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2:20 PM ET, January 18, 2012


 Top Items: 
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Obama's jobs council report says ‘drill’  —  President Obama's jobs council called Tuesday for an “all-in approach” to energy policy that includes expanded oil-and-gas drilling as well as expediting energy projects like pipelines.  —  “[W]e should allow more access to oil …
Darren Goode / Reuters:
Keystone XL pipeline to be rejected by Obama administration  —  The State Department Wednesday will reject the Keystone XL pipeline, multiple sources following the project tell POLITICO.  —  The formal announcement is expected at 3 p.m. from Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Obama administration to reject controversial Keystone pipeline  —  The Obama administration will reject the Keystone XL pipeline Wednesday afternoon, according to a source closely following the issue.  —  The State Department is expected to make an announcement at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Mamta Badkar / Business Insider:
REPORT: State Department To Reject The Keystone Pipeline  —  The Obama administration is expected to announce the rejection the controversial $7 billion Keystone Pipeline as early as this afternoon, according to Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post.  —  The rejection is expected to come …
Los Angeles Times:
Obama administration to deny Keystone XL oil pipeline permit
Discussion: Wonkette
Jennifer Martinez / The Politico:
SOPA blackout leads co-sponsors to defect  —  Amid online protests that include major websites like Wikipedia blacking out their sites, a few co-sponsors of the Stop Online Piracy Act in Congress are defecting.  —  Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.), originally a co-sponsor of the bill, pulled his name from the list of sponsors on Tuesday.
David A. Fahrenthold / Washington Post:
SOPA protests shut down Web sites
First Thoughts: Newt-mentum returns?  —  Is Newt-mentum returning?... Even if so, Gingrich faces two challenges: time and math... Romney's wealth and Bain Capital have been THE story in the GOP race for the past 10 days (and counting)... Are the first Obama TV ads going up?
Jon Ward / The Huffington Post:
Newt Gingrich: If Mitt Romney Wins South Carolina, It's Over … South Carolina Primary Election , South Carolina Primary Election 2012 , Politics News  —  COLUMBIA, S.C. — Newt Gingrich came clean Tuesday afternoon, admitting that if he can't win this state's primary on Saturday …
Marc Caputo / Naked Politics:
The bitter backstory between Newt Gingrich and Romney backer, Susan Molinari
Adam Beam / The State:
SC evangelicals split, frustrated
Discussion: 2012 Decoded and
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Romney Caricatures Himself  —  Mitt Romney, in all likelihood, is going to walk away with his party's presidential nomination.  Yet from the standpoint of positioning himself for the general election, the primary season has been a disaster for him.  Romney's campaign has worked hard …
Steve Benen / Washington Monthly:
When polished meets clumsy  —  When compared against his Republican rivals, Mitt Romney is extremely slick.  After nearly 18 years as a politician, and more than five years as a near-constant presidential candidate, the former governor is clearly smoother and better prepared than his GOP opponents.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Recess appointments might not hold  —  Some legal experts, including those who have sided with President Obama on other constitutional issues, think there is a good chance the courts could overturn his recent recess appointments.  —  Legal experts said courts could invalidate Obama's appointments …
Mitt Romney Sent Millions to Mormon Church  —  Republican presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks toward his campaign plane, Jan. 11, 2012 in Bedford, Mass. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  —  Underscoring the prominent, if little discussed role that Mitt Romney played …
Joel Gehrke / Campaign 2012:
New Obama OMB director a Bain alum
Obama's not-so-super PAC  —  Last spring, Sean Sweeney — a co-founder of Priorities USA Action, Barack Obama's not-so-super super PAC — rode an elevator up to a donor's office atop a Chicago skyscraper, hoping to ride down with a big check.  —  His pitch: Sure, Obama has made a career …
Mj Lee / The Politico:
Voters: Super PACs are Super Bad
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Tim Mak / The Politico:
Chris Christie: Mitt Romney should release tax returns  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday that Mitt Romney should put out his tax returns “sooner rather than later” but added that the former Massachusetts governor has already started speaking about the tax rate he pays.
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Perry: It's ‘important’ for Mitt to release tax returns now
Discussion: CNN, Daily Kos and Ballot Box
Bill Clinton: Someone We Can All Agree On  —  Even his staunchest enemies now regard his presidency as the good old days.  He has become the rare consensus figure in a country that has lost all sense of consensus.  So we talked to him about where it went, and how we might get it back.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Jordan Weissmann / The Atlantic Online:
Why Does Buffalo Pay for Its Teachers to Have Plastic Surgery?  —  How a broken collective bargaining system has kept a ridiculous, multimillion-dollar perk alive.  —  In Buffalo, New York, the heart of the American rust-belt, the public school system pays for its teachers to get plastic surgery.
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Why They Stood and Cheered  —  Gingrich confronts the left's insidious theory of racial supremacy.  —  Bye-Ku for Jon Huntsman  —  Call me crazy, but  —  I think insulting voters  —  Will warm them to me  —  The live-audience reaction to Republican presidential debates is a matter …
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 More Items: 
Laura Meckler / Washington Wire:
Big-City Mayors Press for Same-Sex Marriage Rights
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Elizabeth Williamson / Wall Street Journal:
Gingrich's College Records Show a Professor Hatching Big Plans
Discussion: Swampland and Washington Post
Trip Gabriel / The Caucus:
For Gingrich, an Endorsement of Sorts From Sarah Palin
Discussion: Booman Tribune and Hardball Blog
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Fractious House GOP tries to unify
Discussion: The Politico
Jessica Heslam / Boston Herald:
Key fact fails to occupy Globe story
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
In Brooklyn, Suspicious Passenger, With a Tail
Discussion: Runnin' Scared and Gothamist
Byron Tau / The Politico:
No union labor used at DNC speech site, contractor says
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Colorado Catholics Ask Church Goers To Oppose Civil Unions
Discussion: The Spot and Joe. My. God.
John Avlon / The Daily Beast:
Did Rick Santorum Win the Iowa Caucuses, Not Mitt Romney?
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Dear Andrew Sullivan: Why Focus On Obama's Dumbest Critics?
Gary Martin /
State's attorneys defend redistricting maps
Discussion: Off the Kuff