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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Early Word: Renegade


Today's Times

  • Representative Todd Akin on Tuesday defied his party's leaders and ignored a deadline for dropping out of Missouri's Senate race, Jonathan Weisman writes. Mr. Akin's decision came on the same day the Republican Party's platform committee endorsed a constitutional ban on abortion that does not include an explicit exception for rape.
  • Mr. Akin's record on abortion is largely indistinguishable from that of most of his Republican House colleagues, even as members of the House leadership have denounced the lawmaker's remarks, Jennifer Steinhauer reports. Restricting abortion rights has been viewed as one of their top legislative priorities, and Democrats are planning to highlight the theme as the campaign season rolls on.
  • The attention and controversy generated by reports that Representative Kevin Yoder, Republican of Kansas, had gone skinny-dipping on a trip to Israel last summ er cast an unwanted spotlight once again on the practice of private groups paying for Congressional trips, Eric Lichtblau and Jodi Rudoren report.
  • Senator Scott P. Brown, Republican of Massachusetts, is locked in a dead heat in the nation's most expensive Senate race, and he is distancing himself from the Republican presidential ticket in an effort to erase the notion of party politics from public consciousness, Katharine Q. Seelye reports.
  • President Obama took to the road on Tuesday to promote his record on education, presenting himself as the lucky product of affordable schooling and his opponent as the enemy of it. Mark Landler reports that the president's remarks showcased his methodical drive to make the election a stark choice between him and Mitt Romney on tax policy, Medicare and education â€" anything but the economy.
  • Mr. Romney's promise to restore $716 billion that he says President Obama “robbed” from Medicar e has some health care experts puzzled, as repealing the savings would hasten the insolvency of Medicare by eight years, Jackie Calmes reports.

Around the Web

  • James O'Keefe, a conservative activist who was arrested after trying to tamper with the phones in a Democratic lawmaker's office, will be headlining an exclusive luncheon at the Republican National Convention, Politico reports.
  • The Hill has released its annual ranking of the 50 wealthiest lawmakers.