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6:55 PM ET, September 21, 2012


 Top Items: 
Brad Malt / Mitt Romney for President …:
NOTE FROM TRUSTEE BRAD MALT  —  This morning, Gov. and Mrs. Romney filed their 2011 tax return with the IRS.  At 3:00pm today, the Romney for President campaign will be posting the 2011 return online.  —  The complete 2011 tax return, with full schedules, statements, and attachments …
Aviva Shen / ThinkProgress:
By Romney's Own Standard, His Tax Returns Would Disqualify Him From The Presidency  —  Mitt Romney will disclose his 2011 tax on Friday, along with a summary going back 20 years.  The campaign has published the following summary: … Romney has previously defended his low tax rate …
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Castellanos on tax summary: Is this a joke?  —  Alex Castellanos, the former Mitt Romney strategist from 2008 who has alternately been critical and praising of the current campaign, left no doubt where he stands on the decision to release a summary of the candidate's tax rates over 20 years.
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and Daily Kos
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Romney 2011 taxes: Mitt gives more to charity than President Obama, Joe Biden  —  Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was far more generous to charities than President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden last year, both in dollar terms and as a percentage of income …
Brian Beutler / Talking Points Memo:
Mitt Romney's Real Effective Tax Rate  —  Mitt Romney's 14.1 percent effective federal tax rate in 2011 would've been lower if he'd deducted all of his charitable contributions from his nearly $13.7 million in income.  But after estimating that he paid at least 13 percent of his income …
Discussion: The Atlantic Online and Wonkette
Guy Benson /
Democrats, Media Get Punk'd: Romney Releases Tax Returns  —  It's official: The Romney campaign possesses a wicked sense of humor and an enviable degree of patience.  After months of caterwauling, breathless innuendo and baseless slander, the Democrats and their media allies are being treated to a Friday feast of piping hot crow.
Benjy Sarlin / Talking Points Memo:
What Romney's Taxes Reveal — And What They Don't  —  Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns Friday, along with a brief summary of his 1990-2009 tax returns.  —  The Romney campaign is asking voters to take its word on the details of his previous returns, but the new information helps address …
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Why Mitt Romney's Effective Tax Rate Is So Low And Why It Probably Should Be  —  US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney licks his fingers while returning to his seat after making himself a peanut butter and honey sandwich aboard his campaign plane as he heads to Las Vegas, Nevada on September 21, 2012.
Discussion: Firedoglake and The Daily Beast
Talking Points Memo:
Harry Reid Condemns Mitt Romney's ‘Creative Accounting’  —  Harry Reid's famously unsubsantiated theory that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for a decade seems to be contradicted by Mitt Romney's latest disclosure, but he said Romney's decision to artificially inflate his tax rate in his 2011 returns …
Discussion: Mediaite
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Romney to release 20-year tax rate ‘summary,’ 2011 taxes today  —  In a Friday afternoon news dump, Mitt Romney's campaign is preparing to release his 2011 tax return, along with a 20-year summary of his tax rates from 1990 through 2009, his team just said.  —  The 20-year piece is a new plan …
Discussion: CNN, ABCNEWS, Reuters and Forbes
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Expert: Romney may have paid less in taxes over 20 years than it appears
Ginger Gibson / Reuters:
Mitt Romney releases 2011 tax returns
Ann Romney / CNN:
BREAKING: Ann Romney plane makes emergency landing
Discussion: Politico, ABCNEWS and The Right Scoop
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Romney Campaign Says He Paid More Taxes Than He Had To
Discussion: The Caucus, Gawker and The Daily Beast
Paul Ryan campaigning as Mini-Mitt
Discussion: CNN and Election 2012
Chris Wallace doubts Noonan's conservatism  —  In an interview with POLITICO today, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace questioned Peggy Noonan's “conservative bona fides,” following her recent editorials criticizing of Mitt Romney's campaign.  —  “Peggy Noonan has bashed George W. Bush, based Mitt Romney, wasn't crazy about McCain.
Lymari Morales / Gallup:
U.S. Distrust in Media Hits New High  —  Fewer Americans closely following political news now than in previous election years  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans' distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly.
Emily Ekins / Reason:
Obama Leads Romney 52-45 In New Reason-Rupe Poll; In Three-Way Race Obama Leads Romney 49-42, Johnson Gets 6 Percent  —  A new national Reason-Rupe poll of likely voters finds President Barack Obama leading Republican Mitt Romney 48 percent to 43 percent in the presidential race.
Ronald Brownstein /
Heartland Monitor Poll: Obama Leads 50 Percent to 43 Percent
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Romney: What About Your Gaffes?  —  Mitt Romney's campaign has been notable for its reliance on President Obama's gaffes.  It built its entire convention theme around Obama's slightly disjointed disquisition about infrastructure ("You didn't build that") and has, at other points …
David Weigel / Slate:
Toward an Iron Law of Gaffes
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
Cash Low, Romney Striving to Find New Large Donors  —  Mitt Romney entered the final months of the presidential campaign with a cash balance of just $35 million, racing to find new large donors and rally low-dollar contributors in August even while he raised tens of millions of dollars for the Republican Party.
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Ryan Gets Booed At The AARP  —  On Friday afternoon, Paul Ryan addressed the AARP's National Annual Conference in New Orleans.  The GOP vice presidential candidate attacked Obamacare for taking $716 billion out of Medicare — the very same cuts he included in his budget …
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Until Republicans Fix This Problem, They Can't Fix Any Problems  —  The inability to judge arguments on their merits and separate fact from fantasy is what ails the conservative movement.  —  Reuters  —  After years spent reporting on the Bush Administration, Ron Suskind began to understand …
Julia Preston / New York Times:
Bill to Keep Graduates in U.S. Fails in the House  —  A Republican bill to provide permanent resident visas for foreigners who graduate from American universities with advanced degrees in science and technology failed to pass the House on Thursday, a setback for technology companies that had strongly supported it.
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Why America Can't Have Nice Things
Discussion: Mother Jones and Firedoglake
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Herman Cain: I'd be beating President Obama  —  Herman Cain says that if he were the Republican nominee, he would have a “substantial lead” over President Barack Obama right now.  —  “The reason is quite simple,” Cain told reporters on Thursday, according to the Gainesville Sun.
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Gary Johnson Files Anti-Trust Lawsuit To Get Into Presidential Debates  —  Both parties and the debate commission are trying to “hoodwink” the American people.  —  Image by Joe Burbank, Pool, File / AP  —  Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson filed an anti-trust lawsuit …
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Disdain for Workers  —  By now everyone knows how Mitt Romney, speaking to donors in Boca Raton, washed his hands of almost half the country — the 47 percent who don't pay income taxes — declaring, “My job is not to worry about those people.  I'll never convince them that they should take …
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Report: WH team members may have been involved with prostitutes  —  Two members of the White House team may have been involved with prostitutes during President Obama's April trip to Colombia, according to a report Friday from Fox News.  —  Fox said it was in possession of a letter …
Discussion: Politico and Fox News
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
The poll result that explains the election  —  Washington has been a bit perplexed by President Obama's small but persistent lead in the polls.  His administration would seem to fail the “Are you better off than you were four years ago” text.  And presidents who fail that test lose, right?
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
What John McLaughlin Sees in the Polls Right Now  —  I reached out to Republican pollster John McLaughlin for yesterday's piece on how undecided voters are likely to break, and he made some separate comments about polls, their impact on motivation for each side, and how the campaigns …
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 More Items: 
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
U.S. names 55 Gitmo prisoners cleared to go
Discussion: emptywheel
Rod Nordland / New York Times:
Troop Surge in Afghanistan Ends With Little Fanfare
Discussion: Taylor Marsh, Via Meadia and emptywheel
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
An ideology without promise
Discussion: The Week and Greg's Opinion
Jill Biden Inadvertently Makes A Really Long Penis Joke
Discussion: Mediaite and Gawker
Jamie Reno / The Daily Beast:
Mormons Want to Excommunicate Romney Critic
Benjy Sarlin / Talking Points Memo:
Paul Ryan Booed Throughout AARP Speech (VIDEO)
Discussion: Hit & Run
Jay Cost / Weekly Standard:
Morning Jay: Historically, Obama Isn't in Strong Shape
New York Post:
Controversial ‘Piss Christ’ art back in NY
 Earlier Items: 
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Obama's embassy cover story dissolves
New York Post:
Gang that can't lie straight
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Mitt Romney's Son Tagg Signed ‘Abortion’ Clause in His Surrogate Birth Contract
Discussion: Joe. My. God. and US Politics
Sabrina Tavernise / New York Times:
Life Expectancy for Less Educated Whites in U.S. Is Shrinking
David Hinckley / NY Daily News:
Joe Biden - not Mitt Romney, President Obama, Bill Clinton or Clint Eastwood - most watched …

From Mediagazer:

A Russian court convicts Evan Gershkovich of espionage and sentences him to 16 years in prison; Wall Street Journal calls the trial a “sham”

Alexandra Canal / Yahoo Finance:
Netflix says India brought in the second-highest net subscriber additions in Q2 and was the third highest-country in revenue growth

Connor Mycroft / South China Morning Post:
Media orgs, WSJ union, and a congressional panel express support for Selina Cheng, who says WSJ fired her for assuming Hong Kong Journalists Association's chair

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