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6:25 AM ET, May 15, 2013


 Top Items: 
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Understanding the Politics of the IRS Scandal  —  We're just at the front end of investigating the IRS scandal.  And all the standard blah blah blah about how we don't know just what we'll find.  But I think we do know pretty much exactly what the political implications will be.  And they're significant.
Discussion: Hullabaloo, The Impolitic and The Week
Gregory Korte / USA Today:
IRS gave liberals a pass; Tea Party groups put on hold  —  WASHINGTON — In the 27 months that the Internal Revenue Service put a hold on all Tea Party applications for non-profit status, it approved applications from similar liberal groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
U.S. Report on I.R.S. Audits Cites Failures in Management  —  WASHINGTON — An inspector general's report on the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service's effort to single out conservative groups for special scrutiny blamed ineffective management at the agency for failing to rein …
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Inspector General: IRS' Ineffective Management Allowed Tea Party Targeting  —  WASHINGTON — The IRS used “inappropriate criteria” when judging organizations hoping to gain a tax-exempt status and allowed that criteria to stay in place for 18 months, according to a Treasury Inspector General …
Reid J. Epstein / Politico:
Franklin Graham: IRS targeted us, too  —  The IRS came after Billy Graham, too, his son charged Tuesday in a letter to President Barack Obama.  —  Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the family's international humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse …
Abby D. Phillip / ABCNEWS:
IRS Asks for Reading List, Tea Party Group Sends Constitution  —  (Image Credit: Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)  —  When Marion Bower decided to start her tea party organization in 2010, she didn't know that it would take nearly two years for the Internal Revenue Service to approve her request for tax-exempt status.
Byron Tau / Politico:   Lerner's name on IRS letter to conservative group
Report finds IRS targeted conservative groups, delayed applications
Discussion: Reuters, Politico and The Strike Zone
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Reid urges Congress to crack down on ‘masquerading’ political groups
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
NAACP Chair Emeritus: ‘Legitimate’ For IRS To Target ‘Admittedly Racist’ Tea Party: ‘Taliban Wing’ Of Politics
Jake Tapper / The Lead with Jake Tapper:
CNN exclusive: White House email contradicts Benghazi leaks  —  This story has been updated from its original version.  —  CNN has obtained an e-mail sent by a top aide to President Barack Obama about White House reaction to the deadly attack last September 11 on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi …
Thomas Burr / Salt Lake Tribune:
Chaffetz: Obama impeachment ‘possible’ over Benghazi attack  —  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz says President Barack Obama's handling of the government's response to the Benghazi terrorist attack could be an impeachable offense and vows to continue digging at the “lies of highest magnitude” from the White House.
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Joan Walsh / Salon:
Who doctored a White House email?  —  CNN appears to have undermined a scoop that damaged the White House  —  Was ABC News used by someone with an ax to grind against the State Department?  It looks possible.  A key email in its “scoop” that the administration's “talking points” …
Discussion: Yahoo! News, Goppers and The Raw Story
CNN exclusive: White House email contradicts Benghazi leaks  —  CNN has obtained an email sent by a top aide to President Barack Obama, in which the aide discusses the Obama administration reaction to the attack on the U.S. posts in Benghazi, Libya.  The actual email differs …
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Apparently Erroneous Reporting About Allegedly Erroneous Reporting
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Karoli / Crooks and Liars:
Did Someone Leak Doctored Benghazi Email?
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
New York Times:
Holder Defends Justice Department in Journalists' Records Seizure  —  WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Tuesday defended the Justice Department's sweeping seizure of telephone records of Associated Press journalists, describing the article by The A.P. that prompted …
David Yonkman / Associated Press:
Carl Bernstein: AP Phone Scandal a ‘Nuclear Event’
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Carney: Obama believes the press ‘needs to be unfettered’
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Holder recused himself from DOJ decision to seize AP records
CBO's Publications:
Updated Budget Projections: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023  —  If the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit will shrink this year to $642 billion, CBO estimates, the smallest shortfall since 2008.  Relative to the size of the economy, the deficit this year …
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:   The CBO's Projected Budget Deficits Just Shrank by Hundreds of Billions of Dollars
D.C. turns on Obama  —  The town is turning on President Obama - and this is very bad news for this White House.  —  Republicans have waited five years for the moment to put the screws to Obama - and they have one-third of all congressional committees on the case now.
Andrew Sullivan / The Dish:
Race And IQ.  Again.  —  I should know better than to bring this up again.  But the effective firing of a researcher, Heritage's Jason Richwine, because of his Harvard dissertation should immediately send up red flags about intellectual freedom.  I am not defending the Heritage report …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Why Washington scandal-mania may save Medicare and Social Security  —  The Monica Lewinsky scandal may have helped save Social Security in the late 1990s.  Now the scandal fever currently gripping Washington — IRS, Benghazi, Associated Press phone records — may save Social Security and Medicare two decades later.
US Navy launched its first drone from aircraft carrier  —  The US Navy has successfully catapulted a prototype drone from an aircraft carrier on Tuesday, which is the first step in a program designed to begin fielding drones on all Navy carriers between 2017 and 2020.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
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 More Items: 
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:
New allegations against another sex assault prevention officer
Discussion: Politico
Maggie Haberman / Reuters:
Anthony Weiner hires campaign manager
US shale oil supply shock shifts global power balance
Discussion: Riehl World News
Tom Cohen / CNN:
Obama struggles with rocky start to second term
Associated Press:
Convicted Pa. abortion doctor gets life in prison
Alan Pyke / ThinkProgress:
Senate Committee Approves $4B In Food Aid Cuts As House Preps Even Worse Measure
Discussion:, Reuters and Daily Kos
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Warren asks regulators to justify not taking Wall Street to trial
Discussion: Mother Jones and ThinkProgress
 Earlier Items: 
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Rep. Steve King: Senate immigration reform bill worse than ObamaCare
Discussion: Politico
Matt Flegenheimer / New York Times:
Complaints Rise as Bike Share Program Nears
Discussion: Gawker and Gothamist
Sara Fischer / CNN:
Sestak makes an early announcement
Stuart Rothenberg / Rothenblog:
Obama's New Political Reality Is Bad News for Dems in 2014
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
GOP defies Boehner on special Benghazi panel