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2:50 PM ET, March 20, 2012

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
Newt Gingrich / CNN:
TRENDING: Campaign calls De Niro comment ‘inappropriate’ after Gingrich blast  —  (CNN) - President Barack Obama's reelection organization said Tuesday it was “inappropriate” for Robert De Niro to joke at a campaign fundraiser in New York Monday that America wasn't “ready for a white first lady.”
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Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
De Niro suggests it's ‘too soon’ for another white FLOTUS  —  Actor Robert De Niro thrilled the crowd at a New York fundraiser headlined by first lady Michelle Obama when he listed the alternatives.  —  “Callista Gingrich.  Karen Santorum.  Ann Romney.  Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?”
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Gingrich says actor Robert DeNiro's racially themed first lady joke ‘inexcusable’  —  Newt Gingrich blasted actor Robert DeNiro for a racially themed joke during his introduction of first lady Michelle Obama at a fundraiser in New York City on Monday night, calling the comments “inexcusable.”
Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post:
Robert DeNiro, Campaigning For President Obama, Asks: Is U.S. ‘Ready For A White First Lady?’
Discussion: Guardian and The Raw Story
Frances Robles / MiamiHerald.com:
Grand jury to probe Trayvon Martin killing  —  Mounting pressure in Trayvon Martin case succeeds in prompting a federal probe as well as an investigation by a state grand jury.  —  FROBLES@MIAMIHERALD.COM  —  A grand jury will look into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Brevard County State Attorney Norm Wolfinger said Tuesday.
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Beth Kassab / Orlando Sentinel:
“Stand your ground” law goes too far  —  You can't say we weren't warned.  —  Back in 2005, opponents of Florida's first-of-its-kind “stand your ground” law said it wouldn't be long before we'd see shootouts in the streets — all in the name of self-defense.
WESH-TV:
State Attorney Sends Trayvon Martin Case To Grand Jury  —  Grand Jury To Be Called April 10  —  SANFORD, Fla. — State Attorney Norm Wolfinger announced Tuesday his decision that a grand jury will investigate the Trayvon Martin case.  —  “I share in the desire of the family and the community …
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Charles Johnson / Little Green Footballs:
Fox News Commenters React to Trayvon Martin: ‘Good Shot Zimmy’
Discussion: Fox News and Booman Tribune
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Santorum outgunned 7 to 1 in Illinois, 21 to 1 in Chicago media market  —  Rick Santorum's campaign and super PAC have been outspent by a margin of 7 to 1 in the Illinois primary, with forces supporting Mitt Romney shelling out a total of about $3.7 million on the airwaves, according to a GOP media-buying source.
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ABCNEWS:
Santorum Campaign Floats New Delegate Math Showing Much Tighter Race With Romney
Charles Mahtesian / Politico:
Illinois primary: 5 things to watch
Discussion: Washington Post
Virginia / CNN:   Obama leads GOP in battleground Virginia
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Media scrubs Malia Obama vacation story  —  The AFP, the Huffington Post and other websites have scrubbed a report about first daughter Malia Obama's Spring Break vacation.  —  On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama's daughter was vacationing abroad, along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents.
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Erica Ritz / TheBlaze.com:
WHY IS THE STORY ABOUT MALIA OBAMA VACATIONING IN MEXICO DISAPPEARING FROM THE WEB?  —  Have you heard that Malia Obama, the president's daughter, is reportedly spending her spring break in Oaxaca, Mexico?  Allegedly, she's jetting off with some of her classmates and 25 Secret Service agents …
Malick Rokhy BA / Agence France Presse:   Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail
Paul Ryan / Wall Street Journal:
The GOP Budget and America's Future  —  The president's budget gives more power to bureaucrats, takes more from taxpayers to fuel the expansion of government, and commits our nation to a future of debt and decline.  —  Less than a year ago, the House of Representatives passed a budget …
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Ezra Klein:
Paul Ryan's budget: Should the poor pay for deficit reduction?  —  Here's the basic outline of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's 2013 budget in one sentence: Ryan's budget funds trillions of dollars in tax cuts, defense spending and deficit reduction by cutting deeply into health-care programs and income supports for the poor.
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
No, Paul Ryan Does Not Want To Strengthen The Safety Net … - Republican Voters Say They Want Strong Executive Experience.  So Why Are They Voting for Rick Santorum?  - Yes, Europe Has More Economic Mobility Than the U.S.—but Europeans Are Still Snobs - Of Course Birth Control Pills Should Be Sold Over the Counter.
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:
GOP budget boosts defense spending
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Project …
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Joe Biden On Bin Laden Raid: Most ‘Audacious Plan’ In 500 Years … REACT:  —  FOLLOW:  —  2012 Election, Joe Biden, Osama Bin Laden, Elections 2012, Election 2012 Blog, Biden Bin Laden, Joe-Biden-Bin-Laden, Politics News  —  Vice President Joseph Biden on Monday night upped …
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Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
Biden touts bin Laden mission
Marc Ambinder / GQ:
Exclusive: GQ Reveals Romney's and Santorum's Secret Service Code Names  —  They are the best kept secrets of any presidential campaign—until someone overhears a whispered shout into a wrist microphone.  Candidates who get Secret Service protection get to choose the code word that they'll be called …
Mark Knoller / CBS News:
National Debt has increased more under Obama than under Bush  —  (CBS News) The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama's three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.  —  The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency.
CBS New York:
Bloomberg Strikes Again: NYC Bans Food Donations To The Homeless  —  Has The Mayor Totally Eaten Away At The Public's Desire To Do Good?  —  NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg's food police have struck again!  —  Outlawed are food donations to homeless shelters because the city …
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
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David Segal / New York Times:
For LSAT, Sharp Drop in Popularity for Second Year  —  Legal diplomas are apparently losing luster.  —  The organization behind the Law School Admission Test reported that the number of tests it administered this year dropped by more than 16 percent, the largest decline in more than a decade.
Discussion: TaxProf Blog, Instapundit and Law Blog
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Newt in the red  —  Newt Gingrich has more debt than cash on hand, according to the FEC report he will file today.  —  A Gingrich source notified Mike Allen that the former House speaker raised $2.62 million in February and spent $2.8 million.  That left him with $1.54 million in the bank.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
David Rogers / Politico:
GOP set to move on debt package  —  Trying to get their mojo back, House Republicans hope to move quickly this spring with a $261 billion deficit-reduction package to forestall automatic spending cuts next January that would fall heavily on defense.  —  The full details won't be released …
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 More Items: 
Andy Kroll / Mother Jones:
Santorum: 'I'm Praying' for Dan Savage Who ‘Has Serious Issues’
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Warren holds small lead in MA-Senate race
Discussion: Boston Globe
New York Post:
Bam's angry adviser
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
David Martosko / The Daily Caller:
Tom Hanks, Glenn Frey in 2004: ‘Blackface,’ race jokes at fundraising auction [VIDEO]
Discussion: Hot Air and The PJ Tatler
 Earlier Items: 
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
Rep. Walsh Proposes Federal ‘Proof Of Citizenship To Vote’ Law That Could Disenfranchise 15 Million Americans
Michael Mechanic / Mother Jones:
And You Wonder Why We're Broke? (Chart)
David Brooks / New York Times:
When the Good Do Bad  —  It's always interesting to read …
Bruno Waterfield / Telegraph:
Dutch Roman Catholic Church ‘castrated at least 10 boys’