More GOP Controversy:

If Republicans thought they could put the abortion issue on the back burner during the week of their convention, they should think twice. Tony Smith, a GOP Senate hopeful in Pennsylvania, is in hot water after he compared having a baby as a result of a rape to — and yes, he actually said this — having a baby out of wedlock. When he was asked straight up if the two were similar, he said “No, no, no, but well put yourself in a father’s position. Yes, I mean it is similar.” Pressed again, later, he denied saying it. “I never said that, I didn’t even come close to that.” Smith said he was merely trying to show that he opposes abortion and is against all exceptions, even in cases of rape. Maybe it’s time Smith put himself in a mother’s position. (Read more)

Curious About Positions: More people are interested in learning about the official party platforms of Republicans and Democrats than they are in Mitt Romney’s or Barack Obama’s convention speeches, according to a new Pew Research survey. In fact, the presidential candidates were third in the line of interest. According to the poll, VP candidate Paul Ryan was second on the Republican side of the list, while former President Bill Clinton piqued the second-highest amount of interest on the Democratic side. (Read more)

‘Brothers Under the Skin’: In recent columns, Paul Krugman has taken to deconstructing the myth of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and his budget plan, which he has referred to as a “fantasy.” In his latest column, he does the same to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who, as it so happens, is the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention this week. You see, when it comes to budget and fiscal matters, Krugman explains that Ryan and Christie actually have a lot in common. He writes: “Mr. Ryan, as people finally seem to be realizing, is at heart a fiscal fraud, boasting about his commitment to deficit reduction but actually placing a much higher priority on tax cuts for the wealthy. Mr. Christie may have a different personal style, but he’s playing the same game.” (Read more)

Headed to the Altar: Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who made headlines in 2009 when he briefly disappeared from office and flew to South America to meet up with the “soul mate” who was not his wife, is engaged to marry his onetime mistress Maria Belen Chapur. So how did he propose? The details, according to The Washington Post: “Sanford hid in the bathroom of an eatery in Argentina while a waiter delivered a phony story and the ring in a bag; he then appeared and popped the question.” How romantic. (Read more)

Video of the Day: It’s the first day of the Republican National Convention! The event convened just briefly Monday before it adjourned in anticipation of Tropical Storm Isaac, but there were still highlights to show you. Here’s what happened on Day One:

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