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1:45 PM ET, February 8, 2012


 Top Items: 
Trump: 'I don't get Rick Santorum;' talks Romney cabinet position  —  Donald Trump sits down with CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield to discuss GOP candidates for president as well as what position he would want in Mitt Romney's cabinet.  —  Trump says, “Rick Santorum was a sitting senator …
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
Santorum Upsets G.O.P. Race With Three Victories  —  His candidacy all but dismissed just days ago, Rick Santorum won the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, an unexpected trifecta that raised fresh questions about Mitt Romney's ability to corral conservative support.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
G.O.P. Race Has Hallmarks of Prolonged Battle  —  Whatever your perspective on how likely Mitt Romney was to lose the Republican nomination race prior to Tuesday evening, it should be acknowledged that he had about the worst results conceivable.  —  In Minnesota, a state which Mr. Romney carried easily …
Washington Post:
Santorum revives campaign with wins in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota  —  DENVER — Rick Santorum had a breakthrough night Tuesday, winning GOP presidential contests in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, all of which is expected to breathe life into his struggling campaign and slow Mitt Romney's march …
Quinnipiac University:
Obama Inches Past Romney In Virginia Presidential Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Senate Race Still Tied  —  For the first time in this election cycle, President Barack Obama inches ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the leading Republican candidate, 47 - 43 percent in Virginia …
American Prospect:
Santorum's Missing Ingredient  —  Despite the fact that Mitt Romney chose not to compete in Missouri and Minnesota—and spent little time in Colorado—his loss last night in all three states, to Rick Santorum, has been spun by the media as a terrible wound for the former Massachusetts governor.
Newt Gingrich / CNN:
TRENDING: Romney will take tougher approach to Santorum, adviser says  —  Denver, Colorado (CNN) - As Rick Santorum counted up his victories Tuesday night, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney signaled the campaign would take a tougher approach toward his resurgent rival and portray him as a Washington insider.
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
The Incredible Shrinking Mitt: Romney's 2008 Support Crumbles In Three Key States  —  Rick Santorum decisively swept all three primary contests last night, shattering the myth of inevitability that presumed front-runner Mitt Romney has tried to construct.  While the vote in Missouri assigned …
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Santorum scores triple win  —  Rick Santorum dealt an embarrassing setback to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign Tuesday night, sweeping non-binding contests across three states and raising new questions about conservatives' willingness to accept Romney as their nominee.
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Top Romney adviser expects prolonged GOP fight
Discussion: Daily Kos
William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
Romneycare: Worth Getting Worried About
Discussion: Power Line and Politico
Newt Gingrich / CNN:
Kingston: Santorum no longer a third wheel
Discussion: The Hill
Jonathan Easley / Ballot Box:
Fresh off GOP victories, Santorum goes on attack against Romney
Discussion: GOP 12 and National Review
John Avlon / The Daily Beast:
Newt's Two-Man-Race Narrative Collapses After Santorum Victories
Richard A. Oppel Jr / New York Times:
Gingrich Focuses on Ohio, Hoping for Eventual Payoff on Super Tuesday
Discussion: ABCNEWS and The Page
New York Times:
Obama Tries to Ease Ire on Contraception Rule  —  WASHINGTON — Facing vocal opposition from religious leaders and an escalating political fight, the White House sought on Tuesday to ease mounting objections to a new administration rule that would require health insurance plans …
Sarah Kliff / Washington Post:
Why White House sees political opportunity in the contraception battle
Heritage Foundation:
The 2012 Index of Dependence on Government  —  Abstract: The great and calamitous fiscal trends of our time—dependence on government by an increasing portion of the American population, and soaring debt that threatens the financial integrity of the economy—worsened yet again in 2010 and 2011.
John Merline / Investor's Business Daily:
Dependency Index Surges 23% Under President Obama
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Republican Enthusiasm Issue is Real  —  The paltry turnout in the Republican Presidential contests over the last week reflects what we've seen in our recent national polling: Democrats are now more excited about voting this fall than Republicans are, reversing the enthusiasm gap that plagued the party in 2010.
Tina Daunt / Hollywood Reporter:
Clint Eastwood's Chrysler Super Bowl Ad: The Untold Obama Connection  —  Two members of the creative team that produced the two-minute minute spot for ad agency Wieden+Kennedy donated their personal time in 2008 to make pro-Obama art.  —  This year's most discussed Super Bowl ad …
Rush Limbaugh:
The Clint Eastwood Ad is Right: It's Time to Come Together... and Defeat Liberalism
New York Times:
Another Campaign for Sale  —  Two years ago, while delivering his State of the Union address, President Obama looked the Supreme Court justices in the face and told them they were wrong to have allowed special interests to spend without limits on campaigns.  “I don't think American elections …
David Badash / The New Civil Rights Movement:
Prop 8 Supporters Announce U.S. Supreme Court Appeal  —  Late Tuesday night,, the consortium also known as “Yes On 8,” announced they will appeal the Ninth Circuit ruling that affirmed Prop 8 is unconstitutional, to the Supreme Court.  —  Yes On 8 has the legal option …
Discussion: Firedoglake
Ed Whelan / National Review:
Initial Assessment of Ninth Circuit's Anti-Prop 8 Ruling
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 …
Margalit Fox / New York Times:
Florence Green, Last World War I Veteran, Dies at 110
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Santorum Invents New Front In Fake War On Religion: Obama Wants Female Catholic Priests  —  For weeks, Republicans have pretended that President Obama is waging some kind of war on religion because his administration recently approved regulations requiring insurers to cover contraceptive care …
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Schneiderman's Last-Minute Cancellation Spells Trouble for Foreclosure Fraud Settlement  —  NY AG Eric Schneiderman abruptly cancelled press conference re settlement (Photo: azipaybarah, flickr)  —  As I mentioned in last night's roundup, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman abruptly cancelled …
Scott Shane / New York Times:
Radical U.S. Muslims Little Threat, Study Says  —  WASHINGTON — A feared wave of homegrown terrorism by radicalized Muslim Americans has not materialized, with plots and arrests dropping sharply over the two years since an unusual peak in 2009, according to a new study by a North Carolina research group.
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 More Items: 
Jia Lynn Yang / Washington Post:
As Massachusetts governor, Romney had an unremarkable record on jobs
Mj Lee / Politico:
Jan Brewer: ‘Nasty but exciting’ GOP race
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Liberals, Dems approve of drone strikes on American citizens abroad
Reihan Salam / National Review:
If You're Going to Accept Direct Loans and Pell Grants, You Should Tell Us If Students Are Actually Learning Something
Discussion: EconLog
Romney SuperPAC Attacks Newt In Ohio
Discussion: GOP 12
Norma Love / Associated Press:
NH rally held to back gay marriage repeal
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
House GOP removes political intel-lobbyist rule from STOCK Act
 Earlier Items: 
Ben Poston / JSOnline:
Analysis: Invalid signatures likely not enough to halt Walker recall
Eugene Volokh / The Volokh Conspiracy:
Government Employer Free to Fire Human Resources Officials Who Publicly Criticize the Propriety of Gay Rights Laws
Discussion: Clayton Cramer's Blog
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:
GOP lawmakers protest removal of ‘God’ from Air Force unit's patch
Washington Post:
Capitol Assets: Some legislators send millions to groups connected to their relatives
Discussion: ThinkProgress and News Desk
Alexis L. Loinaz / E! Online:
Flo Rida a Big-Time Cheapskate? Ex-Assistant Sues Over Low, Low, Low Wages
Discussion: THEROOT.COM and The Daily Caller
Jeremy Finley / WSMV-TV:
No investigation when suspected drugs found at home of ABC director
Discussion: The Raw Story and The Agitator
Stephanie Jones / Journal Times:
Suspect recall signing could result in felony charges
Discussion: RedState and Campaign 2012