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11:05 AM ET, March 16, 2012


 Top Items: 
Mike Flannery / Chicago News and Weather:
Mitt Romney Leads Rick Santorum by Six Points in Exclusive Illinois Poll  —  Chicago - The Republican race for president looks like a two-man contest in Illinois Thursday night.  —  Mitt Romney is ahead of Rick Santorum among Illinois Republicans, even after Santorum's big victories in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday.
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Gingrich: I'm not dependent on Sheldon Adelson to stay in race  —  Newt Gingrich on Friday denied that the reason he's able to stay in the GOP presidential race is because of funding by one major donor.  —  “No. I'm happy to have somebody who cares passionately about the Iranian nuclear weapon …
Discussion: CNN
Rick Pearson / Chicago Tribune:
Romney moves up campaigning in suddenly crucial Illinois
Discussion: and The Page
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Romney: No ‘secret deal’ with Ron Paul
Discussion: and GOP 12
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Obama's oil flimflam  —  Yes, of course, presidents have no direct control over gas prices.  But the American people know something about this president and his disdain for oil.  The “fuel of the past,” he contemptuously calls it.  To the American worker who doesn't commute by government motorcade …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Natural Born Drillers  —  To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil.  And with prices at the pump on the rise, so is the chant of “Drill, baby, drill.”
Sarah Palin / BREITBART.COM:
BREITBART IS HERE  —  There is a new street art poster that's being emailed around and will no doubt eventually be spotted on a street corner near you.  It's a gritty black and white image of Andrew Breitbart looking both battle-worn and ever vigilant with the caption: “BREITBART IS HERE.”
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
Texas Loses Entire Women's Health Program Over Planned Parenthood Law … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  Video, Hhs Texas Family Planning Program, Hhs Texas Medicaid, Rick Perry Planned Parenthood, Rick Perry Women's Health Program, Texas Women's Health Program, Texas-Planned-Parenthood, Politics News
Josh Barro / The Barrometer:
Santorum Promises Broad War on Porn  —  You had better not be watching what Rick Santorum thinks you're watching.  (Image via Wikipedia)  —  The Daily Caller flags a little-discussed position paper on Rick Santorum's campaign website—his pledge to aggressively prosecute those who produce and distribute pornography.
Jonathan Easley / Ballot Box:
Santorum: Obama DOJ favors ‘pornographers over children’
Discussion: and GOP 12
Lynn Bonner / Raleigh News & Observer:
Hundreds march against same-sex marriage amendment  —  TAKAAKI IWABU - TIWABU@NEWSOBSERVER.COM  —  Demonstrators voice their opposition to the North Carolina Same-Sex Marriage Amendment on Thursday, March 15, 2012, at a rally behind the legislative building on Halifax mall in Raleigh.  —  marriage |
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin / The Rhode Island Catholic:
Five Problems with Homosexual “Marriage”
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Obama shifts healthcare defense  —  The Obama administration has shifted its legal arguments as it prepares to defend the president's healthcare law before the Supreme Court.  —  Written briefs in the landmark case increasingly have focused on a part of the Constitution that didn't get much attention in lower courts.
Wall Street Journal:
Washington Elites Queue Up to See Nine Justices on Hot Seat
Discussion: Law Blog and Betsy's Page
Matt Kibbe / Politico:
Orrin Hatch is no conservative  —  “What do you call a senator who's served in office for 18 years?”  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), asked about his opponent in the first of his many Senate campaigns.  “You call him home.”  —  I have a similar question: What do you call a senator who claims to be …
Discussion: Connecting.the.Dots and BuzzFeed
Salt Lake Tribune:
Hatch cheered by initial GOP caucus reports
Eric Schmittand William Yardley / New York Times:
Suspect in Afghan Attack ‘Snapped,’ U.S. Official Says  —  WASHINGTON — The American staff sergeant suspected of killing 16 Afghan villagers had been drinking alcohol — a violation of military rules in combat zones — and suffering from the stress related to his fourth combat tour and tensions …
Investor's Business Daily:
Bigot Chris Matthews' War On Catholics And Mormons  —  Bias: Having lost that tingly feeling up his leg, MSNBC's Chris Matthews savages GOP presidential candidates as belonging to cults.  Well, at least they didn't spend two decades listening to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Discussion: The POH Diaries
Matthew Shelley /
After Giving Limbaugh a Bye, Romney Blasts Maher  —  Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney  —  The battle over potty-mouthed talk show hosts is getting partisan indeed.  —  After taking a pass on criticizing conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh for calling a Georgetown University student …
Tim Boyle / ABCNEWS:
Rahm Emanuel Uses Limbaugh Controversy Against Romney
Discussion: Politico, The Page and Weasel Zippers
Raymond Hernandez / City Room:
Ackerman Won't Seek Re-Election to Congress  —  WASHINGTON — Representative Gary L. Ackerman, a longtime member of Congress from Queens and Long Island, announced on Thursday that he would not seek re-election, an unexpected development that brings an end to a colorful political career.
Jamie Klatell / Ballot Box:
Rep. Gary Ackerman will not seek reelection
Discussion: Politico, CNN and The Hayride
Josiah Ryan / The Hill:
Durbin: US buying weapons from same Russian manufacturer that is enabling massacre in Syria  —  Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) on Thursday decried the fact that the U.S. military is apparently buying tens of millions of dollars' worth of helicopters for the Afghan national army …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Associated Press:
Marine killed by Afghan soldier last month, officials say  —  WASHINGTON - An Afghan soldier shot to death a 22-year-old Marine at an outpost in southwestern Afghanistan last month in a previously undisclosed case of apparent Afghan treachery that marked at least the seventh killing …
Ronald Brownstein /
Stronger, but Not Secure  —  President Obama's approval rating among key groups is approaching his actual share of the 2008 vote.  —  Boosted by growing optimism about the economy, President Obama is showing signs of reassembling the coalition of support that powered him to his 2008 presidential victory.
Discussion: Hot Air
Benedict Carey / New York Times:
Male Fruit Flies, Spurned by Females, Turn to Alcohol  —  They were young males on the make, and they struck out not once, not twice, but a dozen times with a group of attractive females hovering nearby.  So they did what so many men do after being repeatedly rejected: they got drunk, using alcohol as a balm for unfulfilled desire.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway and Truthdig
James Bamford / Wired:
The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)  —  The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze.  Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah's Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west.
Discussion: The Agonist
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 More Items: 
New Hampshire House Passes A Bill That Falsely Claims Abortion Causes Breast Cancer
Discussion: Jezebel and The Huffington Post
Julia Angwin / Wall Street Journal:
Google in New Privacy Probes
Choe Sang-Hun / New York Times:
North Korea Says It Will Launch Satellite Into Orbit
Discussion: News Desk and The Other McCain
Douglas M. Main / Green:
Zeroing In on Lead in Hunters' Bullets
Discussion: Hot Air and Instapundit
Carlo Munoz / The Hill:
McCain sees another Solyndra in Navy biofuels spending
Joel Achenbach / Ezra Klein:
Gas prices spike, and American motorists rumble with anger, frustration
Patrick Wintour / Guardian:
Osborne poised to slash top tax rate from 50p to 40p
New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Dismissal of gun-rights suit upheld by 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel
Discussion: Law Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Michael J. Sandel / The Atlantic Online:
What Isn't for Sale?  —  Market thinking so permeates our lives …
Brian Beutler /
TPMDC  —  New GOP Medicare Privatization Plan: Obamacare For Seniors Only?
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Daily Kos
Kenneth P. Vogel / Reuters:
Stephen Colbert super PAC fundraising falls flat
David Catanese / Politico:
Dick Lugar vows to appeal ruling
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Brian Tashman /
Kevin McCullough Claims that Nobody is Gay
Discussion: Good As You