This Isn't Shopped of the Day

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This Isn't Shopped of the Day
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If you go to Rick Santorum's official website, you might find a picture of 4chan founder Christopher Pool (a.k.a Moot) sandwiched in between two photographs of the former Republican presidential candidate. First spotted by a Redditor, the image was soon confirmed as authentic by a spokesperson for the web design firm National Builder, who revealed that the site was designed by a contractor at the political consulting firm Brabender Cox. ... could this have been a clever web designer's intentional ploy to make the website go "viral"?

Suspended Campaign of the Day

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Suspended Campaign of the Day
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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has announced he will suspend his campaign, effectively dropping out of the race and conceding the Republican nomination to frontrunner Mitt Romney.

Santorum cited his daughter Bella's health as his reason for reconsidering his presidential bid. She suffers from a rare genetic condition, and has been hospitalized twice during the campaign.

"We made a decision over the weekend that, while this presidential race for us is over — for me — and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting," Santorum said in a statement.

Santorum won primaries in 11 states, but after defeats last week in Wisconsin, Maryland and DC, he would have had to take over three-fourths of the remaining delegates to win the nomination.

[wapo.]

Say What Now of the Day

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Lots of discussion this morning about whether or not Santorum caught himself starting to say the N-word while describing Barack Obama during a recent speech in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Footage from the event shows Santorum characterizing candidate Obama as "the anti-war government nig-" before stopping himself with a filled pause and abruptly heading in a different direction.

There are several alternate theories out there which suggest Santorum was trying to say something (relatively) innocuous, and merely stumbled in an unfortunate place. One such theory claims Santorum was actually calling Obama a "governmentnik." While plausible, "governmentnik" isn't really something someone's ever called anyone.

This wouldn't be Santorum's first brush with racial remarks. He previously came under fire for allegedly singling out black people as welfare recipients. He later claimed he stumbled on a word, which he couldn't recall, but definitely wasn't "black."

[vice.]

Stay Classy of the Day

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At a police gun range in Louisiana today, Rick Santorum was showing off his shooting skills with a Colt M1911 when an AP cameraman, as well as several other reporters, overheard a woman in attendance advising the GOP presidential candidate to improve his aim by "pretend[ing] it's Obama." (Can be heard at around 0:36 in the video above.)

Asked later if he heard the remark, Santorum said he did not. "It's a very terrible and horrible remark and I'm glad I didn't hear it," he told AP. A Secret Service spokesman said the woman's identity and intent were being investigated.

[ap / towleroad.]

PDA Protest of the Day

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A pair of protesting dudes interrupted Rick Santorum's speech at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois, yesterday evening with a mic check and a brief lip-lock before being escorted out to bewildering chants of "USA! USA! USA!" (skip to 3:37).

Asked about the PDA-bomb, Timothy Tross and Ben Clifford refused to comment on their sexual orientation. "I don’t think the message should be about what my sexuality is," Tross told Palatine Patch. "It’s the message that he’s saying about sexuality that matters."

[towleroad.]

Topless Photo of the Day

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Topless Photo of the Day
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GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum took some time off from making English a pre-condition for Puerto Rican statehood to enjoy some shirtless sun by the pool at a local resort.

Asked about the candid shot by Chicago-based radio personality Steve Cochran, Santorum apologized for what must not have been "a pretty sight."

Conveniently omitted from Cochran's interview: The fact that this photo was snapped by a passenger aboard an Atlantis all-gay cruise, which just happened to be docked nearby.

[jmg / buzzfeed.]

Santorum Santorum Says of the Day

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Santorum Santorum Says of the Day
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Having gone after pretty much every other "social malady" in the book, Rick Santorum is finally setting his sights on the big daddy of them all: Pornography.

In a statement that reads like something Anthony Comstock would have deemed "going too far," the GOP presidential candidate claims pornography "causes profound brain changes in both children and adults" and blasts the Justice Department for favoring "pornographers over children" by not enforcing obscenity laws.

Santorum continues: "[C]urrent federal 'obscenity' laws prohibit distribution of hardcore [obscene] pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier."

The former Pennsylvania Senator concludes by vowing that, as President, he will change the status quo as it concerns pornography.

It seems somewhat laughable, but can President Santorum really get rid of Internet porn if he set his mind to it? Yes, says UCLA Law Professor and noted blogger Eugene Volokh.

"If the government wanted to aggressively move against Internet pornography, it could do so," Volokh told The Daily Caller. "Here’s the deal: In most parts of the country, a lot of pornography on the Internet would plausibly be seen as obscene."

The law may be on his side, but, if he were to pursue his anti-porn crusade, Santorum would likely find rather quickly that the only thing still able to blur the lines of political affiliation is porn.

"When it comes to adult entertainment, it seems people are more the same than different," said Harvard Business School's Benjamin Edelman, who, in 2009, published a nationwide study [pdf] on porn viewing habits that should give Santorum pause.

Eight out of the top 10 porn-loving states voted for John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. By comparison, six of the bottom 10 cast their vote for Obama.

[thehill / dailycaller / newscientist.]