Morning Must Reads: Mess

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Protesters watch Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s televised speech in Cairo on February 1. (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)

–Men on horseback and camelback pour into Tahrir Square as pro- and anti- government protesters clash in central Cairo.

–Politically, everything hinges on the military.

The New York Times tick-tock reports Obama voiced support for Islamist parties’ inclusion in the democratic process and is open to talking with the Muslim Brotherhood.

David Ignatius writes about the recent history of democratic reforms in the Arab world and what the Egypt protests aren’t.

–In wake of the Vinson ruling, Republican governors Scott Walker and Rick Scott have halted implementation of health reform in their states despite the lack of an injunction. (The injunction matter is slightly tricky explains Jonathan Cohn.)

–Democrats choose Charlotte, North Carolina to host their presidential nominating convention in 2012. The electoral meaning of these decisions is always overstated — there’s never been any evidence it helps a candidate win the host state — but it’s not a stretch to say Obama wants a repeat victory there. Locals are eager for the economic boost.

–David Leonhardt explains why the corporate tax code is such a mess and why it will be difficult to reform.

–Ezra Klein chats with the father of the individual mandate.

–A mental health screener recommended Bradley Manning not be deployed to Iraq.

–Steve Kornacki sees historical upsides for presidential also-rans. They may have done better if they hadn’t held public office.

–Senate John Ensign is still being investigated and still running for reelection, but the party machinery could abandon him.

–And Mitt Romney, the guy from the picture frames, is only in politics for the paperwork.

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