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9:40 AM ET, February 13, 2012


 Top Items: 
Tucker Carlson / The Daily Caller:
Inside Media Matters: Sources, memos reveal erratic behavior, close coordination with White House and news organizations  —  This is the first in a Daily Caller investigative series on Media Matters For America.  Daily Caller reporters Alex Pappas and Will Rahn contributed to this report.
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
WH Chief of Staff Errs on Senate Budget Rules  —  As President Obama prepares to unveil his FY2013 budget Monday, White House chief of staff Jack Lew this morning was asked by CNN to defend the Senate's refusal to pass a budget in more than 1,000 days.  —  “You can't pass a budget in the Senate …
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 …
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
McConnell: Birth-control debate will continue until Obama ‘backs down’  —  The Republican battle against the President Obama's new birth-control mandate will continue until the policy is reversed, the top GOP senator warned Sunday.  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell …
Charles Johnson / Little Green Footballs:   Now the GOP Wants to Permit Any Employer to Deny Contraception Coverage
‘This Week’ Transcript: Jack Lew, Paul Ryan and Rick Santorum
Discussion: Althouse and Washington Post
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Severe Conservative Syndrome  —  Mitt Romney has a gift for words — self-destructive words.  On Friday he did it again, telling the Conservative Political Action Conference that he was a “severely conservative governor.”  —  As Molly Ball of The Atlantic pointed out, Mr. Romney “described conservatism as if it were a disease.”
Neil King Jr / Wall Street Journal:
GOP Momentum Is Michigan's Prize
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
Rep. Ron Paul not conceding Maine vote
New York Times:
Greek Parliament Passes Austerity Plan as Riots Rage  —  ATHENS — After violent protests left dozens of buildings aflame in Athens, the Greek Parliament voted early on Monday to approve a package of harsh austerity measures demanded by the country's foreign lenders in exchange for new loans to keep Greece from defaulting on its debt.
Greek lawmakers pass austerity bill as Athens burns  —  (Reuters) - Greece's parliament approved a deeply unpopular austerity bill Monday to secure a second EU/IMF bailout and avoid national bankruptcy, as buildings burned across central Athens and violence spread around the country.
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Cronyism 101  —  I wrote about my participation in the Koch brothers' semi-annual seminar in Palm Springs two weekends ago here.  Along with Peter Schweizer, I did a presentation on cronyism.  My speech focused on corporate cronyism, while Peter's centered on the sort of political cronyism …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Associated Press:
Israeli missions in India, Georgia targeted  —  Explosion heard near Israeli Embassy in New Delhi; diplomat's wife injured.  Explosives found near Israeli embassy building in Tbilisi neutralized safely.  Lieberman: Israel knows how to identity those responsible
Yaakov Katz / Jerusalem Post:
Attacks target Israeli embassies in Georgia, India  —  Israeli diplomat's wife injured in New Delhi; Georgian police neutralize car bomb after 4-year anniversary of Mughniyeh.  —  By REUTERS/Parivartan Sharma  —  A day after the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah's military commander …
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
Contraception and the cost of culture wars  —  Politicized culture wars are debilitating because they almost always require partisans to denigrate the moral legitimacy of their opponents, and sometimes to deny their very humanity.  It's often not enough to defeat a foe.
Discussion: TalkLeft and Eschaton
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
Gingrich Money Hunt Faces Obstacles  —  Newt Gingrich recently joined Gov. Rick Perry of Texas on a conference call with more than 50 “bundlers” who had powered Mr. Perry's formidable campaign-cash machine.  —  Mr. Perry asked his top financial rainmakers to raise money for Mr. Gingrich …
Charles Johnson / Little Green Footballs:
Fox News Commenters Respond to Whitney Houston's Death With Deluge of Hatred and Racism  —  I don't even know what to say about this any more.  There's a real sickness running rampant in the right wing; the Fox News comment thread on Whitney Houston's death is yet another disgusting deluge …
Fox News:
Singer Whitney Houston dies at 48
Discussion: The Other McCain
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 More Items: 
Trevor Kavanagh / The Sun:
The Sun's Trevor Kavanagh: Witch-hunt puts us behind ex-Soviet states on Press freedom
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
A Newspaper, and a Legacy, Reordered
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Ethics issues tarnish congressional image
Discussion: The Page
ZIP / Weasel Zippers:
Occupy Oakland Burns The American Flag For The Third Week In A Row...
 Earlier Items: 
Tyler Cowen / New York Times:
Break Up the Banks? Here's an Alternative
Alex Seitz-Wald / ThinkProgress:
EXCLUSIVE: Conservative Board Unanimously Condemned Gaffney's ‘Reprehensible’ And ‘Unfounded’ Attacks