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4:55 PM ET, May 16, 2013


 Top Items: 
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
Benghazi auditors Mullen, Pickering refuse meeting with Issa  —  The co-leaders of the independent audit into the Benghazi attack have categorically refused to meet with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) for a private interview.  —  Thomas Pickering and Michael Mullen called the proposed closed-door proceeding …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Onset of Woes Casts Pall Over Obama's Policy Aspirations  —  WASHINGTON — Thwarted on Capitol Hill, stymied in the Middle East and now beset by scandal, President Obama has reached a point just six months after a heady re-election where the second term he had hoped for has collided with the second term he actually has.
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
Obama tries to stop the bleeding  —  In recent days, Democratic strategists have all but begged President Barack Obama to take control of a deepening public relations disaster that threatens to derail his second-term agenda.  —  On Wednesday evening, Obama did just that.
Stephen F. Hayes / Weekly Standard:
Benghazi Emails Directly Contradict White House Claims  —  The White House on Wednesday released 94 pages of emails between top administration and intelligence officials who helped shape the talking points about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that the CIA would provide to policymakers in both the legislative and executive branches.
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
The scandals are falling apart
Todd Eberly / The FreeStater Blog:
Obama's Katrina Moment
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
Obama pushes back on IRS, AP, Benghazi
Justin SInk / The Hill:   Obama seeks to weather storm
CBS News:
Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left note in boat he hid in, sources say  —  (CBS News) Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left claiming responsibility for the April 13 attack on the Boston Marathon, reports CBS News senior correspondent John Miller.
Michael Sneed / Chicago Sun Times:
Obama eyes Gov. Deval Patrick to replace Eric Holder at Justice  —  Tipsville . . .  Sneed is told that Attorney General Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder's days are numbered.  —  Sneed hears President Barack Obama, who is this/close to Holder, has set his sights on Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick …
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Liberal talk radio host Bill Press calls for Holder to be fired  —  Talk radio host and former chairman of the California Democratic Party Bill Press said Thursday that Attorney General Eric Holder should be fired over the subpoena of reporter phone records.
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Bill Press: Fire Eric Holder
Ben Swann / WXIX-TV:
FOX19 EXCLUSIVE: Four local IRS workers allegedly connected to scandal  —  Posted by FOX19 Digital Media Staff - email  —  FOX19 has exclusively learned that as many as four people may be the first Cincinnati Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees to face disciplinary action …
Steven Rattner / Opinionator:   Behind the I.R.S. Mess: A Campaign-Finance Scandal
Emma Innes / Daily Mail:
Men who are physically strong are more likely to have right wing political views  —  Men who are physically strong are more likely to take a right wing political stance, while weaker men are inclined to support the welfare state, according to a new study.  —  Researchers discovered political …
National Review:
Scandal Is Not an Agenda  —  It says something about the kind of fortnight the president has been having that the controversies facing his administration can be divided into tiers.  —  The Benghazi debacle and the IRS's targeting of conservative groups are, as it were, “tier one” scandals …
Brian Beutler / Talking Points Memo:
Democrats' Best Friends In The IRS Scandal  —  After a pretty crappy few days, Democrats awoke to the nice surprise that Mitch McConnell would join Michele Bachmann at a press conference today, along with some tea partiers who were targeted (we are to believe inappropriately) by the IRS.  —  Why?
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Obama Calls Over Marines to Shield Himself and Turkish PM from Rain  —  At an outdoor White House press conference, President Obama called over Marines to shield himself and the Turkish prime minister from the rain:
ABC 7 Eyewitness News:
Internet celebrity sought in Clark man's murder  —  CLARK, N.J. (WABC) — Authorities in Union County have issued an arrest warrant for internet celebrity “Kai the hatchet wielding hitchhiker” in the murder of Joseph Galfy, Jr. in Clark, New Jersey  —  The suspect is identified …
Evan McMorris-Santoro / BuzzFeed:
New Poll Shows Good News For Democrats In Massachusetts Senate Race  —  Democrats have put the tough Senate primary behind them, a new PPP poll finds.  Ed Markey's up seven over Gabriel Gomez, according to the poll sponsored by the League of Conservation Voters.  —  Via: Elise Amendola / AP
Discussion: Weekly Standard
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
Markey expands lead over Gomez in new poll
Discussion: Politico and The Fix
Jake Tapper / The Lead with Jake Tapper:
First on CNN: Witness Protection Program lost two ‘known or suspected terrorists’  —  This report has been updated.  —  The U.S. Marshals Service lost two former participants in the federal Witness Security Program “identified as known or suspected terrorists,” according to the public summary …
Kevin Williamson / National Review:
Theater Night: Vigilantes 1, Vulgarians 0  —  I had a genuinely new experience at the theater tonight: I was thrown out.  —  The show was Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, which was quite good and which I recommend.  The audience, on the other hand, was horrible — talking …
J. Bradford DeLong / Brad DeLong:
Seven Howlers from Michael Kinsley's Very Misguided War Against Paul Krugman  —  Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?  —  Michael Kinsley is really confused: … Ummm... If you Google “first use of austerian” Google tells you about first uses of “Australian”.
Josh Israel / ThinkProgress:
Kansas Elected Official Stands By Using Racial Slur ‘100 Percent’  —  Kansas Board of Education member Steve Roberts (R)  —  Kansas Board of Education member Steve Roberts (R), an elected official representing one-tenth of the state, defended on Tuesday his use of a racial epithet …
The Lead with Jake Tapper:
First on CNN: Pickering, Mullen challenge Issa to let them testify in public  —  In a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa exclusively obtained by CNN, the co-chairmen behind an independent review of September's deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, expressed irritation over the House Oversight Committee …
Quinnipiac News + Events:
Release Detail  —  May 16, 2013 - Dem Inches Ahead In Virginian Governor's Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Hillary Clinton, Sen. Warner Run Well In 2016 Pres Race  —  Democrat Terry McAuliffe has opened up a slight 43 - 38 percent lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the race …
Ben Jones / The Boston Globe:
‘Cooter’ and ‘Fast Eddie’  —  It isn't every day that one makes preparations to go and play music for some friends but instead ends up being portrayed in the national press and on the Internet as some sort of antediluvian racist who should not be seen in the company of someone aspiring to the Senate.
Discussion: CBS Boston and Post Politics
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 More Items: 
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
John Edwards to hit the speaking circuit
Yahoo! News:
Re: the Benghazi messages: Browse administration emails like an inbox
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Fred Wertheimer / Politico:
Inadequate IRS rules helped create scandal
Ramsey Cox / E2-Wire:
Senate confirms Moniz as Energy secretary
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Barbara Boxer's claim that GOP budgets hampered Benghazi security
Discussion: Yahoo! News
Charles Abbott / Reuters:
House farm bill moves ahead with big cut in food stamps
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Pentagon Recognizes Transgender Veteran, Advocates See A “Shift”
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Washington Post:
Some question whether AP leak on al-Qaeda plot put U.S. at risk
 Earlier Items: 
Ben Geman / E2-Wire:
EPA to review claims of bias against conservatives amid fight over IRS
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Senate panel OKs Perez nomination for Labor Secretary
Discussion: Daily Kos and
Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post:
Harry Reid Reveals His Niece Is A Lesbian, Gives Push To Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Sam Laird / Mashable:
NFL Player Instagrams Himself Peeing on IRS Building
Sam Baker / The Hill:
House set to vote on ObamaCare repeal
Max Fisher / WorldViews:
A fascinating map of the world's most and least racially tolerant countries