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5:10 PM ET, February 12, 2012


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It  —  LINDSTROM, Minn. — Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games.  He makes about $39,000 a year and wants you to know that he does not need any help from the federal government.
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
I Guess I'm Still Stuck On Stupid  —  I have made the mistake of peeking at the NY Times headline story before the caffeine has kicked in fully.  Thier gist seems to be that the “less government” crowd is a bunch of hypocrites, but their is a glaring problem with their numbers.
Josh Lederman / The Hill:
Santorum suggests Romney may have rigged CPAC poll  —  Rick Santorum suggested on Sunday that Mitt Romney's campaign may have rigged a straw poll of conservative activists by paying the entrance fee for supporters.  —  Romney beat Santorum by 7 points Saturday in a straw poll of almost 3,500 attendees …
Glenn Thrush / Politico:
Santorum suggests Romney rigged CPAC vote  —  A groggy Rick Santorum, donning suit and tie, sans sweater vest, didn't think much of Mitt Romney's 38-to-31 percent win over him in last weekend's CPAC presidential straw poll.  —  When CNN's “State of the Union” host Candy Crowley …
Sahil Kapur /
TPMDC  —  McConnell: GOP Will Fight To Let ANY Employer Deny Birth Control Coverage  —  Not satisfied with President Obama's new religious accommodation, Republicans will move forward with legislation by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) that permits any employer to deny birth control coverage …
Charles Johnson / Little Green Footballs:
Now the GOP Wants to Permit Any Employer to Deny Contraception Coverage  —  The Republican Party's descent into Dark Ages misogyny continues; now Mitch McConnell, sensing that the GOP is on a reactionary roll, is planning to introduce legislation to let any employer deny contraception coverage.
Leigh Ann Caldwell / CBS News:
W.H. official: Contraceptive rule stands  —  President Obama's top aide addressed the latest controversy over contraception coverage, saying on CBS News' “Face the Nation” Sunday that the latest iteration of the new rule, which was announced Friday, will go forward.
Dennis G. / Balloon Juice:
The Bishops make their move
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Politico
Lew defends new contraception policy
Discussion: Politico
Tara Brady / Daily Mail:
'Do not follow me down the road to jihad.  Go and get a good education in the West': Osama Bin Laden's extraordinary instructions to his young children  —  Osama Bin Laden told his children to live peacefully in the West where they would get a good education, his brother-in-law has revealed.
Discussion: BLACKFIVE and Jihad Watch
Walter Russell Mead / Via Meadia:
Bin Laden Gave Up on Jihad
Discussion: Wizbang
Shelby Grad / L.A. NOW:
Whitney Houston's death: Medics performed CPR for about 20 minutes  —  Beverly Hills paramedics found singer Whitney Houston unresponsive at a room at the Beverly Hilton hotel and declared her dead after performing CPR on her for about 20 minutes, officials said.
Fox News:
Singer Whitney Houston dies at 48
Whitney Houston / Associated Press:   Singer Whitney Houston dies at 48
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
EXCLUSIVE: Conservative Board Unanimously Condemned Gaffney's ‘Reprehensible’ And ‘Unfounded’ Attacks  —  This is the first in a two-part series about the Islamaphobia network and CPAC.  —  Frank Gaffney and John Bolton, who condemned Gaffney in a unanimous ACU resolution
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
We Need a Second Party  —  WATCHING the Republican Party struggling to agree on a presidential candidate, one wonders whether the G.O.P. shouldn't just sit this election out — just give 2012 a pass.  —  You know how in Scrabble sometimes you look at your seven letters and you've got only vowels that spell nothing?
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Daily Kos
Karen Tumulty / Washington Post:
Election 2012: Republicans united on goal — beat Obama — divided on how to get there
Discussion: Washington Monthly and CNN
Carla Marinucci / San Francisco Chronicle:
Democrats' star speaker Van Jones fires up crowd — and emerges party “leader of the future”?  —  San Diego - Van Jones, the former Obama Administration green czar who resigned in controversy, appears on the fast track to a political comeback — emerging as a star at this weekend's California …
Tyler Cowen / New York Times:
Break Up the Banks?  Here's an Alternative  —  BAILING out financial institutions deemed “too big to fail” has become wildly unpopular, as people across the political spectrum are now talking about splitting up America's large banks.  But such breakups are probably not the best way forward …
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 More Items: 
Amal Jayasinghe / Agence France Presse:
Trouble in paradise: Maldives and Islamic extremism
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
Josh Lederman / The Hill:
Lieberman: US should arm Syrian rebels
Discussion: CNN
Sarah Posner / Religion Dispatches:
Liberals Enabled Bishops in Contraception Battle - By SARAH POSNER
Discussion: Hullabaloo, The Hill and Eschaton
Kathy Finn / Reuters:
Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin under investigation: source
 Earlier Items: 
Katharine Q. Seelye / New York Times:
After Three Straight Losses, Romney Edges Past Paul in the Maine Caucuses
Anita Singh / Telegraph:
BBC ‘buried Savile sex abuse claims to save its reputation’
Discussion: Biased BBC
Mike Mish Shedlock / Mish's Global Economic …:
Petroleum 3-Month Rolling Average Turns Sharply Lower; Negative Shipping Rates; Collapse in Global Trade