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5:20 PM ET, August 23, 2012


 Top Items: 
Rasmussen Reports:
Missouri Senate: McCaskill (D) 48%, Akin (R) 38%  —  What a difference one TV interview can make.  Embattled Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill has now jumped to a 10-point lead over her Republican challenger, Congressman Todd Akin, in Missouri's U.S. Senate race.
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Team Obama breaks precedent to try to spoil Romney's convention in Tampa  —  Bucking protocol, President Obama and the Democrats are planning a full-scale assault on Republicans next week during their convention.  —  Presidential candidates have traditionally kept a low profile during …
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Huckabee digs in behind Akin  —  Todd Akin hasn't had many high-profile supporters with him in the trenches this week, but Mike Huckabee became an important and emphatic exception Thursday afternoon, sending a message to his own supporters accusing Republican elites of trying to drum a good man out of a winnable Senate race.
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
Akin mess could be watershed moment for conservative movement … Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's insensitive and ignorant comments about rape and pregnancy could cost Republicans a majority in the Senate.  But in time, the episode may be remembered as an important development for the conservative movement.
Matt Higgins / CBS Tampa:
Mayor: ‘Absolutely Prepared To Call Off’ GOP Convention If Isaac Threatens Tampa
Discussion: Politico and The PJ Tatler
The Caucus:   Akin Is In, for Now, but if He Drops Out ...  Despite the firestorm …
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Are the Democrats Delusional On Abortion?
Mark Halperin / The Page:
Huckabee Goes All In for Akin
Discussion: GOP 12, The Gateway Pundit and Hot Air
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Do Conservatives Now Want Social Issues “Truce?” Let Them Go First.
Discussion: Mother Jones
Mike Zapler / Politico:
Rasmussen poll: Claire McCaskill up by 10 over Todd Akin
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Caitlin Huey-Burns / Real Clear Politics:
GOP Recasts Path to Senate Majority — Without Missouri
John Cook / Gawker:
The Bain Files: Inside Mitt Romney's Tax-Dodging Cayman Schemes  —  Mitt Romney's $250 million fortune is largely a black hole: Aside from the meager and vague disclosures he has filed under federal and Massachusetts laws, and the two years of partial tax returns (one filed and another provisional) …
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Gawker posts 950 pages of confidential Bain documents  — on Thursday posted 950 pages' worth of confidential financial documents related to Mitt Romney.  —  The document dump includes, in the words of website, “internal audits, financial statements, and private investor letters …
New York Times:
Polls Say Medicare Is Key Issue in 3 Swing States  —  The Romney-Ryan proposal to reshape Medicare by giving future beneficiaries fixed amounts of money to buy health coverage is deeply unpopular in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin, according to new polls that found that more likely voters …
Colby Itkowitz / Morning Call:
Morning Call/Muhlenberg Poll: Paul Ryan doesn't move race in Pennsylvania  —  The first poll of Pennsylvania voters since Mitt Romney made Paul Ryan his running mate found the pick did nothing to move the race.  —  President Barack Obama maintains his lead in the lean-blue state …
Discussion: Ballot Box, Politico and Election 2012
Quinnipiac University:
Ryan Micro-Bump In Florida, Wisconsin, But Not Ohio, Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York …
David Lauter / Los Angeles Times:
Obama has slight lead over Romney in new nationwide poll
Discussion: Washington Post
Justin Fishel / Fox News:
EXCLUSIVE: Bin Laden raid tell-all author revealed, questions raised whether ex-Navy SEALs have freedom of speech  —  The author of a recently announced insider account of the raid that killed Usama bin Laden has been identified to Fox News as a 36-year-old former Navy SEAL Team 6 member …
Pew Social & Demographic Trends:
The Lost Decade of the Middle Class  —  Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier  —  CHAPTER 1: OVERVIEW  —  As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare their closing arguments to America's middle class, they are courting a group that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being.
Rebecca Trounson / Los Angeles Times:
Eroding middle class falls to 51%, survey finds
Thomas Burr / Salt Lake Tribune:
Romney says his Mormon tithing shouldn't be public  —  • Mitt Romney says in a new interview that one of the reasons he's distressed about disclosing his tax returns is that everyone sees how much money he and his wife, Ann, have donated to the LDS Church, and that's a number he wants to keep private.
Evan McMorris-Santoro / Talking Points Memo:
Romney Campaign Forbids Local Reporter From Asking About Akin, Abortion  —  Denver TV reporter Shaun Boyd wanted to ask Mitt Romney about Todd Akin and the abortion controversy roiling the GOP Thursday.  But the Romney campaign refused.  —  In a broadcast on Thursday …
Discussion: Election 2012
Andrew Malcolm / Investor's Business Daily:
Barack Obama actually said this  —  Pete Souza / White House (Obama addresses staff)  —  Barack Obama has become accustomed to being the center of attention.  For many like him, that's one of the biggest appeals of politics, the television exposure it attracts and the power that seems to come with that instant recognition and fame.
Discussion: RedState
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Audio: Obama Says “That Fetus or Child” Was “Just Not Coming Out Limp and Dead”  —  Here's an audio recording of Barack Obama arguing as an Illinois state senator in 2002 against legislation protecting infants who had survived an attempted late-term abortions:
Eric Lipton / New York Times:
Ties to Obama Aided in Access for Big Utility  —  WASHINGTON — Early in the Obama administration, a lobbyist for the Illinois-based energy producer Exelon Corporation proudly called it “the president's utility.”  And it was not just because it delivers power to Barack Obama's Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago.
Shannon Bream / Fox News:
Immigration agents file suit against Napolitano over ‘amnesty’ program  —  Aug. 6, 2012: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano talks with a video crew for a TV show in Hangar One at Air Station Kodiak, Alaska.AP  —  Ten federal immigration agents have filed suit against Homeland …
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
Napolitano sued over new immigration policy
Discussion: Hot Air
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.  THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.  —  SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning.  Welcome, everybody.  Our “Starting Point” this morning, serious threat, tropical storm Isaac is barreling toward Florida.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Young Barack Obama's Genuinely Hilarious Self-Parody  —  “I fled to Chicago.  There I discovered I was black, and I have remained so ever since.”  Between Barack And A Hard Place by Baroque Yo' Mama.  —  Andrew Kaczynski
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
Fear of a Black President  —  As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America's original sin, slavery.  But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely.  In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,” …
Mark Oppenheimer / New York Times:
Dan Savage and Brian Brown Debate Gay Marriage Over the Dinner Table  —  THE ancient Greek symposium, which combined drinking with elevated discussion, was often held in a private house; at Parisian salons, conversation frequently took place in the bedroom.  Once upon a time …
Obama Volunteer Suggests Anti-Mormon Whisper Campaign  —  “I'm thinking that even though we don't LIKE campaigns to get nasty, we in the south (TN) come to EXPECT it,” a “team member” writes on the campaign Dashboard.  The campaign removes the post after an inquiry.
Discussion: Belmont Club
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 More Items: 
Rob Kauder / KXLY-TV:
Ambassador Crocker arrested for hit and run, DUI
Javier Manjarres / The Shark Tank:
Wasserman Schultz Called Out As 'Extremist'-(Video)
Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah ‘no lone wolf’
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs and Jihad Watch
Josh Levs / CNN:
Texas judge warns of civil war if Obama is re-elected
Discussion: Gawker, Politico and RedState
Larry J. Sabato / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
The Conventions: How Big a Bounce?
Annie-Rose Strasser / ThinkProgress:
Paul Ryan Holds Event Criticizing The Military Spending Sequester He Voted For
 Earlier Items: 
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Senator Famous for Joking About Rape Campaigns for Obama, Biden
What The Obama Campaign Is Thinking
Discussion: Election 2012
Brentin Mock / Colorlines:
How the Right's Building a ‘Poll Watcher’ Network for November
Discussion: Plunderbund
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Michelle Obama: ‘Get to the Polls on November the 2’