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5:40 PM ET, May 31, 2013


 Top Items: 
Eric Black / MinnPost:
With Bachmann not running, Jim Graves pulls out of 6th District race  —  As of today, Jim Graves is going to indefinitely suspend his campaign for Congress from the 6th District.  —  Translation: He is not running.  He is dropping out of politics to concentrate on his family and his business.
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Jim Graves drops out following Michele Bachmann's exit
Jim Ragsdale / Hot Dish Politics:
Democrat Jim Graves drops out of 6th District congressional race
Discussion: Wonkette and Hullabaloo
Curtis Morrison / Salon:
Why I secretly recorded Mitch McConnell  —  Earlier this year, I secretly made an audio recording of Sen. Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican on the planet, at his campaign headquarters in Kentucky.  The released portion of the recording clocks in at less than 12 minutes, but those few minutes changed my life.
Garance Franke-Ruta / The Atlantic Online:
The Fake Story About the IRS Commissioner and the White House  —  White House records show Douglas Shulman signed in for 11 visits, not 157, between 2009 and 2012.  —  This building is technically the White House, too.  It's called the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.  (
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Why GOP Scandal Mongers Can't Have Nice Things  —  As Bill Clinton and John Edwards and Bill Jefferson and various others have made clear, Democrats do have scandals.  Plenty of them actually.  But here we have another good example of why Republicans so often have bad luck these days …
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
G.O.P. Sizes Up Obama as Midterm Target  —  WASHINGTON — His name won't be on any ballot in 2014.  Or ever again, for that matter.  —  But plenty of Republicans are still eager to wage a midterm campaign against President Obama, convinced that the spate of recent troubles dogging …
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama shifts subject to student loans, picking fight with Republicans
Wall Street Journal:
Obama's Student-Loan Props
Discussion: Hot Air
Yahoo! News:
Obama pressures Congress to prevent student loan rate increase
Donna St. George / Washington Post:
Cowboy-style cap gun gets 5-year-old suspended from school in Calvert County  —  A kindergartner who brought a cowboy-style cap gun onto his Calvert County school bus was suspended for 10 days after showing a friend the orange-tipped toy, which he had tucked inside his backpack on his way to school, according to his family and a lawyer.
Edward Tenner / The Atlantic Online:
Why the Boomers Are the Most Hated Generation  —  F. Scott Fitzgerald's flappers also grew up in a time of plenty, but they were allowed to age out of their sybaritic image.  What makes the Boomers different?  —  Pity the baby boomers, blamed in their youth for every ill and excess …
Discussion: Via Meadia and Vox Popoli
David Edwards / The Raw Story:
Tea party speaker presents proof Grover Norquist is a secret Muslim: ‘He has a beard’  —  A speaker at a tea party event in Texas recently suggested that that anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist was a secret Muslim because “he has a beard.”  —  In a video posted by the Far North Dallas Tea Party on Thursday …
Bernie Quigley / Pundits Blog:   Tea Party needs a Congress, a home and a leader
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
From the Mouths of Babes  —  Like many observers, I usually read reports about political goings-on with a sort of weary cynicism.  Every once in a while, however, politicians do something so wrong, substantively and morally, that cynicism just won't cut it; it's time to get really angry instead.
Sari Horwitz / Washington Post:
Attorney General Holder says he'll protect journalists' rights  —  Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. pledged Thursday to take concrete steps to address concerns that the Justice Department has overreached in its leak investigations and said officials would seek procedural and possibly legislative changes …
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Stewing in his own juices
Neil King Jr / Wall Street Journal:
Romney Planning to Rejoin National Dialogue  —  Months After Election Loss, He Will Host Event in Utah for 200 Friends and Campaign Supporters  —  More than half a year after his election loss, Mitt Romney is putting a tentative foot back onto the public stage.
Annemarie Mannion / Chicago Tribune:
Retired Justice warns against ‘politicians in robes’ … Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor made a plea for preserving the impartiality and independence of the American judicial system in a lecture Thursday at Elmhurst College.  —  O'Connor, who addressed a crowded audience …
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Poll: Hillary Clinton's favorability rating dives amid Benghazi probe  —  Hillary Clinton's favorability rating dropped significantly in a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday, as the months-long investigation into the terrorist attacks in Benghazi have begun to drag on the former secretary of State.
Peggy Noonan / Wall Street Journal:
Noonan: An Antidote to Cynicism Poisoning  —  Restoring public faith will require a full investigation of the IRS's politicization.  —  The Benghazi scandal was and is shocking, and the Justice Department assault on the free press, in which dogged reporters are tailed like enemy spies, is shocking.
Discussion: Conservatives4Palin
Jonathan Cohn / New Republic:
Another Obamacare Train Wreck Not Happening  —  Federal exchanges look like they'll have plenty of insurance options  —  One of these days, a dire prediction about Obamacare will come true.  Today isn't it.  —  The Administration on Thursday released new information about the “Federally Facilitated Marketplaces.”
Discussion: The Plum Line and Wonkblog
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
IRS may have targeted conservatives more broadly  —  Susan Martinek, right, and Mary Cherion pray as they walk the block around the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Planned Parenthood, on Wednesday, May 29, 2013.  Martinek is the president and Cherion serves on the board of Coalition for Life of Iowa …
Irene / Judicial Watch:
DOJ: Social Media Posts Trashing Muslims May Violate Civil Rights  —  In its latest effort to protect followers of Islam in the U.S. the Obama Justice Department warns against using social media to spread information considered inflammatory against Muslims, threatening that it could constitute a violation of civil rights.
Caitlin McDevitt / Politico:
Woody Harrelson: I'm an anarchist  —  Who needs government?  Actor Woody Harrelson says we'd be “just fine” without it in the latest issue of Details magazine:
Discussion: Details
Brian Tashman / Right Wing Watch:
Ex-Gay Therapist Promises to Turn Gay Brains Straight  —  As we've noted, Daystar host Joni Lamb is hosting a special on homosexuality, and Lamb today brought on ex-gay activists such as Joe Dallas, Anne Paulk and Janet Boynes.  One of the guests, Dr. Jerry Mungadze, claimed …
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
It's 2013, and People Are Still Getting Worked Up About Interracial Couples in Ads Cheerios spot gets cheers and jeers By Tim Nudd  —  It's another one of those things that shouldn't be a story but is—an ad from a major U.S. brand featuring an interracial couple and their daughter.
New York Times:
SAN FRANCISCO — Companies from Silicon Valley to Detroit to Germany are developing cars that park, steer and even drive themselves.  Now the federal agency for traffic safety has said it wants to come along for the ride.  —  On Thursday, the Transportation Department made its first formal policy statement on autonomous vehicles.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Pro-immigrant groups balk at Gang of Eight's goal of winning 70 votes  —  Pro-immigrant advocates are pushing back against the Gang of Eight's strategy to win 70 votes or more for comprehensive immigration reform, fearing it would require too many concessions to Republicans.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Ben White / Politico:
Rising economy shifts 2014 landscape  —  The 2014 midterm election is shaping up as something the United States has not seen in nearly a decade: a campaign run in a strengthening economy with deficits on the decline.  —  No one is popping champagne corks yet, and risks remain.
Discussion: CNN, Washington Monthly and
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 More Items: 
Dylan Matthews / Wonkblog:
Join Wall Street. Save the world.
Andrea Crossan / PRI's The World:
Northern Ireland Town Fakes Prosperity for G8 Summit
Washington Post:
But the ultimate expression of Obama's Dorothy Doctrine is Guantanamo.  It must close.  Must, mind you.
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
Obama administration clashes with UN over budget-busting employee salaries
Discussion: Hot Air and National Review
Ayla Jean Yackley / Reuters:
Turkish police fire tear gas in worst protests for years
Discussion: WorldViews
Tommy Witherespoon / Waco Tribune-Herald:
Theft of ribs gets five-time felon 50 years in prison
USA Today:
Giant asteroid flyby sets off study
 Earlier Items: 
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Medicare on track for insolvency in 2026; Social Security seven years later
Discussion: Politico
Stephanie Ebbert / Boston Globe:
Republican Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez again ducks question on Blunt Amendment
Gary D. Robertson /
APNewsBreak: Tillis says he'll run for US Senate
Fabienne Hurst / Spiegel Online:
WWII Drug: The German Granddaddy of Crystal Meth
Discussion: The Week and Hit & Run