person who speaks or writes for the public will make an occasional faux pas …
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 …
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.
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
James Hohmann / Reuters:
Tampa platform's 5 flashpoints
Discussion: CNN
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
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  —  The Republican National Committee released a new web ad Tuesday slamming President Obama for his suggestion at a White House press conference on Monday that “nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon.”
Discussion: The Rightnewz
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
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: Eschaton
Washington Post:   Independents favor cooperation, are dissatisfied with political system
GOP Votes Down Civil Unions In Platform  —  A social conservative hard line in Tampa.  —  TAMPA, Florida — The GOP platform committee overwhelmingly voted down an effort to include recognitions of civil unions in the party's manifesto.  —  The measure, offered by Rhode Island delegate Barbara Fenton …
Karoli / Crooks and Liars:
Mitt Romney: Honor Students Do It All Themselves  —  In his town hall appearance in New Hampshire this morning, Mitt Romney celebrated the individual, who clearly needs no support system to succeed in RepublicanLand.  —  Speaking to a crowd of FreedomWorks devotees and other New Hampshire residents, he said this:
Dave Zirin /
Condi Rice's Membership at Augusta National Is Nothing to Celebrate  —  In a week where the phrase “legitimate rape” became part of the American political discourse, it's understandable that anyone who believes in women's liberation would be scavenging for some good news.
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
In Praise of Fact-Checkers  —  In the wake of Niall Ferguson's dishonesty, Dylan Byers decided to contact Newsweek to see what controls the magazine had in place to prevent authors from lying to them.  As it turns out, none: … More accurately, Newsweek has unwittingly outsourced its fact-checking to the web.
Ryan J. Reilly / Talking Points Memo:
FBI Probing Rep. Michael Grimm, Not Skinny-Dipping  —  The FBI is indeed interested in a trip that House Republicans made to Israel last summer.  But it's not because Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder took his pants off and jumped into the Sea of Galilee after a night of drinking.
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 More Items: 
Richard Pérez-Peña / New York Times:
More Hispanics Are in College, Report Finds
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Janet Hook / Washington Wire:
Paul Ryan Sticks to Fitness Routine on Road
Discussion: Election 2012
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
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
Ryan J. Reilly / Talking Points Memo:
Justice Department Approves Va. Voter ID Law
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Toby Harnden / Daily Mail:
EXCLUSIVE: Obama 'cancelled missions to kill bin Laden THREE TIMES after getting cold feet …
Discussion: Jammie Wearing Fools
Alicia Mundy / Washington Wire:
Rabbi Shmuley Gets Boost From Adelsons
Exclusive: GOP Platform Draft Strongly Defends “Traditional Concept Of Marriage”