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Sahil Kapur

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

Articles by Sahil

Rick Santorum doubled down Sunday on his odd claim that the Obama administration's Justice Department "seems to favor pornographers over children and families."

Asked to defend the statement on CNN's State of the Union, the candidate didn't flinch, claiming the president's DOJ has not prosecuted porn laws as vigorously as his predecessor's DOJ.

"Well you have to look at the proof that's in the prosecution. Under the Bush administration, pornographers were prosecuted much more rigorously under existing law than they are under the Obama administration. So you draw your conclusion," Santorum said. "My conclusion is they have not put a priority on prosecuting these cases, and in doing so, they are exposing children to a tremendous amount of harm. And that to me says they're putting the unenforcement of this law and putting children at risk as a result of that."

On Sunday, Rick Santorum took on Mitt Romney's argument that he's better qualified to be president, having run a business.

'Running is business is not the same as being president of the United States," Santorum said on CNN's State of the Union. "If Governor Romney thinks he is the CEO of America, and can run and manage the economy, he doesn't understand what conservatives believe in. We don't want someone in Washington, DC to manage the economy. We want someone to get Washington out of our lives, to reduce these mandate, get rid of things like Romneycare at the federal level which we call Obamacare, and do some things to get this economy going by believing in the private sector -- something that Governor Romney has shown no indication he's in favor of."

Santorum called Romney "uniquely disqualified on some of the biggest issues of the day like Obamacare and bailouts and cap and trade and government control of your lives."

His point plays to conservative instincts but gets at an argument that Democrats have yet to fully make about the relevance of Romney's business background to his presidential ambitions.

The powerful seniors group AARP is set to meet privately later this month with advocates of cuts to Social Security and Medicare, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, John Engler of Business Roundtable and former Government Accountability Office director David Walker, according to the Huffington Post.

The invite list also included Social Security and Medicare champion Larry Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute, who reportedly said he isn't planning to attend.

The article by Ryan Grim and Ariel Edwards-Levy included this statement from an AARP spokeswoman:

"AARP is not pursuing any closed door deals or grand bargains. Our main focus is hearing from our members, and all Americans, what they think about ways to strengthen Social Security and Medicare. That's precisely why we're launching 'You've Earned a Say.' We are interested in hearing from all sides and having civil discourse on these issues."

Senate Democrats are pushing for Congress to reauthorize the normally noncontroversial Violence Against Women Act. But thanks to some expanded provisions that are inviting Republican objections -- along with a heightened political atmosphere that has made anything women-related volatile -- it has become plenty controversial.

Dems intend to exploit GOP divisions on the measure and portray some members' newfound opposition as evidence that the party intends to continue waging a "war on women."

"It will be very hard for Republicans to come out and oppose VAWA now after all they've done over the last few weeks to alienate women," a senior Senate Democratic aide told TPM. "This bipartisan bill should be a no-brainer, and hopefully Republican leaders see that and allow it to pass."

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After the Senate passed a highway bill 74-22, Majority Leader Harry Reid called on House Republicans to take up the chamber's strongly bipartisan measure and not kowtow to their conservative members.

"The job-creating programs funded by this bill will expire in just a few weeks, and I urge my colleagues in the House to pass this bipartisan bill without delay," Reid said in a statement Wednesday. "If there was ever a piece of legislation that should not turn into a partisan fight, this is it. I hope my Republican colleagues in the House will choose to join us in this bipartisan, job-creating effort instead of trying to appease the Tea Party by manufacturing another fight."

As the Senate prepares to take up the GOP-led JOBS Act, a modest bill aimed at boosting small businesses, the White House issued a statement championing the measure while also indicating support for "improving" the House-passed version.

Spokeswoman Amy Brundge issued this statement Wednesday:

"The bill passed in the House last week includes a number of provisions that the President proposed months ago as a part of the American Jobs Act to help startups and small businesses get the capital they need to expand and hire. The President strongly supports the efforts of Senate Democrats to find common ground by supporting the most effective aspects of the House Bill to increase capital formation for growing businesses while also improving the House bill to ensure there are sufficient safeguards to prevent abuse and protect investors. We also urge both sides to vote to reauthorize the Export-Import bank which will help thousands of American businesses and achieve everyone’s goal here of ensuring American businesses can stay competitive."

Searching for an escape hatch now that the contraception wars are spinning out of their control, Republicans and conservatives are working to turn the Sandra Fluke saga into one big liberal conspiracy.

As Fluke vows that slurs won't silence women, here's a handy guide to the theories floating around on the right about the Georgetown law student who was smeared by Rush Limbaugh and has since created headaches for the GOP.

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The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a two-year transportation bill 74-22, which is set to cost $109 billion. It was developed by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

The legislation now goes to the House, where Republican leaders have tussled with their rank-and-file members, who want a more conservative version than the Senate landed on.

Updated 1:27 ET

It looks like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's gambit to force the GOP to hold up judicial nominees and delay action on the JOBS Act won't pan out after all.

Reid on Wednesday asked that his cloture votes on 17 stalled nominees to federal district courts be vitiated, and indicated that he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will announce the details of an agreement later.

"He [McConnell] will explain to his caucus, I will explain to mine," Reid said on the Senate floor. "It's something that, like all matters we do here legislatively, an effort to work out a compromise."

According to National Journal, McConnell said Reid has agreed to move on the JOBS Act first.

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