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1:30 PM ET, September 12, 2012


 Top Items: 
Foreign Policy Hands Voice Disbelief At Romney Cairo Statement  —  “Bungle... utter disaster...not ready for prime time... not presidential... Lehman moment.”  And that's just the Republicans.  —  Image by Jim Young / Reuters  —  Mitt Romney's sharply-worded attack on President Obama …
Byron Tau / Politico:
White House disavows Cairo apology  —  The White House is disavowing a statement from its own Cairo embassy that apologized for anti-Muslim activity in the United States.  —  “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government …
U.S. ambassador to Libya killed in Benghazi attack  —  (Reuters) - The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other embassy staff were killed in a rocket attack on their car, a Libyan official said, as they were rushed from a consular building stormed by militants denouncing a U.S.-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammad.
New York Times:
Deadly Embassy Assault May Have Been Planned, U.S. Suspects  —  J. Christopher Stevens, the ambassador, was killed along with three others in an attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  It was the first death of an American envoy abroad in more than two decades.
First Read:
First Thoughts: Over the top  —  Romney issues over-the-top attack on embassy attacks... And his statement looks worse and worse as new information comes out, including the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya... Romney camp stands by its attack saying embassy statement came after the u nrest began …
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
The Politics (Ugh, Yes, the Politics) of the Attacks on the US Diplomatic Posts in Benghazi and Cairo  —  Families are in mourning, and the diplomatic corps is dealing with the tragedy of four Americans being killed in the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  But with 55 days until the election …
Daniel Foster / National Review:
Romney's Awkward Spot  —  The sanctity of ambassadors and other diplomats is in the proverbial article one, section one of international law, and your ability to do it is as good a proxy as there is for whether you are a real country or a barbarian rabble.  The murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens …
William A. Jacobson / Le·gal In·sur·rec· tion:
Dead Ambassador dragged through streets, MSM furious at Romney criticism of Obama  —  If there ever were a doubt, no matter how small, that the mainstream media is deeply in bed with the Obama campaign, the reaction to the killing of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and several other Americans should put such doubt to rest.
Discussion: Power Line and Althouse
Jeffrey Goldberg / The Atlantic Online:
RNC Already Politicizing Anti-American Rioting  —  Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus (@Reince) tweeted out the following before news of the murder of the U.S. ambassador in Libya, but after the sustained attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities there and in Egypt: “Obama sympathizes with attackers in Egypt.
Scott Wong / Politico:
Hill GOP leaves Romney out on limb on Libya  —  Republicans on Capitol Hill strongly condemned the attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Libya and Egypt that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.  —  But they're leaving GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney out on a limb …
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
His True Colors  —  As noted, we have two simultaneous crises washing over Washington tonight from the Middle East.  First, the US-Israel blow up, which I discussed below.  Next, riots which escalated into full-scale attacks on US embassies in Cairo and Benghazi, triggered by another stunt …
Steve Kornacki / Salon:
Mitt's shameful Libya statement  —  This is what happens when one party spends four years convincing itself the president is something he isn't  —  That it's fundamentally dishonest hasn't stopped Mitt Romney from repeating his central critique of Barack Obama's foreign policy over and over …
FIRST ON CNN: Romney camp tries to manage fallout from Libya response  —  De Pere, Wisconsin (CNN) - Facing criticism for its aggressive and politically-charged response to Tuesday's violent attacks on the American embassies in Egypt and Libya, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign …
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
Obama condemns attack as Romney criticizes US response  —  Violence in the post-Arab Spring Middle East threatened to upset the presidential race Wednesday after the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other staffers were killed in an attack by an angry mob on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Toby Harnden / Daily Mail:
How murder of U.S. ambassador to Libya plunges Obama's re-election campaign into crisis  —  The Obama administration is engulfed in a full-blown foreign policy crisis just two months before the presidential election with the two campaigns trading angry accusations over events in Libya, Egypt and Israel.
Discussion: Belmont Club and
CBS News:
Assault on U.S. consulate in Benghazi leaves 4 dead, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
When You Learn They're Not Ready
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
Three Quick Points on the Libya Killings
Ed O'Keefe / Washington Post:
GOP leaders less critical than Mitt Romney in response to Libya attack
Washington Post:
U.S. ambassador to Libya, 3 other Americans killed in Benghazi
Rachel Weiner / Election 2012:
Romney calls Obama administration response to Libya attacks ‘disgraceful’
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Romney condemns ‘disgraceful’ Obama response on Mideast violence (Updated)
Discussion: CANNONFIRE
Spencer Ackerman / Wired:
Marines Head to Libya After Mob Kills Ambassador
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Thomas Joscelyn / Weekly Standard:
Zawahiri's Brother at Cairo Embassy Assault
Discussion: Battleground Watch
Sam Dagher / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Missions Stormed in Libya, Egypt
Benjy Sarlin / Talking Points Memo:
State Dept. Confirms Death In Libya; Romney Attacks ‘Disgraceful’ White House
Matt Welch / Hit & Run:
What's So Hard About Saying, “In the United States, we are not in the business of approving these messages”?
U.S. Census Bureau News:
Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011  —  The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that in 2011, median household income declined, the poverty rate was not statistically different from the previous year and the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased.
Discussion: Firedoglake, Slate, The New Republic and BBC
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Number of uninsured falls by 1.4 million
Discussion: Politico
Sam Fellman / Navy Times:
Russian ships displayed at DNC tribute to vets  —  On the last night of the Democratic National Convention, a retired Navy four-star took the stage to pay tribute to veterans.  Behind him, on a giant screen, the image of four hulking warships reinforced his patriotic message.
Josh Marshall / Talking Points Memo:
Reason To Fear  —  See below for my quick take on the dynamics of what's happening tonight between the White House and the Netanyahu government.  —  Regardless of the particular in and outs, though, here's why this is ominous.  Given the highly politicized nature of the crisis …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
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 More Items: 
Garrett Epps / The Atlantic Online:
Is Antonin Scalia Still Relevant?
Charles Mahtesian / Politico:
Gary Johnson on ballot in 47 states
Discussion: Hit & Run and Taylor Marsh
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Sarah Palin to Mitt Romney: Make attacks ‘personal’
Discussion: Washington Monthly
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Chicago Teachers' Folly
Nicole Flatow / ThinkProgress:
Decision Upholding Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Relied On 1869 Case Warning Of ‘Rogues,’ ‘Strumpets,’ and ‘Wandering Arabs’
Associated Press:
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Keith Laing / The Hill:
GOP to TSA: Eleven years after 9/11 attacks, it's time to change
Brian Stelter / New York Times:
Beck Takes His Conservative Internet Shows to the Dish Network