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12:50 PM ET, February 29, 2012


 Top Items: 
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
Romney Wins Arizona; Tight Race in Michigan  —  SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Mitt Romney won the Arizona primary on Tuesday, based on surveys of voters leaving polls, but was locked in a tight battle with Rick Santorum in Michigan, where Mr. Santorum hoped to use his strong showing in his rival's native state …
Sean Trende / Real Clear Politics:
Odds of a Brokered Convention Are Increasing  —  We're finally close enough to Super Tuesday to get a sense of how the overall delegate count might work out in the GOP primary.  The end result: Assuming that none of the four candidates drops out of the race, it looks increasingly …
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
G.O.P. Greek Tragedy  —  Rick should scat.  —  Mitt Romney needs to be left alone to limp across the finish line, so he can devote his full time and attention to losing to President Obama.  —  Robo-Romney, who pulled out victories in his home state and in Arizona, and Sanctorum are still in a race to the bottom.
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Ron Paul calls Romney a ‘flip-flopper’ in new ad  —  Ron Paul is out with a new ad slamming all three of his primary opponents and describes Mitt Romney as a “flip-flopper who has been on all sides.”  —  The ad is the first attack Paul has made on Romney since his Iowa commercials …
Jonathan Martin / Reuters:
Michigan and Arizona primaries 2012: Mitt Romney wins ugly  —  NOVI, Mich. - Mitt Romney may have won ugly in Michigan, but his narrow victory will temper the mounting criticism of his candidacy, even though his resilience is about to be tested again in some of the biggest prizes of Super Tuesday.
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Santorum Loses Catholic Vote—But Did He Ever Have It?  —  As they awaited the final results from Michigan, probably the single biggest topic of conversation in the chattering classes last night was the shocking news from the exit polls that Rick Santorum had lost Michigan Catholics to Mitt Romney by a 44-37 margin.
Mj Lee / Politico:
Reince Priebus: ‘I feel good about this’
Discussion: Guardian and Rush Limbaugh
Meghashyam Mali / Ballot Box:
Poll finds Santorum up by double-digits in Ohio
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Aliyah Shahid / NY Daily News:
Rick Santorum: I regret saying John F. Kennedy speech on religion made me want to throw up
Discussion: The Spectacle Blog and ABCNEWS
Geneva Sands-Sadowitz / The Hill:
RNC chairman: Not a ‘fan’ of Santorum robocall tactic
Discussion: CNN
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
Romney Camp Will Haunt Santorum With Robocall Story
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Will Olympia Snowe Join Americans Elect?  —  Olympia Snowe's retirement statement seemed like it dropped a huge hint, and I'm surprised it hasn't received any attention: … This sounds exactly like the kind of rhetoric emanating from Americans Elect, the third-party group that believes …
First Thoughts: Winning ugly  —  Romney wins ugly in Michigan... But that win silences the talk about a white knight riding to the GOP's rescue... February took a toll on Romney... Did Santorum lose Michigan more than Romney winning it?... On to Super Tuesday... And Snowe's retirement gives Democrats …
Discussion: GOP 12
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
5 takeaways from Arizona and Michigan
Religion News Service:
Franklin Graham apologizes for questioning Obama's faith  —  WASHINGTON (RNS) Evangelist Franklin Graham apologized Tuesday (Feb. 28) to President Obama for questioning his Christian faith and said religion has “nothing to do” with Graham's decision not to support Obama's re-election.
Discussion: The Democratic Daily and USA Today
Tim Mak / Politico:
Report: Rev. Franklin Graham apologizes to Obama  —  Franklin Graham, the evangelist and son of Billy Graham, has apologized for questioning President Obama's Christian faith, insisting that religion has “nothing to do” with his decision not to support the president's election, according to a report.
Jennifer Haberkorn / Politico:
Obama makes a play for Scalia  —  Not surprisingly, the federal government quotes that opinion a lot in its court briefs.  —  Sutton hinted that he didn't like the mandate but said Supreme Court precedent favors a growing expansion of Commerce Clause power and that Congress has latitude to address national problems.
Alex Guillen / Politico:
Chu: DOE working to wean U.S. off oil, not lower prices  —  The Energy Department isn't working to lower gasoline prices directly, Secretary Steven Chu said Tuesday after a Republican lawmaker scolded him for his now-infamous 2008 comment that gas prices in the U.S. should be as high as in Europe.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Worried Dems pressing Obama on gas prices
Discussion: ThinkProgress and
Sacramento Bee:
Support for gay marriage takes dramatic leap in California, new poll shows  —  A new poll shows gay marriage has arrived in California - in public opinion if not in state lawbooks.  —  Golden State registered voters now favor same-sex unions by 59 percent to 34 percent …
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Rules Chairman Dreier announces retirement after 16 House terms  —  House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) on Wednesday morning announced from the House floor that he would not seek reelection this year.  —  “We all know that this institution has an abysmally low approval rating …
Discussion: Politico and Taegan Goddard's …
Michelle Boorstein / Washington Post:
D.C. archdiocese: Denying Communion to lesbian at funeral was against ‘policy’  —  Deep in grief, Barbara Johnson stood first in the line for Communion at her mother's funeral Saturday morning.  But the priest in front of her immediately made it clear that she would not receive the sacramental bread and wine.
Steven Shepard /
Despite Detroit Comeback, Public Opposes Bailout  —  A majority of Americans think the federal government should not have helped out U.S. automakers that were in financial trouble, but rather should have allowed them to go it alone, according to a new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll.
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House votes to overturn Supreme Court decision on eminent domain  —  The House on Tuesday afternoon approved legislation that overturns a 2005 Supreme Court decision that affirmed the ability of states to take control of private property under the doctrine of eminent domain and hand it to another private developer.
Ali Gharib / ThinkProgress:
Illinois GOP Congressional Candidate: ‘The Holocaust Never Happened’  —  Jones, a neo-Nazi, wants runs to be GOP candidate for Congress  —  Art Jones wants to be the U.S. Representative from the 3rd district of Illinois, which encompasses part of the South Side of Chicago and its suburbs.
Scott McLemee / Inside Higher Ed:
Interview with scholar who applauds the Tea Party  —  By  —  The prospect of reading a book about the Tea Party by a professor who supports the movement has a certain piquancy to it — especially now, as campaigning for the Republican nomination enters what feels like its second or third year.
Discussion: protein wisdom
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 More Items: 
Max Abelson / Bloomberg:
Wall Street Bonus Drop Means Trading Aspen for Discount Cereal
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Landrieu blasts Salazar, White House over drilling moratorium
New York Times:
U.S. Sees Iran Attacks as Likely if Israel Strikes
Olympia Meola / Richmond Times-Dispatch:
McDonnell signs repeal of one-gun-a-month law
Wall Street Journal:
The Other GM Bailout  —  The $18 billion tax gift Obama didn't mention.
Caroline May / The Daily Caller:
Va. AG Cuccinelli: ‘The EPA has violated the law here’
Elizabethe Holland / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Catholic school fires gay teacher planning wedding
Discussion: The Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Matthew Pennington / Associated Press:
US: NK agrees to suspend nuclear activities
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Reuters
Associated Press:
Obama administration plan would kill rival bird to save spotted owl
Washington Examiner:
Barone: Puzzling cheers for higher taxes
Lawrence B. Lindsey / Wall Street Journal:
Geithner and the ‘Privilege’ of Being American
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Matthew Archbold / The Daily Register:
Ethicists Argue for Post Birth Abortions
Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post:
Democracy Alliance Dumps Progressive Organizations
Discussion: Firedoglake, Campaign 2012 and BuzzFeed
Washington Post:
Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire in blow to GOP