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2:35 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” …
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 …
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.
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 …
A.Killough / CNN:
Perry donor defects to Romney, citing Bain attacks  —  Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - One of Rick Perry's leading financial supporters in South Carolina is defecting to Mitt Romney - and he told CNN Thursday that Perry's sharp criticisms of Romney as a “vulture capitalist” were the main factor in his decision.
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.
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.
Wallacegw / CNN:
Gingrich: South Carolina will be ‘Armageddon’ of attacks
NBC's Andrew Rafferty /
Santorum: Attacks on Romney are attacks on capitalism
Donald Johnson / The Politico:
Mitt Romney's Bain Capital days: A black box
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Sarah Palin on Mitt Romney: Needs Bain show & tell
Discussion: Washington Post and Daily Kos
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.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
The Department of Justice offered a defense Thursday for President Obama's controversial decision to make several recess appointments while Congress was holding pro forma sessions.  —  In a memo, Justice argued the pro forma sessions held every third day in the Senate do not constitute …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Josh Gerstein / Reuters:
Justice Department approved recess appointments  —  President Barack Obama's decision last week to snub Congress and make a series of recess appointments while the Senate claimed it was technically in session had the legal blessing of the Justice Department, according to a formal legal opinion released Thursday.
Discussion: CNN and The New Republic
Carrie Johnson / NPR:
Justice Department's No. 3 Stepping Down
Discussion: Firedoglake and emptywheel
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 …
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.
Al Kamen / Washington Post:
President Obama's got sons?  —  President Obama, speaking last night in Chicago at a fundraiser at a private home, unloaded this bombshell:  —  Obama, according to the White House transcript, talked about “The first bill I signed — a bill that said that we're going to have equal pay …
Glenn Thrush / The Politico:
Obama's 2011 fundraising haul: Bush's league  —  The Obama campaign and Democratic National Committee raked in a combined $68 million in the fourth quarter, bringing their total 2011 haul to $250 million — an impressive take but not quite up to the blistering pace set by the Bush-Cheney reelection machine over the same period.
Discussion: Big Journalism, Nice Deb and CNN
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Obama Campaign Raises $42 Million in Fourth Quarter
Andrew Harmon / Advocate:
The World According to Nancy Pelosi  —  In her first speech on the House floor, Nancy Pelosi spoke out on AIDS.  Many of her colleagues thought she was crazy for doing so.  Twenty-five years later, she's not finished pushing the LGBT envelope in Washington.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Good As You
Ben Goad / Press-Enterprise:
2012 ELECTIONS: Veteran Rep. Lewis to retire  —  Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, has announced he will not seek an 18th term in Congress and will retire.  —  —  U.S. Rep. Jerry Lewis, who has represented Inland Southern California in Washington for more than three decades …
Discussion: Daily Kos and FlashReport
Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life:
Mormons in America  —  Certain in Their Beliefs, Uncertain of Their Place in Society  —  With a Mormon candidate among the front-runners for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, a musical about Mormons playing on Broadway and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) …
Daily Mail:
Click to rate Rating (0)  —  Reply to ‘fly over country’ What garbage.  Do you get your information from a loudmouth uninformed Republican Senator.  The National Health Service doesn't keep tally on how much is spent on each patient.  It doesn't let people die.
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.
'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: 
Associated Press:
Maker of Twinkies, Wonder Bread files for bankruptcy
Discussion: Big Journalism and Hit & Run
Ohio landlord wants commission to reconsider ruling on ‘white only’ sign
Discussion: Clutch Magazine and Jezebel
Tunisia one year on: New trend of self-immolations
Discussion: The Lede
Jim McElhatton / Washington Times:
Bankrupt Solyndra seeking to pay bonuses
Discussion: Sense of Events and Hit & Run
U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
The State of American Business 2012, Address by Thomas J. Donohue President & CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Joel Gehrke / Campaign 2012:
Ethics: ‘probable cause’ in Rep Hastings sex case
 Earlier Items: 
Radley Balko / The Huffington Post:
Death In The Devil's Chair: Florida Man's Pepper Spray Death Raises Questions About Jail Abuse
Las Vegas Sun Blogs:
Renewable energy company founder will run as Democrat for U.S. Senate in Nevada
Discussion: Ballot Box and Hotline On Call
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Business groups, Republicans launch onslaught on president over Keystone
Discussion: ThinkProgress
James Joyner / Outside the Beltway:
Haley Barbour Pardons 14 Murderers; Judge Orders Halt
Brendan Sasso / The Hill:
Hollywood or Silicon Valley? — President Obama must choose
Rana Foroohar / Swampland:
Warren Buffett Ready to Take Republicans' Tax Challenge