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1:50 PM ET, February 6, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Obama holds edge over Romney in general election matchup, poll finds  —  Boosted by improved public confidence in his economic stewardship, President Obama for the first time holds a clear edge over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in a hypothetical general-election matchup, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
RELATED:
CNN:
Romney tops 50% in final Nevada tally  —  (CNN) - Mitt Romney won Saturday's Nevada caucuses with his highest portion of a state's vote yet, just over 50%, according to certified results released Monday by the Nevada Republican Party.  —  Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who also won …
Gary Langer / ABCNEWS:
Economic Gains, Questions on Romney Boost Obama's Prospects for November  —  Mitt Romney has solidified his position for the Republican nomination but lost ground in the main event, with improved economic indicators and questions about Romney's wealth and taxes lifting Barack Obama to a head …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
WaPo/ABC ends sample transparency in national polling  —  The Washington Post and ABC News has a new national poll out today.  It purports to show that Barack Obama has a 50% approval rating and that he would beat Mitt Romney in a head-to-head matchup.  And heck, that might even be true, except for a couple of problems.
Discussion: Washington Post
Washington Post:
Obama holds edge over Romney in general election matchup, poll finds
Washington Post:
Voters split on second term for Obama, but he has edge on rivals
Discussion: Jay Bookman and The Page
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Greece Asked to Destroy Itself In Exchange for Bailout  —  Greek economy being crushed by Troika austerity conditions (photo: Aragorn Bang)  —  Greek bailout talks have deadlocked again, but at the moment the culprit is not the hedge funds seeking a higher payout on the distressed debt they bought …
Discussion: Reuters, BBC, Paul Krugman and Eschaton
RELATED:
Andrew Stuttaford / National Review:
Rocks, Hard Places
Discussion: Right Wing News and Reuters
Niall Ferguson / The Daily Beast:
Israel and Iran on the Eve of Destruction in a New Six-Day War  —  There are plenty of arguments against an Israeli attack on Iran.  And all of them are bad.  —  Jerusalem—It probably felt a bit like this in the months before the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel launched …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Things Are Not O.K.  —  In a better world — specifically, a world with a better policy elite — a good jobs report would be cause for unalloyed celebration.  In the world we actually inhabit, however, every silver lining comes with a cloud.  Friday's report was, in fact, much better than expected …
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama: I'm getting ‘better as time goes on’ at being president  —  President Obama said that he gets “better as time goes on” at his job and that he believes the grassroots movement that propelled him to victory in 2008 will help him win a second term during an interview that aired Monday on NBC's “Today Show.”
Byron Tau / Politico:
Obama criticized for walking out on Jeb Bush  —  Bloomberg's Al Hunt has a long list of examples of what he calls the Obama team's ‘hubris’ — including a recent anecdote where Obama left a fancy black tie dinner before former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke:
Discussion: Bloomberg and Weasel Zippers
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Fathers and Schools: Presidential Parallels  —  Michael Medved has an interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal reflecting on the strange continuity that this election marks the seventh in a row featuring either a privileged son or a man with no relationship with his biological father, and wonders why:
RELATED:
Michael Medved / Wall Street Journal:
Presidential Fathers and Sons
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Gabriel Sherman / New York Magazine:
The End of Wall Street As They Knew It  —  After surprisingly successful financial reform, public vilification, and politics that have turned against them, the Masters of the Universe are masters no longer.  —  On Wall Street, bonus season is a sacred ritual.
Discussion: The Big Picture and The Impolitic
New York Times:
Deal Is Closer for a U.S. Plan on Mortgage Relief  —  With a deadline looming on Monday for state officials to sign onto a landmark multibillion-dollar settlement to address foreclosure abuses, the Obama administration is close to winning support from a crucial state that would significantly expand the breadth of the deal.
Washington Examiner:
Coming soon: Individual mandate to buy Chevy Volts  —  President Obama spent more than $85 billion bailing out General Motors and Chrysler three years ago.  Now he claims credit for saving the industry, noting GM's recent return to the top sales spot among automakers worldwide, Ford's record profits …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
My choice: Rick Santorum  —  As I wrote earlier, decision time has come to Minnesota, where I live.  Unfortunately, I can't officially participate in that choice, since we have a caucus system rather than a primary — and one cannot cast an absentee vote in a caucus system.
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Hill Poll: Voters willing to see US attack Iran over nuclear weapons  —  Nearly half of likely voters think the United States should be willing to use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, according to this week's The Hill Poll.  —  Forty-nine percent said military force …
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
The Citizens United catastrophe  —  We have seen the world created by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, and it doesn't work.  Oh, yes, it works nicely for the wealthiest and most powerful people in the country, especially if they want to shroud their efforts to influence politics behind shell corporations.
Kathleen Sebelius / USA Today:
Contraception rule respects religion  —  One of the key benefits of the 2010 health care law is that many preventive services are now free for most Americans with insurance.  Vaccinations for children, cancer screenings for adults and wellness visits for seniors are all now covered in most plans …
Discussion: JustOneMinute, Politico and Power Line
Reza Kahlili / WND:
AYATOLLAH: KILL ALL JEWS, ANNIHILATE ISRAEL  —  Iran lays out legal case for genocidal attack against ‘cancerous tumor’  —  The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Emily Schultheis / Politico:
Santorum camp finds extra signatures for Indiana ballot
Discussion: CNN
Patrick Poole / PJ Media:
Homeland Security Lexicon: You're All ‘Militia Extremists’ Now
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Daily Pundit
David M. Halbfinger / New York Times:
The Long Run: For Ron Paul, a Distinctive Worldview of Long Standing
Discussion: Business Insider and Politico
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
At 11th hour, vulnerable GOP members back insider-trading bill
Discussion: DownWithTyranny!
Arthur Delaney / The Huffington Post:
Bob McDonnell: Republican Governors, Not Obama, Deserve Credit For Rising Economy
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Communism Collapsed: Who Cares?
 Earlier Items: 
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
Karen Handel, Susan G. Komen's Anti-Abortion VP, Drove Decision To Defund Planned Parenthood
Jonathan Strong / Roll Call:
Records Show Ron Paul Trips Paid Twice
Discussion: ABCNEWS and Business Insider
Ron Nixon / New York Times:
Congress Appears to Be Trying to Get Around Earmark Ban
Discussion: Open Congress
Glenn Thrushand Donovan Slack / Politico:
The race issue rises again
Discussion: Pirate's Cove
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Obama, Ryan in budget rematch
Richard Spencer / Telegraph:
Syria's most senior defector: Assad's army is close to collapse
Tim Mak / Politico:
Super Bowl ads: Pete Hoekstra's hits a nerve