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6:15 PM ET, February 27, 2012


 Top Items: 
Susan Page / USA Today:
Swing states poll: Health care law hurts Obama in 2012  —  WASHINGTON - The health care overhaul that President Obama intended to be the signature achievement of his first term instead has become a significant problem in his bid for a second one, uniting Republicans in opposition and eroding his standing among independents.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Michigan Forecast Update: Romney's Lead Looks More Tenuous  —  Since we ran the Michigan numbers early Monday morning, three new polls are out that make the state look more like a true toss-up and less like one that favors Mr. Romney.  —  Two of the surveys, from Mitchell Research …
Rick Santorum / Wall Street Journal:
My Economic Freedom Agenda  —  We need bold tax reform, but Mitt Romney wants to tinker at the margins.  —  America's budget process is broken.  Our economy and American families are struggling, and the country needs bold reforms and major restructuring, not tinkering at the margins.
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
STUDY: Ron Paul Never Attacked Romney Once During 20 Debates, But Attacked Romney's Rivals 39 Times  —  In recent days, attention has focused on the unusual relationship between Ron Paul and Mitt Romney, who are purportedly competing against each other for the Republican presidential nomination.
James Hohmann / Politico:
Battleground Poll: GOP president's race takes toll, Obama inches up  —  A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll reveals the prolonged nominating battle is taking a toll on the GOP candidates and finds the president's standing significantly improved from late last year.
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Americans Divided on Repeal of 2010 Healthcare Law  —  Majority of Republicans strongly favor repeal if a Republican is elected president  —  PRINCETON, NJ — Americans divide evenly when asked if they favor (47%) or oppose (44%) a Republican president's repealing the 2010 healthcare law if elected this November.
Rick Santorum / CNN:
TRENDING: Santorum adviser on Michigan: ‘We have already won’  —  Detroit (CNN) - A senior adviser to Rick Santorum is downplaying the latest trend in Michigan polling, which shows Mitt Romney creeping back to a narrow lead ahead of Tuesday's closely watched Republican primary.
Democratic mischief in Michigan
Discussion: Politico
John Horton / Metro:
1 student killed, several hurt in shooting at Chardon High School; suspect in custody  —  One student died after the shooting this morning at Chardon High School, police said.  —  Police are not releasing names.  But Junior Nate Mueller, who said his ear was grazed by a bullet, identified the shooter as T. J. Lane.
Ted Achladis /   CHARDON HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING: Sources Identify Alleged Shooter
Connor Kiesel / WEWS-TV:
Police: 1 dead, 4 injured, gunman in custody in Chardon High School shooting
Associated Press:   Authorities: 1 student killed, 4 wounded in Ohio school shooting; suspect taken into custody
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
TransCanada Corp. to begin construction of Keystone pipeline  —  TransCanada Corp. said Monday it plans to begin building a major portion of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline despite the Obama administration's decision to reject a key permit for the project.
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
White House gives blessing to partial Keystone XL construction
Discussion: Power Line
Associated Press:
White House helps pay for NYPD Muslim surveillance
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Politico
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Why Are People So Averse To Jury Duty? … - Why Has the Syrian Uprising Been Such a Dud on Facebook and Twitter?  - Finally, New Laws That Give Nannies and Maids Real Legal Rights - The Best Acceptance Speech From Last Night's Oscars - Cash Is Inconvenient, Dirty, and Covered With Germs.
David Weigel / Slate:
We Don't Need No Education, We Don't Need No Thought Control
Amie Parnes / Ballot Box:
Obama swipes at Santorum, says college not a ‘partisan’ issue
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
2012 or Never  —  Republicans are worried this election could be their last chance to stop history.  This is fear talking.  But not paranoia.  —  Of the various expressions of right-wing hysteria that have flowered over the past three years—goldbuggery, birtherism, death panels at home …
Washington Post:
Bob Kerrey changes his mind, will run for Senate, source says  —  Former senator Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) has changed his mind and plans to run for the open Senate seat in Nebraska, according to a senior Democratic aide.  —  The aide said Kerrey has called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to inform him of his plans.
Amanda Peterson Beadle / ThinkProgress:
Idaho To Consider Ultrasound Bill  —  Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder and Right to Life of Idaho are sponsoring a bill to require women to have an ultrasound before receiving an abortion that has been introduced in the Idaho legislature.  The measure does not specifically mention …
Phillip Matier / San Francisco Chronicle:
Sex-tape stunner in Nadia Lockyer case  —  There's a shocking twist in the saga of Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer and the incident at a Newark hotel that landed her in the hospital and a male acquaintance under police scrutiny.  —  We're told that a sex tape of Nadia Lockyer …
Discussion: Clayton Cramer's Blog
Michael Barbaro / New York Times:
Santorum Makes Case for Religion in Public Sphere  —  TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — With two days left before the high-stakes Republican primaries in Arizona and Michigan, Rick Santorum delivered a full-throated defense of religion in public life on Sunday, appealing to the social conservatives who have revived his presidential campaign.
Catholic New World:
What are you going to give up this Lent?  —  The Lenten rules about fasting from food and abstaining from meat have been considerably reduced in the last forty years, but reminders of them remain in the fast days on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and in the abstinence from meat on all the Fridays of Lent.
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Free speech issue bypassed  —  Government employees who get into trouble for disobeying a superior's plea to file a report that the employee thinks is false and believes will contribute to covering up misconduct will get no legal guidance on their plight from the Supreme Court …
Jan Jan Party ID / PR Newswire:
Diane Sawyer, Anderson Cooper and Brian Williams are America's Favorite News Personalities  —  Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Nancy Grace are least favorite  —  Decades ago there were just a few names that dominated the news world.  Everyone knew who Walter Conkrite, David Brinkley and Chet Huntley were.
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Dem Rep to constituents on HHS mandate: “Basically, we're not looking to the Constitution”  —  This moment in constitutional cluelessness comes to us from the same townhall meeting Rep. Kathy Hochul held with her NY-26 constituents that we featured on Saturday.
Discussion: protein wisdom and The PJ Tatler
Jana Winter / Fox News:
Media Matters boss paid former partner $850G ‘blackmail’ settlement  —  Media Matters chief David Brock paid a former domestic partner $850,000 after being threatened with damaging information involving the organization's donors and the IRS - a deal that Brock later characterized as a blackmail payment …
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 More Items: 
Danny Yadron / Washington Wire:
Gingrich to Afghanistan: ‘Figure Out How to Live Your Own Miserable Life’
Discussion: Daily Kos
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Could crossover voters play spoiler in Michigan?
Discussion: The Caucus and The Raw Story
Mollie Reilly / The Huffington Post:
Mike Huckabee Laments ‘Toxic Atmosphere’ In 2012 Republican Primary
Discussion: Mediaite, Washington Post and Politico
Alexis Levinson / The Daily Caller:
Ad parodies ‘The Artist,’ calling Obama ‘The Con Artist’
Discussion: Sister Toldjah and Hot Air
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
The Broken Regulatory State
Discussion: Washington Post and Eschaton
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard / Telegraph:
Spanish revolt brews as national economic rearmament begins in Europe
Discussion: National Review and EU Referendum
 Earlier Items: 
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
EXCLUSIVE: Outed sheriff ‘110 percent in the race for Congress’
E. Scott Reckard / Los Angeles Times:
J.D. Power: Bank switching movement is real
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Raw Story
David Carr / New York Times:
Blurred Line Between Espionage and Truth
Juan Williams / The Hill:
Partisans ignoring stimulus's success
Discussion: Politico and Prairie Weather
Alyssa Rosenberg / ThinkProgress:
Lou Dobbs Gets Conspiratorial About ‘The Lorax’ and ‘The Secret of Arrietty’
Alan Dershowitz / NY Daily News:
The odious ‘Israel first’ libel
Discussion: Hot Air and protein wisdom