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3:05 PM ET, May 19, 2013


 Top Items: 
CNN Poll: Controversies hurting Obama?  Has GOP overreacted?  —  Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama comes out of what was arguably the worst week of his presidency with his approval rating holding steady, according to a new national poll.  —  But a CNN/ORC International survey …
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Mitch McConnell Backs Away From GOP Claims Of A Benghazi Cover Up  —  On Sunday, during an appearance on Meet The Press, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — the GOP leader in the senate — distanced himself from Republican efforts to portray the Obama administration's response to the attacks …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Margaret Brennan / CBS News:
Evidence emerges that Obama administration official knew of IRS targeting during 2012 campaign  —  (CBS News) WASHINGTON - There were new questions Saturday night concerning if anyone in the White House was aware of the IRS' targeting of conservative groups.
Discussion: Power Line and The Gateway Pundit
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Poll: Obama at 53 percent approval after week of controversies  —  A new poll shows a majority approving of President Obama's job performance after a week where his administration faced a tough trio of controversies.  —  A CNN/ORC poll released Sunday morning shows 53 percent approve of the president, with 45 percent disapproving.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Zack Colman / The Hill:
Sen. Cornyn blasts White House for ‘culture of cover-ups and intimidation’
Discussion: CNN and Politico
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Obama Aide: ‘Irrelevant Fact’ Where President Was During Benghazi Attacks  —  Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer said it's an “irrelevant fact” where the president physically was during the Benghazi terror attack on September 11, 2012:  —  Host Chris Wallace reminds Pfeiffer that Obama didn't really talk …
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Pfeiffer on IRS Scandal: ‘Law Is Irrelevant’  —  Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer was asked on TV this morning whether he thinks the IRS actions violated the law:  —  “Look, I can't speak to the law here,” he said.  “The law is irrelevant.  The activity was outrageous and inexcusable.”
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Pfeiffer defends White House handling of IRS targeting scandal
Discussion: Politico and The PJ Tatler
Wall Street Journal:
Yahoo to Buy Tumblr for $1.1 Billion  —  Yahoo Inc.'s board has approved a deal to acquire blogging startup Tumblr, people familiar with the matter said Sunday.  —  Yahoo has agreed to pay $1.1 billion in cash for the company, one of the people said.  Tumblr would continue to operate largely …
The Sunday Times:
Google insider exposes ‘immoral’ tax scam  —  Former Google executive Barney Jones has a cache of 100,000 emails and documents (Paul Vicente)  —  A FORMER Google executive has blown the whistle on a massive and “immoral” tax avoidance scheme that has “cheated” British taxpayers out of hundreds …
Discussion: TechCrunch, Vox Popoli and The Verge
Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post:
Darrell Issa: 'You Don't Accuse The IRS Until You've Had A Nonpartisan, Deep Look'  —  WASHINGTON — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said earlier this week in a little-noticed interview that he knew “approximately” what the IRS inspector general would report about selective targeting of conservative groups …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and BuzzFeed
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
Dem: Ex-IRS chief lied to Congress
Discussion: Scared Monkeys and Hot Air
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
Complaints of IRS targeting by religious groups on the rise
Discussion: Religion News Service
New York Times:
Climate Warnings, Growing Louder  —  The news that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, the most important global warming gas, have hit 400 parts per million for the first time in millions of years increases the pressure on President Obama to deliver on his pledges to limit this country's greenhouse gas emissions.
Discussion: The PJ Tatler, Hullabaloo and Daily Kos
Mitch Ginsburg / The Times of Israel:
Government committee rejects not only the accusation that the IDF killed the 12-year-old Gaza boy in a gunfight, but that he died at all  —  Muhammad al-Dura, the Palestinian child who appeared to have been gruesomely killed at his father's feet in Gaza on September 30, 2000 …
ABC's Jonathan Karl to CNN: ‘I regret the email was quoted incorrectly’  —  (CNN) - Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent for ABC News, addressed criticism of his reporting on the Benghazi talking points controversy, saying in a statement to CNN that he regrets the inaccuracy of his report.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Obama urges Morehouse grads to lead by ‘the power of your example’  —  ATLANTA - President Obama on Sunday urged graduates of Morehouse College to use “the power of your example” to help others less fortunate.  —  Speaking at the historically black all-male college in Georgia's capital …
Discussion: Politico
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Taxing Times for Obama  —  WASHINGTON — I WENT to New York last week to cover the TV presentations for the new season, shows like “Scandal,” “Shark Tank” and a faltering “American Idol.”  —  I may as well have stayed here.  —  You know that the faltering American idol in the White House must be reeling in this scandalous spring.
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 More Items: 
Zack Colman / The Hill:
AP chief: DOJ seizure an ‘unconstitutional act’
Minnesota State Rep Calls Climate Change ‘Complete United Nations Fraud And Lie’
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Republican Virginia Lt. Governor Nominee: Obama Sees World “From A Muslim Perspective”
 Earlier Items: 
Washington Post:
President Obama exercises a fluid grip on the levers of power