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3:55 PM ET, August 21, 2012


 Top Items: 
Evan McMorris-Santoro / Talking Points Memo:
Rep. Steve King: I've Never Heard Of A Girl Getting Pregnant From Statutory Rape Or Incest  —  Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape.
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 …
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 …
Heather Leigh / KMEG-TV:
Rep. Steve King on the Campaign Trail  —  (LE MARS/SIOUX CENTER, IA) Representative Steve King, who's running for re-election in Iowa's 4th Congressional District, made a few campaign stops today.  —  We caught up with him in Le Mars and Sioux Center, where he spoke about gun control …
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Exclusive: Akin ad asks for ‘forgiveness’ (Updated)  —  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.
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Kirk Cameron defends Todd Akin  —  TV star-turned-conservative activist Kirk Cameron came to the defense of embattled GOP Senate hopeful Todd Akin Tuesday, saying that the Missouri congressman's controversial comments about “legitimate rape” came in the context of his opposition to abortion.
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
Tainted poll by Dem outfit offers Akin incentive not to quit  —  A PPP poll, taken after Todd Akin's infamous comment about rape, puts him in a virtual tie with Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the Missouri Senate race.  According to that poll, Akin leads McCaskill by 44-43.
Mark Halperin / The Page:
Missouri GOP Godfathers Act As One to Force Akin Out  —  Missouri Senator Roy Blunt and former Senators John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, John Danforth, and Jim Talent put out this joint statement: … This applies more pressure than the national folks can, but this heavyweight group wouldn't put …
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
NRSC sends out list of conservative pundits calling for Akin to step down  —  The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee on Tuesday released a list of conservative columnists and pundits around the country calling for Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to step down.
Republican Party Makes No Abortion Exception For Rape, Incest  —  No changes despite Akin controversy.  Social conservatives dominate platform committee.  —  Image by Christian Gooden / AP  —  TAMPA, Florida — The Republican Party's platform will include language calling …
Discussion: Washington Post and Taylor Marsh
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
Akin vows to stay in race as GOP amps up pressure on him  —  Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) vowed to stay in Missouri's Senate race on Tuesday as a number of former Missouri senators, led by Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, called on him to exit.  —  But Akin told conservative talk radio host Mike Huckabee he's staying in the race.
Discussion: and Booman Tribune
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
The Morning Plum: No, Romney and Ryan don't really want a ‘great debate’
Ron Paul / CNN:
Ron Paul delegates set to strike deal with RNC
Discussion: Hit & Run and The PJ Tatler
James Rainey / Los Angeles Times:
Huckabee to Akin: ‘Horrible’ rapes created some extraordinary people
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Oh I Think He May Be Staying  —  Snap PPP Poll shows …
Dennis Prager /
The Pro-Life Movement Must Disavow Akin Comment
Justin Sink / The Hill:
RNC ad: Obama ‘ignores the truth’ over ‘felon’ comment
Discussion: The Rightnewz
Michael Cooper / The Caucus:
G.O.P. Approves Strict Anti-Abortion Language in Party Platform
Catalina Camia / USA Today:
Embattled Rep. Akin apologizes again in new TV ad
Discussion: Feministing, Mediaite and The Agonist
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Romney slightly ahead in Wisconsin  —  PPP's first Wisconsin poll since Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate finds him taking a small lead over Barack Obama in the state, 48-47.  That represents a 7 point shift from PPP's last look at the state in early July, which found Obama ahead 50-44.
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.
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:
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 …
Discussion: Connecting.the.Dots
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Court strikes down major pollution rule  —  A federal court has struck down an Environmental Protection Agency rule that forces cuts in soot- and smog-forming power plant emissions that cross state lines, dealing a major blow to the White House's air quality agenda.
Discussion: Hot Air and RedState
RNC Chair: Bring On Biden  —  Priebus brings the “brass knuckles.”  Secret Service agents overheard discussing Biden's trip on a flight to Tampa.  —  Image by Steven Mantilla / AP  —  TAMPA, Florida — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the GOP will respond tenfold …
Discussion: Election 2012 and The Hill
Patrick Gavin / Politico:
Hugh Hefner: Gay rights under ‘assault’  —  “Playboy” founder Hugh Hefner criticizes conservatives in an editorial in the September issue, accusing them of continuing “to assault the right of gays.”  —  “The fight for gay marriage is, in reality, a fight for all of our rights.
Discussion: ThinkProgress
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 More Items: 
Chad Griffin / Washington Post:
Calling out hate when we see it  —  Chad Griffin is president of Human Rights Campaign.
USA Today:
Obama campaign's spending outpaces its fundraising
Discussion: Washington Examiner
Still Getting the Housing Bubble Wrong
Discussion: Mother Jones
Scientists dispel ‘Miserable Monday’ myth
Discussion: Guardian and Boing Boing
Jeff Yip / Los Angeles Times:
China: New visa rules may trip up tourists, business travelers
Discussion: The Peking Duck
Elliott Abrams / Weekly Standard:
Time to Authorize Use of Force Against Iran
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Tom Shoop / Government Executive:
Best Beer-Related FOIA Ever
Discussion: Politico and USA Today
 Earlier Items: 
Fred Barnes / Wall Street Journal:
How Ryan Recasts the Race
Janet Hook / Washington Wire:
Paul Ryan Sticks to Fitness Routine on Road
Discussion: Election 2012
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Here's Your Beltway Pundit Constituency
Andrew Grossman / Washington Wire:
GOP Panel Rejects Plank on Mortgage-Interest Deductions