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7:55 PM ET, January 27, 2012


 Top Items: 
Brutal Newt Gingrich Ad in the Works  —  Newt Gingrich is responding to last night's debate with a brutal new ad accusing Romney of trying to mislead, deceive, and distort his way to the White House.  —  Here's the money line: “What kind of man would mislead, distort and deceive just to win an election?
Quinnipiac University:
Romney Pulls Ahead In See-Saw Florida Gop Primary, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Men Shift From Gingrich To Romney  —  Just four days before the nation's first big-state presidential primary, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney opens up a 38 - 29 percent lead over former House Speaker …
Ginger Gibson / The Politico:
Sarah Palin: Newt Gingrich's secret weapon  —  Newt Gingrich has a new unofficial campaign surrogate and her name is Sarah Palin.  —  As the 2008 veep nominee sees it, Gingrich is getting a raw deal from the national media and conservative elite, the very same forces who conspired against her when she was on the national ticket.
Julian Pecquet / Ballot Box:
Gingrich, Democrats criticize Romney links to Medicare fraud
Robert Costa / National Review:
Jeb to Newt: Stop the ‘Ridiculous’ Crist Talk
Washington Post:
Associates: Paul pursued strategy of publishing controversial newsletters  —  Ron Paul, well known as a physician, congressman and libertarian , has also been a businessman who pursued a marketing strategy that included publishing provocative, racially charged newsletters to make money and spread his ideas …
Ta-Nehisi Coates / The Atlantic Online:
No One Left to Lie To  —  The truth hurts: … More: … More: … More: … More: … All parties agree that Ron Paul is not, personally, racist and that he didn't write the passages.  This is comforting.  I am not an anti-Semite.  But give me a check to tell Harlem the Jews invented AIDS, and I'll do it.
Brent Budowsky / Pundits Blog:
Ron Paul will defeat Mitt Romney in the Virginia primary
Discussion: CNN, Eunomia and Hot Air
Jeffrey Lord / American Spectator:
Elliott Abrams Caught Misleading on Newt  —  As Ronald Reagan used to say: Well...  Yesterday we took note of former Reagan State Department official Elliott Abrams' piece over at NRO that went after Newt Gingrich on his relationship with Reagan.  While voting regularly with Reagan …
Sarah Palin / Facebook:
Cannibals in GOP Establishment Employ Tactics of the Left  —  We have witnessed something very disturbing this week.  The Republican establishment which fought Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and which continues to fight the grassroots Tea Party movement today has adopted the tactics of the left …
Jeff Poor / The Daily Caller:
Mark Levin bucks conservative media trend, comes to Gingrich's defense
Wall Street Journal:
No Need to Panic About Global Warming  —  There's no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world's economy.  —  Editor's Note: The following has been signed by the 16 scientists listed at the end of the article:  —  A candidate for public office …
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
“Cui Bono” Indeed!  —  In a world full of doubt and contention, there are a few things, other than the proverbial items of death and taxes, you can count on to be completely reliable.  And one of those is the ideological mendacity of the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.
Mackenzie Weinger / The Politico:
Tyler's grandkid: Newt's a ‘jerk’  —  President John Tyler's grandson Harrison Tyler, 84, says he's not impressed with the state of politics today and particularly thinks Newt Gingrich is a “big jerk” for his three marriages.  —  Incredibly, President Tyler, who was born in 1790 and became …
John Cook / Gawker:
Yes, the Romneys Converted Mitt's Dead Atheist Father-in-Law to Mormonism  —  Gawker's substantial Mormon readership has come through for us: Two readers have sent us confirmation that Edward Davies, Mitt Romney's militantly atheist father-in-law, was indeed posthumously converted to Mormonism …
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Biden: Dems will take the House  —  CAMBRIDGE, Md. —House Democrats will win the House in November, swinging the gavel back into the hands of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Vice President Biden predicted Friday.  —  “Nancy, I think, is not going to be remembered just for being the first woman Speaker …
Discussion: Michelle Malkin, CNN and The Politico
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Obama rallies House Democrats at retreat
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Marie Diamond / ThinkProgress:
North Carolina GOP Lawmaker Calls For Bringing Back Public Hangings, Starting With Abortion Providers  —  The last legal public hanging in America took place in 1936 in Owensboro, Kentucky.  The “event” attracted 20,000 people and turned into such a sickening spectacle that many credit it with ending the practice in the U.S.
Cabarrus lawmaker calls for public hangings
Discussion: Wonkette and Associated Press
Spencer Ackerman / Tablet Magazine:
Sounding Off  —  At the risk of sounding like the shtetl police, there's a right way and a wrong way for American Jews to argue with one another.  The right way focuses on whose ideas are better—for America, for Israel, for the Jewish community, and for the world.
Brian Tashman / Right Wing Watch:
FRC: ‘Rebel Fleet Surrenders to Gay Empire’  —  After first going after Girl Scout cookies, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins is now attacking the game Star Wars: The Old Republic for allowing same-sex relationships.  Stephen Reid of Bioware announced that players in the MMO …
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Texas Dems, minority groups near huge win with redistricting settlement  —  The Texas state attorneys defending the state's GOP-drawn redistricting plans from court challenges have reached out to settle litigation, according to sources in the state.  The settlement would give minority groups …
Discussion: Off the Kuff and Election Law Blog
Tim Mak / The Politico:
Voters polarized over Barack Obama, poll finds  —  President Obama's third year in office elicited some of the most polarized job approval ratings ever, as the differences between Republican and Democratic views of the president stood at near-record highs, a new survey shows.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama Ratings Historically Polarized
Discussion: Dean's World and Rush Limbaugh
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Senate Dems should force GOP to hold vote on Buffett Rule  —  Picture this scenario.  The Senate holds a high-profile vote on a proposal focused directly on implementing the Buffett Rule, one that would bring the current tax rate for millionaires paying lower rates on investments up to 30 percent.
Scott Wong / The Politico:
Lee vows to block Obama nominees  —  Fuming over President Barack Obama's four recess appointments, freshman Sen. Mike Lee signaled on Thursday he'll go it alone and try to block the president's nominations this year, even as many other GOP senators worry that going nuclear is a bad political tactic.
Discussion: ThinkProgress and ACS Blog News:
Mitt Romney's Tax Problem … This has been interpreted as a dig at Mitt Romney, whose personal wealth and comparatively low tax rate have been front-and-center in the campaign these past weeks.  Romney finally released his tax returns on Thursday, revealing a 2010 income of $27 million and a federal tax rate of 13.9%.
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Obama Administration And Banks Near Deal On Mortgage Fraud Legal Liability … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  Foreclosure Crisis, Home Foreclosures, Subprime Mortgage Crisis, Subprime Mortgages, Video, Banking Crisis, Foreclosure Fraud, Obama Mortgage Crisis, Mortgage Fraud Settlement …
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 More Items: 
Abu Muqawama /
What Americans Think About the Defense Budget
Michael Beckel /
EXCLUSIVE: Obama Campaign Refunding Money Donated by Federal Lobbyists
Discussion: Ballot Box
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Gingrich talks Puerto Rican statehood, Cuba policy at Hispanic forum
Discussion: CNN
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Minnesota Odds and Ends
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Good As You
Jonah Goldberg / National Review:
Obama's Vision for a Spartan America
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Josh Rogin / Foreign Policy:
Obama embraces Romney advisor's theory on “The Myth of American Decline”
Steve Jordon / Omaha World-Herald:
Buffett: Criticism is ‘ridiculous’
 Earlier Items: 
Amanda Peterson Beadle / ThinkProgress:
Alabama School Under Scrutiny After Official Tells A Student To Remove A Gay Rights Sweatshirt
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Huntsman steps away from politics in new job
Discussion: CNN and The Impolitic
David Cataneseand Jonathan Allen / The Politico:
In North Carolina, political realities crash Dems' party
Discussion: Joe. My. God.
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez / USA Today:
Gov. Jan Brewer releases letter she handed to Obama
James Pethokoukis / The Enterprise Blog:
The economic chart that may doom the Obama presidency
Jon Ward / The Huffington Post:
Romney Packed Debate Hall With Supporters, Gingrich Aide Says