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2:10 PM ET, February 29, 2012


 Top Items: 
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
First Thoughts: Winning ugly
Discussion: Wake up America, GOP 12 and Power Line
Meghashyam Mali / Ballot Box:
Poll finds Santorum up by double-digits in Ohio
Discussion: CNN and The Moderate Voice
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Ron Paul calls Romney a ‘flip-flopper’ in new ad
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
5 takeaways from Arizona and Michigan
Mj Lee / Politico:
Reince Priebus: ‘I feel good about this’
Discussion: Guardian and Rush Limbaugh
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
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
Are the Rich Completely Undeserving of Sympathy?  —  I saw a fair amount of chortling this morning about this Bloomberg piece on wealthy financial-industry types who are having to cut back because of plummeting bonuses.  And to be sure, some of the cuts are in the “Call me a Waaaah-mbulance” category: can't go to Aspen any more?
Max Abelson / Bloomberg:
Wall Street Bonus Drop Means Trading Aspen for Discount Cereal  —  Andrew Schiff was sitting in a traffic jam in California this month after giving a speech at an investment conference about gold.  He turned off the satellite radio, got out of the car and screamed a profanity.
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.
Victoria Nuland / US Department of State:
U.S.-DPRK Bilateral Discussions  —  Press Statement  —  Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson  —  Washington, DC  —  A U.S. delegation has just returned from Beijing following a third exploratory round of U.S.-DPRK bilateral talks.  To improve the atmosphere for dialogue …
Steven Lee Myers / New York Times:
North Korea Agrees to Suspend Nuclear Work
Matthew Pennington / Associated Press:
US: NK agrees to suspend nuclear activities
Discussion: Reuters and ThinkProgress
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 …
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
House subcommittee votes to repeal healthcare reform law's ‘death panel’  —  Bipartisan legislation to repeal the healthcare law's cost-control board sailed through a House panel on Wednesday, raising pressure on the Senate to take up the bill and dealing President Obama a political blow.
Discussion: Hot Air, and The PJ Tatler
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.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
The Democrats' nightmare scenario  —  If Republicans regain the Senate, will they seek to reform the filibuster, sweeping away an obstacle that bedeviled Dems and making it far easier for them to enact their own agenda with a simple Senate majority?  —  Matt Steinglass argues that the GOP …
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.
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 …
E.J. Graff / American Prospect:
Do Women Count?  —  Yesterday, after I made some snarky comment, a friend asked me if I was Eeyore.  The truth is, I'm a mash-up of Eeyore and Tigger.  Tigger bounces up and down gleefully whenever I talk about gay rights.  But today I'm talking about the ladies again, so get ready for Eeyore.
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.
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.
Stephen Galloway / Hollywood Reporter:
Whatever Happened to Ted Turner?  —  The “Mouth of the South” is no longer as he devotes his time (and $1 billion) to the U.N., jets between 28 homes and four girlfriends, misses Jane Fonda and opens up to THR about Rupert, Jerry and his abuse as a child.  Says a friend: “He's definitely changed.”
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 …
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: 
Chicago Tribune:
Chicago's 2 coal-fired plants to shut down sooner than expected
Doubtful Signs of a Criminal Case Against MF Global
Discussion: naked capitalism
Olympia Meola / Richmond Times-Dispatch:
McDonnell signs repeal of one-gun-a-month law
Discussion: Wonkette
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’
 Earlier Items: 
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House votes to overturn Supreme Court decision on eminent domain
Elizabethe Holland / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Catholic school fires gay teacher planning wedding
Discussion: The Raw Story
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