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Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is also considering entering the 2012 presidential race, Reuters reports. Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucus in 2008, has previously announced that he would not run last May. A late entry now, however, might prove perilous since the primary season is fast approaching – indeed Florida today officially announced it would hold it’s primary on Jan. 31st.

Rick Santorum appeared Thursday night on Fox News with Greta Van Susteren, and criticized the expected move by Florida to move its primary to January 31 in contravention of the RNC rules. And in addition to defending the positions of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to be the official early states, Santorum also alleged that Florida's move is really a conspiracy to benefit Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, the two current frontrunners -- and disadvantage the lower-tier candidates.

"For the life of me, I don't understand what Florida is trying to accomplish, because whatever they're going to accomplish, they're gonna fail," said Santorum. "You know, they're gonna move their primary up -- it's talked about moving up to January. All these four primary -- early primary states, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, will move ahead of them. And all you've effectively done is cut off one month of the lead-up time to this primary process."

"And they're gonna lose half their delegates," Van Susteren added, to which Santorum concurred.

So far, so good -- that is all an accurate analysis of what will happen to the primary calendar, as the official early states move up their contests in retaliation. But as the conversation continued, Santorum made his more nefarious accusation that Florida is trying to rig the contest.

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My, how times change. Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsefeld, who was a vocal opponent of Al Jazeera, is now praising the Middle Eastern network.

Rumsfeld in 2004 called the network's coverage of the Iraq War "vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable." In 2003, a U.S. missile hit Al Jazeera's Baghdad offices, killing Al Jazeera correspondent Tariq Ayoub. And in 2005, the Daily Mirror reported that former President George W. Bush expressed interest in bombing the network's headquarters in a conversation with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

But now, as Al Jazeera has documented popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, Rumsfeld says, "It's audience has grown and it can be an important means of communication in the world, and I am delighted you are doing what you are doing."

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s wife has been diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

From The Sun’s Jon Ralston:

“Senator and Mrs. Reid appreciate the thoughts and concerns expressed during this time.” Reid spokesman Zac Petkanas said in response to my inquiry. “They ask that they be afforded the respect and privacy that any family would want.”

New iPhone 5 cases are beginning to show up in AT&T retail stores, MacRumors reports.
The cases make it look like the iPhone 5 will be thinner, have a tapered design, and be larger.
The mute switch has also been moved to the other side of the device.
This news comes just days after new iPhones and iPod Touches showed up in Apple inventory, we're starting to see more hard facts that Apple's new iPhones are in fact coming out at some point.
Don't Miss: What To Realistically Expect From The iPhone 5 >
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Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) sought to downplay comments made by Majority Whip Dick Durbin (I-IL) yesterday doubting the ability of the Senate to pass the president’s jobs bill. Schumer said that it was too “premature” at the moment to say whether or not there were enough votes to pass the American Jobs Act.

“I think it’s premature to say — I mean, jobs is the No. 1 issue and we’re working really hard and trying to get the votes for the president’s jobs bill,” Schumer told reporters during a conference call.

Life must be pretty sweet if you're an oppo researcher in the Romney camp right now. The immigration issue has created a big opening against Perry. And *someone* has just found Romney some neat old footage of a former Mexican president effusively praising Rick Perry for doing something the GOP base hates.

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Getting the federal government "out of peoples' lives" has been a Republican talking point for decades. Of course, that attack works optimally when the person in charge is a Democrat.

New data from Gallup looks at perceptions of government intervention within the lives of individuals and business, and yes, the number of people who think the federal government is too involved is high. But the remarkable bit about the survey is just how high, and how that perception is related to political circumstance as well. The numbers show that the day President Obama took his seat in the Oval Office, the percentage of Republicans who thought the government was too powerful climbed, and kept climbing through 2009 and 2010. At the same time, Democrats, who had thought the same about the federal government when President George W. Bush was in office (although not as much as Republicans do now), also did an about-face, with far fewer saying the new Obama Administration had too much power.

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