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5:10 PM ET, March 19, 2012


 Top Items: 
Bristol Palin:
Mr. President, When Should I Expect Your Call?  —  You don't know my telephone number, but I hope your staff is busy trying to find it.  Ever since you called Sandra Fluke after Rush Limbaugh called her a slut, I figured I might be next.  You explained to reporters you called …
Rick Santorum / CNN:
Santorum dings Romney while defending contraception stance  —  (CNN) - Rick Santorum, making a round of morning show appearances ahead of a day of campaigning in Illinois Monday, took harsh aim at chief rival Mitt Romney, asserting the former Massachusetts governor “doesn't have a core.”
Reid J. Epstein / Politico:
No ‘spark’ for Mitt Romney in Illinois  —  VERNON HILLS, Ill. - Same story, different state.  —  Mitt Romney has a roster of blue chip GOP supporters here, more resources and a superior organization in a state that seems a good fit to his brand of Republicanism.
Charlie Riedel / ABCNEWS:
Pressure on Santorum to Deliver in Illinois  —  After a string of Tuesdays where Mitt Romney had something to prove, it's time for Rick Santorum to deliver in the Land of Lincoln.  —  Yes, a Romney loss in Illinois tomorrow would be an embarrassment of epic proportions.
Discussion: GOP 12 and The Huffington Post
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Romney up big in Illinois
Republicans ramp up efforts to slam Obama health law
Discussion: Politico
Roger Friedman /
Exclusive: Seller of Controversial Anti-Obama Sticker Says It's Not Racist  —  Exclusive: Paula Smith of Hinesville, Georgia has a company called  And they're selling their own version of an anti-Obama bumper sticker that reads “Don't Re-Nig 2012.”
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Krugman On ObamaCare - Just Make Stuff Up Faster Than The Opponents  —  Paul Krugman has decided to fight fiction with fiction in the health care debate, and when the opposition spreads BS, he will spread BS twice as hard.  Waddya expect from a former Enron adviser?  —  He correctly notes this Republican miscue:
Discussion: Campaign 2012
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Hurray for Health Reform
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
The Hill Poll: Voter gloom on Obama's jobs, gas, debt policies  —  Half of likely voters expect the Supreme Court to strike down President Obama's signature healthcare law, and strong majorities see other major policies coming from the White House making life more difficult for themselves and the country …
Jonathan Cohn / The New Republic:
Obamacare on Trial: Case of the Century?
Discussion: Althouse
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Obama blamed troubles on Fox News, book says  —  President Barack Obama blamed Fox News for his political woes in a private meeting with labor leaders in 2010, saying he was “losing white males” who tune into the cable outlet and “hear Obama is a Muslim 24/7,” according to journalist David Corn's new book, “Showdown.”
Byron Tau / Politico:
Obama campaign raises $45m in February  —  The latest fundraising numbers from the Obama campaign, via President Obama's Twitter account: … The campaign's February numbers, which include several joint DNC accounts, outpace their January haul of $29.1 million — and indicate that the campaign …
Discussion: Newsy, American Prospect and The Caucus
T.W. Farnam / Washington Post:
Obama's high-dollar donations lagging
Daily Mail:
THE TSA'S GREATEST HITS  — The TSA issued apologies to two grandmothers in their late 80s who said they were strip searched at New York's JFK Airport in January.  — In October, a TSA inspector found a vibrator in lawyer and feminist blogger Jill Filipovic's luggage …
Glenn Kessler / Washington Post:
'The Road We've Traveled:' A misleading account of Obama's mother and her insurance dispute  —  Narrator Tom Hanks: “He knew from experience the cost of waiting [on health care reform].”  —  President Obama : “When my mom got cancer, she wasn't a wealthy woman and it pretty much drained all her resources”
Discussion: Booman Tribune and Weasel Zippers
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Romney: ‘The economy is coming back’  —  So he said at a campaign stop in Springfield, Ill., this morning.  POLITICO's Reid Epstein:
Discussion: Daily Kos and Swampland
Devin Dwyer / ABCNEWS:
Axelrod ‘Mittzkrieg’ Comment Draws Fire From Jewish Group  —  A Republican Jewish group is demanding an apology from senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod after he referred to Mitt Romney's ad campaign in Illinois as “the Mittzkrieg.”  —  “The Mittzkrieg in Illinois isn't terribly inspiring …
Greg Wyshynski / Yahoo! Sports:
She's a Sens fan, her girlfriend's a Leafs fan and their marriage proposal during NHL game was adorable (VIDEO)  —  On Saturday night at Scotiabank Place, a Toronto Maple Leafs fan named Alicia stood on the ice during the second intermission wearing a blindfold.
Arizona Republic:
Arpaio sees media conspiracy against ‘birthers’  —  Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio believes that a media conspiracy “bigger than Watergate” is purposefully downplaying his volunteer posse's investigation of President Barack Obama's birth certificate.  —  Arpaio and the posse held …
Andrew Gilligan /
Ken Livingstone: I will make London a beacon of Islam  —  Here is the full version of a story which appears in the print edition of today's Daily Telegraph:  —  KEN LIVINGSTONE has promised to turn London into a “beacon” for the words of the Prophet Mohammed in a sermon at one of the capital's most controversial mosques.
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Harry's Place
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
A lion in winter  —  What's riveting about the documents taken from Osama bin Laden's compound, beyond the headline items about plots to kill American leaders, is the way they allow the reader to get inside the terrorist mastermind's head.  —  I've only seen a small sample of the thousands …
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
What Everyone Should Know About Trayvon Martin (1995-2012)  —  On February 26, 2012, a 17-year-old African-American named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida.  The shooter was George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old white man.  Zimmerman admits killing Martin, but claims he was acting in self-defense.
Alex Spillius / Telegraph:
Syria: ‘I am the real dictator’, declares Asma al-Assad  —  Asma al-Assad, the British-born wife of Syria's president, told a friend that she was the “real dictator” in the family, according to leaked emails that suggest she holds a cherished place in the leader's inner circle.
Robert Kuttner / American Prospect:
The Age of Double Standards  —  “But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way.”  —  “Then,” said Yossarian, “I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn't I?”  —Joseph Heller, Catch-22  —  Last November 29, American Airlines declared bankruptcy under Chapter 11 …
Discussion: Suburban Guerrilla
Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta / Los Angeles Times:
Gun-tracking operation caught top suspect, then let him go  —  Federal agents stopped the main target of the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious in May 2010.  After they questioned him, he disappeared back into Mexico, and the program went on to spiral out of control.
Discussion: PJ Media
Associated Press:
High court rejects Christian campus groups' appeal  —  WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from Christian groups that challenged a discrimination policy at California state universities.  —  The justices on Monday are leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling …
Discussion: Firedoglake
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 More Items: 
Todd Shields / Washington Post:
Broadcasters fight plan to post names of political ad buyers on Web
David Martosko / The Daily Caller:
'Kill a cop or 2′ Occupy tweeter: I was taken out of context
Christina D. Romer / New York Times:
That Wishful Thinking About Tax Rates
Discussion: Firedoglake and Change of Subject
The White House:
Presidential Proclamation — National Day of Honor
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Mickey Kaus / The Daily Caller:
Noah Buries Lede
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Karoli / Crooks and Liars:
Romney Admits GOP Education Policy is Intended to Kill Unions
Jamie Weinstein / The Daily Caller:
Media Matters for America is linked with Al-Jazeera …
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Israel Matzav
The Gallup Organization / Gallup:
U.S. Unemployment Ticks Down in Mid-March
Discussion: US Politics
 Earlier Items: 
Dylan Byers / Politico:
David Ignatius is national security go-to guy
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Jeffrey Sparshott / Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Made Profit on Mortgage Debt
Discussion: FT Alphaville and ThinkProgress
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Republicans go on offensive over rumors Obama may tap emergency oil reserves