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10:45 PM ET, February 10, 2012


 Top Items: 
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
Obama to Offer ‘Accomodation’ on Contraception Rule  —  With the White House under fire for its new rule requiring employers including religious organizations to offer health insurance that fully covers birth control coverage, ABC News has learned that later today the White House …
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
GOP Ups The Ante, Introduces Legislation To Allow Any Employer To Deny Any Preventive Health Service  —  Earlier today, in response to criticism from Catholic groups, the White House altered its regulation requiring employers and insurers to provide no-cost contraception coverage as part of their health care plans.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Hullabaloo
Amanda Marcotte / Slate:
Obama Punks the GOP on Contraception  —  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Obama  —  After two solid weeks of Republicans rapidly escalating attacks on contraception access under the banner of “religous freedom,” Obama finally announced what the White House …
Sarah Kliff / Washington Post:
The catch in Obama's contraceptives compromise  —  The White House has given reporters the rundown on the “accommodations” that President Obama will announce on the health reform law's requirements for hospitals run by faith-based groups to cover the costs of employees' contraceptives.  Here's how it works.
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Santorum: Birth Control Is Not Something ‘You Need Insurance For’ Because It Costs ‘Just A Few Dollars’  —  Rick Santorum told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this morning that insurance plans shouldn't cover contraception services because birth control …
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
Administration Backtracks on Birth Control, but at What Cost?  —  It looks like the Obama administration is pretty much completely caving on the rule forcing religious organizations to provide free contraception coverage for employees at facilities with a secular purpose (hospitals, schools, etc.).
Discussion: Washington Post
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Birth control may now be wedge issue against GOP  —  At his press conference this morning announcing the new shift in contraception policy, Obama said: “I understand that some folks in Washington may want to treat this as another political wedge issue.  But it shouldn't be.”
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
Both Catholic Health Assn and Planned Parenthood Say They're Pleased With Contraception Rule Announcement
New York Post:
Obama amends contraception rule amid backlash
Discussion: Power Line and Campaign 2012
American Prospect:
Bishops, Republicans Get Served
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
How Obama'S Lady-Parts Deal Empowers The Church
Mitt Romney for President of the United States …:
MITT ROMNEY DELIVERS REMARKS AT CPAC  —  This year, here at CPAC, we've got a great crowd.  It's been a great conference.  For that I suppose we should acknowledge President Obama, the conservative movement's top recruiter.  Turns out, he really is a great community organizer.
Michael D. Shear / The Caucus:
Appealing to Activists, Romney Calls Himself ‘Severely Conservative’  —  Mitt Romney addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference attendees in Washington on Friday.  —  Mitt Romney faced thousands of conservative activists on Friday and urged them to stand “shoulder to shoulder” …
Newt Gingrich / CNN:
Gingrich aims for anti-establishment tone in CPAC speech
Discussion: Politico
Reid J. Epstein / Politico:
At CPAC, Mitt Romney throws red meat
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:   Occupy protesters, conservatives clash at CPAC conference
Adrian Chen / Gawker:
How a Birthday Party at the North Korean Embassy Started the Kim Jong-un Death Rumor  —  The internet is aflame with rumors, launched by Chinese micro-blog users, that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was assassinated in Beijing this morning.  We believe we've figured out what's behind the rumor …
Discussion: ABCNEWS, Hot Air and Business Insider
Max Fisher / The Atlantic Online:
Believing the Unbelievable: Why Kim Jong Un Death Rumors Won't Die
Discussion: and Gawker
Christopher Helman / Lists:
Kim Jong-Un Dead? That's The Rumor
Discussion: FP Passport
Adrian Chen / Gawker:
Chinese Twitter Says Kim Jong-Un Was Assassinated This Morning In Beijing
Discussion: Reuters and The Huffington Post
Mike Allen / Politico:
Koch fights back: Obama ‘trying to intimidate’  —  Responding more aggressively than in the past, Koch Industries' political arm on Friday accused President Barack Obama and his allies of “trying to intimidate into silence those who may disagree with them.”  —  The statement came in response …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Justin Sink / The Hill:   Koch lobbyist says brothers won't be ‘intimidated or silenced’ by Obama aides
Faiz Shakir / ThinkProgress:
REPORT: By A Nearly 2 To 1 Margin, Cable Networks Call On Men Over Women To Comment On Birth Control  —  TP interns Zachary Bernstein and Fatima Najiy conducted the research for this report.  —  President Obama's regulation mandating that health insurance plans offer free birth control is an issue that most directly affects women.
Discussion: ECHIDNE of the snakes
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
There Is No Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Term Sheet  —  Don't worry, be happy.  —  Well, so much for my first “making chicken salad” option.  We are more than 24 hours removed from the foreclosure fraud settlement and the terms have, shockingly, not been released.
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Making Chicken Salad: 9 Ways to Improve Housing Policy Around the Foreclosure Fraud Settlement
Kathleen McAuliffe / The Atlantic Online:
How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy  —  Jaroslav Flegr is no kook.  And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain.  So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab.  What he's now discovering will startle you.
Discussion: Sky Dancing and Boing Boing
Abigail Pesta / The Daily Beast:
Komen Exec Karen Handel Calls Planned Parenthood a ‘Gigantic Bully’  —  In an interview with The Daily Beast, former Komen VP Karen Handel says Planned Parenthood broke a secret pact and launched an ‘Armageddon.’ She calls the organization ‘a gigantic bully, using Komen as its own personal punching bag.’
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
The Bettor's Case for Santorum  —  During the 2008 Democratic primaries, I had a lot of success in forecasting outcomes from state to state based solely on demographic variables.  Those projections did slightly better than the polls, although that was a low bar to clear because the polls had a lot of misses that year.
Discussion: Enik Rising and American Prospect
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
West: Liberals think we're selfish robots  —  The U.S. safety net is the unfortunate result of liberals who believe people are selfish robots, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) argued Friday.  —  West delivered a forceful rebuke of both Democrats and government programs to help the needy …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Mj Lee / Politico:
Allen West: Tea party is like ‘The Blob’
Discussion: CNN and Mediaite
Brian Burch /
Unacceptable — former Vatican Ambassador, Prof. Robert George, others respond  —  The following letter was signed by former Vatican Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, Princeton Prof. Robert George, Notre Dame Law Prof. Carter Snead, Catholic University of America President John Garvey, and EPPC Fellow Yuval Levin.
Pundit Review Radio / BLACKFIVE:
Obama Targets Military Meritocracy  —  It's time to bust some chops here.  —  The Military is a meritocracy.  It's up or out.  There are plenty of challenges and opportunities, and this author is one who took (or tried to) make the most out of an even playing field.
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Dana Blanton / Fox News:
Fox News Poll: Santorum surges nationally after three-state sweep  —  Rick Santorum has surged nationally in the race for the 2012 Republican nomination after his three-state sweep this week, while Mitt Romney has lost ground among GOP primary voters.  In addition, most GOP voters …
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 More Items: 
Chase / JSOnline:
Walker, Van Hollen: Chunk of mortgage settlement going to state budget
Joseph Berger / New York Times:
Catholic Institutions Reluctantly Comply With N.Y. Law on Contraceptives Coverage
Discussion: Balloon Juice and Hullabaloo
Michael Hastings / Rolling Stone:
The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to Read
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Obama budget sees increased deficit
Discussion: CNN
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Sen. Kirk released from hospital, moves to rehab center
Discussion: Politico
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Obama backs Rep. Conyers in Democratic primary
Discussion: Politico
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Rep. King: Pelosi's ‘Stasi troops’ force use of efficient light bulbs
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Ballot Box
Dan Amira / New York Magazine:
Christine O'Donnell: The ‘Door Is Open’ to Another Run
Discussion: The Hill
 Earlier Items: 
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
New Citizens United sequel (UPDATED)
Discussion: Election Law Blog and Hit & Run
Heather Horn / The Atlantic Online:
French Moms: We're Not as ‘Superior’ at Parenting as You Americans Think
Israeli fans beg PM to hold off Iran attack over Madonna show
Paul Krugman vs. the World
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Santorum says ‘other types of emotions’ could preclude women in combat