Santorum's surge and Paul's strong showing in Iowa lead Perry and Bachman to drop out; progressives see Ron Paul as better than Obama on many key issues.Listener Doug Zimmerman of Columbus, Ohio has no illusions about Ron Paul, especially on abortion rights and worker protections; but Zimmerman sees the Paul campaign as a way to move Obama to the left, and force him to confront many issues that Mitt Romney would never raise. Hear the full conversation with Doug in podcast 342 (not 341).
--Brad Friedman of Bradblog has done great reporting on Iowa's voter ID requirement and the caucus rules--so great the Rachel Maddow has picked it up, without crediting his Bradness
--Newt Gingrich took $42,000 in campaign funds to pay himself for his mailing list--CREW calls for investigation. Newtie also has some bizarre ideas about the courts that need to be exposed
--Chevron loses another round as a court in Ecuador upholds the $18 billion judgment for pollution of the Amazon
--Obama signs pipeline safety bill, more regulation needed
--recent earthquakes in Ohio directly linked to fracking
--Montana Supreme Court rules out corporate campaign contributions, setting up possible appeal of Citizens United