1. Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez has been denied permission attend a film festival in Brazil, marking the 19th time in recent years that she has been denied an exit visa by the Cuban government.

2. The oil boom in western North Dakota is starting to head to the eastern part of the state.

3.  The credit card has hardly changed since the 1950s. If they really wanted to simplify our lives, the heads of Visa, MasterCard and American Express would take a trip to Kenya and learn about innovative mobile money transfers.

4. Star Parker offers some free advice for Mitt Romney before he discusses America's poor again: Read her book “Uncle Sam’s Plantation.” 

5. When it comes to economic confidence for 2011, Washington, D.C. residents stood apart from the rest of the country with the highest level of economic confidence by far; even second-place North Dakota's oil prosperity and 3.3% jobless rate couldn't come close.