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3:40 AM ET, January 31, 2012


 Top Items: 
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
CBO: Federal workers better compensated than in private sector
Discussion: The Jawa Report
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
GOP Voters Continue to Give Field Subpar Ratings  —  Obama Seen as More Understanding than Romney, Gingrich  —  Amid a bruising primary campaign, Republicans remain unimpressed with their party's presidential field.  In fact, more Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters …
Kevinliptak / CNN:
Poll finds increasing dissatisfaction in GOP field
Discussion: Wall Street Journal and Hot Air
Wallacegw / CNN:
Over 600,000 have already voted in Florida primary
Discussion: The Politico
Wallacegw / CNN:
Santorum promises high road, 'We'll beat them straight up'
Discussion: The Politico
Mackenzie Weinger / The Politico:
Obama best understands people, poll finds
Discussion: Ballot Box and CNN
Andrew Parker / The Sun:
US bars friends over Twitter joke  —  Ordeal ... Leigh Van Bryan and Emily Bunting were locked up  —  TWO pals were barred from entering the US after innocent tweets joking about “destroying America” were picked up by the country's anti-terror cops.  —  US special agents monitoring Twitter …
Richard Hartley-Parkinson / Daily Mail:
'I'm going to destroy America and dig up Marilyn Monroe': British pair arrested in U.S. on terror charges over Twitter jokes  —  Two British tourists were barred from entering America after joking on Twitter that they were going to ‘destroy America’ and ‘dig up Marilyn Monroe’.
E .J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Obama's Breach of Faith Over Contraceptive Ruling  —  Obama's breach of faith over contraceptive ruling  —  One of Barack Obama's great attractions as a presidential candidate was his sensitivity to the feelings and intellectual concerns of religious believers.
Nita Chaudhary / The Huffington Post:
Birth Control Matters
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Contraception and “Religious Liberty”
Glenn Greenwald / Salon:
Leon Panetta's explicitly authoritarian decree  —  The DoD chief says clearly: once the president accuses a citizen of terrorism, execution without trial is permitted  —  CBS News' Scott Pelley appears to be one of the very few American journalists bothered by, or even interested in …
San Francisco Chronicle:
Jean Quan plans to call national Occupy leaders  —  Faced with ever-increasing violence between police and Occupy protesters, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is seeking help from a new source: Occupy Wall Street.  —  Quan plans to ask leaders of the national Occupy movement to convince their Oakland cohorts …
Juan Williams / The Hill:
Racial code words obscure real issues  —  Two weeks ago at the Fox News/Wall Street Journal debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., I asked each GOP presidential candidate some pointed questions about the racial politics that will play a big role in the presidential campaign.
Howard Kurtz / The Daily Beast:
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Obama's Bodyguard  —  Meet the Democratic leader who's blasting Republicans and reaching out to a peeved Congress.  —  The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee is running late, prepping for an MSNBC interview while she brushes her tangled mass …
Justin Sink / The Hill:
RNC chief doubles down on comparing Obama to disgraced Capt. Schettino
Discussion: Hot Air
New Jersey Online:
While clarifying remarks linking civil rights to gay marriage, Gov. Christie calls N.J. assemblyman ‘numbnuts’  —  TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie this morning attempted to clarify statements he made about same sex marriage and civil rights, but in the process called an openly gay assemblyman …
Rosie Gray / Politics:
State Senator Behind “Don't Say Gay” Bill Refused Service At Restaurant  —  Tennessee state senator Stacey Campfield, who recently said that it is “virtually impossible” to contract HIV through heterosexual sex, was kicked out of a restaurant in Knoxville.  He went quietly.
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
Gingrich Wants A Government That Respects ‘Our Religion’ Not ‘Every Other Religion’  —  As TP's Igor Volsky pointed out today, Newt Gingrich has been accusing President Obama of perpetrating a “war on religion,” saying the president has made it more difficult for people of faith to practice their beliefs.
Bobby Bank / ABCNEWS:
Donald Trump Staff in Talks With Financiers, Campaign Managers to Explore Third Party Bid  —  ABC News' Huma Khan and Jennifer Wlach report:  —  Donald Trump's top political adviser told ABC News he's speaking to “high-level political operatives” to explore a third-party presidential bid …
Tommy Christopher / Mediaite:
Mitt Romney On Fox & Friends: ‘I Wish I Could Claim I Was Hispanic’  —  On Monday morning's Fox and Friends, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney let out another one of those “I'm running for office, for Pete's sake!” bursts of honesty which, like a burlesque revue at a leper colony, are revealing, but not in a good way.
Josh Putnam / Frontloading HQ:
I'll see your white knight and raise you a filing deadline.  Why It's Too Late for Entry in the Republican Nomination Race  —  Way back in the summer (of 2011), FHQ began fielding calls and emails from a number of media outlets asking about the filing deadlines for primaries and caucuses in the various states.
Katrina Trinko / National Review:
Palin: ‘Vote for Newt.  Annoy a Liberal.’  —  Todd Palin has endorsed Newt Gingrich.  And Sarah Palin, before the S.C. primary, urged voters to vote for Gingrich to keep the primary going.  And in a Fox News interview this weekend, she reiterated that message.
Anita Singh / Telegraph:
Jonathan Franzen: e-books are damaging society  —  Jonathan Franzen has launched a passionate defence of the printed book, warning that our desire for the instant gratification of e-books is damaging for society.  —  Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom, is being hailed as one of America's greatest novelists
Alison Flood / Guardian:
Franzen warns ebooks are corroding values
Discussion: Runnin' Scared and Althouse
Iraqi bill to ban travels to Israel  —  Iraqi parliament plans to pass bill forbidding locals from visiting Israel, after nine Iraqi politicians were allegedly caught carrying entry visas to Israel, passports with Ben-Gurion Airport stamps  —  Roi Kais  —  The bill was proposed following a number of incidents at the Bagdad airport.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Israel Matzav
Caroline May / The Daily Caller:
Concerned that too many “deniers” are in the meteorology business, global warming activists this month launched a campaign to recruit local weathermen to hop aboard the alarmism bandwagon and expose those who are not fully convinced that the world is facing man-made doom.
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 More Items: 
Thomas E. Ricks / Foreign Policy:
No, foreign policy matters in elections — even in years when people think it doesn't
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:
White House: No rush on Iran
New York Times:
New York Archdiocese Worker Accused of $1 Million Embezzlement
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
U.S. Embassy in Cairo Shields 3 Americans
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Unions set to blast Dems for selling out on FAA reauthorization
Discussion: Daily Kos
Lauren Fox / US News:
Ron Paul's Appealing to Mormons
Discussion: American Spectator
 Earlier Items: 
Dylan Byers / The Politico:
Newt's promise: No reporters as moderators
Sarkozy announces French financial transaction tax
Discussion: Business Insider and ThinkProgress
Jay Donovan / TechCrunch:
Flying People Spotted Over New York City...Film At Nine
Walter Shapiro / The New Republic:
Doing It For the Gipper: Why Old People Could Be Newt Gingrich's Saving Grace
Discussion: Washington Post and ABCNEWS
Karen Famighetti / Media Matters for America:
Wash. Post's Parker Wildly Distorts Charitable Giving Of Obama, Romney
Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners
Discussion: and Firedoglake