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2:40 PM ET, October 26, 2012


 Top Items: 
Jennifer Griffin / Fox News:
EXCLUSIVE: CIA operators were denied request for help during Benghazi attack, sources say  —  Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack several hours later …
Jason Howerton /
JOE BIDEN TO FATHER OF FORMER NAVY SEAL KILLED IN BENGHAZI: ‘DID YOUR SON ALWAYS HAVE BALLS THE SIZE OF CUE BALLS?’ … The father of one of the former Navy SEALs killed in the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya says President Barack Obama wouldn't even look him in the eye …
Christopher Collins- / Examiner:
Clinton asked for more security in Benghazi, Obama said no  —  Last night, it was revealed that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ordered more security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi before it was attacked where four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens were murdered …
Richard Pollock / Washington Examiner:
Spending on White House dinners soars under Obama
Discussion: Betsy's Page and The Right Scoop
Erick Erickson / The Atlantic Wire:
Conservatives Get All Hot and Bothered Over Obama's Suggestive New Ad  —  President Obama teamed up with the most divisive 26-year-old in the world to make a suggestive ad encouraging young people to vote, but it seems to have upset some old conservative men on Twitter.
Ben Shapiro / BREITBART.COM:
OBAMA CAMPAIGN TO GIRLS: HAVE SEX WITH VOTE FOR O  —  This afternoon, the Obama campaign released its latest ad from a celebrity.  This one was from Lena Dunham, 26-year-old creator of HBO's raunchy series Girls.  It's an astoundingly tasteless ad comparing voting for the first time to losing your virginity.
Eric Kleefeld / Talking Points Memo:
Ronald Reagan Made A ‘First Time’ Voting Joke 32 Years Before Lena Dunham Did  —  Some conservative were outraged Thursday, when the Obama campaign posted a Web ad starring Lena Dunham, creator of the TV show “Girls,” in which she speaks about her “first time” voting, using innuendo to compare it to a girl losing her virginity.
Erick Erickson / RedState:
Cheap Tricks and One Night Stands
Discussion: Hot Air and Pundit & Pundette
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Dem's amendment would give 29 more electoral votes to popular vote winner  —  The head of the House Democratic campaign arm this week proposed a Constitutional amendment that would give the winner of the popular vote in the presidential race an additional 29 electoral votes.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Rasmussen Reports:
A Commentary By Scott Rasmussen  —  In Election 2000, Florida was the decisive state in the Electoral College.  In 2004, Ohio was the ultimate battleground that put George W. Bush over the top.  This year, it might come down to Wisconsin.  —  That's a state President Obama won by 14 points four years ago.
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Newt Gingrich: 300 electoral votes for Mitt Romney
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Raw Story
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:
National Income and Product Accounts  —  Gross Domestic Product: Third Quarter 2012 (advance estimate)  —  Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter of 2012 …
James Pethokoukis / AEIdeas:
Weak GDP report shows no end in sight for the Long Recession
Nelson D. Schwartz / New York Times:
U.S. Economy Grew at 2% Rate in 3rd Quarter
Jason Samenow / Washington Post:
Hurricane Sandy may be unprecedented in East Coast storm history  —  European model simulation for Hurricane Sandy - on its approach to the mid-Atlantic - with a minimum pressure of 934 mb.  ( With computer models locked in on the eventuality of a punishing blow for East Coast …
Jon Cohen / The Fix:
Post-ABC tracking poll: Romney 49, Obama 48 — the power of campaign contacts  —  Massive outreach efforts by the Obama and Romney campaigns — essential in a neck-and-neck contest like this one — are shaking things up in critical swing states, according to the latest release from the Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll.
Discussion: GOP 12 and Business Insider
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
What America will we pick?  —  This election is only tangentially a fight over policy.
Washington Post:
Poll shows widening racial gap in presidential contest
Josh Dorner / ThinkProgress:
Romney Makes Closing Argument At Firm That Benefited From Stimulus Funds  —  On Friday, Mitt Romney will make his closing argument on the economy in what his campaign is touting as a major address.  The site Romney has chosen, however, exposes the hypocrisy and fallaciousness …
Discussion: Daily Kos
Jim Acosta / CNN:
Romney economic speech at company that received stimulus funds
Discussion: The Maddow Blog
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Romney's Closing Argument
Discussion: Death and Taxes
David Barboza / New York Times:
Family of Wen Jiabao Holds a Hidden Fortune in China  —  BEIJING — The mother of China's prime minister was a schoolteacher in northern China.  His father was ordered to tend pigs in one of Mao's political campaigns.  And during childhood, “my family was extremely poor,” the prime minister, Wen Jiabao, said in a speech last year.
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Sununu walks back Powell jab  —  Former White House Chief of Staff John Sununu, a co-chair of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign, said in an interview Thursday night that retired Gen. Colin Powell's decision to endorse President Barack Obama's re-election bid appeared to have been driven by race.
Josh Hicks / Washington Post:
Obama's ‘Tonight Show’ remark: Planned Parenthood provides mammograms  —  “You've got issues like Planned Parenthood, where that organization provides millions of women cervical-cancer screenings, mammograms, all kinds of basic health care.”  —  President Obama appeared on “The Tonight Show” …
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
2012 U.S. Electorate Looks Like 2008  —  Composition of electorate by race, age, gender essentially the same  —  PRINCETON, NJ — The composition of the electorate for the 2012 presidential election is looking quite similar to what it was in 2008 as well as 2004, according to an analysis …
Sara Rossi / Reuters:
Italy's Berlusconi sentenced to jail for tax fraud  —  (Reuters) - An Italian court on Friday sentenced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to four years in jail for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediaset television company.
Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to four years in jail
David Brooks / New York Times:
What Moderation Means  —  Over the past month, Mitt Romney has aggressively appealed to moderate voters.  President Obama, for some reason, hasn't.  But, in what he thought was an off-the-record interview with The Des Moines Register, Obama laid out a pretty moderate agenda for his second term.
Wall Street Journal:
Noonan: When Americans Saw the Real Obama  —  Why the Denver debate changed everything.  —  We all say Ohio, Ohio, Ohio.  But it's all still Denver, Denver, and the mystery that maybe isn't a mystery at all.  —  If Cincinnati and Lake County go for Mitt Romney on Nov. 6 it will be because of what happened in Denver on Oct. 3.
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 More Items: 
Annie Lowrey / New York Times:
Transcript of 1944 Bretton Woods Conference Found at Treasury
British ExxonMobil oil chief ‘assassinated’ in Brussels street
Discussion: BBC and Guardian
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Obama's fanciful claim that Congress ‘proposed’ the sequester
Discussion: Hot Air and The PJ Tatler
Scott Travis / The Huffington Post:
College Tuition Should Vary By Degree, Florida State Task Force Says
Discussion: Marginal Revolution and Hullabaloo
Associated Press:
Kerrey Struggling in Nebraska Senate Race
Discussion: CNN
Philip Rucker / Election 2012:
Meat Loaf endorses Romney in Ohio
 Earlier Items: 
Nate Cohn / The New Republic:
The Road To Victory In Ohio
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
Conservative Scholars Bullish That A Romney Supreme Court Could Reverse Longstanding Liberal Jurisprudence
Discussion: The Hill
Alex Klein / The Daily Beast:
Bill Bain Speaks: “The Unfair Attacks Are Not Worth Responding To”
Discussion: The Hill, Election 2012 and BuzzFeed
Washington Post:
Poll shows widening racial gap in presidential contest
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Pointing Toward Prosperity?
Discussion: Vox Popoli