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4:25 PM ET, March 12, 2012


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Gas prices sink Obama's ratings on economy, bring parity to race for White House  —  Disapproval of President Obama's handling of the economy is heading higher — alongside gasoline prices — as a record number of Americans now give the president “strongly” negative reviews …
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Santorum Concedes: He Can't Win The Nomination Outright  —  Winning by losing?  Strategy memo is less a “path to victory” as it is a path to a contested convention.  —  Santorum talks with supporters during a stop at Sweet Peppers Deli, Sunday, March 11, 2012, in Tupelo, Miss.  —  (AP / Eric Gay)
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Obama Still Muslim, Report Southern Republicans  —  It has been a while since the question of President Obama's religion — his true religion, maybe the religion he or his “church” don't want you to know about — has been on the national agenda.  And the upcoming Alabama and Mississippi primaries …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Too close to call in Alabama and Mississippi  —  Tuesday looks like it's going to be a close election night in both Mississippi and Alabama.  In Mississippi Newt Gingrich is holding on to a slight lead with 33% to 31% for Mitt Romney, 27% for Rick Santorum, and 7% for Ron Paul.
Jake Sherman / Politico:
Mitt Romney wishes Mobile 'good mornin"  —  MOBILE, Ala. — Mitt Romney spent the last week trying to convince Southern voters that he was one of them ahead of primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.  —  But at an event at a restaurant the day before Tuesday's primaries, he all but admitted it was an act.
Carl Cameron / Fox News:
EXCLUSIVE: Gingrich-Perry Pre-Convention Ticket in the Works
David Corn / Mother Jones:
Michael Steele: “I Wanted a Brokered Convention”
Discussion: Hot Air and Mediaite
Mitt Romney Always Thinks He's Going To Win
Discussion: GOP 12
Sarah Huisenga / CBS News:
Gingrich, Perry deny they seek a joint ticket
Discussion: The Hill, CNN and The Hill
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Trump: Romney rivals ‘disgraceful’ in continuing to pursue nomination
Discussion: Indecision Forever
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Mitt Romney Will Not Enroll In Medicare  —  Turns down entitlement coverage on first day of eligibility.  —  (Getty Images / Win McNamee)  —  Mitt Romney will not enroll in Medicare, choosing to maintain his private insurance as his sole coverage, his campaign confirms.
Romney to forgo Medicare  —  Jackson, Mississippi (CNN) - Mitt Romney is celebrating his 65th birthday.  But unlike many seniors who reach that age, the GOP presidential candidate will forgo the Medicare program, according to a source with the Romney campaign.
Discussion: Hot Air, Indecision Forever and ABCNEWS
Santorum on Afghan shooting: Someone ‘lost it’
Discussion: The Hill and The Hill
Bobby Jindal / CNN:
Jindal won't endorse before Louisiana primary
Discussion: GOP 12 and The Page
Rick Santorum / CNN:
Santorum's war on teleprompters
Associated Press:
Justice Dept opposes Texas voter ID law  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's civil rights division on Monday objected to a new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas because many Hispanic voters lack state-issued identification.  —  Texas follows South Carolina as the second state …
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Justice Department rejects Texas voter ID law
Discussion: CNN
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Justice blocks Texas voter ID law
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
EXCLUSIVE: 141 Companies Drop Advertising From Rush Limbaugh  —  ThinkProgress has obtained an internal memo from Premiere Radio Networks listing 96 national companies that have “specifically asked” their advertisments not be played during the Rush Limbaugh Show.  Premiere is the distributor of Limbaugh's program.
Santorum Campaign Responds To Dutch Euthanasia Outrage  —  Rick Santorum has drawn fire for controversial statements about assisted suicide in the Netherlands.  In an impromptu interview with Dutch television station RTL4, Santorum press secretary Alice Stewart offered no explanation …
E.J. Dionne / Real Clear Politics:
Catholicism Is Not the Tea Party at Prayer  —  WASHINGTON — The nation's Roman Catholic bishops will make an important decision this week: Do they want to defend the church's legitimate interest in religious autonomy, or do they want to wage an election-year war against President Obama?
Discussion: National Review and Balloon Juice
The New Republic:
The 1990s Roots of the Contraception Battle
Nicky Larkin: Israel is a refuge, but a refuge under siege  —  Through making a film about the Israeli-Arab conflict, artist Nicky Larkin found his allegiances swaying  —  I used to hate Israel.  I used to think the Left was always right.  Not any more.  Now I loathe Palestinian terrorists.
How it happened: Massacre in Kandahar  —  Ashes and what appeared to be bloodstains could be seen inside one of the houses attacked  —  In the pre-dawn hours of Sunday, a US soldier stationed at a base in Afghanistan's Kandahar province allegedly launched a single-handed gun attack on nearby Afghan villagers.
Discussion: World Now, and Truthdig
Fox News:
Taliban vows revenge after US soldier allegedly kills 16 Afghan civilians
Allysia Finley / Wall Street Journal:
Coffee Is an Essential Benefit Too  —  Here are some other health-care mandates that government should impose on employers.  —  Dear President Obama,  —  Can you believe the nerve of employers?  Many of them still seem to think that they should be allowed to determine the benefits they offer.
Jackie Borchardt / Dayton Daily News:
Bill introduced to regulate men's reproductive health  —  Part of a trend, she likens the bill to men legislating 'a woman's womb.'  —  COLUMBUS - Before getting a prescription for Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs, men would have to see a sex therapist, receive a cardiac stress test …
Ed Pilkington / Guardian:
Bradley Manning's treatment was cruel and inhuman, UN torture chief rules  —  UN special rapporteur on torture's findings likely to reignite criticism of US government's treatment of WikiLeaks suspect  —  The UN special rapporteur on torture has formally accused the US government of cruel …
Hoopster-in-Chief Obama Offers NCAA Bracket Challenge  —  “Think you got game?”  That's the question President Obama is posing to sports fans in a new, online interactive contest aimed at expanding his re-election campaign's contact list and collecting some grassroots cash.
Discussion: The PJ Tatler, Hot Air and
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
Rep. Stearns On Obama Birth's Certificate: ‘The Question Is, Is It Legitimate?’  —  New video of a February town hall shows Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) pandering to birthers and raising questions about the legitimacy of President Obama's birth certificate.  —  When Stearns met with constituents …
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 More Items: 
Idfspokesperson / Israel Defense Forces:
Top Tweet on Gaza Proven False
Discussion: Israel Matzav
Colin Moynihan / New York Times:
Wall Street Protesters Complain of Police Surveillance
Skip Oliva / Under Penalty of Catapult:
Levy Response to Koch Statement
Discussion: Hit & Run and Blog
Yehuda Bauer / Haaretz:
Iran is not Auschwitz  —  Bombing Iran, not Iran's bomb, could destroy Israel.
Discussion: Reuters and normblog
Jeffrey Goldberg / The Atlantic Online:
Barack Obama is Such a Traditional Jew Sometimes
Discussion: American Prospect
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Michelle Obama defends anti-obesity initiative as not ‘government tell[ing] people what to do’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Fewer Americans Say U.S. Is No. 1 Military Power
Discussion: Politico and Campaign 2012
Michael Cavna / Washington Post:
‘Doonesbury’ creator Garry Trudeau discusses divisive strips about abortion
Discussion: Feministing and The Maddow Blog
Mj Leeand Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Blagojevich will find life inside a jolt, ex-inmates say
Discussion: Business Insider
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
What Greece Means  —  So Greece has officially defaulted on its debt to private lenders.
Discussion: Daily Kos