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10:55 PM ET, February 9, 2012


 Top Items: 
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
Fierce White House Debate Over Contraception Mandate  —  “What are we doing here?” asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, stepping outside his wheelhouse to ask about a rising storm involving the Obama administration and the Catholic Church.  “What's the point?”
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
Biden: Compromise on contraception  —  Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday that he thinks a solution can be found to the deepening controversy over birth-control coverage.  —  The furor has escalated this week over a new administration rule that exempts churches and other houses of worship …
Discussion: Sky Dancing and Weasel Zippers
Debra Erdley /
Pa. GOP voters quit Gingrich for Santorum  —  It never pays to count Rick Santorum out.  —  A Tribune-Review/WPXI-TV poll conducted Feb. 2-6 shows the former senator was gaining strength among Pennsylvania Republicans even before this week's victories in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota …
Rick Santorum / CNN:
Santorum takes on ‘environmental terror’  —  Oklahoma City (CNN) - Speaking in one of the top energy-producing states in the country, Rick Santorum tailored his stump speech here on Thursday to appeal to a raucous crowd of domestic energy-loving Okies.  —  Reaffirming his support …
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
DeMint: Brokered convention a possibility
Discussion: CNN, Campaign 2012, The Impolitic and Slate
Keith Coffman / Reuters:
Colorado student charged in “glitter bomb” of Romney
Rick Santorum / CNN:
Santorum rebuts Romney attacks
Discussion: GOP 12, The Hill and ABCNEWS
Judy Kurtz / The Hill:
Eye doctor warns of dangers of political protest on gay marriage
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
The Five Things You Need To Know About Today's Foreclosure Settlement  —  LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14: Attorney General of California Kamala Harris speaks onstage at the Cinema For Peace event benefitting J/P Haitian Relief Organization in Los Angeles held at Montage Hotel on January 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.
Mortgage deal could bring billions in relief
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Hullabaloo
Yves Smith / naked capitalism:
The Top Twelve Reasons Why You Should Hate the Mortgage Settlement
New York Times:
Mortgage Plan Gives Billions to Homeowners, but With Exceptions
Discussion: Economix and The Atlantic Online
Faiz Shakir / ThinkProgress:
Fox Pundit Tells CPAC Crowd That Rachel Maddow Is ‘The Best Argument In Favor Of Her Parents Using Contraception’  —  In the “closed circuit world on the right,” MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is often the subject of ugly denigrations.  Whether it's being mocked for her sexual orientation, her name …
Alan I. Abramowitz / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
The Third Party Illusion  —  If you've been following the political commentary in the national media recently, you've probably heard that the 2012 presidential election is likely to result in the largest vote for a third party candidate in many years, perhaps exceeding the 19% of the national popular vote won by Ross Perot in 1992.
Discussion: Booman Tribune
American Prospect:
Wall Street's Third Party  —  This November, when Barack Obama faces off against his Republican opponent, there will be a third candidate in the race, too.  This candidate has already qualified for the ballot in 14 states, including California.  The campaign to ensure the candidate's ballot access …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Santorum: Obama Has Put America On ‘The Path’ Of Executing Religious People By Decapitation  —  Rick Santorum continued to rail against President Obama's so-called war against religion during a town hall in Plano, Texas Wednesday night.  The former Pennsylvania senator …
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Santorum Doubles Down: ‘ObamaCare’ Is The First Step To The ‘Guillotine’
Discussion: ECHIDNE of the snakes
Ben Armbruster / ThinkProgress:
UPDATED: Mississippi Rep. Wants ‘Gulf Of Mexico’ Changed To ‘Gulf Of America’  —  Mississippi State Rep. Steve Holland, a Democrat, introduced a bill in the state's lower chamber calling for the part of the Gulf of Mexico that borders his state to be renamed the “Gulf of America.”
Elizabeth Llorente / Fox News:
Mississippi Bill Changes Name of ‘Gulf of Mexico’ to ‘Gulf of America’
Discussion: Riptide 2.0
Constance Johnson / Guardian:
About my ‘spilled semen’ amendment to Oklahoma's Personhood bill |  Constance Johnson  —  I took this stand because I'm sick of the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers who want to police women's reproductive health  —  As a woman and a 31-year veteran of the legislative process in Oklahoma …
Nick Baumann / Mother Jones:
Marco Rubio's Plan Could Cut Off Birth Control Coverage for Millions  —  How the Florida senator—and potential VP pick—aims to use religion to undermine Obama's health care policy.  —  A new bill introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a rising conservative star and leading contender …
Paul Krugman:
A Strange Form of Social Collapse  —  Reading Charles Murray and all the commentary about the sources of moral collapse among working-class whites, I've had a nagging question: is it really all that bad?  —  I mean, yes, marriage rates are way down, and labor force participation is down among prime-age men …
Discussion: Political Mojo
Matt Stopera / BuzzFeed:
The Best Testimony From Washington State's Gay Marriage Hearing  —  Try not to cry.  Watch Representative Maureen Walsh's moving testimony from yesterday's gay marriage vote in Washington.  Rep. Walsh was one of two Republicans to vote for the bill.
Wall Street Journal:
Apple vs. Google: The Stakes Are Rising  —  Google Inc. is developing a home-entertainment system that streams music wirelessly throughout the home and would be marketed under the company's own brand, according to people briefed on the company's plans.  —  The effort marks a sharp shift …
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Pelosi: ‘Colbert used to be my friend’  —  Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) mocked comedian Stephen Colbert as part of her campaign against super-PACs.  —  The House minority leader released a web video on Thursday that jokingly attacks Colbert for launching a super-PAC.
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Conn Carroll / Campaign 2012:
Obama declares himself dictator of education  —  President Obama granted 10 states (Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee) waivers from the federal government's No Child Left Behind law today.
Lyndsey Layton / Washington Post:
Obama: 10 states to receive No Child Left Behind waivers
Discussion: Guardian
Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran's nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News  —  A car that was bombed by two assailants on a motorcycle in Tehran on Jan. 11, killing Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahamdi Roshan, is removed by a mobile crane.
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 More Items: 
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
King: I'm continuing Muslim radicalization hearings
Bill Dedman /
Super PAC supporting Ron Paul is operated by a 9/11 ‘truther’
Discussion: Liberal Values and The Raw Story
Benjy Sarlin /
TPM2012  —  CPAC Wants To Help You Get A Hot Conservative Date
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Why I'm So Mean  —  People often ask, “Why is Jonathan Chait so mean?”
Rebecca Wind / New from the Guttmacher Institute:
U.S. Teen Pregnancy Rate At Lowest Level In Nearly 40 Years
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Janet Maslin / New York Times:
Sure, Mr. President, if You Really Want Me To  —  'Once Upon …
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Michigan Must Decide What to Do With an Unexpected Surplus
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
States line up to challenge stringent Section 5 voting rights provision
Justin Ravitz / Us Weekly:
Rick Santorum's Sweater Vest Slammed by Scarlett Johansson