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9:40 PM ET, February 11, 2012


 Top Items: 
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Santorum surges into the lead  —  Riding a wave of momentum from his trio of victories on Tuesday Rick Santorum has opened up a wide lead in PPP's newest national poll.  He's at 38% to 23% for Mitt Romney, 17% for Newt Gingrich, and 13% for Ron Paul.  —  Part of the reason for Santorum's surge is his own high level of popularity.
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Romney wins The Washington Times/CPAC Straw Poll  —  Returns to top after two years on the outs  —  Mitt Romney won The Washington Times/CPAC Presidential Straw Poll on Saturday, and also nipped Rick Santorum as the top choice of conservatives nationwide, according to a new version …
Sarah Palin / CNN:
TRENDING: Palin calls on Romney to work harder for the conservative vote  —  Washington (CNN) - Sarah Palin issued a warning to Mitt Romney Saturday, calling on the former Massachusetts governor to do a better job explaining his record to conservatives or risk dampening voter turnout in November …
Washington Examiner:
Did Romney quell conservative doubts?  —  For many observers, the key question of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington was: How would Mitt Romney be received?  Would the conservative crowd embrace him enthusiastically, or hold him at a distance?
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
Palin shines brightest at CPAC conference  —  If Sarah Palin had been on the ballot for the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, there is little doubt she would have won.  —  The former Alaska governor received far-and-away the most spirited and enthusiastic reception …
Discussion: CNN and Wake up America
Jonathan Martin / Politico:
CPAC ‘severely’ conflicted over Mitt Romney  —  Mitt Romney wanted to use his CPAC speech Friday to allay concerns about his candidacy on the Republican right, but with one ad-libbed word he reinforced conservative fears that he's not one of them.  —  “I was a severely conservative Republican governor …
Jeff Zeleny / The Caucus:
Palin Says Brokered Convention Would Not Hurt G.O.P.  —  Sarah Palin said Saturday that Republicans should be in no hurry to wrap up the presidential nominating contest, declaring that a competitive campaign until the August convention in Tampa would not complicate the party's efforts to defeat President Obama.
Beth Fouhy / Associated Press:
Maine GOP chairman say Romney wins caucuses
Discussion: Weasel Zippers, Hot Air and ABCNEWS
Tim Mak / Politico:
Romney tops Paul in Maine
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Breaking: Romney wins CPAC straw poll
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Romney wins CPAC straw poll, barely edges Santorum nationally
Discussion: CNN
Tim Mak / Politico:
Paul could be Maine event
Discussion: CNN and Mediaite
Romney wins prized straw poll at conservative gathering
Discussion: The Raw Story
Shannon Travis / CNN:   Romney does campaign first as Paul hopes for first win in Maine
Nekesa Mumbi Moody / Associated Press:
Whitney Houston, superstar of records, films, dies  —  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died.  She was 48.
Which Republican Presidential Candidate Supported Sotomayor?  —  Pop quiz: Which Republican presidential candidate supported the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor?  —  Hint: It's the same one who endorsed a pro-abortion-rights presidential candidate in an earlier campaign.  —  Give up?
Discussion: National Review
Lee Smith / Weekly Standard: . . .  Leaked emails show Westerners truckling to the Syrian regime.  —  In the fall of 2007 Israel reportedly hacked into Syria's air defense systems and disabled them, as a prelude to bombing a nuclear facility in the Syrian desert.  This vaunted cyber exploit …
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Wall Street Journal:
Immaculate Contraception  —  An ‘accommodation’ that makes the birth-control mandate worse.  —  Here's a conundrum: The White House wants to impose its birth-control ideology on all Americans, including those for whom sponsoring or subsidizing such services violates their moral conscience.
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
The Contraception Controversy Would Have Been Avoided If Obama Were President  —  Helene Cooper and Laurie Goldstein of the Ministry of Truth pick up the pom-poms to cover the contraception controversy and assure their readers of two points - Obama is caving in to the Religious Left …
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 More Items: 
Jordan Weissmann / The Atlantic Online:
Occupy Kindergarten: The Rich-Poor Divide Starts With Education
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Michelle Obama Injects Optimism Into Campaign
Discussion: Althouse
Brad Johnson / ThinkProgress:
Access To Birth Control Is A Fundamental Component Of Climate Survival
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Right Wing News
Spencer Bachus / Washington Post:
Obama cranks up the campaign spending
Discussion: Power Line
Melissa Davlin /
Idaho Senate Committee Kills Legislation to Add Protections for Gay and Lesbian Citizens
 Earlier Items: 
Ravi Somaiya / New York Times:
8 Arrested in Inquiry Into Murdoch's Tabloids
Discussion: Runnin' Scared
New York Times:
A Chilling Verdict in Spain
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Michelangelo Signorile / The Huffington Post:
Michele Bachmann At CPAC: Former GOP Candidate Slams Prop 8 Ruling, Meets Chuck Woolery
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Chipotle Is Apple  —  The burrito chain is revolutionizing food …
Discussion: The Atlantic Online