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12:40 PM ET, September 19, 2012


 Top Items: 
James Taranto / Peggy Noonan's Blog:
Time for an Intervention  —  What should Mitt Romney do now?  He should peer deep into the abyss.  He should look straight into the heart of darkness where lies a Republican defeat in a year the Republican presidential candidate almost couldn't lose.  He should imagine what it will mean for the country …
Michael Barbaro / The Caucus:
A Mood of Gloom Afflicts the Romney Campaign  —  SALT LAKE CITY - Mitt Romney's traveling press secretary walked to the back of the candidate's plane midflight on Tuesday and teasingly asked a pair of journalists in an exit row if they were “willing and able to assist in case of an emergency.”
Michael Falcone / ABCNEWS:
Romney Tapes Give Way To The Not-So-Calm After The Storm (The Note)  —  NOTABLES:  — ROMNEY TAPES GET THE SUPER PAC TREATMENT: That didn't take long.  The pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action, is quick out of the starting gate this morning with a new television ad featuring footage …
Mitt Romney / USA Today:
I'll deliver recovery, not dependency  —  Since our founding, America has promoted personal responsibility, the dignity of work and the value of education.  Those values made our nation the hope of the earth and our economy the envy of the world.  —  Efforts that promote hard work …
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
Critical audio gap in “complete” Romney tape released by Mother Jones (Update - Corn responds, 1-2 minutes missing)  —  David Corn of Mother Jones released the “complete” audio and video of the secretly recorded Mitt Romney speech at a private fundraiser.  —  Yet the complete audio and video is not complete.
Benny Johnson /
IS THE SECRET VIDEO OF ROMNEY AT FUNDRAISER REALLY UNEDITED?  WE MAY HAVE PROOF OTHERWISE  —  Tuesday afternoon, the site Mother Jones released what was described as the “full,” “raw and uncut” video of Mitt Romney's comments at a private campaign fundraiser, which has drawn immense criticism from both sides.
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Mitt Romney's ‘Severe Conservatism’  —  “I was a severely conservative Republican governor,” Mitt Romney told the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2012.  —  Severely conservative?  —  Conservatives snickered.  “I may be a little giddy here,” Rush Limbaugh said.
The Onion:
Romney Apologizes To Nation's 150 Million ‘Starving, Filthy Beggars’  —  SALT LAKE CITY—Seeking to limit the fallout from a videotaped speech in which he asserts 47 percent of Americans “pay no taxes” and do not take “personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Mitt Romney hastily called …
Discussion: The Raw Story and US Politics
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Romney video missing ‘one to two minutes’
Discussion: Naked DC, The Hill and First Read
Susan Page / USA Today:
Poll: In 2-point presidential race, Romney trips over 47%  —  The good news for Republican challenger Mitt Romney: After three rocky weeks, he remains within striking distance of President Obama in the battleground states that matter most.  The bad news: His latest misstep could upend that.
AP-GfK Poll: Obama job approval numbers back up above 50 percent, but race with Romney still tight
Discussion: Sweetness & Light
Associated Press:
AP-GfK poll reveals demographic divides driving close contest for the presidency
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama 48%, Romney 46% in Swing States
Quinnipiac University:
Obama Hits 50% In Wisconsin, Virginia; Colorado Is Close, Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News Swing State Poll Finds  —  Watch Video: Assistant Director Tim Malloy discusses poll results  —  Clip Information and Download:  —  FLV File - For Website (1920x1080 / 189.1MB)
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:
AP: Obama 47% Romney 46%
New York Times:
Obama Holds Edge Over Romney In Wisconsin, Poll Shows
Joan Walsh / Salon:
Does Paul Ryan regret his choice?  —  Calling Mitt's 47 percent comments “obviously inarticulate,” the would-be VP sounds resentful  —  Paul Ryan didn't sound like Mr. Loyalty when commenting on Mitt Romney's cruel comments about the 47 percent of Americans who pay no taxes Tuesday to a Reno television station.
Discussion: The Maddow Blog
Dick Durbin / CNN:
Partisan field day: Reid, Durbin on Romney remarks
Discussion: Politico
Will Englund / Washington Post:
Vladi­mir Putin says of Mitt Romney: At least he's direct
Discussion: Riehl World News
France to close embassies in fear of cartoon backlash  —  France announced Wednesday it will close 20 embassies across the Muslim world on Friday after French weekly Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed naked, amid growing unrest over an anti-Islamic film that has left dozens dead.
Jesse Helfrich / The Hill:
Romney's missteps could cost party the Senate, strategists say  —  Republicans believe Mitt Romney's mistakes could prevent them from winning back the Senate.  —  Romney's failure to close the gap with President Obama less than 50 days before the election, as well as a variety of high-profile gaffes …
Discussion: Politico and Prairie Weather
Romney woes jangle GOP nerves
Discussion: Politico, Daily Kos and
Ann Romney: Mitt Doesn't Disdain The Poor  —  The saddest rapid response... The Romney campaign just uploaded a video with the title “Ann Romney to FOX31: Mitt Doesn't Disdain the Poor.”  UPDATE: Apparently the campaign has removed the video from their official account.  —  Zeke Miller  —  an hour ago
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
CRS report: number of able-bodied adults on food stamps doubled after Obama suspended work requirement … Obama administration officials have insisted that their decision to grant states waivers to redefine work requirements for welfare recipients would not “gut” the landmark 1996 welfare reform law.
Katie Pavlich /
CNBC Poll: 75% Agree With Romney's 47% Comments  —  UPDATE: The number of people who have taken the CNBC poll has doubled, bringing those who agree with Romney's comments to 76 percent.  —  As the faux outrage over Mitt Romney's “47%” comments continue to barrel through the airwaves of the old media …
Discussion: Hit & Run, UrbanGrounds and Nice Deb
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Pat Buchanan: President Obama a ‘drug dealer of welfare’  —  President Barack Obama is a “drug dealer of welfare,” conservative commentator Pat Buchanan charged in an interview with Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night.  —  “Barack Obama is a drug dealer of welfare,” he said, speaking on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Obama on Letterman: President avoids debt number  —  David Letterman professes at one point in his discussion with President Obama to be “completely ignorant about politics.”  Such a shortcoming, you might suppose, would disqualify the “Late Show” host from quizzing the president on the issues of the day.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Sept. 18: Obama's Bounce Erodes in Two Tracking Polls  —  President Obama has been on the decline in the FiveThirtyEight forecast.  On Tuesday, his chance of winning the Electoral College dropped to 72.9 percent, from 74.8 percent on Monday.  Mr. Obama is now well off his peak in the forecast …
Discussion: ABCNEWS
David Kravets / Wired:
Feds Charge Activist with 13 Felonies for Rogue Downloading of Academic Articles  —  Federal prosectors added nine new felony counts against well-known coder and activist Aaron Swartz, who was charged last year for allegedly breaching hacking laws by downloading millions of academic articles …
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 More Items: 
My News 4:
News 4's Joe Hart interviews Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Look in Your Mirror  —  On Monday, David D. Kirkpatrick …
Rick Ungar / Forbes:
Chicago Teachers Suspend Strike — But Who Won?
Pakistani Accused of Blasphemy Over Prophet Film
The Daily Caller:
Romney must own ‘47 percent’ argument 100 percent of the time
Mark McKinnon / The Daily Beast:
Mark McKinnon on Why Time Is Running Out for Mitt Romney
Discussion: Boston Globe
Josh Peterson / The Daily Caller:
Occupy Wall Street chief organizer unravels, ponders calling it quits
Emmanuel Touhey / Healthcare:
The IRS and healthcare: A heavy lift
Discussion: Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Christopher Keating / Hartford Courant:
UConn/Hartford Courant Poll Shows McMahon, Murphy In Dead Heat
Investor's Business Daily:
Romney's Right—Palestinians Have Rejected Peace
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Obama to Romney: ‘You have to work for everyone’ as president
Discussion: Pat Dollard
Fred Thys / WBUR:
WBUR Senate Poll: Warren Leads Brown By 5
Elisabeth Rosenthal / New York Times:
Arctic Resources, Exposed by Warming, Set Off Competition