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4:45 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” …
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
GOP candidate says she wants to kick Santorum ‘in the jimmy’
Discussion: Politico and The Raw Story
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Santorum dodges Friess ‘bad joke’
Robert Costa / National Review:
Santorum: Friess Controversy ‘Crap,’ Focuses on Issues
Discussion: Wonkette and Swampland
Lucy Madison / CBS News:
Foster Friess: In my day, women “used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives”
Discussion: Mediaite, Hullabaloo and Daily Kos
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.
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Federal agents arrest man who allegedly planned suicide bombing on U.S. Capitol  —  The FBI and the U.S. Capitol Police arrested a man Friday after a lengthy investigation into an alleged plot to carry out a suicide attack on the Capitol.  —  In a cryptic news release …
Mj Lee / Politico:   Reports: Man planned Capitol attack
ABCNEWS:
Top GOP Senator Says ‘If Romney Loses Michigan, We Need a New Candidate’  —  A prominent Republican senator just told me that if Romney can't win in Michigan, the Republican Party needs to go back to the drawing board and convince somebody new to get into the race.
Tim Mak / Politico:
Maine GOP: Results went to spam  —  Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster has admitted that the state party made numerous clerical errors in counting the state's caucus results — even omitting some votes because emails reporting tallies “went to spam” in an email account.
RELATED:
ABCNEWS:
Mike DeWine Switches Endorsement From Mitt Romney To Rick Santorum
Christian Heinze / GOP 12:
Romney: Rombo ad is “most negative ad I've seen”
Discussion: National Review
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 …
RELATED:
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 …
New York Times:
Time Warner Cable and MSG Resolve Dispute  —  The 48-day standoff between the MSG Network and Time Warner Cable ended Friday, according to two people aware of the resolution who were not authorized to speak publicly.  —  The end of the impasse will be announced Friday afternoon by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and executives of both companies.
J.D. Kleinke / Wall Street Journal:
The Myth of Runaway Health Spending  —  The growth rate of national health expenditures has been declining for a decade, driven by better medical care and consumer choice.  —  New data show that health spending over the past several years has been normalizing toward the rate of general inflation …
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
RELATED:
Jeffrey Sachs / The Huffington Post:
Entitlements Hysteria  —  Wall Street Journal , Federal Budget …
Discussion: Economist's View
Annie Linskey / Baltimore Sun:
Maryland lawmakers under national pressure on marriage bill  —  New York's mayor, cardinal-elect make phone calls  —  As a handful of undecided Maryland delegates wrestle over their position on same-sex marriage, they've received calls from national leaders trying to move them one way or another on the bill.
RELATED:
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.
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.
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 …
New York Post:
Al Sharpton's SUV impounded at La Guardia Airport  —  Can I get a witness?  —  The Rev. Al Sharpton tried to move heaven and earth yesterday to keep his SUV from being towed at La Guardia Airport — but no amount of preaching could stop Port Authority cops from impounding the vehicle.
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.
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
The Gallup Organization / Gallup:
U.S. Unemployment Increases in Mid-February  —  Underemployment also up, to 19.0%  —  PRINCETON, NJ — The U.S. unemployment rate, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is 9.0% in mid-February, up from 8.6% for January.  The mid-month reading normally reflects …
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
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Walter Shapiro / Yahoo! News:
Rick Santorum's mysterious, paradoxical manifesto, ‘It Takes a Family’: Character Sketch
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Philip Klein / Campaign 2012:
WH website still touting pledge to halve deficit
Henry I. Miller / Hoover Institution:
The Father of the Green Revolution
Discussion: Hit & Run
John Avlon / The Daily Beast:
The GOP's Chaotic Primary Calendar Makes Early Nomination Clinch Tough
Paul Bedard / Campaign 2012:
Record 19 reporters, media execs join Team Obama
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Troy, Michigan's Anti-Gay Mayor Laughs It Up With Santorum
Discussion: Advocate
Neil Steinberg / Chicago Sun Times:
Everything old is new again, alas
ABCNEWS:
Bruce Springsteen Sitting Out 2012 but Backs Obama
 Earlier Items: 
Kyle Mantyla / Right Wing Watch:
Santorum: Satan is Systematically Destroying America
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Local News Investigates The ‘Hidden Crisis’: Kids Put Out ‘Like Trash’ Just For Being Gay
New York Times:
Religious Groups Equate Some Contraceptives With Abortion
Discussion: Hit & Run and Guardian
Sasha Issenberg / Slate:
Obama's White Whale
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Is birth control fight a Terri Schiavo moment?
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
Virginia's Proposed Ultrasound Law Is an Abomination