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4:05 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 …
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.
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.
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: ABCNEWS, Wake up America and Power Line
Jeff Zeleny / New York Times:
Romney Wins Arizona; Tight Race in Michigan
Philip Rucker / Washington Post:
Mitt Romney talks tough on China during Ohio visit
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Mitt Romney 2008 Michigan Victory Speech Mentioned Getting Health Care For All Americans
Discussion: BuzzFeed, The Right Scoop and Gawker
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Ron Paul calls Romney a ‘flip-flopper’ in new ad
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
Mj Lee / Politico:
Reince Priebus: ‘I feel good about this’
Discussion: Guardian and Rush Limbaugh
Ross Douthat / Campaign Stops:
What Mitt Lost While He Won
Meghashyam Mali / Ballot Box:
Poll finds Santorum up by double-digits in Ohio
Justin Sink / Ballot Box:
Romney's new Web ad says Obama's ‘Kill Romney’ strategy failed
Discussion: CNN
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
5 takeaways from Arizona and Michigan
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.
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 …
Donovan Slack / Reuters:
Obama lunches with Hill leaders  —  President Barack Obama lunched privately with congressional leaders Wednesday to talk about jobs and the economy — the first such meeting since last summer's debt-ceiling negotiations dissolved.  —  The group was limited to only the top congressional leaders …
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Boehner describes Obama meeting with bipartisan leaders as constructive
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 …
Steven Lee Myers / New York Times:
North Korea Agrees to Suspend Nuclear Work  —  WASHINGTON — North Korea agreed to suspend nuclear weapons tests and uranium enrichment and to allow international inspectors to verify and monitor activities at its main reactor, the State Department and the North's official news agency announced on Wednesday …
Victoria Nuland / US Department of State:
U.S.-DPRK Bilateral Discussions
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.
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.”
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
New York Times:
U.S. Sees Iran Attacks as Likely if Israel Strikes  —  WASHINGTON — American officials who have assessed the likely Iranian responses to any attack by Israel on its nuclear program believe that Iran would retaliate by launching missiles on Israel and terrorist-style attacks on United States civilian and military personnel overseas.
Barak Ravid / Haaretz:
Netanyahu will ask Obama to threaten Iran strike
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.
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Bernanke warns lawmakers nation headed for ‘massive fiscal cliff’  —  Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress Wednesday it risked taking the nation over a “massive fiscal cliff” at the end of the year.  —  The central bank's boss warned expiring tax cuts and spending cuts set …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
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 More Items: 
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Reid to promote David Brock's ‘Fox Effect’
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Seeking Martini Perfection on the Campaign Trail
Discussion: New York Magazine
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
Utilities announce closure of 10 aging power plants in Midwest, East
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
Occupy Idiot Catches on Fire - Suffers Second Degree Burns When He Torches Historic Colorado Town Hall (Video)
Charles C. W. Cooke / National Review:
My Contraceptive Haul
Pundit Review Radio / BLACKFIVE:
Christian Soldiers Banned from The Quran in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Atlas Shrugs
E.J. Graff / American Prospect:
Do Women Count?  —  Yesterday, after I made some snarky comment …
 Earlier Items: 
Scott McLemee / Inside Higher Ed:
Interview with scholar who applauds the Tea Party
Discussion: protein wisdom
Wall Street Journal:
The Other GM Bailout  —  The $18 billion tax gift Obama didn't mention.
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Rules Chairman Dreier announces retirement after 16 House terms
Discussion: Politico
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
Lawrence B. Lindsey / Wall Street Journal:
Geithner and the ‘Privilege’ of Being American
Discussion: Sense of Events and Betsy's Page