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12:55 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: CNN and Outside the Beltway
Kim Murphy / Los Angeles Times:
Texans rally against Keystone XL oil pipeline easement  —  Eddy Radillo was among dozens of Texans who rallied outside the Lamar County Courthouse in Paris, Texas, against plans to condemn land for an easement for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.  (Sam Craft/The Paris News)
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Tim Eaton / Austin American-Statesman:
Protesters in Austin try to clog pipeline proposal, support North Texas landowner  —  Private property rights advocates rallied Friday in Austin in support of a Northeast Texas landowner who was in court in Paris to defend the taking of her land by pipeline company TransCanada Corp.
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 …
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
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
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Santorum says he accepts that President Obama is ‘a Christian’  —  Rick Santorum said Sunday that he “wasn't suggesting the president was not a Christian” when he said on the campaign trail that President Obama's agenda was based on “some phony theology.  Not a theology based on the Bible.
Discussion: Politico and Ballot Box
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Cantor sees ‘window of opportunity’ to pass additional jobs growth measures  —  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) previewed the upcoming Republican legislative agenda Sunday, saying the GOP would be pushing two measures it believes would spur small business growth.
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Voting Rights Act under siege  —  In a political system where even the most trivial issues trigger partisan rancor, the Voting Rights Act has stood for several decades as a rare point of bipartisan consensus.  —  Until now.  —  An intensifying conservative legal assault on the Voting Rights Act …
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 …
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
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.
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
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
Sean Rayment / Telegraph:
British Muslims recruited to fight for ‘al-Qaeda’ in Somalia
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
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?