Committees take up hands-free and minor witness shield bills – Clarence Thomas at Holy Cross – Probation indictment rumors ramp up

IMMINENT: We’re all still waiting for the axe to drop on the rumored handful of pols caught up on the wrong side of the Probation Department scandal. The Sun apparently has sources confirming at least some of the rumors that have been floating around for awhile.

SAUSAGE MAKING: In legislative news, we’re back to talking about a New York-style hands-free cell phone bill (Globe) and the Judiciary Committee will soon be dealing with a bill to ban the media from identifying witnesses under the age of 18 in criminal trials. (Gatehouse)

THE SILENT BEATLE: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was in his former stomping grounds of Worcester yesterday to accept an honorary degree and to deliver an uncharacteristically wordy and emotional address about his days at Holy Cross. (T&G)

Scott Brown leads session to plot strategy for saving Hanscom base (Photo: Tom Landers/Globe Staff)
VIDEO:
Gov. Deval Patrick on the state’s finances, crime, Tim Murray and more – Greater Boston Could casino gambling takeover hole left by alcohol ads on MBTA? – My Fox Boston NAACP wants meeting with Sen. Brown – WWLP

—A special message from The McCormack School: The McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at UMass Boston will host a free luncheon and information session on its degree and grad. certificate programs on Mon., Feb. 27th at the Massachusetts State House Grand Staircase from noon until 2:00 p.m. Come learn how we can help take your career to the next level! Tuition assistance available! —

GOP DEBATE:

Analysis: Romney is fiery, focused in Fla. Debate – AP: www.boston.com

Republican debate: Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum strong, Newt Gingrich flat | masslive.com: www.masslive.com

Romney: Gingrich attacks on him are ‘repulsive’ – AP: www.boston.com

Romney rejects ‘anti-immigrant’ label by Gingrich – AP: www.boston.com

Gingrich, Romney attack each other on foreclosures – AP: www.boston.com

Santorum defends Romney, Gingrich on wealth attack – AP: www.boston.com

Romney, Gingrich joust over ties to Reagan – AP: www.boston.com

Romney responds to Gingrich immigration shot – AP: www.boston.com

MITT MONITOR:

Romney turns more aggressive – Nation – The Boston Globe: www.bostonglobe.com

Romney failed to disclose income from Swiss bank – AP: www.boston.com

Why is investment income taxed less than wages? – AP: www.boston.com

DEVAL DIGEST:

Gov. Deval Patrick on the state’s finances, crime, Tim Murray and more – Greater Boston: www.wgbh.org

Patrick critical of Bruins goalie’s protest – Metro – The Boston Globe: www.bostonglobe.com

Gov. Patrick envisions community of colleges – Framingham, MA – The MetroWest Daily News: www.metrowestdailynews.com

THE FEDS:

NAACP wants meeting with Sen. Brown | WWLP.com: www.wwlp.com

Feds turn back Kerry’s bid for cod assessment – AP: www.itemlive.com

Golnik appoints campaign leaders » Merrimack Valley » EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA: www.eagletribune.com

Scott Brown leads session to plot strategy for saving Hanscom base – The Boston Globe: www.boston.com

STATE NEWS:

Could casino gambling takeover hole left by alcohol ads on MBTA?: www.myfoxboston.com

Conservancy has Boston’s ‘seal of approval’ – BostonHerald.com: www.bostonherald.com

Rally touts bill to ban alcohol ads on all state property – Metro – The Boston Globe: www.bostonglobe.com

Framingham helps taxpayers seek relief – Framingham, MA – The MetroWest Daily News: www.metrowestdailynews.com

Winslow says he’ll fight prison closing – The Sun Chronicle Online – News: thesunchronicle.com

Area fraternal clubs blindsided by property tax bills – The Sun Chronicle Online – News: thesunchronicle.com

AROUND NEW ENGLAND:

CT – Board of Regents President: Back-Up Plan – Courant.com: www.courant.com

ME – LePage: Renewable energy plan a ‘job-killer’ | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram: www.pressherald.com

ME – State cuts would hit Portland extra hard | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram: www.pressherald.com

BEST OF THE BLOGS:

BostonHerald.com – Blogs: Lone Republican» Blog Archive » Where is my property tax cut?: www.bostonherald.com

Blue Mass Group | Romney forgets $3 million in Swiss bank account: bluemassgroup.com

Eric Fehrnstrom in the spin room after Jacksonville debate – Less Is More blog – Boston.com: boston.com

Massachusetts Liberal: Hedging his bets: baystateliberal.blogspot.com

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