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2:35 PM ET, February 18, 2012


 Top Items: 
Monica Alonzo / Phoenix New Times:
Paul Babeu's Mexican Ex-Lover Says Sheriff's Attorney Threatened Him With Deportation  —  Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu — who became the face of Arizona border security nationally after he started stridently opposing illegal immigration — threatened his Mexican ex-lover with deportation …
Zack Ford / ThinkProgress:
Catching Up On The Current State Marriage Equality Efforts  —  This three-day weekend seems like an apropos time to reflect on all the many recent advances in legal recognition for same-sex couples.  Here is a break-down of where things stand in each of the states we've been following this year:
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Same-sex marriage bill passes Maryland House of Delegates
Kate Zernike / New York Times:
Christie Vetoes Gay Marriage Bill
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Two justices suggest Citizens United ruling should be reconsidered in Montana case  —  Two Supreme Court justices suggested Friday that the court reconsider its controversial 2010 decision that allowed unlimited corporate and union spending in elections.  —  The suggestion came as the court blocked …
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Montana campaign ruling on hold  —  With two Justices suggesting that the Supreme Court should now reconsider its controversial campaign finance ruling of two years ago, the Court on Friday put on hold a Montana Supreme Court decision which had upheld a law against heavy spending by corporations on politics.
Supreme Court blocks Montana ruling against outside group spending
Mark Steyn / Investor's Business Daily:
Brokest Nation In History Fusses Instead About Sex  —  Have you seen the official White House version of what the New York Times headline writers call “A Responsible Budget”?  My favorite bit is Chart 5-1 on Page 58 of their 500-page appendix on “Analytical Perspectives.”
Keith Koffler / White House Dossier:
Michelle Obama Decides to Ski Aspen  —  Michelle Obama has embarked on a skiing vacation with her daughters in Aspen, Colorado, according to the Aspen Daily News.  —  The first lady, who just returned last month from 17 days of relaxation in Hawaii, is skiing in Colorado on Presidents' Day Weekend for the second year in a row.
Carolyn Sackariason / Aspen Daily News:
Michelle Obama in Aspen for ski vacation  —  First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in Aspen on Friday afternoon and is here with her daughters for a ski vacation.  —  Few details about her trip were available.  Sources said she is staying at the home of Jim and Paula Crown …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Alexander Burnsand Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Rick Santorum: Will women vote for him?  —  Democrats have an unexpected new foil in their effort to label the GOP as hostile to women: Rick Santorum.  —  After hammering away for a year at the message that Republicans are indifferent to women's health and economic well-being …
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Mitt runs below-radar contrast ad in Mich.
Discussion: Wake up America, Politics and ABCNEWS
New York Times:
For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage  —  LORAIN, Ohio — It used to be called illegitimacy.  Now it is the new normal.  After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.
Dana Goldstein / Slate:
Liberals, Don't Homeschool Your Kids  —  Why teaching children at home violates progressive values.  —  As a child growing up in Arizona and Georgia college towns during the 1980s and 1990s, the filmmaker Astra Taylor was “unschooled” by her lefty, countercultural parents.
Neil Munro / The Daily Caller:
White House economic report hides sharp drop in number of working Americans  —  White House officials are trying to downplay the growing political damage caused by a shrinking federal statistic: the percentage of working-age Americans who actually have jobs.
Chris McGreal / Guardian:
US officials believe Iran sanctions will fail, making military action likely  —  Officials in key parts of the Obama administration are increasingly convinced that sanctions will not deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear programme, and believe that the US will be left with no option but to launch …
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 More Items: 
Tea Party and OWS Protest Side-By-Side Against Obama in San Francisco
Discussion: Biased BBC and The Gateway Pundit
Alan Krueger / White Blog:
A Preview of the 2012 Economic Report of the President
Discussion: The Enterprise Blog
Sharon Otterman / New York Times:
Dolan Among 22 New Cardinals, Many of Them Vatican Insiders
Discussion: Joe. My. God.
Michael McAuliff / The Huffington Post:
Payroll Tax Cut: Tom Harkin Slams President, Democrats For Risking Social Security (VIDEO)
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Crooks and Liars
Shiv Malik / Guardian:
Tesco asks government to change flagship jobless scheme
 Earlier Items: 
Bioconservatives vs. Bioprogressives