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5:00 AM ET, February 13, 2012


 Top Items: 
Greek MPs pass austerity plan amid violent protests  —  The BBC's Mark Lowen: “It was some of the worst violence Athens had seen for months”  —  Greece's parliament has passed a controversial package of austerity measures, demanded by the eurozone and IMF in return for a 130bn-euro ($170bn; £110bn) bailout to avoid default.
New York Times:
Greek Parliament Passes Austerity Plan as Riots Rage  —  ATHENS — After violent protests left dozens of buildings aflame in Athens, the Greek Parliament voted early on Monday to approve a package of harsh austerity measures demanded by the country's foreign lenders in exchange for new loans to keep Greece from defaulting on its debt.
Greek lawmakers pass austerity bill as Athens burns  —  (Reuters) - Greece's parliament approved a deeply unpopular austerity bill Monday to secure a second EU/IMF bailout and avoid national bankruptcy, as buildings burned across central Athens and violence spread around the country.
Discussion: Power Line and The Raw Story
Sahil Kapur /
TPMDC  —  McConnell: GOP Will Fight To Let ANY Employer Deny Birth Control Coverage  —  Not satisfied with President Obama's new religious accommodation, Republicans will move forward with legislation by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) that permits any employer to deny birth control coverage …
Charles Johnson / Little Green Footballs:   Now the GOP Wants to Permit Any Employer to Deny Contraception Coverage
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Severe Conservative Syndrome  —  Mitt Romney has a gift for words — self-destructive words.  On Friday he did it again, telling the Conservative Political Action Conference that he was a “severely conservative governor.”  —  As Molly Ball of The Atlantic pointed out, Mr. Romney “described conservatism as if it were a disease.”
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
Rep. Ron Paul not conceding Maine vote  —  Rep. Ron Paul is not conceding the GOP's Maine caucuses, which state party officials and major networks called Saturday for rival Mitt Romney.  —  With 84 percent of precincts reporting, Romney has 39 percent to Paul's 36 percent …
Discussion: The Raw Story and Blue Mass Group
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
Santorum suggests Romney rigged CPAC vote
Tucker Carlson / The Daily Caller:
Inside Media Matters: Sources, memos reveal erratic behavior, close coordination with White House and news organizations  —  This is the first in a Daily Caller investigative series on Media Matters For America.  Daily Caller reporters Alex Pappas and Will Rahn contributed to this report.
Discussion: Atlas Shrugs, FishbowlDC and TBogg
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
Gingrich Money Hunt Faces Obstacles  —  Newt Gingrich recently joined Gov. Rick Perry of Texas on a conference call with more than 50 “bundlers” who had powered Mr. Perry's formidable campaign-cash machine.  —  Mr. Perry asked his top financial rainmakers to raise money for Mr. Gingrich …
Charles Johnson / Little Green Footballs:
Fox News Commenters Respond to Whitney Houston's Death With Deluge of Hatred and Racism  —  I don't even know what to say about this any more.  There's a real sickness running rampant in the right wing; the Fox News comment thread on Whitney Houston's death is yet another disgusting deluge …
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Fox News:
Singer Whitney Houston dies at 48
Discussion: The Other McCain
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Ethics issues tarnish congressional image  —  The 112th Congress is the most unpopular ever, but is it the most corrupt?  —  The dire headlines about bad behavior by members of Congress are everywhere: At least a dozen House members are under investigation for ethical or potential criminal charges …
Discussion: The Page
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Cronyism 101  —  I wrote about my participation in the Koch brothers' semi-annual seminar in Palm Springs two weekends ago here.  Along with Peter Schweizer, I did a presentation on cronyism.  My speech focused on corporate cronyism, while Peter's centered on the sort of political cronyism …
‘This Week’ Transcript: Jack Lew, Paul Ryan and Rick Santorum  —  Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum on “This Week” (ABC News)  —  STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, everyone.  Many of you have been following that breaking news overnight that the singer, Whitney Houston, died yesterday in Los Angeles.
Discussion: Althouse and Washington Post
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 More Items: 
ZIP / Weasel Zippers:
Occupy Oakland Burns The American Flag For The Third Week In A Row...
Steve Lohr / New York Times:
News Analysis: Big Data's Impact in the World
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
Can the Working Class Be Saved?
Josh Lederman / The Hill:
Lieberman: US should arm Syrian opposition
Discussion: CNN
 Earlier Items: 
Tyler Cowen / New York Times:
Break Up the Banks? Here's an Alternative
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
EXCLUSIVE: Conservative Board Unanimously Condemned Gaffney's ‘Reprehensible’ And ‘Unfounded’ Attacks
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
We Need a Second Party
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Daily Kos