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6:25 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.”
Rebecca Kaplan / CBS News:
Santorum attacks Obama on prenatal screening  —  COLUMBUS, Ohio - Campaigning in Ohio on Saturday, Rick Santorum displayed his culture-warrior side in full force, as he harshly attacked President Obama by suggesting the president wanted to see more disabled babies aborted and accusing …
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Paul Ryan: Obama contraception ruling reveals ‘paternalistic, arrogant’ attitude  —  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Sunday blasted the Obama administration's moves to mandate religious affiliated groups to provide contraception coverage as “paternalistic” and “arrogant.”
Discussion: Politico and The Gateway Pundit
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Santorum explains ‘phony theology’ comment, says 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
Senior Obama Advisor: Rick Santorum's ‘Phony Theology’ Comment ‘Well Over the Line’
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and US Politics
Adele Stan / Washington Monthly:
BREAKING: Where Abortion is Available, More Abortions Take Place Than Where It's Not  —  Ross Douthat, the New York Times' conservative columnist, this morning brings us this startling revelation: In states where there are few restrictions on abortion, more abortions take place.  Herewith:
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The ‘Safe, Legal, Rare’ Illusion
Discussion: Rod Dreher
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 …
Chris Wallace / Fox News:
Newt Gingrich on resurrecting his presidential campaign; Eric Cantor talks payroll tax holiday  —  Special Guests: Newt Gingrich, Rep. Eric Cantor … CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: Republican presidential candidates prepare for the most important stretch of the 2012 race.
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Gingrich: Romney will be ‘badly weakened’ if he loses Michigan
Discussion: Politico and CNN
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
Meghashyam Mali / Ballot Box:
Poll shows Obama trailing three GOP challengers in Iowa
Discussion: Scared Monkeys and HotAirPundit
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 …
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.
Kim Murphy / Los Angeles Times:
Texans rally against Keystone XL oil pipeline easement
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Kevin Sack / New York Times:
Lives Forever Linked Through Kidney Transplant Chain 124  —  RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Rick Ruzzamenti admits to being a tad impulsive.  He traded his Catholicism for Buddhism in a revelatory flash.  He married a Vietnamese woman he had only just met.  And then a year ago, he decided in an instant to donate his left kidney to a stranger.
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
Insurance industry could take hit from birth control mandate  —  The insurance industry is concerned it will take a hit from the Obama administration's mandate that they provide birth control in health plans for employees of religious organizations that object to the coverage.
Discussion: Hot Air
Steven Hayward / Power Line:
Obama's Gas Pains  —  Interesting and complementing lead stories in the Washington Post and New York Times this morning, and neither of them can be good for Obama.  The Post's lead story warns of “Taxmageddon” next year, when the payroll tax cut will expire, along with the Bush tax cuts …
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Payroll tax cut package pushes nation closer to hitting debt ceiling  —  The payroll tax package that Congress passed on Friday accelerated the timeline for another battle over the debt ceiling.  —  Last summer's bitter clash over the debt limit took the nation to the brink of default …
Michael D. Tanner / New York Post:
Misconception  —  With his mandate that all employers, including religiously affiliated institutions such as Catholic hospitals and charities, provide workers with health insurance that covers contraceptives, President Obama handed Republicans a terrific opportunity to talk about the growing intrusiveness of government.
Discussion: Don Surber
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Sunday Morning Layup Drill  —  ‘Hope and Change’ is sooo 2008 - 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 …
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 More Items: 
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Maryland House almost didn't pass gay marriage bill
Robin McKie / Guardian:
Attacks paid for by big business are ‘driving science into a dark era’
Discussion: The Agonist
Dave Levinthal / Politico:
Michele Bachmann: Republicans not anti-women
Discussion: CNN
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Cantor sees ‘window of opportunity’ to pass additional jobs growth measures
Discussion: Don Surber, Politico and The Hill
Paul Krugman:
Austerity and Growth
Discussion: Brad DeLong
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
Social Issues and the Santorum Surge
 Earlier Items: 
Kenneth Chang / New York Times:
For Space Mess, Scientists Seek Celestial Broom
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Pallab Ghosh / BBC:
Canadian government is ‘muzzling its scientists’
Discussion: Biased BBC and
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
Jodi Kantor / New York Times:
Washington Memo: Supreme Court Justices Remain Security Exceptions
Peter Allen / Telegraph:
Hitler had son with French teen
Discussion: Israel Matzav