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1:30 PM ET, September 28, 2012


 Top Items: 
In the end, it's Mitt  —  It isn't the chair or the ho-hum convention.  Or the leaked video.  Or Stuart Stevens.  Or the improving economy.  Or media bias.  Or distorted polls.  Or the message.  Or Mormonism.  —  It's Mitt.  —  With Republicans everywhere wondering what has happened …
Elspeth Reeve / The Atlantic Wire:
Just How Racist Is the ‘Obama Phone’ Video?  —  There was a video leading the Drudge Report on Thursday afternoon of a poor black woman with messed-up teeth saying she's voting for President Obama because he gave her a free phone, and perhaps you have some questions about it.  Questions like: Is this video racist?
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
The Truth About The Obama Phone  —  On Thursday, the Drudge Report splashed a video of an undentified woman who claims to have recieved a free “Obama Phone.”  —  The video has captured the attention of the right online, who see it as proof that Obama supporters are dependent on government.
Discussion: Rush Limbaugh
Tom Benning / Trail Blazers Blog:
George W. Bush posts better favorability ratings than Mitt Romney in new Bloomberg survey  —  Former President George W. Bush smiles as he arrives on the 18th hole at the end of the Bush Center's Warrior Open golf tournament this week in Irving.  (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Andrew Goldman / New York Times:   John Sununu's a Teddy Bear
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Go large, Mitt  —  In mid-September 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed and the bottom fell out of the financial system.  Barack Obama handled it coolly.  John McCain did not.  Obama won the presidency.  (Given the country's condition, he would have won anyway.  But this sealed it.)
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Netanyahu, Romney to Speak Friday
Roger Simon / Politico:
Mitt Romney: King of comedy  —  It is time to cut Mitt Romney some slack.  It is wrong to criticize him until you've walked a mile in his living room.  —  That last line was a joke that someone posted on Twitter.  Jokes have power.  When a politician makes a joke, he can make a point …
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Obama campaign raises expectations for Romney in first debate
Discussion: National Review
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
The Million Wingnut March  —  There's been a steadily building discussion, albeit shrouded in some mystery, about the potential impact on Election Day (and to some extent, before it) of right-wing “volunteer poll watchers” who are promising to descend on minority neighborhood to make sure …
Michael Finnegan / Los Angeles Times:
Tea party groups work to remove names from Ohio voter rolls
Fars News Agency:
Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama  —  TEHRAN (FNA)- According to the results of a Gallup poll released Monday, the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than US President Barack Obama.
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
Democrats to join call for more information on Libya terrorist attack  —  Senate Democrats on Thursday will join their Republican colleagues in pressing the administration for more information about the deadly attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi.
Rebel Pundit / BREITBART.COM:
NYC PROHIBITS CONTROVERSIAL SUBWAY ADS IN WAKE OF ISLAMIST'S VANDALISM  —  Just one day after an Islamic activist attempted to cover over private property in spray paint (and a woman who got in her way), the Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York has announced they will amend their rules …
Charles Mahtesian / Politico:
Webb drops the hammer on Romney  —  Jim Webb's departures from party orthodoxy are frequent.  As recently as last November, the retiring Virginia Democratic senator was reluctant to commit to campaigning for President Barack Obama.  —  So Webb's bladework today on Mitt Romney was as unexpected as it was memorable.
James Carroll /
Sen. John Cornyn says GOP is not going to spend money to help Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin  —  WASHINGTON - Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said on Thursday that he does not intend to put money into the race of controversial Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin.
Eric Kleefeld / Talking Points Memo:
Allen West Attacks Dem Opponent For 2003 Bar-Fight, ‘Verbal Assault’ Of Policeman  —  Rep. Allen West (R-FL) launched a new television attack ad Friday against his Democratic opponent Patrick Murphy — going after a bar-fight in which Murphy was involved in 2003.
Discussion: Gawker, BuzzFeed and Business Insider
Michael Warren / Weekly Standard:
Dems Darken Image of Black Republican House Candidate  —  A printed mailer sent out by the Utah Democratic party features what appears to be a darkened photo of Republican House candidate Mia Love.  Below is the image of the mailer:  —  Here's the original photograph, in color:
Emily Anne Epstein / Daily Mail:
Pictured: The ‘beautiful’ family slain hours after church by ‘mentally ill father tormented by the prospect of Obama winning the election’  — Albert, Kathleen, Mathew and Christopher Peterson were found dead Tuesday in their Herndon, Virginia home  — A friend of the family …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and LAWSONRY
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Obama eCard for Women: ‘Can I Borrow $18,000 to Help Pay for My Birth Control?’  —  The Obama campaign has created a series of electronic greeting card aimed at women voters.  “President Obama summed up the Republican Party's approach to women's health when he said 'they want to take us …
Wall Street Journal:
Noonan: 2012 Debates— This Is It, Mitt  —  How Romney can make the most of his face-off with Obama.  —  “Governor, the success or failure of your entire presidential campaign will come down to what happens between the hours of 9 and 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3.  We're at a hinge point in history.
France taxes rich and business to slash deficit  —  (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande's Socialist government unveiled sharp tax hikes on business and the rich on Friday in a 2013 budget aimed at showing France has the fiscal rigor to remain at the core of the euro zone.
Stan Wilson / CNN:
Producer of inflammatory anti-Islam film arrested, ordered held without bail  —  Los Angeles (CNN) — Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man allegedly behind the inflammatory film “Innocence of Muslims,” was ordered held without bail Thursday after being arrested in California and accused of violating his probation.
Mjmontone / CBS New York:
N.J. High School Students Planning Cafeteria Boycott To Protest Obama Guidelines  —  PARSIPPANY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Students at Parsippany Hills High School held a strategy session on Thursday to discuss a potential lunch strike, on Friday, over what they have called inadequately sized meals.
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 More Items: 
Obama Cabinet Flunks Disclosure Test With 19 in 20 Ignoring Law
Discussion: Hit & Run and Riehl World News
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
Fox News poll: 79 percent say all Americans should pay income taxes
Discussion: Politico, Examiner and GOP 12
Lucia Mutikani / Reuters:
Consumers lift spending to pay for pricier gasoline
Discussion: AEIdeas
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed:
Huntsman Documentary: Republicans “Disconnected From The Realities Of The World Stage”
Discussion: KUTV-TV and New York Magazine
 Earlier Items: 
First Read:
Polls: Obama leads in N.H., tighter in Nev., N.C.
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
Romney muddies his tax message
Yoel Goldman / The Times of Israel:
Explosion rocks Jewish community center in Malmo
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Europe's Austerity Madness
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Eschaton
Paul Krugman:
Not The Election They Were Expecting