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12:55 PM ET, January 12, 2012


 Top Items: 
Justin Sink / Ballot Box:
Poll: Romney slipping in South Carolina, holds just 2 point lead over Gingrich  —  Despite a historic sweep of the first two nominating contests in the GOP field, Mitt Romney holds just a two percentage point lead in South Carolina, his smallest lead of 2012.
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
‘When Mitt Romney Came to Town’  —  We knew the short film from Newt Gingrich's Super PAC, targeting Mitt Romney's private-sector work, was on the way.  We didn't know just how devastating it would be.  —  Probably the easiest-to-see version of “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” …
Publius / Big Government:
BREAKING: Palin Urges Romney to Release Tax Returns, Provide Proof of 100,000 Jobs Created at Bain Capital  —  Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has called for Gov. Mitt Romney to release his tax returns, as well as the data that could substantiate his claim of having created 100,000 jobs as CEO of Bain Capital.
Rasmussen Reports:
Florida GOP Primary: Romney 41%, Gingrich 19%, Santorum 15%  —  Mitt Romney is now running away with the race in the latest Rasmussen Reports' survey of the end-of-the-month Florida Republican Primary.  —  Coming off his decisive win in Tuesday's New Hampshire Primary …
Reid J. Epstein / Reuters:
Mitt Romney readies Bain Capital counterattack  —  COLUMBIA, S.C. - Mitt Romney's done defending his Bain Capital record.  He's going on offense.  —  The former Massachusetts governor arrived here Wednesday fresh off his New Hampshire primary win armed with a new plan for a multi-pronged response …
Benjy Sarlin /
TPM2012  —  Dems Prepare To Hammer Romney With The REAL Bain Onslaught  —  Thanks to Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, Bain Capital is all over the news this week, prompting an upset MItt Romney to accuse his rivals of turning to “the bitter politics of envy” in order to halt his momentum.
Felicia Sonmez / Washington Post:
Newt Gingrich: South Carolina will be ‘Armageddon’  —  GOP primary campaigns have a history of turning ugly once the campaign trail heads to South Carolina.  —  And to hear former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) tell it, this year will be no exception.  —  Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).
Karl Rove / Wall Street Journal:
Romney Makes History  —  South Carolina is the last chance for most of his rivals, but the front-runner needs to better answer the Bain attacks.  —  In an open race for the GOP nomination, no Republican has won both Iowa and New Hampshire, as Mitt Romney has.
Jewel Samad / ABCNEWS:
Chamber's Donohue Calls GOP Attacks on Romney ‘Foolish’  —  The head of the Chamber of Commerce says he's “disappointed” over the Republican attacks on Mitt Romney's tenure at the private-equity firm Bain Capital, because they've given Democrats extra ammo to take out the front-runner.
NBC's Andrew Rafferty /
Santorum: Attacks on Romney are attacks on capitalism
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Sarah Palin on Mitt Romney: Needs Bain show & tell
Discussion: Daily Kos
Donald Johnson / The Politico:
Mitt Romney's Bain Capital days: A black box
Wallacegw / CNN:
Gingrich: South Carolina will be ‘Armageddon’ of attacks
Michael Isikoff /
The latest political headlines powered by NBC News and
Discussion: The Hill
Linda Greenhouse / Opinionator:
Voting in Plain Sight
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Romney's push against amnesty makes immigration a defining issue
Arthur S. Brisbane / The Public Editor's Journal:
Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?  —  I'm looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.  —  One example mentioned recently by a reader: As cited in an Adam Liptak article on the Supreme Court …
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
3 billionaires who'll drag out the race  —  Meet the three billionaires who could drag out the GOP presidential primary, bloody up front-runner Mitt Romney and weaken the odds of defeating President Barack Obama: Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess and Jon Huntsman, Sr.
Mark Hosenball / Reuters:
Homeland Security watches Twitter, social media  —  (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news and gossip sites including the Huffington Post and Drudge Report, according to a government document.
Stewart Baker / The Volokh Conspiracy:   Volokh Conspiracy Scoops Drudge, The Atlantic, and Reuters by ... Two Years
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Obama Campaign Raises $42 Million in Fourth Quarter  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama's presidential campaign raised $42 million during the final three months of 2011, giving him what his campaign manager called a “pretty good quarter” going into his re-election bid.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Obama's 2011 fundraising haul: Bush's league
Discussion: CNN and Big Journalism
Afghan leader Karzai condemns ‘US Marines body desecration’ video  —  Afghan President Hamid Karzai has condemned a video that appears to show US Marines urinating on the bloodied corpses of several Taliban fighters.  —  The Taliban has also criticised the video as “shameful” but said it would not derail attempts at peace talks.
Jeremy Wallace / HT Politics:
Laura Bush wanted Jeb to run for president in 2012  —  SARASOTA  —  Former first lady Laura Bush wishes there were one more candidate in the Republican presidential primary: Jeb Bush.  —  Speaking to a sold-out Sarasota audience on Wednesday, Bush said she had hoped that her brother-in-law …
Rana Foroohar / Swampland:
Warren Buffett Ready to Take Republicans' Tax Challenge  —  Updated, 6:10 p.m. E.T.  —  Warren Buffett is ready to call Republicans' tax bluff.  Last fall, Senator Mitch McConnell said that if Buffett were feeling “guilty” about paying too little in taxes, he should “send in a check.”
James Joyner / Outside the Beltway:
Haley Barbour Pardons 14 Murderers; Judge Orders Halt  —  Here's a story I never expected to see: Mississippi Haley Barbour, a respected conservative and former RNC Chair, has gone on a pardon spree on his way out of office, drawing howls from Democrats.  A judge has issued an injunction against more pardons.
Las Vegas Sun Blogs:
Renewable energy company founder will run as Democrat for U.S. Senate in Nevada  —  Barry Ellsworth gave Rep. Shelley Berkley $1,000 last cycle and likes her “as a person.”  —  But — you knew a ‘but’ was coming - he's running against her in a Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate …
Discussion: Ballot Box and Hotline On Call
'Ferris Bueller's Ben Stein Sues Ad Agency & Client Claiming Political Discrimination  —  Economist and writer and humorist and actor Ben Stein has filed suit against Kyoscera Corp and advertising agency Seiter & Miller alleging that an agreement for him to appear in TV commercials …
Discussion: Guardian
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 More Items: 
Rachel Van Dongen / The Politico:
Mitt, Paul winning Facebook primary
Discussion: Mashable!, Poynter, TechCrunch and Gawker
Carrie Johnson / NPR:
Justice Department's No. 3 Stepping Down
Discussion: Firedoglake and emptywheel
Joel Gehrke / Campaign 2012:
Ethics: ‘probable cause’ in Rep Hastings sex case
Emily Babay / Washington Examiner:
Capital Land  —  Man charged after baby found in McPherson Square tent
Discussion: Campaign 2012 and The Jawa Report
Compass Direct News:
Somali Convert from Islam Whipped in Public
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Radley Balko / The Huffington Post:
Death In The Devil's Chair: Florida Man's Pepper Spray Death Raises Questions About Jail Abuse
 Earlier Items: 
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Business groups, Republicans launch onslaught on president over Keystone
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life:
Mormons in America  —  Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society
Discussion: The Politico and New York Times
Brendan Sasso / The Hill:
Hollywood or Silicon Valley? — President Obama must choose
Bob Cesca / The Huffington Post:
The Fantastical Crackpot Cult of Ron Paul
Discussion: Alas, a Blog