Afternoon News Bytes: Feb. 21, 2012

By the Web Editors 2-21-2012

TIME: The Problem With Rick Santorum’s Holy War
We have been here before. In 1908, the Unitarian William Howard Taft ran against the evangelical William Jennings Bryan. Bryan supporters attacked Taft’s faith; that year a Pentecostal newspaper wrote: “Think of the United States with a President who does not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, but looks upon our immaculate Savior as a … low, cunning imposter!”
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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Rick Santorum: 'If Government Is Going To Get Smaller, Then People Have To Get Bigger'
Rick Santorum is trying to bring back a version of George W. Bush's compassionate conservatism, with one major difference: very little talk of government programs.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES: G.O.P. Campaigns Grow More Dependent On ‘Super PAC’ Aid
Weeks of intense campaigning in the early nominating states have left the leading Republican presidential candidates increasingly dependent on millions of dollars spent on their behalf by outside “super PACs,” reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday showed.
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THE ATLANTIC: The Real Defense Budget
While everyone knows that the defense budget is large -- even in the numbers that the public sees as the formally admitted figures by the Department of Defense -- the truth is that when one scratches beneath the bureaucratic veneer, national security spending is much larger, nearly double the amount US citizens are told.
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BBC: EU To Vote On Oil Sands Pollution
European Union officials are expected to vote on draft legislation that would label Canadian fuel as more polluting than oil from other parts of the world. Oil extracted from "oil sands" is regarded by some as energy intensive and environmentally damaging.
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THE CHRISTIAN POST: Christians Should Not Be Political Pacifists, Says Megachurch Pastor
Christians and church leaders should not be passive when it comes to politics or social issues, said author and pastor Robert Jeffress during an interview on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk on Monday.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS/FOX NEWS: Latino Mormons Speaking Out Against Romney Over Immigration Issue
When Honduran-born Antonella Cecilia Packard converted to the Mormon Faith 20 years ago, she said it was like "coming home." The Catholic-educated Packard, who grew up in "the middle of Mayan ruins," appreciated the faith's strong sense of family and conservative values. She also saw her own history in the Book of Mormon with stories of migrations, tragedies and triumphs of a people many Mormons believe are the ancestors of some present-day Latinos.
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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Training Afghani Imams To End Violence Against Women (OPINION)
On Nov. 17, 1999, the world witnessed a horrific image: An Afghani woman named Zarmina was dragged through a soccer stadium and killed by the Taliban. As a Muslim woman, the outrage that I felt was indescribable.
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THINK PROGRESS: Franklin Graham: Obama May Secretly Be A Muslim, Santorum And Gingrich Are Definitely Christian
Rev. Franklin Graham — son of Billy Graham — would not say if President Obama is a Christian during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday, insisting that “I cannot answer that question for anybody.”
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