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12:10 PM ET, February 19, 2012


 Top Items: 
Santorum says Obama agenda not “based on Bible”  —  COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum challenged President Barack Obama's Christian beliefs on Saturday, saying White House policies were motivated by a “different theology.”
Des Moines Register:
Obama trails three of four Republican candidates in latest Iowa Poll  —  © Des Moines Register and Tribune Co.  —  President Barack Obama trails three of the four Republican candidates in head-to-head match-ups if the election were held today, according to a new Iowa Poll.
Meghashyam Mali / Ballot Box:
Poll shows Obama trailing three GOP challengers in Iowa  —  A new poll shows President Barack Obama trailing three of the four GOP presidential candidates in the key swing state of Iowa.  —  Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leads Obama by 46 percent support to 44 percent among likely Hawkeye state voters in the latest Iowa poll.
Discussion: Scared Monkeys and HotAirPundit
Meghashyam Mali / Ballot Box:
Ron Paul gains votes in delayed Maine caucus, but Romney keeps lead  —  GOP hopeful Mitt Romney held on to his lead in Maine's caucuses Saturday after votes postponed by bad weather were finally tallied.  —  Ron Paul gained 83 votes on Romney following the caucus in Washington county …
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Sunday Morning Layup Drill  —  ‘Hope and Change’ is sooo 208 - Team Obama is looking for a new slogan for 2012:  —  WASHINGTON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Winning The Future.  Greater Together.  We Don't Quit.  —  They may not be official but those are all phrases that could in one form or another …
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Gingrich: Romney will be ‘badly weakened’ if he loses Michigan  —  Newt Gingrich said Sunday that rival Mitt Romney's campaign would be “very badly weakened” by a loss in the Feb. 28 Michigan primary and dismissed the idea - floated by some conservatives concerned about the GOP field's performance …
Discussion: Politico, CNN and Hot Air
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The ‘Safe, Legal, Rare’ Illusion  —  AMID the sound and fury of the latest culture-war battles — first over breast cancer dollars and Planned Parenthood, and then over the White House's attempt to require that religious employers cover contraception and potential abortifacients …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Rod Dreher
Margalit Fox / New York Times:
John Fairfax, Who Rowed Across Oceans, Dies at 74  —  He crossed the Atlantic because it was there, and the Pacific because it was also there.  —  He made both crossings in a rowboat because it, too, was there, and because the lure of sea, spray and sinew, and the history-making chance …
David Catanese / Politico:
Babeu comes out, denies allegations  —  Arizona GOP congressional candidate Paul Babeu acknowledged Saturday he is gay but forcefully denied charges he threatened an ex-lover with deportation after their relationship soured.  —  “All of the allegations are false except one, I am gay,” Babeu said.
John Cole / Balloon Juice:
Today's Worst Person in the World  —  By informing consumers, he is of course referring to the Virginia bill requiring women to be vaginally probed against their will before electing to have an abortion.  —  Because, you know, most of those “consumers” were “uninformed” as to what was in there.
Peter Allen / Telegraph:
Hitler had son with French teen  —  Adolf Hitler had a son with a French teenager while serving as a soldier during the First World War, according to new evidence.  —  Jean-Marie Loret, who died in 1985 aged 67, never met his father, but went on to fight Nazi forces during the Second World War.
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Paul Krugman:
Austerity and Growth  —  Or, actually, shrinkage.  —  Watching Europe sink into recession - and Greece plunge into the abyss - I found myself wondering what it would take to convince the chattering classes that austerity in the face of an already depressed economy is a terrible idea.
Discussion: Brad DeLong
Joanne Kenen / Politico:
2012: The year of ‘birth control moms’?  —  First came the soccer moms.  —  Then the security moms.  —  Will 2012 be the year of the “birth control moms”?  —  Just a few weeks ago, the notion would have seemed far-fetched.  The country is deeply divided on abortion, but not on contraception …
Jodi Kantor / New York Times:
Washington Memo: Supreme Court Justices Remain Security Exceptions  —  When Justice Stephen G. Breyer was robbed in his Caribbean vacation home 10 days ago, the crime was unremarkable except for one fact: a machete-wielding intruder was able to walk right into the residence of one of the highest members of the United States government.
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 More Items: 
Mark Steyn /
Brokest Nation In History Fusses Instead About Sex
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
A Third Voice for 2012  —  EVENTUALLY the “circular firing squad” …
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Social Issues and the Santorum Surge
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
Justice Dept. Backs Equal Benefits for Gay Couples in Military
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Hot Air
Kenneth Chang / New York Times:
For Space Mess, Scientists Seek Celestial Broom
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Death Threats? Ho Hum!
Pallab Ghosh / BBC:
Canadian government is ‘muzzling its scientists’
Discussion: and Biased BBC
 Earlier Items: 
Sean Rayment / Telegraph:
British Muslims recruited to fight for ‘al-Qaeda’ in Somalia
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Weasel Zippers
Chris Hawley / Associated Press:
NYPD monitored Muslim students all over Northeast
New York Times:
Drones With an Eye on the Public Cleared to Fly
Tim Reid / Reuters:
Foreclosure abuse rampant across U.S., experts say
Terry Hillig / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Sex with the dead? Illinois bill would make it illegal
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
Rising Gas Prices Give G.O.P. Issue to Attack Obama
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
When Is A Tie Not A Tie?