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11:15 AM ET, January 30, 2012


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Obama: The most polarizing president.  Ever.  —  President Obama ran — and won — in 2008 on the idea of uniting the country.  But, each of his first three years in office have marked historic highs in political polarization, with Democrats largely approving of him and Republicans deeply disapproving.
Newsmax Wires /
InsiderAdvantage Poll: Gingrich Surging, Race ‘Tighter Than Expected’  —  More ways to share...  Mixx  —  Stumbled  —  LinkedIn  —  Vine  —  Buzzflash  —  Newstrust  —  Technocrati  —  Forward Article  —  A new InsiderAdvantage poll conducted Sunday night of likely Republican voters …
Quinnipiac University:
Romney Romps To 14-Point Lead In Florida GOP Primary, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds  —  Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a 43 - 29 percent lead over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich among Republican likely voters in Florida, the nation's first big-state presidential primary …
John Heilemann / New York Magazine:
Newt May Be Mad and Mental Enough to Fight On Long After Florida  —  For some churchgoers, the attendance of Sunday morning services is a ritual rooted in reflection, for others in repentance, for others in rejoicing, and for still others in all three.  But for Newt Gingrich …
Michelle Malkin:
For Santorum  —  Rick Santorum opposed TARP.  —  He didn't cave when Chicken Littles in Washington invoked a manufactured crisis in 2008.  He didn't follow the pro-bailout GOP crowd — including Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich — and he didn't have to obfuscate or rationalize his position then or now …
Andrew Burton / ABCNEWS:
Rick Santorum Says Daughter Bella Has a ‘Miraculous Turnaround’  —  DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Rick Santorum made his first public comments on the health of his youngest daughter, Isabella, this evening on a tele-town hall with voters, saying she has had a “miraculous turnaround.”
Discussion: The Spectacle Blog
Susan Page / USA Today:
Swing States poll: Romney and Obama tied; Gingrich trails  —  WASHINGTON - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney essentially ties Barack Obama in the nation's key battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States survey finds, while rival Newt Gingrich now trails the president by a decisive 14 percentage points.
Jonathan Martinand Maggie Haberman / The Politico:
Newt Gingrich's long march
Discussion: CNN, Business Insider, BuzzFeed and Reuters
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Little Movement in Florida
Discussion: The Politico and Hot Air
Catalina Camia / USA Today:
Santorum hits campaign trail after child's health scare
American Prospect:
Gingrich Can't Lose!  —  LUTZ, FLORIDA—As Newt Gingrich plummets …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
James Hohmann / The Politico:
Rick Santorum's daughter improving
Wall Street Journal:
Romney Regains His Edge
Discussion: and
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Austerity Debacle  —  Last week the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, a British think tank, released a startling chart comparing the current slump with past recessions and recoveries.  It turns out that by one important measure — changes in real G.D.P. since the recession began …
Karen Famighetti / Media Matters for America:
Wash. Post's Parker Wildly Distorts Charitable Giving Of Obama, Romney  —  On this morning's edition of The Chris Matthews Show, panelist Kathleen Parker claimed that Mitt Romney has “give[n] away “42 percent of his income, compared to Obama, who gave away 1 percent to charity.
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
Jeb Bush Remains Silent on Endorsement  —  MIAMI — A steady stream of endorsements has been flowing to Mitt Romney, with his campaign promoting Republicans who are giving their blessing to his presidential candidacy.  Yet on the eve of the Florida primary, he has been unable to land the biggest catch of all: Jeb Bush.
The Politico:
The bipartisan myth  —  Every time there is divided government in Washington, there is a revival — among elite journalists, think tank commentators and respectable politicians of all stripes — of a cherished idea about how business should get done in the nation's capital:
Discussion: American Prospect
New York Times:
U.S. Drones Patrolling Its Skies Provoke Outrage in Iraq  —  BAGHDAD — A month after the last American troops left Iraq, the State Department is operating a small fleet of surveillance drones here to help protect the United States Embassy and consulates, as well as American personnel.
Michael Brendan Dougherty / Business Insider:
Here Is The Anti-Obama Administration Letter That Was Read To Almost Every Catholic Sitting In Church On Sunday  —  The Catholic Church is fighting mad with the Obama Administration, and nearly every Catholic sitting in a pew this weekend heard the reasons why.
Morgen / Verum Serum:
Gingrich Called for ObamaCare Mandate in May 2009, Said ObamaCare “Healthier...More Open” Process than HillaryCare  —  Note: I wanted to draw extra attention to the name on the byline since John does by far the majority of the blogging here.  The opinions expressed below are my own …
First Thoughts: Writing on the wall  —  Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Ring Power Lift Trucks in Jacksonville, Fla., Monday, Jan. 30, 2012.  —  By NBC's Chuck Todd, Domenico Montanaro, Carrie Dann, Natalie Cucchiara, Brooke Brower
Rick Pleasures / The Politico:
How conservatives lost their moral compass  —  There's irony here in that liberals have viewed shame as a conservative ally.  They associated it with Puritans and the puritanical who used shame, liberals said, to bludgeon people into moralistic behavior that denied their real passions and interests.
Richard Black / BBC:
UN panel aims for ‘a future worth choosing’  —  Current patterns of consumption are not sustainable, the panel concludes, without major change  —  Growing inequality, environmental decline and “teetering” economies mean the world must change the way it does business, a UN report concludes.
Discussion: Pirate's Cove, Biased BBC and Truthdig
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Romney Ties Obama in Swing States; Gingrich Trails  —  Gingrich performs worst against Obama in swing states and nationally  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Registered voters in 12 key swing states are almost evenly split between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in their 2012 presidential election preferences …
Discussion: Daily Kos, Hot Air and The Politico
Michael Grabell / New York Post:
How the $800B stimulus failed  —  From his new book, “Money Well Spent?” reporter Michael Grabell explains how bad planning and poor choices doomed the largest economic recovery program in history  —  Vice President Joe Biden was eager to get moving.  In office for only a month …
Discussion: The Enterprise Blog and Don Surber
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 More Items: 
Susan Edelman / New York Post:
Disgraced teacher is worth $10M, makes $100,000 a year, does nothing, & refuses to leave
Discussion: Hit & Run and Betsy's Page
Alan Cowell / New York Times:
Iran Offers to Extend U.N. Nuclear Inspection
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Republican lawmakers begin pushback against Obama recess appointments
Discussion: Roll Call
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Trump won't rule out run, but praises Romney campaign
Discussion: The Politico
Helia Ebrahimi / Telegraph:
Agent Provocateur sales boosted by US First Lady Michelle Obama
Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners
Herb Keinon / Jerusalem Post:
‘PA incitement is confidence destroying measure’
Discussion: Israel Matzav and
Mushtaq Yusufzai /
US, Taliban talks on prisoner swap falter
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Holly Bailey / Yahoo! News:
Mitt Romney picks up Jon Voight's endorsement-and jokes about Angelina Jolie
Discussion: Firedoglake
James Q. Wilson / Washington Post:
Angry about inequality? Don't blame the rich.
Andy Harley / Gay Star News:
Aeroflot forces gay flight attendant to marry woman
Stephen Castle / New York Times:
E.U. Leaders Set to Admit Austerity Is Not Enough