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Here’s your Thursday edition of the “post,” our increasingly regular assemblage of state and national political news links (with a little sports and pop culture thrown in for good measure).

Today’s Palmetto political report continues to be dominated with news of Nikki Haley’s inauguration – and her busy first day on the job (which included a massive expansion of the governor’s staff – and huge increases in the salaries taxpayers will pay them).

Meanwhile, national news continues to revolve around Tucson, Arizona and the ongoing aftermath of the tragic shooting that took place there on Saturday.

As usual, if you’ve got a link that you would like us to include in the “post,” feel free to email it to us or submit it anonymously on our contact page.

And yes … blog posts and random photos are welcome. Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring an installment, click here.

-FITS

SOUTH CAROLINA

2,000 party at Nikki Haley’s inaugural ball … (AP)

The Governor’s Gala … (The State)

Haley’s Historic Moment … (Post and Courier)

Haley calls for cooperation … (McClatchy)

Haley ready to get to work … (Gannett)

New governor has opportunity amid challenge … (T&D)

Some Haley salaries released … (AP)

Haley names new DSS director … (Post and Courier)

Hell didn’t freeze over … (Earl Capps)

S.C. House approves roll call voting … (WACH, AP)

House passes Haley’s roll call bill … (The State)

Senate panel advances pair of Haley picks … (AP)

Haley’s Commerce nominee mum on rail plan … (CRBJ)

Ken Ard ready for “tough stuff …” (Post and Courier)

Legislative bloodbath … (Free Times)

Mick Zais: Shorter school year a “last resort …” (The State)

Richard Eckstrom: Transparency an ongoing process … (The Nerve)

Paper offers mixed endorsement of Budget board reform … (Sun News)

Put state pay cuts on the table … (The State)

Mark Sanford quietly steps aside … (McClatchy)

Sanford exits the stage … (Daily Caller)

Ex-governors offer Haley wisdom … (Post and Courier)

Jim Clyburn flew to Arizona with Barack Obama … (Post and Courier)

Trey Gowdy has no plans to change his security … (GoUpstate)

Embattled Dorchester County judge resigns … (The Nerve)

S.C. gays gearing up for big fight … (Process Story)

Fugitive linked to Thomas Ravenel flees to Italy … (Post and Courier)

Rhetoric and weather … (Garnet Spy)

Air show returning to Charleton … (Post and Courier)

Ohio-based company bringing 200 jobs to Greenville … (GoUpstate)

Ex-employee: Georgetown taxpayers got ripped off … (Sun News)

Old people are gonna be pissed about this! (The State)

"You closed WHAT?"

2012 PRESIDENTIAL NEWS

Obama kicks of 2012 campaign “on the shoulders of the dead …” (Hot Air)

Critics assail cheering, T-shirts at memorial service … (CBS)

“Blood libel” sparks rebukes … (NY Daily News)

OK, so it won’t be Palin in 2012 … (Salon)

Newt Gingrich brings ambition to Myrtle Beach … (Sun News)

Gingrich touts SC ahead of visit … (CNN)

Rick Santorum will speak at SC anti-abortion event … (The Hill)

Herman Cain forms first 2012 committee … (Hotline)

… gets first unfortunate “dark horse” headline … (CNN)

Mitt Romney will launch campaign in April … (Politico)

… and is already hiring staff … (Real Clear Politics)

Tim Pawlenty defends free speech, scolds Jon Stewart … (The Politico)

Pawlenty talks about 2012 attributes … (Townhall)

Mike Huckabee jams with Def Leppard … (OC Register)

Huckabee leads in Iowa … (Des Moines Register)

Mitch Daniels prepares for 2012 run at Illinois’ expense … (Examiner)

Mike Pence: Americans have a right to carry guns, protest loudly … (TPM)

Michele Bachmann gets into it with liberal columnist … (Newsbusters)

"Wanna piece a me, lefty?"

AMERICA

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords communicating with family … (LA Times)

… and moving arms and legs … (CNN)

Funeral held for 9-year-old shooting victim … (Washington Post)

How case against alleged gunman Jared Lee Loughner will proceed … (FOX)

San Diego judge to preside over trial … (LA Times)

Loughner’s downward spiral … (WSJ)

Alleged gunman’s ex-girlfriend speaks … (FOX)

Cops find Loughner’s “mystery bag …” (CBS)

Obama urged unity, Palin division … (Washington Post)

White House won’t comment on “blood libel” remark … (LA Times)

Praise for Obama’s Tucson speech … (Huffington Post)

Criticism for Obama’s Tucson speech … (New Republic)

Exploitation of Tucson shooting analyzed … (Texas Insider)

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee bans state employees from calling talk radio … (Foundry)

Little change in Obama approval ratings … (WSJ)

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson won’t run in 2012 … (Washington Post)

Top GOP investigator targets Obamacare … (Businessweek)

House to move forward with Obamacare repeal next week … (Washington Post)

Howard Rich: Anti-repeal movement ignores fiscal realities … (GetLiberty)

Surprise jump in initial jobless claims … (Bloomberg)

Jobless claims up, so are food costs … (Reuters)

Jobless claims send dollar tumbling … (WSJ)

Stocks step back … (CNN Money)

2010 foreclosures set a record … (Barron’s)

Ugly, ugly data behind foreclosure numbers … (CTV)

Foreclosure dump coming … (CNBC)

House GOP wants to put death tax back in its grave … (GetLiberty)

Don't fear the reaper ... on taxes, anyway

GOOD STUFF

Chuck Shepherd’s “News of the Weird …” (NOTW)

How the “Hokey Pokey” should be danced … (Daily Herald)

How snow should be shoveled … TOPLESS! (DNA Info)

S.C. man forced to remove snowman’s genitals … (WYFF)

Idaho lawmakers … dumber than ours? (AP)

Ewwwwww …(CBS Minnesota)

The Shop Tart shows some love to Casa Linda … (Shop Tart)

Blogess on the new Twitter … (Blogess)

Even Toddlers understand SEC dominance … (Blue-eyed Bride)

BELOW: In his war against “erotic services” in South Carolina, former S.C. Attorney General Henry McMaster appears to have missed “Micah.” Want her number?

$275 an hour? Okay ...

SPORTS

The state of Palmetto state football … (Sun News)

DeMario Bennett leaving USC FB team … (Gamecock Central)

New Clemson offensive coordinator wants faster tempo … (AP)

Clemson BB thrashes Georgia Tech … (FOX)

Bumblebees brought knives to a gun fight … (Shakin the Southland)

Tide rolls Gamecocks … (The Gamecock)

SC-Alabama recap … (Garnet and Black Attack)

USC BB 2010: A season of “growth, not wins …” (Bleacher Report)

Curious championship appearance of Cecil Newton … (USA Today)

Cecil Newton didn’t attend game, lawyer says … (SN)

Redskins interested in Cam Newton? (ESPN)

Auburn star Nick Fairley will announce draft decision tomorrow … (AP)

Lawrence Taylor pleads guilty … gets no jail time … (ESPN)

Speculation on Jim Harbaugh’s coaching moves … (Niners Nation)

David Shaw replaces Harbaugh as Stanford coach … (SF Gate)

How Martin Luther King wants sports world to remember him … (ESPN)

The curse of the No. 1 NFL draft pick … (SI)

Broncos hire ex-Panthers coach John Fox … (Fanhouse)

Cleveland Browns’ hire another in NFL carousel … (SN)

The Patriots talk trash subtly … (Deadspin)

Brett Favre’s sister busted running a meth lab … (People)

Maria Sharapova will play in Family Circle Cup … (Post and Courier)

Sharapova coming to Charleston SC in 2011 ...

STAR STUFF

Lady Ga Ga will make $100 million this year … (Pop Eater)

Lindsay Lohan got naked in Machete … (Nudography)

Charlie Sheen has classy friends … (Radar Online)

Tori Black in some very naughty naughty bits … (Beer Goggler)

Colombian hottie Carla Ossa (Pretty Hot and Sexy)

Veronica Lavery is strong … (Miss Coed)

Nicole Kidman lookin’ good … (Beer Goggler)

Britney Spears … eh … (Hollywood Tuna)

Daisy Dee dons Daisy Dukes … (SoCal Glamour Girls)

Olivia Munn eats a cookie … (Beer Goggler)

Lilya Kulyk is all kinds of NSFW … (NSFW POA)

Kiera Knightly is single … (DListed)

… and could be in Batman 3 … (NY Daily News)

Bruce Willis’ daughter is hot … (The Superficial)

Rihanna got a new haircut … (WWTDD)

Bachelor says he got it right this time … (US)

Pappas: "No you didn't get it right!"

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