Today's Takeaway: Potential Pitfalls for GOP Candidates

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Republican Presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at a Rotary Club breakfast in Manchester New Hampshire on January 05, 2012 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Santorum continued his Rick Santorum speaks at a Rotary Club breakfast in Manchester New Hampshire. (Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty)

End of US Dual Ocean Navy Defense; Movies to Watch in 2012; Supreme Court May Hear Case Challenging Ban on Foreign Political Contributions; Friday Follow: With Romney in Lead, LDS Leaders Launch Mormon Marketing Campaign; Why Do Young People Find Ron Paul so Appealing?; Is Pregnancy a Disability?; Aatish Taseer's New Novel, 'Noon'

Top of the Hour: Santorum Dismisses Iowa Vote Count Error, Morning Headlines

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who was narrowly squeezed out of a victory in the Iowa caucuses by Mitt Romney, dismissed reports that the vote count was flawed. Santorum said Thursday that any errors reported in the count would not change that he and Romney were nearly tied.

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The End of US Dual Ocean Navy Defense?

Congress and Franklin Roosevelt's administration passed the Two-Ocean Navy Act in 1940, during World War II. Since then, the nation’s domestic military defense has been based on a simultaneous naval defense on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. But with the announcement Thursday of an eight percent decrease in U.S. military spending, there was also the tacit understanding that naval fleets will be redirected to the Pacific Ocean to act as a buffer between China and the United States West Coast.

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Movies to Watch in 2012: 'Dark Knight,' 'Hunger Games'

In 2011 two franchises based on novels for teens — "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two" and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One" — overtook stoner comedies, CGI kiddie movies, and comic book adaptations at the box office. In 2012, the bigscreen adaptation of "The Hunger Games" will wage a similar battle against "The Dark Knight Rises." But this year won't be all explosions: a new take on "The Great Gatsby" starring Leonardo DiCaprio and a biography of Lincoln starring Daniel-Day Lewis will also hit theaters.

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Supreme Court May Hear Challenge to Ban on Foreign Political Contributions

On Friday, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not to hear Bluman v. the Federal Election Commission. This case specifically challenges the Federal Election Campaign Act, which "prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly." The law is broad enough to disallow those lawfully living in the U.S. from distributing re-election materials. Using a First Amendment challenge, the case raises questions about the rights and opinions of non-citizens who lawfully reside here.

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Friday Follow: GOP Presidential Hopefuls, Obama's Recess Appointments

Every Friday, The Takeaway convenes a panel to look back at the week's big stories. Among the headlines, after Mitt Romney squeezed out Rick Santorum by just eight votes in the Iowa caucuses, his hometown newspaper, The Boston Globe, endorsed rival Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann dropped out of the race after placing last in Tuesday's caucuses. President Obama and Congressional Republicans are doing battle again, this time over his recess appointment of Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Top of the Hour: Roadside Bombs Kill 2 in Baghdad, Morning Headlines

Two shiite pilgrims died in a series of seemingly coordinated attacks in Baghdad Friday morning. At least three roadside bombs exploded in different parts of the Iraqi capital, a day after 72 people were killed the the deadliest sectarian attacks in a year.

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With Romney in Lead, LDS Leaders Launch Mormon Marketing Campaign

According to a June Gallup poll, 18 percent of Republicans say that they would not vote for a Mormon. But for their part, Mormon GOP presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman are often quiet about their faith. Both know they need the GOP evangelical base, many of whom are fearful of the Mormon Church and don't believe Mormons are true Christians. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints recently launched a $4.6 million ad campaign to combat that sentiment, showing members who come from all walks of life.

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Ron Paul's Youth Appeal

With neatly combed white hair, conservatively cut suits, and solid military service, Ron Paul may not seen like the fiery political outsider that all the kids are rallying around. But looking ahead to the New Hampshire primaries, pollster John Zogby says "Ron Paul gets 35 percent of Independents and 54 percent of 18 to 29 year olds." Many young voters in this age group are drawn to Paul's hard-line libertarian politics, particularly his anti-war stance.

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Is Pregnancy a Disability?

In a presentation to the American Association of Law Schools on Thursday, Jeannette Cox, an associate professor at the University of Dayton School of Law, argued that pregnancy comes with physical limitations on par with conditions now protected under a new amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act. These include the inability to do prolonged lifting, sitting, standing or walking or driving. While some are outraged by the assertion, Cox sees it as a way for women to get more legal protections at their workplace.

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Syria: 25 Dead After Bomb Blast in Damascus

At least 25 are dead and dozens more are injured after a suicide attacker's bomb detonated in a crowded district in central Damascus, according to Syrian state television. In the second attack on the Syrian capital in two weeks, the attack was carried out on Friday morning in a busy section of the Midan neighborhood. State media blamed "terrorists." The attack preceded protests scheduled for later Friday. Demonstrators are calling for Arab League peace observers to turn over their mission to the United Nations.

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When Fiction Becomes a Horrific Reality: Aatish Taseer's 'Noon'

We are accustomed to hearing about violence and instability in Pakistan, yet it remains a faraway place to most Americans. Yet what if Pakistan was home and its violence and uncertainty were part of the fabric of your life? And what if that violence one day claimed someone close to you? As a writer and as a Pakistani, Aatish Taseer has struggled all his life to understand his relationship with his country, with his ethnic homeland Punjab, and with his politically prominent father Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province. A year ago this week his father was assassinated just as he was finishing his first novel "Noon." 

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