Maraniss book details Obama’s pot-smoking crew; Trump goes birther (again); Democratic poll shows Walker up 3; Giffords featured in special election mailer.

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* President Obama, it turns out, was quite the pot-smoker in high school in college. Obama belonged to a group called the “Choom Gang,” with “choom” being a verb meaning “to smoke Marijuana,” according to excerpts of the new Obama book by the Post’s David Maraniss obtained by BuzzFeed. Maraniss also reveals that Obama regularly intercepted a joint as it was being passed. Smokey would not approve.

* Donald Trump is barking up the birther tree again, despite his newfound role as a fundraiser for Mitt Romney. Trump told the Daily Beast that he’s not buying a publishing company’s story that a synopsis that said Obama was born in Kenya was a mistake. “That’s what he told the literary agent,” Trump said. “That’s the way life works. … He didn’t know he was running for president, so he told the truth. The literary agent wrote down what he said. … He said he was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia. … Now they’re saying it was a mistake. Just like his Kenyan grandmother said he was born in Kenya, and she pointed down the road to the hospital, and after people started screaming at her she said, ‘Oh, I mean Hawaii.’ Give me a break.”

* Democrats have released yet another internal poll showing their candidate nipping at Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) heels in the Wisconsin recall. The latest poll, from the Democratic Governors Association and conducted by the Mellman Group, shows Walker at 49 percent and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) at 46 percent.

* The Arizona Democratic Party is sending a new mailer in the state’s special election featuring former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). In the mailer, Giffords talks about her support for her former aide, Ron Barber, in the race for her old seat. Photos in the mailer are of Giffords bother before and after her assassination attempt.

* The photo of Bill Clinton with his arms around a couple of porn stars at an event in Monaco was taken after the Secret Service objected, according to the porn stars. “So we ended up wandering by, and we were gonna approach him, take a picture, and his Secret Service sort of brushed us away,” said one of the women, Brooklyn Lee. “And as we were walking away, Bill actually had the Secret Service guy call us back and come over and hang out.” She added that Clinton probably knew their profession: “I kind of feel like he knows. We hope he likes us and we hope he likes to watch our movies.”


* Take note: Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern does not think Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is a pain in the ass. “He’s polite,” Redfern told the New Republic’s Alec MacGillis. “It’s easy ... to dislike, say, Newt Gingrich, because he’s a pain in the ass. Rob Portman is not a pain in the ass.” Redfern, of course, said that Portman’s politeness masks the fact that he’s actually a “right-wing ideologue.” But still, not bad.

* New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is daring the federal government to stop him from allowing sports gambling in his state, which is banned by federal law. “If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us,” Christie said, in true Christie form. “We want to work with the casinos and horse racing industry to get it implemented.” Christie signed a bill allowing sports betting earlier this year.

* One-third of Republicans’ top House recruits have indicated they will not sign Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, writes the Post’s Roz Helderman, and freshman Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) has told his constituents he won’t be renewing his pledge. The refusal to sign represents a stark shift for the GOP, considering only six Republican House members have not signed the pledge, in which they say they will never support a tax increase.

* Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is accusing the Obama Administration of a “troubling trend of chest-thumping” when it comes to killing Osama bin Laden.


Waiting for the Indiana Pacers version...