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3:25 PM ET, February 9, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
USA Today:
Obama mandate on birth control coverage stirs controversy  —  WASHINGTON - Congressional leaders and Republican presidential candidates joined Catholic religious groups on Wednesday in denouncing the Obama administration's mandate requiring health insurers to offer birth control coverage, but the White House stood its ground.
RELATED:
Amy Sullivan / The Atlantic Online:
The Contraception Coverage Debate Isn't Just About the Bishops  —  Obama should do right by the progressive Catholics who made his health reforms possible and expand the religious exemption to the new contraceptive mandate in the law.  —  If abortion rights advocates are feeling their oats this week, they have good reason.
Discussion: Swampland and The New Republic
Alec MacGillis / The New Republic:
On Birth Control, Obama Saved By The Taco Bell?  —  Well.  Just when it looked like Barack Obama had wound himself into the ultimate pretzel on the new rule mandating that employers, including large Catholic institutions, cover birth control in their health plans, it looks like he may be saved …
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Obama administration struggles to contain uproar over birth-control rule
Discussion: blogs.telegraph.co.uk
Marie Diamond / ThinkProgress:
Catholic Bishops Demand All Businesses Be Given The Right To Deny Women Contraception Coverage
Discussion: Politico and USA Today
Linda Greenhouse / Opinionator:
Whose Conscience?
Gail Collins / New York Times:
Tales From the Kitchen Table
New York Times:
States Negotiate $26 Billion Agreement for Homeowners  —  After months of painstaking talks, government authorities and five of the nation's biggest banks have agreed to a $26 billion settlement that could provide relief to nearly two million current and former American homeowners harmed …
RELATED:
Yves Smith / naked capitalism:
The Top Twelve Reasons Why You Should Hate the Mortgage Settlement  —  As readers may know by now, 49 of 50 states have agreed to join the so-called mortgage settlement, with Oklahoma the lone refusenik.  Although the fine points are still being hammered out, various news outlets (New York Times …
Jonathan Martinand Manu Raju / Reuters:
Mitt Romney's message from GOP: Step it up  —  Mitt Romney's poor performance Tuesday is prompting congressional Republicans to go public with a bracing message to the front-runner: time to step it up, Mitt.  —  A day after Romney was convincingly defeated by Rick Santorum in non-binding contests …
RELATED:
New York Post:
Romney's new test  —  Newt Gingrich's surprise victory …
Discussion: The Page
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
DeMint: Brokered convention a possibility
Discussion: CNN
Huma Khan / ABCNEWS:
Return of the Culture Wars: Can Mitt Romney Win Conservative Backing?
Judy Kurtz / The Hill:
Eye doctor warns of dangers of political protest on gay marriage  —  It's been called the “most fabulous form of protest,” but according to one medical expert, the potential dangers of “glitter bombing” are far from marvelous.  —  In an increasingly popular form of protest, activists are throwing glitter on unsuspecting targets.
RELATED:
Keith Coffman / Reuters:
Colorado student charged in “glitter bomb” of Romney
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Jim Vandehei / Reuters:
The political transformation of Barack Obama  —  There are two indisputable facts about politics.  —  The first is that every modern president in the fourth year of his presidency resorts to the cheap political stunts, broken promises and truth-fudging it takes to win reelection in what has been and will be a 50-50 nation.
RELATED:
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:   Obama, Explained  —  As Barack Obama contends for a second term …
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Repulsive progressive hypocrisy
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
Aide injured in Giffords shooting will run to replace her in House  —  Ron Barber, an aide to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) who was wounded in the shooting spree that also injured Giffords, will run to replace her in the House.  —  Barber announced Thursday he would run …
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 …
msnbc.com:
First Thoughts: Romney retools his message  —  Romney retools his message — with his biography and even his policy... GOPers and conservatives tell Romney to step it up... Dems break ranks on the contraception issue... Yet polling (for now) shows the issue isn't as controversial …
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 …
Discussion: Politico and ThinkProgress
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
States line up to challenge stringent Section 5 voting rights provision  —  Conservative activists and Republican attorneys general have launched a series of lawsuits meant to challenge the most muscular provision of the Voting Rights Act 0f 1965 before a Supreme Court that has signaled it is suspicious of its constitutionality.
iowahawk:
A Fistful of Rebates  —  It's halftime.  —  Both teams are in their locker rooms discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half.  Diagramming plays.  Texting their agents and German supermodel wives.  Reviewing Belichick's aerial spy photos.  —  It's halftime in America, too.
Janet Maslin / New York Times:
Sure, Mr. President, if You Really Want Me To  —  ‘Once Upon a Secret’: Mimi Alford on Her Affair With Kennedy  —  The author of “Once Upon a Secret,” Mimi Alford, had an affair with President John F. Kennedy before she was old enough to vote.  Having kept this story under wraps for almost 50 years …
Danielle A. Alvarez / Sun-Sentinel:
Flowers, dinner, bowling — and counseling — ordered by Broward judge in domestic case  —  FORT LAUDERDALE — A marital spat that began when a Plantation man didn't wish his wife a happy birthday and then escalated into a domestic violence charge, resulted in an unusual bond court ruling by a perceptive judge.
CBS Los Angeles:
LA County OKs $1,000 Fine For Throwing Football, Frisbee On Beaches  —  LOS ANGELES (CBS) — When you head down to the beach for a little fun this summer, county officials want you to leave the pigskin at home.  —  The Board of Supervisors this week agreed to raise fines to up to $1,000 …
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Pol ‘Tebows’ after bill Ok'd  —  Virginia Del. Robert Bell celebrated his bill passing the state House on Wednesday by taking a knee and Tebowing.  —  The legislation — dubbed the “Tebow bill” for the Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow — would allow the state's homeschooled students …
Carol E. Lee / Washington Wire:
Michelle Obama Takes Aim at Military Weight  —  First Lady Michelle Obama leaves Thursday for a three-day, four-state tour to mark the second anniversary of her “Let's Move!” initiative to get Americans to eat healthier and be more physically fit. … The trip is a mix of events and announcements …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
 
 
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 More Items: 
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
Agence France Presse:
Islamists in Egypt halt filming of TV series
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
New York Times:
A Terrible Transportation Bill
Discussion: The Hill, ThinkProgress and RedState
Matt Stopera / BuzzFeed:
The Best Testimony From Washington State's Gay Marriage Hearing
Monica Davey / New York Times:
Michigan Must Decide What to Do With an Unexpected Surplus
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Patrick Louis Knudsen / Heritage Foundation:
FY 2012 Spending Blows Through Cap, CBO Shows
Discussion: National Review
Darren Goode / Politico:
Report: State handled Keystone well
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Project …
 Earlier Items: 
Mike Allen / Politico:
Playbook: Daley contraceptive alert
Justin Ravitz / Us Weekly:
Rick Santorum's Sweater Vest Slammed by Scarlett Johansson
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Report: White House to offer 10 states waivers on No Child Left Behind
Discussion: Politico
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Mathew Ingram / Gigaom:
Journalism and the internet: Is it the best of times? No — but it's not the worst of times either

Christine Haughney / New York Times:
Mental Floss finds success in video with “The List Show” using star power of John Green

New York Times:
Pakistani Protesters Briefly Take Over Headquarters of State Television

 
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