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12:25 PM ET, March 30, 2010


 Top Items: 
Kenneth P. Vogel / The Politico:
RNC fires staffer behind controversy  —  A Republican National Committee staffer who accompanied a group of young donors to a bondage-themed West Hollywood club and then expensed the nearly $2,000 tab has been fired by the committee, POLITICO has learned.  —  RNC chief of staff Ken McKay announced …
Reid Wilson / Hotline On Call:
RNC Fires “Young Eagles” Director  —  The RNC has fired the director of its young donors program after she approved an expense for a risque L.A. nightclub, multiple sources tell Hotline OnCall.  —  Allison Meyers, director of the RNC's “Young Eagles” program, was terminated yesterday …
Sean J. Miller / The Hill:
California Senate candidate severes “all ties” with Erik Brown
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar / Associated Press:
Insurance industry agrees to fix kids coverage gap  —  WASHINGTON — After battling President Barack Obama's health care overhaul the better part of a year, the insurance industry said Monday it won't try to block his efforts to fix a potentially embarrassing glitch in the new law.
The Huffington Post:
Sebelius To Insurers: It's Over, You Lost, Stop Looking For Loopholes
Discussion: First Draft
Avery Johnson / Wall Street Journal:
Flap on Kids' Coverage Settled
Baltimore Sun:
Marine's father ordered to pay Westboro's court costs  —  Church members had conducted anti-gay protests at the funeral of Marine who died in Iraq  —  From Baltimore Sun staff and wire reports  —  Lawyers for the father of a Marine who died in Iraq and whose funeral was picketed …
Rove Gets Branded ‘War Criminal’ At Book Signing  —  BEVERLY HILLS (CBS) ― About 100 fans came out to hear Karl Rove at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills Monday night to discuss his book “Courage and Consequences: My Life As a Conservative In The Fight,” — but the fight wasn't contained to his book.
Michelle Malkin:
Code Pink mob shuts down Rove book event
Discussion: HotAirPundit and Gateway Pundit
Susan Page / USA Today:
Health care law too costly, most say  —  Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government's role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.
Bill Carter / New York Times:
CNN Fails to Stop Fall in Ratings  —  CNN continued what has become a precipitous decline in ratings for its prime-time programs in the first quarter of 2010, with its main hosts losing almost half their viewers in a year.  —  The trend in news ratings for the first three months of this year …
Pajamas Media:
Searchlight vs. L.A.: Rival Rallies Reveal Stark Right/Left Divide  —  On March 27, 2010, thousands of people gathered in the small town of Searchlight, Nevada, for a political rally.  —  Just 250 miles away and seven days earlier, there was another political rally of similar size in Los Angeles on March 20, 2010.
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Sandra Bullock Trade  —  Two things happened to Sandra Bullock this month.  First, she won an Academy Award for best actress.  Then came the news reports claiming that her husband is an adulterous jerk.  So the philosophic question of the day is: Would you take that as a deal?
Leslie Kaufman / New York Times:
On Global Warming, Scientists and TV Weathercasters Are at Odds  —  The debate over global warming has created predictable adversaries, pitting environmentalists against industry and coal-state Democrats against coastal liberals.  —  But it has also created tensions between two groups …
Eugene Robinson / Washington Post:
The Hutaree militia and the rising risk of far-right violence  —  The arrests of members of a Michigan-based “Christian” militia group should convince doubters that there is good reason to worry about right-wing, anti-government extremism — and potential violence — in the Age of Obama.
Dennis Overbye / New York Times:
Large Hadron Collider Finally Smashing Properly  —  PASADENA, Calif. — After 16 years and $10 billion — and a long morning of electrical groaning and sweating — there was joy in the meadows and tunnels of the Swiss-French countryside Tuesday: the world's biggest physics machine …
Fox News:
Pro-Life Democrats Who Switched Vote for Health Bill Request Billions in Earmarks  —  The 11 House Democrats led by Rep. Bart Stupak who dropped their opposition to health care reform mere hours before the final vote have requested $3.4 billion in earmarks — and one watchdog group wants …
Scott / Power Line:
Al Sharpton plies his trade  —  When Don Imus sought absolution for his characteristic display of poor taste, he bent his knee to Pope Al Sharpton.  How is it that Al Sharpton has become the arbiter elegantiae for matters pertaining to race and etiquette?  Though he is accorded …
Jim Hoft / Gateway Pundit:
Liar Al Sharpton on Bogus Black Caucus Tea Party Attack …
Tom McLaughlin / Northwest Florida Daily News:
Bud Day endorses Charlie Crist  —  Not everyone in Northwest Florida plans to vote for Marco Rubio, a U.S. Senate candidate who has become the darling of conservative Republicans across the state.  —  Col. Bud Day, Fort Walton Beach attorney and Medal of Honor winner, has publicly endorsed …
Quinnipiac University:
Fisher Leads In Ohio Dem Primary For Senate, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; But Many Dem Voters Undecided Or Might Change Mind  —  With five weeks until the May 4 Democratic primary for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher leads Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner 33 …
Discussion: TPMDC and Politics Daily
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Blunt takes the lead  —  Missouri voters continue to be unhappy with Barack Obama and his health care plan and that's helped Roy Blunt to take the lead in the US Senate race.  —  Blunt is up 45-41 on Robin Carnahan, but that result probably has more to do with how the state feels …
Russell Goldman / ABCNEWS:
Oops!  Iowa Town Renames Good Friday  —  Citing the Separation of Church and State, Davenport Nixes Holy Day  —  One week before the most solemn day in the Christian year, the city of Davenport, Iowa removed Good Friday from its municipal calendar, setting off a storm of complaints …
Jonathan Weisman / Wall Street Journal:
Obama Gets Aggressive  —  White House Seeks to Rally Supporters With Aggressive Tone Against Opponents  —  President Barack Obama, after a year of fitfully searching for compromise, is taking a more aggressive tack with his Republican adversaries, hoping to energize Democratic voters …
Discussion: The Caucus and Pajamas Media
New York Times:
Afghan Leader Is Seen to Flout Influence of U.S.  —  KABUL, Afghanistan — This month, with President Hamid Karzai looking ahead to a visit to the White House, he received a terse note from aides to President Obama: Your invitation has been revoked.  —  The reason, according to American officials …
Founding Blogger / Founding Bloggers:
BREAKING VIDEO: Reid Supporters Throwing Eggs And Assaulting Andrew Breitbart  —  Here is a smidge of our video from Saturday's Tea Party Express coverage in Searchlight, Nevada.  —  The AP calls this a hospitality tent.  We call it destruction of property and assault.  Either way, this is Harry Reid's Democrat Party.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
GOP senators say they can work with Dems despite healthcare battle  —  Republican senators say they can work with Democrats, despite dire predictions that the healthcare fight would make cooperation impossible.  —  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned that using reconciliation to block …
Mike Celizic /
Obama: I'll continue to reach out to GOP  —  President says political rancor won't stop him from meeting challenges  —  TODAY's Matt Lauer sits down with President Barack Obama in his first one-on-one interview since he signed the historic health care reform package.  —  Afghanistan trip marked ‘progress,’ Obama says
Elizabeth Warren / The Politico:
Banking on hypocrisy  —  Banks or families?  —  For almost a year, the big banks and the American Bankers Association (ABA) have presented that choice to Congress.  Lobbyists argue that meaningful consumer protection will jeopardize the safety and soundness of banks, telling lawmakers that they must decide between the two.
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 More Items: 
Mary Williams Walsh / New York Times:
Payback Time: States' Debt Woes Grow Too Big to Camouflage
Discussion: AmSpecBlog
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Video: Could the feds require Americans to purchase GM cars?
Tony Romm / The Hill:
Dr. Biden soon to host community college summit
Discussion: CNN
Steven Greenhouse / New York Times:
Companies Push to Repeal Provision of Health Reform
Discussion: Wonk Room and The Politico
Amnesty International:
Associated Press:
Obama: Tea Party features ‘core group’ against him
 Earlier Items: 
Sarah Palin / Facebook:
American Heroes Ready and Willing to Serve in Congress
Sasha Issenberg / Boston Globe:
Romney defends Mass. health care law
Carla K. Johnson / Associated Press:
Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults
Discussion: Hot Air
Chris Bowers / Open Left:
The progressive Internet space changed because Obama convinced it to change
Discussion: TalkLeft and The Confluence
Gina Kolata / New York Times:
Health Law Does Little to Curb Overuse of Care
Discussion: Hit & Run and Beat the Press
Michael C. Moynihan / Hit & Run:
The Bolivarian Rot Spreads
Discussion: Cato @ Liberty
Associated Press:
Clyburn: Reid's dealmaking cost Mass. seat
Discussion: Wake up America