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11:55 PM ET, February 7, 2012


 Top Items: 
Patricia Zengerle / Reuters:
Romney's lead dips despite wins: Reuters/Ipsos poll  —  (Reuters) - Despite his strong showing in early state contests in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney's support nationwide has dipped slightly during the past month, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Missouri primary, Minnesota and Colorado caucuses results: Santorum wins Missouri  —  Rick Santorum won the Missouri presidential preference contest, the Associated Press reported.  —  Although the results of the contest are only symbolic — the state's actual caucuses are not until March 17 …
Washington Post:
Santorum declared winner in Missouri, Minnesota  —  DENVER — Rick Santorum had a breakthrough night on Tuesday, winning presidential contests in Missouri and Minnesota and making a strong showing in Colorado, all of which is expected to breathe life into his struggling campaign …
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
The High Stakes in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri  —  A cynic might say that tonight's Republican contests in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri deserve an asterisk.  In Minnesota and Colorado, which will hold caucuses, voters will pick their preferred presidential candidate in a nonbinding straw poll …
GOP Rivals Pounce on Romney's ‘Assault on Religion’ Line  —  JOHNSTOWN, Colo. - Mitt Romney's Republican rivals pounced today on his accusations that President Obama has an “assault on religion” by forcing Catholic institutions to provide contraceptives and abortion services, suggesting it was a hypocritical statement.
Matt Negrin / ABCNEWS:
Santorum Wins Mo., Minn.; Romney Seeks to Lower Expectations
Discussion: CNN and Opinion L.A.
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Big Day for Santorum?  —  Rick Santorum could be headed for a big …
Kimi Yoshino / L.A. NOW:
Prop.  8: Gay-marriage ban unconstitutional, court rules  —  A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down California's ban on same-sex marriage, clearing the way for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage as early as next year.  —  The 2-1 decision by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court …
Ed Whelan / National Review:
Ninth Circuit Panel Affirms Anti-Prop 8 Ruling  —  As I expected, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit has affirmed former judge Vaughn Walker's outlandish ruling that California's Proposition 8 violates the federal Constitution.  Arch-liberals Judge Stephen Reinhardt and Judge Michael Hawkins …
Maggie Gallagher / National Review:
Ninth Circuit to 7 Million California Voters: You Are Irrational Bigots
Discussion: NOM Blog
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Proposition 8 is overturned, and Obama catches a break on gay marriage
American Prospect:
In Prop. 8 Ruling, a Liberal Lion Coos
Alyssa Rosenberg / ThinkProgress:   How Pop Culture Influenced Today's Proposition 8 Ruling
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Ban on gay marriage struck down (FINAL UPDATE)
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
Reporters grill Carney on marriage, Prop 8 ruling
Public Religion Research Institute:
February PRRI Religion and Politics Tracking Poll  —  ▶ Read the news release here.  —  ▶ Read the Topline Questionnaire including the survey methodology here.  —  Majority Support Requirement that Employer Health Care Plans Include Contraception Coverage
Michelle Obama in Tug of War at White House  —  The normally dignified Blue Room at the White House became a late-night show comedy set last month when first lady Michelle Obama engaged in a friendly game of tug of war with host Jimmy Fallon, according to a photo released by the White House today.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Washington Post:
White House seeks to soothe concerns over contraception rule  —  The White House sought Tuesday to soothe concerns over a controversial birth control rule that has led to Republican attacks and tension among close allies of the administration.  —  The efforts followed mounting criticism …
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
White House May Look to Compromise on Contraception Decision
Sarah Huisenga / CBS News:
Contraception issue heats up as Santorum makes headway
Discussion: Truthdig, Politicker and The Mahablog
David A. Graham / The Atlantic Online:
Photo of the Day: Shock and Awe at the White House
Discussion: BuzzFeed and The Daily What
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Santorum: Romney contraceptive decision ‘trumped employees’ religious consciences'
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Poll: Majority of Catholics support contraception coverage
Jim Galloway / Political Insider:
Karen Handel resigns from Komen for the Cure  —  Karen Handel, the former GOP candidate for governor, just announced her resignation as a senior vice president for public of Susan G. Komen for the Cure - one week after the breast cancer charity reversed itself on a decision to sever financial ties with Planned Parenthood.
Wall Street Journal:
Planned Parenthood's Hostages
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jill Stanek
Lachlan Markay / The Heritage Foundation:
Exclusive: Occupy DC Plans Mayhem for Major Conservative Conference  —  The “Occupy DC” protest group is planning to disrupt the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference using a range of potentially illegal tactics that could even include violence against participants, Scribe has learned.
Stephanie Jones / Journal Times:
Suspect recall signing could result in felony charges  —  RACINE — What started with a man noticing his friend's signature four times on recall petitions could result in felony charges.  —  The Racine County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate possible fraudulent recall signatures collected …
Discussion: RedState and Campaign 2012
Adam Martin / The Atlantic Wire:
The Very Last World War I Veteran Has Died  —  A British woman who served with the Royal Air Force for the last two months of World War I was the last known veteran of the war when she died in her sleep Saturday night.  Florence Green joined the RAF at the age of 17 and died just before her 111th birthday …
Jeremy Finley / WSMV-TV:
No investigation when suspected drugs found at home of ABC director  —  Suspected marijuana was found by three police officers at the home of the director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission, whose mission is to eradicate marijuana.  —  A Channel 4 I-Team investigation found the drugs were never seized or investigated.
Discussion: The Agitator
BBC tells its staff: don't call Qatada extremist  —  The BBC has told its journalists not to call Abu Qatada, the al-Qaeda preacher, an “extremist”.  —  Abu Qatada, the Islamic extremist, in one of the images banned by the BBC  —  In order to avoid making a “value judgment” …
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Dem Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper: I Wouldn't Have Voted for Obamacare If I'd Known About HHS Regulation  —  Former Democratic congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper, a Catholic from Erie, Pennsylvania, cast a crucial vote in favor of Obamacare in 2010.  She lost her seat that November in part because of her controversial support of Obamacare.
Law Review 1213  —  Military Voting in Presidential Caucuses—Part 2  —  Nevada held a presidential caucus involving the four remaining Republican presidential candidates.  On that same day, the New York Times reported that the Nevada Republican Party had made a special accommodation …
Discussion: BuzzFeed
Michael Beckel / iWatch News by The Center …:
Another Bain exec revealed as man behind corporate donor to pro-Romney super PAC  —  ‘Restore Our Future’ super PAC outs ex-Bain exec as donor  —  4 minutes, 25 seconds ago Updated: 2 minutes, 39 seconds ago  —  A mysterious corporate donor to an outside spending group supporting Mitt Romney's campaign …
Discussion: The Caucus
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 More Items: 
Rush Limbaugh:
The Clint Eastwood Ad is Right: It's Time to Come Together... and Defeat Liberalism
Rosie Gray / BuzzFeed:
Fighting Gay Marriage, Minnesota Group May Have Skirted Law
Discussion: Joe. My. God.
Ryan Lizza / News Desk:
Obama's Swing Voters
Marie Diamond / ThinkProgress:
Staples Co-Founder Complains That Allowing Women To Breastfeed At Work Will Cost Jobs
Discussion: Booman Tribune, Wonkette and Guardian
Ben Geman / The Hill:
House committee approves Keystone pipeline bill
Americans Gaining Energy Independence
 Earlier Items: 
Patrick Gavin / Politico:
Obama Girl Amber Lee Ettinger says she's not sure how she'll vote
U.S. authorities looking into Murdoch foreign payments
Barak Ravid / Haaretz:
Bashar Assad emails leaked, tips for ABC interview revealed
Roger L Simon / Roger L. Simon:
BREAKING VIDEO: Tim Tebow and Tom Brady Register to Vote in Minnesota
Bruce Bartlett / Economix:
Tilting the Budget Process to the G.O.P.
Tim Arango / New York Times:
U.S. Planning to Slash Iraq Embassy Staff by Half