Santorum's Prayer Circle, Lazy Caucuses, Romney's Retort, Courthouse Boondoggles (PM Note)

Yesterday Rick Santorum was at 27 on the political stock market. After last night's sweep, he's at 37 -

Prayer Circle - There are people praying for Rick Santorum. Here is some visually interesting video of it:

While the former Pennsylvania senator, avowed Catholic, and presidential candidate doesn't want to be "Pastor in Chief," when he spoke at the Bella Donna chapel in McKinney, Texas today, he talked in remarks about religion and the contraception mandate.

"We even see the Obama administration right now not talking about freedom of religion," Santorum said. "They now start using the term freedom of worship, which, how many people think all that religion is all about is worship? It's what you're about every single day. It's not just the freedom to gather and worship, but it's the freedom to go out and live that faith every day."

Later he'll fundraise in Dallas. And that's what he'll need to get from his hat trick of wins in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri: funds to carry the momentum on to his next focus of Michigan.

Shush Walshe on Santorum's day -

Romney's Retort - Emily Friedman reports Mitt Romney held his first press conference since Florida. And he was on offense. "I believe that while Sen. Santorum was serving in Congress and the Senate, government spending increased by some 80 percent. Republicans spent too much money, borrowed too much money, earmarked too much, and Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have to be held accountable," Romney said.

As Prop 8 Legal Battle Heats Up… First Same Sex Couple Married in California Seeks Divorce - David Wright interviewed them in happier times -

Lazy Caucuses - The contests in Maine and Wyoming take days. Chris Good is calling the time between now and Feb. 28 the "dead zone." Santorum is banking on Romney's home state of Michigan. And with its auto bailouts and Chrysler commercials and economic doldrums, that state could be a real interesting match. It's odd that Mitt Romney did so poorly Tuesday in states he won in 2008 and will likely have to rely on Arizona, a state he lost.

Michigan GOP Chair Predicts Romney Victory -

Gingrich Liked Clint Eastwood's Halftime Ad -

A Swing To Obama in Virginia -

Courthouses Aplenty - A hundred million here, $400 million there Jon Karl investigates - In LA - The U.S. government is building a massive, new federal courthouse even though there are two current courthouses  nearby - Spring Street and the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building - that work just fine. In Miami - A brand-new courthouse was just built in Miami for about $163 million. The old one now sits padlocked and abandoned down the road.

More from Team Karl -

1,012 Days Later - Jay Carney Kinda Says the White House Doesn't Care if the Senate Passes a Budget -

What Did Romney Really Do About Enforcing Contraceptive Mandate in Massachusetts? -Romney Says Carney Needs to Check His History -

Boehner Calls Contraception Mandate an 'Attack on Religious Freedom,' Pledges Congressional Action -

Senate Dems Looking for Contraception Compromise -

Obama 2012: Coming Soon to a TV Near You - From Devin Dwyer: "President Obama's re-election campaign ran more than 5,000 TV ads in six days last month, its first major advertizing blitz of the 2012 cycle, according to a new report by the Wesleyan Media Project."

GOP Jabs at Obama's High Fashion Swag -  That's just one of the items offered in the Obama re-election campaign's celebrity-designed line of clothing.

BEARISH on STOCK Act, BULLISH on Passage  - As the House prepares to pass its version of the Stock Act Thursday, Democrats said that even though the changes House Republicans made to the Senate-passed bill  had weakened it, they'd  support it anyway. Democrats criticized the House version of the Stock Act, or the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge  Act, which would ban insider trading by members of Congress,  for eliminating a "political intelligence" registration requirement and dropping anti-corruption legislation. Political intelligence registration would require analysts and research firms to register with Congress and reveal their contacts on Capitol Hill or in the executive branch of government. Republicans, however, said they'd made the bill stronger by adding provisions that extended it to cover the executive branch of government and to ensure that members of Congress convicted of a crime did not receive taxpayer-funded pensions.

Joe the Plumber? Obamagirl? Where are they Now? 08 Election Edition -

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