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2:00 PM ET, February 17, 2012

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 Top Items: 
Foster Friess / Campfire Blog:
For those who misunderstood my joke today, here's my quest for forgiveness...  Last week my joke at the Conservative Political Action Conference generated laughter and media attention.  Today on Andrea Mitchell's show, my aspirin joke bombed as many didn't recognize it as a joke but thought …
RELATED:
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Foster Friess Doubles Down  —  So on his “Campfire Blog,” which is apparently how he communicates with the world when he's not on our television screens, Santorum Super-PAC heavy and all-purpose spokesman Foster Friess apologized to the poor dumb humorless people who didn't get his “joke” …
Discussion: msnbc.com, Mediaite and Balloon Juice
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
GOP candidate says she wants to kick Santorum ‘in the jimmy’  —  Republican congressional hopeful Martha McSally, who is running for the House seat recently vacated by Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), said Rick Santorum's remarks about women in combat made her want to “kick him in the jimmy.”
Discussion: Politico
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Santorum dodges Friess ‘bad joke’  —  POLITICO's Juana Summers reports on Rick Santorum's reaction to Foster Friess with reporters tonight: … Buzzfeed's Rosie Gray had a bit of this earlier.  —  UPDATE: Friess himself, in an interview with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell …
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Santorum accuses media of double standard on Obama and Jeremiah Wright
Discussion: Politico and GOP 12
Lucy Madison / CBS News:
Foster Friess: In my day, women “used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives”
Discussion: Mediaite, Hullabaloo and Daily Kos
Laura Strickler / CBS News:
Gingrich to get another $10 million from casino backer - sources  —  Sheldon Adelson, left, and Newt Gingrich, right  —  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's faltering campaign is about to get another shot in the arm, CBS News has learned.  —  Billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson plans …
Discussion: Hot Air and Political Insider
RELATED:
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:
Romney: Rombo ad is “most negative ad I've seen”
Discussion: National Review
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / Wall Street Journal:
A Syllabus for the ‘Occupy’ Movement  —  Conservatives are wrong to deride college courses on the anti-Wall Street protests.  Here's a lesson plan and possible reading list.  —  Schools from New York's Columbia to Chicago's Roosevelt University are offering courses on the “Occupy” movement.
RELATED:
Patrick J. Buchanan / The American Conservative:
Blacklisted, But Not Beaten  —  My days as a political analyst at MSNBC have come to an end.  —  After 10 enjoyable years, I am departing, after an incessant clamor from the left that to permit me continued access to the microphones of MSNBC would be an outrage against decency, and dangerous.
Rick Gladstone / New York Times:
At Work in Syria, Times Correspondent Dies  —  Anthony Shadid, a prize-winning newspaper correspondent whose graceful dispatches for both The New York Times and The Washington Post covered nearly two decades of Middle East conflict and turmoil, died, apparently of an asthma attack …
RELATED:
Steve Coll / News Desk:
Postscript: Anthony Shadid, 1968-2012
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Jeremy Lin Problem  —  Jeremy Lin is anomalous in all sorts of ways.  He's a Harvard grad in the N.B.A., an Asian-American man in professional sports.  But we shouldn't neglect the biggest anomaly.  He's a religious person in professional sports.  —  We've become accustomed …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Is birth control fight a Terri Schiavo moment?  —  The respected Dem firm Democracy Corps has just published an important polling memo that gets right to the heart of why the birth control battle could matter so much in this year's elections.  —  The firm's poll finds that one of the most …
John Aravosis / Gay Politics:
Dick Cheney is lobbying for gay marriage in Maryland?  —  Buried in Annie Linskey's Baltimore Sun story today about GOP Maryland Delegate Wade Kach coming out in support of marriage equality is this little tidbit: … Dick Cheney is personally lobbying on behalf of gay marriage?  Really?
RELATED:
Annie Linskey / Baltimore Sun:
Maryland lawmakers under national pressure on marriage bill
Roy Wenzl / Wichita Eagle:
Charles Koch, employees reveal e-mailed threats from past year  —  Charles Koch, his brother and employees have in recent months been getting death threats, hundreds of obscenity-laced hate messages, and harassment from some far left-wing groups, Koch said on Thursday.
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and ThinkProgress
Mike Levine / Fox News:
Exclusive: Feds arrest man allegedly heading to U.S. Capitol for suicide mission after sting investigation  —  Authorities have arrested a man allegedly on his way to the U.S. Capitol for what he thought would be a suicide attack on one of the nation's most symbolic landmarks, Fox News has learned exclusively.
Economist:
Over-regulated America  —  The home of laissez-faire is being suffocated by excessive and badly written regulation  —  AMERICANS love to laugh at ridiculous regulations.  A Florida law requires vending-machine labels to urge the public to file a report if the label is not there.
Wall Street Journal:
Google's iPhone Tracking  —  Web Giant, Others Bypassed Apple Browser Settings for Guarding Privacy  —  Google Inc. and other advertising companies have been bypassing the privacy settings of millions of people using Apple Inc.'s Web browser on their iPhones and computers …
Sasha Issenberg / Slate:
Obama's White Whale  —  How the campaign's top-secret project Narwhal could change this race, and many to come.  —  On Jan. 22, a young woman in a socially conservative corner of southwestern Ohio received a blast email from Stephanie Cutter, a deputy campaign manager for Barack Obama.
Discussion: americanthinker.com
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
Virginia's Proposed Ultrasound Law Is an Abomination  —  Under the new legislation, women who want an abortion will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason.  Where's the outrage?  —  This week, the Virginia state Legislature passed a bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before they may have an abortion.
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Fear and Feminism  —  Some criticism of Rick Santorum is downright irrational.  —  (Best of the tube tonight: Watch us on “Hannity,” Fox News Channel, 9 p.m. ET, with a repeat showing at midnight ET.  The “Great American Panel” starts around 40 minutes in.)
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Ethics panel members recused in Maxine Waters case  —  Six members of the House Ethics Committee - including all five Republicans on the secretive panel - have recused themselves from the long-running case involving Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (Calif.), an unprecedented move that raises …
Discussion: The Raw Story
ABCNEWS:
Bruce Springsteen Sitting Out 2012 but Backs Obama  —  Bruce Springsteen threw his support behind Barack Obama in the 2008 election, but when it comes to 2012, “The Boss” won't be hitting the campaign trail for the Boss of the United States.  —  Springsteen stumped for Obama in 2008 and John Kerry in 2004 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
New York Post:
Al Sharpton's SUV impounded at La Guardia Airport
Kyle Mantyla / Right Wing Watch:
Santorum: Satan is Systematically Destroying America
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Local News Investigates The ‘Hidden Crisis’: Kids Put Out ‘Like Trash’ Just For Being Gay
Jeffrey Sachs / The Huffington Post:
Entitlements Hysteria  —  Wall Street Journal , Federal Budget …
New York Times:
Religious Groups Equate Some Contraceptives With Abortion
Discussion: Hit & Run, Guardian and Daily Kos
Josh Lederman / Ballot Box:
Obama camp pulls in $29 million in January
The Gallup Organization / Gallup:
U.S. Unemployment Increases in Mid-February
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
Ben Geman / The Hill:
Business groups launch legal, Capitol Hill attacks on EPA mercury rule
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Philly.com
Lisa Brenner / scpr.org:
Newt Gingrich's bus breaks down in West Hollywood; locals show little sympathy
Discussion: Washington Post and Wonkette
Lydia Saad / Gallup:
Americans Give Record-High Ratings to Several U.S. Allies
CBS News:
Pot-laden plane blows into Obama's air space
Discussion: norad.mil, TalkLeft and The Raw Story