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So much for Newt’s Southern strategy

Newt Gingrich saw his presidential hopes all but dashed Tuesday in the Deep South, where he was rejected by voters in the very region that launched his storied political career more than three decades ago. The former House speaker placed second behind rival Rick Santorum in primaries in Mississippi and Alabama after banking his candidacy an all-Southern strategy that never fully bore fruit. Santorum’s victories in states home to the Republican Party’s most conservative voters all but ensures a head-to-head contest between front-runner Mitt Romney and the former Pennsylvania senator in upcoming contests. Addressing supporters in a hotel ballroom in
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A three-way split for delegates from Tuesday’s primaries

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum picked up at least 29 delegates Tuesday after winning the Alabama and Mississippi Republican presidential primaries. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich added at least 24 delegates and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney got at least 22. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was being shut out. A total of 107 delegates were at stake Tuesday in Mississippi, Alabama, Hawaii and American Samoa, and 32 were still left to be allocated. The breakdown: ___ Mississippi Delegates at stake: 37 Romney: 12 Santorum: 13 Gingrich:12 Paul: 0 ___ Alabama Delegates at stake: 47 Romney: 10 Santorum: 16 Gingrich: 12
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Obama’s approval rating back in the dumpster

President Barack Obama, battered by rising gas prices, a lagging economy that resists recovery and foreign policy missteps in Afghanistan, fell dramatically in public approval in a poll released Monday. The ABC News and Washington Post poll shows Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney would beat Obama if the Presidential election were held today. “Gas prices, more than anything else, hurt Obama but he has problems elsewhere,” Democratic strategist Allan Moran told Capitol Hill Blue Monday. “His bad news is good news for Republicans.” The ABC News/Washington Post polls show just 46 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, his lowest
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Romney, Gingrich, Santorum in a battle for the South

Mitt Romney is working to seal his status as the Republican presidential front-runner with a thus-far-elusive victory in the Deep South. Closely fought primaries in Alabama and Mississippi offer the former Massachusetts governor a key opportunity in a region that has been slow to embrace him. Tuesday’s primaries are also poised to render a possible final verdict on Newt Gingrich‘s Southern-focused candidacy. With polls showing an unexpectedly tight race in the conservative bellwether states, Romney made a campaign appearance Monday in Alabama — a clear indication he was eyeing a potential win there. Romney campaigned with Southern comedian Jeff Foxworthy
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Santorum wins Kansas but Romney scores more delegates elsewhere

Rick Santorum captured the Kansas GOP presidential caucuses with ease Saturday, scoring 51 percent of the vote. The rest of the four-man field didn’t even come close:  Mitt Romney second with 21 percent, Newt Gingrich third at 14 percent and Ron Paul bringing up the rear with 12.5 percent. Romney and Gingrich all but wrote off Kansas.  Gingrich campaigned in Mississippi and Alabama, hoping to regenerate a flagging campaign with wins in the upcoming primaries on Tuesday.  Paul’s supporters hoped for a better showing since caucuses used to be fertile ground for the maverick Texas Congressman. With a day to
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Obamacare: The long plodding road to ‘reform’

It took only a year to set up Medicare. But if President Barack Obama’s health care law survives Supreme Court scrutiny, it will be nearly a decade before all its major pieces are in place. And that means even if Obama is re-elected, he won’t be in office to oversee completion of his signature domestic policy accomplishment, assuming Republicans don’t succeed in repealing it. The law’s carefully orchestrated phase-in is evidence of what’s at stake in the Supreme Court deliberations that start March 26. The Affordable Care Act gradually reorganizes one-sixth of the U.S. economy to cover most of the
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Murder of Afghan civilians: The latest U.S. screwup in Afghanistan

The decade-long war in Afghanistan has spiraled into a series of U.S. missteps and violent outbreaks that have left few ardent political supporters. After NATO detained a U.S. soldier Sunday for allegedly killing sleeping Afghan villagers, Republicans and Democrats alike pointed to the stress on troops after years of fighting and reiterated calls to leave by the end of 2014 as promised, if not sooner. Afghanistan, once the must-fight war for America, is becoming a public relations headache for the nation’s leaders, especially for President Barack Obama. And there’s recognition of that problem on both sides. “It’s just not a
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Romney’s Southern act: That dog won’t hunt

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — a child of privilege raised in the shielded confines of wealth far from the poverty and working class lifestyles of many Southerners — now feels that saying y’all” and chowing down on grits will somehow make him palatable south of the Mason-Dixon line. There’s an old Southern saying: “That dog won’t hunt” and all Romney is doing with his pathetic attempts at a Southern drawl is proving that his nose for politics is as bad as the nose of a hound that can’t hunt. Reuters reports: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is laying it
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Hate groups, driven by extremist politics, on the rise in America

Racism driven by hatred towards America’s current African-American president, ignorance fueled by bogus conspiracy theories and anger over economic hard times has spurred an alarming growth in the number of hate and anti-government groups, a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center reveals. Spawned largely through the growth of the so-called “Patriot” movement, the rise in hate groups see the government as an enemy and talk of the need for a “race war” to correct what they see as a threat to perceived white supremacy in America. “Hate is driven by these groups as a political tool and a
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Banks drop the foreclosure hammer on churches

Banks are foreclosing on America’s churches in record numbers as lenders increasingly lose patience with religious facilities that have defaulted on their mortgages, according to new data. The surge in church foreclosures represents a new wave of distressed property seizures triggered by the 2008 financial crash, analysts say, with many banks no longer willing to grant struggling religious organizations forbearance. Since 2010, 270 churches have been sold after defaulting on their loans, with 90 percent of those sales coming after a lender-triggered foreclosure, according to the real estate information company CoStar Group. In 2011, 138 churches were sold by banks,
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