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2:35 AM ET, May 17, 2013


 Top Items: 
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
The scandals are falling apart  —  Things go wrong in government.  Sometimes it's just bad luck.  Sometimes it's rank incompetence.  Sometimes it's criminal wrongdoing.  Most of the time you never hear about it.  Or, if you do hear about it, the media eventually gets bored talking about it (see warming, global).
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Wow, This is Pretty Epic  —  Generally, once partisan, tendentious sources leak information that turns out to be wrong, nothing's ever done about it.  That's for many reasons, some good or somewhat understandable, mostly bad.  But on CBS Evening News tonight, Major Garrett did something …
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 …
Major Garrett / CBS News:
WH Benghazi emails have different quotes than earlier reported  —  (CBS News) WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama called Thursday for tighter security for U.S. diplomatic facilities to prevent an attack like the one in Benghazi, Libya, last year that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Washington Post:
Some question whether AP leak on al-Qaeda plot put U.S. at risk
Donna Cassata / Associated Press:
GOP Not Satisfied With Benghazi Email Release, Demand More From White House
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
Barbara Boxer's claim that GOP budgets hampered Benghazi security
Discussion: Right Turn, Yahoo! News and NewsBusters
Washington Wire:
Obama Picks Daniel Werfel for IRS Post
Discussion: New York Times
John Parkinson / ABCNEWS:
IRS Official in Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs Health Care Office  —  (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)  —  The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.
The Woman Behind the IRS/ObamaCare Nightmare  —  ABC News is reporting that the woman who was the head of the tax-exempt organizations division of the IRS during the time conservative groups were targeted is now director of the IRS' ObamaCare office.  —  You can't make this stuff up.
Associated Press:
Second IRS Official To Leave After Targeting Scandal  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — As second top Internal Revenue Service official has announced plans to leave the agency amid the controversy over the targeting of tea party groups.  —  An internal IRS memo says Joseph Grant, commissioner …
Fox News:
IRS official who oversaw unit targeting Tea Party now heads ObamaCare office
Peggy Noonan / Wall Street Journal:
This Is No Ordinary Scandal  —  Political abuse of the IRS threatens the basic integrity of our government.  —  We are in the midst of the worst Washington scandal since Watergate.  The reputation of the Obama White House has, among conservatives, gone from sketchy to sinister, and, among liberals, from unsatisfying to dangerous.
Discussion: The Dish, Hullabaloo and Doug Ross
Michael Sneed / Chicago Sun Times:
Obama eyes Gov. Deval Patrick to replace Eric Holder at Justice
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
Obama pushes back on IRS, AP, Benghazi
Andrew Ramonas / The BLT:
At D.C. Circuit, Contractor Case Merits Take Backseat  —  Lawyers for the Federal Election Commission and government contractors on Thursday argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit over a law that forbids the contract holders from making federal campaign donations.
Associated Press:
Former Sen. John Edwards to speak at retreat for lawyers a year after corruption trial  —  RALEIGH, N.C. — Former presidential contender John Edwards is setting out on the speaking circuit.  —  The former U.S. senator and 2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee from North Carolina …
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
John Edwards to hit the speaking circuit
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Fight Over Obama Appointees May Spur Senate Rule Change  —  Washington — The escalating Senate fight over President Obama's cabinet appointments moved closer to a showdown on Thursday as two nominees headed to the floor with no Republican support.  —  Gina McCarthy, Mr. Obama's choice …
Discussion: The Plum Line
Melissa Russo /
Exclusive: Anthony Weiner Spotted Shooting Campaign-Style Video at Childhood Home  —  Anthony Weiner was spotted shooting a campaign-style video on the stoop of his childhood home in Brooklyn Thursday as he weighs whether to run for mayor, NBC 4 New York reports exclusively.
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 …
Alyssa Rosenberg / ThinkProgress:
National Review's Kevin Williamson Is Wrong On Cell Phone Tossing, But Right On Theater Regulation
Discussion: FishbowlDC and The Huffington Post
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 …
John Cook / Gawker:
For Sale: A Video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Smoking Crack Cocaine  —  Rob Ford, Toronto's conservative mayor, is a wild lunatic given to making bizarre racist pronouncements and randomly slapping refrigerator magnets on cars.  One reason for this is that he smokes crack cocaine.
Discussion: Boing Boing
Why the GOP thinks it could blow it  —  Republicans are worried one thing could screw up the political gift of three Obama administration controversies at once: fellow Republicans.  —  Top GOP leaders are privately warning members to put a sock in it when it comes to silly calls for impeachment …
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 …
Associated Press:
Watchdog: Justice Dept. didn't provide names of some terrorists in witness protection program
The Huffington Post:
NRCC Blog Post On IRS Scandal Includes Lawmakers No Longer In Office, Mayor Of Colombian City  —  WASHINGTON — An attempt by the National Republican Congressional Committee to embarrass Democrats went awry on Thursday, when the group published a blog post riddled with errors.
Wall Street Journal:
To Buy Bonds or Not to Buy: Fed Hawks, Doves Air Views  —  Federal Reserve officials are deeply engaged in debating when to begin dialing back an $85 billion-a-month bond buying program, but don't appear near consensus on when to pull the trigger.  —  The presidents of the Dallas …
Discussion: Calculated Risk
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House votes to repeal ObamaCare  —  The House voted to repeal ObamaCare on Thursday for the third time since Republicans took over the chamber in 2011.  —  Only two Democrats sided with Republicans in the party-line 229-195 vote — Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.).
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 More Items: 
Arkansas Ordered to Face Lawsuit Challenging Abortion Law
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Lori Montgomery / Washington Post:
New GOP debt-limit demands: Ban late-term abortion and approve Keystone pipeline?
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Dems offer gun control bill inspired by James Bond
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and National Review
Chuck Carroll / CBS DC:
D.C. Considers Mandatory $250K Insurance Policy for Gun Buyers
Discussion: Reuters, Weasel Zippers and MSNBC
Jennifer Rubin / Right Turn:
Holder's recusal and the leak investigation are unprecedented
Discussion: JustOneMinute, Hot Air, Lawfare and Poynter
Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post:
OFA Refuses To Push On Keystone
 Earlier Items: 
Adam Cole / NPR:
Water Trapped For 1.5 Billion Years Could Hold Ancient Life
Discussion: The Verge and Althouse
Steven Rattner / Opinionator:
Behind the I.R.S. Mess: A Campaign-Finance Scandal
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Obama Calls Over Marines to Shield Himself and Turkish PM from Rain
Ben Jones / The Boston Globe:
‘Cooter’ and ‘Fast Eddie’
CBS News:
Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left note in boat he hid in, sources say