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9:00 PM ET, February 27, 2012


 Top Items: 
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 …
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.
Democratic mischief in Michigan  —  Washington (CNN) - It's no secret that most Democratic strategists consider Mitt Romney the GOP contender who poses the biggest threat to President Obama.  It's also no secret that Michigan, the state where Romney grew up, is a must win for him.
Discussion: Politico
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.
Evan McMorris-Santoro /
Updated at 5:10 EST with audio of the call.
James Hohmann / Politico:
Battleground Poll: GOP president's race takes toll, Obama inches up
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Could crossover voters play spoiler in Michigan?
Discussion: Hot Air, The Caucus and The Raw Story
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: Daily Kos and Power Line
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 …
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
Discussion: WEWS-TV
Associated Press:   Authorities: 1 student killed, 4 wounded in Ohio school shooting; suspect taken into custody
Zack Ford / ThinkProgress:
Supreme Court Refuses To Humor Anti-Gay Group's Self-Victimization Meme  —  The Supreme Court has decided not to hear the National Organization for Marriage's challenge to Maine's campaign finance laws: … Though this may be perceived as a non-event, it represents a huge defeat …
Discussion: Holy Bullies …
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Free speech issue bypassed
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 …
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
Danny Yadron / Washington Wire:
Gingrich to Afghanistan: ‘Figure Out How to Live Your Own Miserable Life’  —  NASHVILLE — Newt Gingrich said it is impossible to “fix” Afghanistan and suggested the U.S. should to tell Afghan citizens to “figure out how to live your own miserable life.”
Discussion: Daily Kos
Maggie Haberman / Politico:   Newt: We can't fix Afghanistan
Amanda Peterson Beadle / ThinkProgress:
Alabama Bill Could Require Women To Undergo Invasive Ultrasound To Convince Them ‘To Keep The Child’  —  When a woman in Alabama seeks an abortion procedure, she already has to sign that her doctor has performed an ultrasound and that she either viewed the ultrasound image or rejected seeing it.
Mary Sell /
Ultrasounds before abortions  —  Chairman of state Senate …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Balloon Juice
Mitch Potter / Toronto Star:
Mitt Romney couldn't have remembered Detroit milestone; he wasn't born  —  DETROIT—When Mitt Romney regaled a Michigan audience this week with childhood memories of a landmark moment in Detroit history, it was a rare instance of emotional candour.  —  And, perhaps, an even rarer example of time travel.
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.
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.
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Santorum: Gas Prices Caused The 2008 Recession  —  Dubiously claims gas prices prevented people from paying their mortgages.  —  LANSING, Michigan—Rick Santorum sharpened his attack on President Barack Obama over rising gas prices, saying high energy prices caused the 2008 recession.
Brian Beutler /
TPMDC  —  Hoyer Working Behind The Scenes On Major Deficit Reduction Bill  —  House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is looking to shake legislative politics out of unconsciousness as early as this spring, and force a vote on a bipartisan legislative proposal - which would include higher taxes …
Discussion: Firedoglake and Hullabaloo
Paul Revoir / Daily Mail:
Christianity gets less sensitive treatment than other religions admits BBC chief  — But added that religion as a whole should never receive the same ‘protection and sensitivity’ in the law as race  —  BBC director-general Mark Thompson has claimed Christianity is treated with far less sensitivity …
Discussion: National Review
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 More Items: 
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
Rep. Issa Concedes His All-Male Anti-Contraception Hearing Was Not ‘My Greatest Success’
John Ingold / Denver Post:
Marijuana-legalization initiative qualifies for ballot
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Sarah Lyall / New York Times:
Inquiry Leader Says Murdoch Papers Paid Off British Officials
Mollie Reilly / The Huffington Post:
Mike Huckabee Laments ‘Toxic Atmosphere’ In 2012 Republican Primary
Discussion: Mediaite, Washington Post and Politico
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Dem Rep to constituents on HHS mandate: “Basically, we're not looking to the Constitution”
Discussion: The PJ Tatler and protein wisdom
Alexis Levinson / The Daily Caller:
Ad parodies ‘The Artist,’ calling Obama ‘The Con Artist’
Discussion: Sister Toldjah and Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
The Broken Regulatory State
Discussion: Eschaton and Washington Post
Jan Jan Party ID / PR Newswire:
Diane Sawyer, Anderson Cooper and Brian Williams are America's Favorite News Personalities
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