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5:15 PM ET, January 9, 2012


 Top Items: 
Mark Maremont / Wall Street Journal:
Romney at Bain: Big Gains, Some Busts  —  Mitt Romney's political foes are stepping up attacks based on his time running investment firm Bain Capital, tagging him with making a fortune from the rougher side of American capitalism—even as Mr. Romney says his Bain tenure shows he knows how to build businesses.
Michelle Malkin:
The abysmal incompetence of the non-Romneys; Huntsman, Gingrich, Perry all go Occupier; Santorum declines  —  Sigh.  Let me say that again: Siiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.  —  If you were unfortunate enough to watch Saturday night's GOP debate in New Hampshire, you saw a pageant of feckless non-Romneys fail …
Mitt Romney and the Bain bomb  —  NASHUA, N.H. — Forget his specific rivals.  The biggest threat to Mitt Romney is hitting now and set to fully detonate in South Carolina: it's the Bain bomb.  —  While conservatives look unlikely to unite around one alternative to Romney …
Quinnipiac University:
Romney Has Big GOP Likely Voter Lead In Florida, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Most Voters Say They Might Change Their Mind  —  With 36 percent of Florida Republican likely primary voters, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a double-digit lead three weeks before the nation's …
Benjy Sarlin /
TPM2012  —  Newt Goes Full ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Against Romney
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
GOP Voters Still Unenthused About Presidential Field
New York Times:
Pro-Gingrich PAC Details Ads Against Romney's Bain Role
Christi Parsons / Los Angeles Times:
William Daley to step down as Obama's chief of staff  —  White House Chief of Staff William Daley, left, confers with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as President Barack Obama addresses the media in the briefing room of the White Hous.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images / December 8, 2011)
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
Daley to leave White House  —  White House Chief of Staff William Daley will step down from his post at the end of the month, according to a senior administration official.  —  Daley will be replaced by Jack Lew, head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  —  Daley submitted a letter of resignation to Obama last week.
Discussion: The Politico, CNN and The PJ Tatler
Mark Landler / The Caucus:
Lew to Replace Daley as White House Chief of Staff
Jennifer Epstein / The Politico:
Daley to step down as chief of staff
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Morgen / Verum Serum:
HalloweenGate: White House Covered Up 2009 Halloween Party Hosted by Johnny Depp & Tim Burton …
Martin Simon / ABCNEWS:
Bill Daley Resigned as White House Chief of Staff; Jack Lew Promoted
Discussion: Wonkette
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
‘I like being able to fire people’  —  Mitt Romney's detractors in both parties are eager to point out one of the more glaring problems with the former governor's background: he's put thousands of Americans out of work.  —  And with that push in mind, Romney's critics could hardly believe …
Byron Tau / The Politico:
Obama spokesman: ‘!!!’  —  Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt tweets “!!!” about this Mitt Romney moment from the campaign trail: … The Romney campaign has not exactly been judicious about providing context to clips of President Obama they have used in campaign ads.
Ashley Parker / The Caucus:
Romney Firing Remarks Draw Criticism From Huntsman
Laura Conaway / The Maddow Blog:
And Mitt Romney keeps on talking
Santina Leuci / ABCNEWS:
Todd Palin Endorses Newt Gingrich  —  ABC News' Santina Leuci and Z. Byron Wolf report:  —  Sarah Palin's husband is endorsing Newt Gingrich for president, Todd Palin told ABC News today.  —  But Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and John McCain's 2008 Republican running mate …
Robin Bravender / The Politico:
SCOTUS upholds foreign money ban  —  The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld a federal law that bars foreign nationals from spending to influence U.S. elections.  —  In the latest of a series of high-profile cases challenging limits to political contributions, the high court affirmed …
Discussion: Election Law Blog
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Supreme Court grapples with messy Texas redistricting case
Discussion: CNN
American Prospect:   Battle of the Supremes  —  The Montana Supreme Court …
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
Media mob chases Ron Paul from campaign stop in New Hampshire  —  MANCHESTER, N.H. — A campaign stop at a New Hampshire eatery unraveled into a bit of a circus when the media scrum chasing Ron Paul apparently became too much for the 76-year-old Texas congressman to handle.
Michael Barbaro / The Caucus:
Paul Cuts Off CNN, Again
Discussion: The Hill, Washington Post and Slate
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Record-High 40% of Americans Identify as Independents in '11  —  More Americans identify as Democrats than as Republicans, 31% to 27%  —  PRINCETON, NJ — The percentage of Americans identifying as political independents increased in 2011, as is common in a non-election year …
Cassie Murdoch / Jezebel:
Snoop Dogg Wants to Get High With President Obama and Convince Him to Legalize Weed  —  As always, Snoop Dogg has an innovative approach to getting things done.  He told Hot 99.5's Toby Knapp that he would convince President Obama to change the drug laws by first getting him nice and relaxed...
Patrick Gavin / The Politico:
Snoop Dogg to W.H.: Legalize pot
Discussion: Truthdig
Richard Black / BBC:
Carbon emissions ‘will defer Ice Age’  —  The climate, if not species, of an Ice Age “ought” to return within 1,500 years  —  Human emissions of carbon dioxide will defer the next Ice Age, say scientists.  —  The last Ice Age ended about 11,500 years ago, and when the next one should begin has not been entirely clear.
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Mitt Romney Campaign Disavows Pro-Gay Rights Flyer From 2002 … GOP Debate , Mitt Romney , Republican Debate , Video , New Hampshire Primary , Romney Gay Rights , Romney New Hampshire , Mitt Romney 2012 , New Hampshire Primary 2012 , New Hampshire Romney , Social Issues , Politics News
Matthew Breen / Advocate:
Gayest Cities in America, 2012  —  It's no secret that megalopolises New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles have robust LGBT life — and we've even heard tell of little queer hoods like the Castro and P-Town.  This isn't that list.  —  There's the official census with information …
Bill Keller / New York Times:
Just the Ticket  —  THE beginning of a new year is a time for resolutions, and Hillary Clinton's admirers are already busily, lovingly resolving on her behalf.  On one sideline, her friends tell me that after a few years of hyperactive globetrotting what she really needs is to put her feet …
Philip Pullella / Reuters:
Gay marriage a threat to humanity's future: Pope  —  (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself.”  —  The pope made some of his strongest comments against gay marriage …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Joe. My. God.
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 More Items: 
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
House to vote on bill that expands drilling to pay for infrastructure
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
America Locked A Children's Humanitarian Aid Worker In Gitmo For Seven Years
Discussion: Crooked Timber
David Remnick / New Yorker:
Discussion: Althouse
VIDEO / Israeli Knesset member throws cup of water on colleague at height of heated argument
Robert Barro / Wall Street Journal:
An Exit Strategy From the Euro
Discussion: Marginal Revolution and EconLog
Fox News:
Suspected Islamic Extremist Arrested in Alleged Florida Bomb Plot
Discussion: Jihad Watch and The PJ Tatler
 Earlier Items: 
Julie Cart / Los Angeles Times:
Renewable energy projects in California go unused
Discussion: ThinkProgress and
Wall Street Journal:
Rick Santorum's Economy
David Kotok / Business Insider:
An Alarming Development In China That Everyone Has Missed