Afternoon News Bytes: Feb. 9, 2012

By the Web Editors 2-09-2012

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Color The 1 Percent 99 Percent Conflicted
Soon after the Occupy Wall Street encampment was set up at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan last fall, 26-year-old Ryan Quick told his father, Leslie C. Quick III, a financier, that he might drop by the site.
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USA TODAY: Congress Looks To Ethics Bill To Boost Public Image
The House of Representatives is poised to pass an ethics bill today to toughen current laws prohibiting government officials from insider trading — an effort to address the historically low regard in which Congress is currently held.
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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Rick Santorum: The 'Church' Candidate
Santorum is the all-but-official GOP "church" candidate at a time when church-state issues are raging. While he has been largely relegated to the background since a surprisingly strong showing in Iowa, Santorum's three-state victory Tuesday night made it clear the Republican base hasn't forgotten that.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES: States Negotiate $26 Billion Deal For Homeowners
After months of painstaking talks, government authorities and five of the nation’s biggest banks have agreed to a $26 billion settlement that could provide relief to nearly two million current and former American homeowners harmed by the bursting of the housing bubble, state and federal officials said.
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THE HILL: Religious Right Bashes Green Evangelicals For Supporting EPA Rules
Religious-right leaders are slamming a green evangelical group for casting support for Environmental Protection Agency rules to cut power plant mercury emissions as a "pro-life" position.
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THE ATLANTIC: Obama, Explained
As Barack Obama contends for a second term in office, two conflicting narratives of his presidency have emerged. Is he a skillful political player and policy visionary—a chess master who always sees several moves ahead of his opponents (and of the punditocracy)? Or is he politically clumsy and out of his depth—a pawn overwhelmed by events, at the mercy of a second-rate staff and of the Republicans?
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TIME: Four Ways The U.S. Could End Up At War With Iran Before The Election
Most political analysts in Washington believe that war with Iran is unlikely, especially before the November U.S. elections. Politically it would be hard for President Obama to engage in another Middle Eastern war given the war weariness of the U.S. electorate, let alone the question of being able to afford it at a time when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from the Pentagon budget.
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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Employment Rate For Young Adults Lowest In 60 Years, Study Says
Are you young and looking for work? You're in good company. Just 54 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 currently have jobs, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.
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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline: The Facts Deserve Repeating (OPINION)
Joe Nocera's op-ed in the New York Times yesterday deserves a response and a reiteration of the facts surrounding the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. President Obama rejected the pipeline's permit last month when the GOP, in a political stunt, forced his hand to approve it without even the final route evident.
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THE WASHINGTON POST: Study: GOP Votes Drive Public Opinion On Climate Change
You might think opinions on climate change are driven by news stories, or extreme weather events, or, if you’re really optimistic, publicly available scientific research. But it turns out that politicians affect the way that Americans view the issue more than almost anything else, according to a new paper in the journal Climatic Change.
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"Afternoon News Bytes: Feb. 9, 2012"
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