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9:45 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 …
Roger Simon / Politico:
Will GOP perp walk lead to White House?  —  I am sick to death of the media's scare tactics.  —  Which is why I nearly jumped out of my skin when CNN's John King said during Wednesday night's Republican debate, “One of these men could be president 11 months from now.”  —  It was enough to give one chills.
Washington Examiner:
In Arizona, GOP debates end on low point  —  MESA, Ariz. — Rick Santorum suspects something is up between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.  Santorum had a tough night at the 20th, and likely last, Republican debate, held here at the Mesa Arts Center.  He took a lot of attacks from Romney and a few from Paul …
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.
Chuck Stokes / WXYZ-TV:
EXCLUSIVE POLL: Santorum leads Romney in close Michigan Republican Presidential Primary race
Discussion: Washington Post
T.W. Farnam / Washington Post:
The Influence Industry: Romney's record with small donors shows enthusiasm gap
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Romney and Paul successfully call Santorum's conservatism into question
Polls indicate Romney on the rise in Arizona
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.
Politico:   GOP fears rise over 2012 tone, message
Susan Page / USA Today:
Poll: Optimism on the economy doesn't lift views of politics
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?
Los Angeles Times:
‘Super PAC’ leaders profit from lack of oversight  —  Leaders of some of the new groups are taking advantage of the mammoth donations and the lack of oversight to write themselves big paychecks or hire their own companies.  —  Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his family have given millions …
Discussion: Politico and ThinkProgress
Luke Rosiak / Washington Times:   Gingrich campaign warned 2nd time for financial dealings
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
President Obama as an alien  —  They say that President Obama is a Muslim, but if he isn't, he's a secularist who is waging war on religion.  On some days he's a Nazi, but on most others he's merely a socialist.  His especially creative opponents see him as having a “Kenyan anti-colonial worldview …
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
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Chris Christie: Obama Is Showing ‘Cowardice’ For Trying To Have It ‘Both Ways’ On Marriage Equality  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) accused President Obama of “cowardice” and trying to have it “both ways” on marriage equality during a contentious appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Thursday.
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.
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 …
James Barron / New York Times:
Recalling Her Determined Daughter, a Journalist Killed in Syria  —  Marie Colvin got into Yale University the way she would later get into foreign countries, with grit and determination.  —  After spending a year in Brazil on a student exchange program, from January of her junior year …
Martin Chulov / Guardian:
Journalist Marie Colvin killed in Syria
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
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 …
The New Republic:
A Time to Act  —  The United States needs to help the Syrian people.  —  Thousands of people have already died in Syria, and it appears likely that thousands more will die in the weeks and months to come.  Bashar Al Assad's forces show no sign of relenting, and the international community shows …
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
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: Daniel W. Drezner and Hullabaloo
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 More Items: 
Mike Riggs / Hit & Run:
Obama Spox Praises Journalism Abroad, Denies That Obama Is Stifling It Here at Home
Discussion: emptywheel and ABCNEWS
GM's Profits Don't Mean Taxpayers Will Be Off the Hook
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Did Mitt Romney Just Join Occupy Wall Street?
Leigh Ann Caldwell / CBS News:
Santorum opposes civil unions for same-sex couples
The White House:
Statement by the President
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Emily Valdez /
Cleveland Hts. Woman Hatched Murder Plot for Those Wearing Fur
Ginger Gibson / Politico:
Newt Gingrich back on his game
Discussion: The Page
 Earlier Items: 
Dave Boyer / Washington Times:
Sale of Philadelphia newspapers raises bias concerns
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and
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
Linda Greenhouse / Opinionator:
Do-Over Season
Jeff Bercovici / Mixed Media:
Gannett Building Paywalls Around All Its Papers Except USA Today
Mitt Romney for President of the United States …: