Wiretap: Romney is out, he says

The flirtation is over… until next time. Mitt Romney says he won’t run for president this time around, leaving the 2016 GOP presidential field to the roughly six thousand other people presently vying for the job. His donors were peeling off and so were members of his would-be campaign staff.

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In a New York magazine interview, Frank Rich says “American Sniper” — Clint Eastwood’s surprise hit movie about sniper Chris Kyle — is not an endorsement of the war in Iraq, but rather an endorsement of those who volunteered to fight the war and what they came home to, if they made it home. Much of the controversy, according to Rich, “says more about knee-jerk ideology than it does about what’s actually in the film.” The movie, Rich says, is closer to Obama’s world view than it is to Dick Cheney’s.

Obama has gone big. Now if he wants to protect his legacy, writes Ron Brownstein in the National Journal, he has to go even bigger.

This is how you know it’s Texas: A state legislator is making Muslims who come to her office pledge allegiance next to an Israeli flag. Via Vox. Meanwhile, in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal brings forward the more sophisticated bigotry of a Rhodes Scholar. Via the Atlantic.

First decision for some who will join the crowded Republican field: Whether to skip the very conservative, very evangelical Iowa caucuses. Via the Cook Report.

Timothy Egan writes of rabbits and rebels and a pope who has a different message. Via the New York Times.

Netanyahu is talking to leading Democrats about his planned speech — but to little effect. Via the New York Times.

The biggest myth about the anti-vaxxers is that they’re a bunch of liberal hippies. Via the Washington Post.

The states that are best — and worst – at getting their kids vaccinated. Via the Washington Post.

The best bet on the Super Bowl is probably no bet at all. Via the New Yorker.

[ Photo by davelawrence8.]

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