Afternoon News Bytes: Jan. 31, 2012

By the Web Editors 1-31-2012

THE HUFFINGTON POST/RNS: The End Of 'Compassionate Conservatism'?
The Republican presidential candidates competing for the affections of Florida voters have plenty of labels with which to tar each other: Influence peddler. Failed politician. Cayman Islands account holder. Aspiring polygamist. But perhaps the worst smear they could lob at an opponent would be to call him a "compassionate conservative."
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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Tunisia Faces A Balancing Act Of Democracy And Religion
The insults were furious. “Infidel!” and “Apostate!” the religious protesters shouted at the two men who had come to the courthouse to show their support for a television director on trial on charges of blasphemy. Fists, then a head butt followed.
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THE WASHINGTON POST: Occupy D.C. Protest Stays Peaceful As No-Camping Deadline Passes
Occupy D.C. protesters unfurled a huge blue tarp in McPherson Square on Monday, hoping to provoke mass arrests as a National Park Service deadline to halt camping there came and went. But the police sidestepped confrontation and chose a wait-and-see approach, citing “incremental” progress as demonstrators began hauling bedding and other belongings out of the square.
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BBC: The Republicans' Hispanic Problem
The Republicans have a Hispanic problem. They know they need Latino votes. And they know that on many calculations - social and economic - they should get them. But Latinos, the fastest growing part of the US population, are not coming to the Republicans.
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CNN: What Does The Future Hold For Iran?
In the face of economic sanctions and international condemnation, Iran remains defiant over its nuclear energy program. It has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a major passageway for much of the world's oil, in retaliation for any embargo.
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THE NEW YORK TIMES: The End Of Health Insurance Companies (OPINION)
Here’s a bold prediction for the new year. By 2020, the American health insurance industry will be extinct. Insurance companies will be replaced by accountable care organizations — groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers who come together to provide the full range of medical care for patients.
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THE GUARDIAN (UK): Syria Unrest: Clinton And Hague Back Arab League Plan At UN
Hillary Clinton, William Hague and Alain Juppé are due at the UN Security Council in New York on Tuesday to support an Arab League plan to end the violence in Syria and to try to overcome Russian-led opposition to a UN-backed demand for political change in Damascus.
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THE HUFFINGTON POST: Inequality, The Middle Class, And Growth
The trickle-down, deregulatory agenda -- what I have called YOYO, or "you're on your own" economics -- presumes that the growth chain starts at the top of the wealth scale and "trickles down" to those at the middle and the bottom of that scale. Problem is, that hasn't worked.
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THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Number Of Asset-Poor Americans Rising
27 percent of households do not have enough money tucked away to cover three months of basic expenses.
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