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8:10 AM ET, February 23, 2012


 Top Items: 
Josh Lederman / The Hill:
Romney, Santorum rip into one another at pivotal GOP debate  —  MESA, Ariz. — Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum ripped into one another at Wednesday night's GOP presidential debate in their last joint appearance before a chain of make-or-break contests.  —  Romney was helped out in his attacks …
Sara Murray / Washington Wire:
Recap: The CNN Republican Presidential Debate in Arizona  —  In what could be the final Republican debate, Mitt Romney delivered a sharp performance that could help his odds as he faces closer-than-anticipated contests in Arizona and Michigan on Tuesday. … For Rick Santorum, the debate could hurt his front-runner status.
Byron York / Campaign 2012:
Team Santorum: U.S. is with Rick on devil belief  —  MESA, Ariz. — Some of Rick Santorum's advisers are frustrated and angry that reporters are focusing more on their candidate's statements about Satan than on his positions on the issues.  Here in Arizona Tuesday, Santorum faced repeated questioning …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Obama ties Romney with Arizona  —  Arizona is a great microcosm of how Barack Obama's reelection prospects have improved over the last 3 months.  When we polled there in November his approval numbers were atrocious and his prospects for winning the state in the general election didn't look very good.
Chuck Stokes / WXYZ-TV:
EXCLUSIVE POLL: Santorum leads Romney in close Michigan Republican Presidential Primary race  —  (WXYZ) - The red hot Republican presidential race in Michigan is now a virtual dead heat between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney.  —  In an exclusive WXYZ/Detroit Free Press poll conducted by EPIC MRA …
Discussion: Washington Post
New York Times:
Romney, Seeking Traction, Duels With Santorum  —  MESA, Ariz. — Mitt Romney challenged Rick Santorum's credentials as a fiscal conservative in a fiercely combative debate on Wednesday, trying to redefine Mr. Santorum as part of the problem in Washington and regain his footing in the fight for the Republican presidential nomination.
Roger Simon / Politico:
Will GOP perp walk lead to White House?
Discussion: Connecting.the.Dots and CNN
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
Newt Gingrich is winner for 1 night
Discussion: The Page
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Live-Blogging The Mesa Debate
Discussion: Political Mojo and Balloon Juice
CBS News:
Santorum “homophobic,” former senator says
Tina Korbe / Hot Air:
What I'd love to see at tonight's debate: Ashes
Discussion: Slate and
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
BREAKING: Bush Appointee Finds DOMA Unconstitutional  —  Moments ago, Judge Jeffery White of the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Constitution's equal protection clause in a case brought by Karen Golinski.
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Another court finds Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Irin Carmon / Salon:
A pro-choice win in Virginia, assisted by “Saturday Night Live”  —  The Virginia governor backs off a forced-ultrasound bill in the face of pro-choice — and pop culture — outrage  —  Something incredible just happened.  Faced with a growing national outcry against a bill forcing an ultrasound …
Discussion: Truthdig
Donovan Slack / Politico:
No shovel for Obama  —  It was a rather odd sight: as an array of museum officials, including former first lady Laura Bush, took up shovels at the groundbreaking for the first national museum dedicated exclusively to African-American history and culture, the nation's first black president sat watching, no shovel in hand.
Haley Barbour Tells ABC News, 'Somebody Else Might Get In"  —  Could the battle for the Republican nomination go all the way to the Republican convention in August?  Could we see an entirely new candidate getting into the race?  —  One long-time Republican leader tells ABC News the answer to both questions is yes.
Nikki Finke /
SACHA BARON COHEN BANNED FROM OSCARS: EXCLUSIVE  —  BREAKING... EXCLUSIVE: The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has pulled actor Sacha Baron Cohen's tickets from the 84th Academy Awards.  This means he is banned from attending the Oscars even though he is an Academy member …
Evaluation shows “Faked” Heartland Climate Strategy Memo is Authentic  —  A line-by-line evaluation of the Climate Strategy memo, which the Heartland Institute has repeatedly denounced as a “fake” shows no “obvious and gross misstatements of fact,” as Heartland has alleged.
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Newt: Media never asked Obama about ‘infanticide’ - except it did (UPDATE: Or did it?)  —  Surprise!  Newt Gingrich is attacking the press.  —  Coming out of the debate's first break, CNN moderator John King read off a question: What are the candidates' views on contraception?
Linda Greenhouse / Opinionator:
Do-Over Season  —  Is there really a chance that the Supreme Court might reconsider Citizens United?  —  A week ago, I wouldn't have thought so, and I still think it's an extreme long shot.  But a provocative statement last Friday by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer makes …
Matt Bai / New York Times:
Scott Ritter's Other War  —  On a February afternoon in 2009, Ryan Venneman, one of only five full-time police officers in tiny Barrett Township, Pa., decided to spend some time hunting for sexual predators online.  Venneman entered a Yahoo chat room, where the minimum legal age is supposed be 18 …
Discussion: Hullabaloo
NOH8 Campaign:
CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT: #NOH8OnTheHill  —  Last week, we announced NOH8 Co-Founders Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley would be hosting a special photo shoot in Washington, D.C. for any and all Members of Congress in the US Senate and House of Representatives who were willing to show their support …
Discussion: ABCNEWS and Advocate
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez Loses Her Hair Stylist Over Gay Marriage Opposition  —  An openly-gay hair stylist in New Mexico is protesting Gov. Susana Martinez's (R) opposition to same-sex marriage by refusing to style her hair unless she changes her position on the issue.
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Dave Boyer / Washington Times:
Sale of Philadelphia newspapers raises bias concerns  —  One group led by ex-governor Rendell  —  Philadelphia's two daily newspapers have long been accused of liberal bias, but critics say a group of potential buyers led by former Gov. Ed Rendell would turn the papers into mere mouthpieces …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and
The White House:
Statement by the President  —  In my State of the Union, I laid out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last — where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone pays their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.  That includes a tax code that rewards companies who invest and create jobs in the United States of America.
Susan Page / USA Today:
Poll: Optimism on the economy doesn't lift views of politics  —  WASHINGTON - Americans are feeling better about the nation's economy but not about its politics, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds.  —  Despite building optimism that the United States is pulling out of its long downturn …
Washington Post:
Climate scientist admits duping skeptic group to obtain documents  —  Heartland Institute president Joseph L. Bast, who described one of the documents the DeSmog Blog had posted as a “forged memo,” issued a statement Monday saying his group is considering legal action.  —  “Gleick's crime was a serious one,” Bast wrote.
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Shelby Grad / L.A. NOW:
LAPD chief backs driver's licenses for illegal immigrants  —  Wading into a politically charged debate, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said California should issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.  —  The chief becomes one of the most prominent local figures to support the idea …
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 More Items: 
Emily Valdez /
Cleveland Hts. Woman Hatched Murder Plot for Those Wearing Fur
Matt Bradley / Wall Street Journal:
U.S., Egypt Look to Settle Nerves Over Aid, Trial
Leftist caller wishes rape on radio host Dana Loesch
Discussion: protein wisdom
Skschust / CBS New York:
Christie: Billionaire Warren Buffett Should Just ‘Cut A Check And Shut Up’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Campaign 2012
Jack Shafer:
What made Deep Throat leak?
Jeff Bercovici / Mixed Media:
Gannett Building Paywalls Around All Its Papers Except USA Today
 Earlier Items: 
Elizabeth Harrington / CNSNews:
Democrat Proposes Naming GOP Pro-Life Bill 'The Ronald Reagan Impose Your Beliefs on a Woman's Womb Act'
Mitt Romney for President of the United States …:
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Washington State Poll
William Saletan / Slate:
The Conversion  —  How, when, and why Mitt Romney changed his mind on abortion.
Joshua Green / Business Week:
Dow 13,000? Thank Democrats