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11:40 AM ET, March 20, 2012


 Top Items: 
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.
Santorum Campaign Floats New Delegate Math Showing Much Tighter Race With Romney
Discussion: Washington Post
Ashley Perks / The Hill:
Romney poised for key Illinois win
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
Romney faces another ‘must-win’ state in Illinois primary
Santorum: Unemployment Rate “Doesn't Matter To Me”
Discussion: Slate, Mediaite and New York Magazine
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.
Erica Ritz /
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 …
Brian Doherty / Hit & Run:
Obama's Daughter Vacations in Mexico, But Let's Not Discuss It.  In Fact, Let's Not Even Ever Have Discussed It
Discussion: alicublog
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?”
Discussion: and The Page
Chris Geidner / Poliglot:
Michelle Obama: Supreme Court Picks Will Impact Whether Americans Can “Love Whomever We Choose”  —  At multiple events in New York City on Monday, March 19, First Lady Michelle Obama — in campaigning for her husband's re-election — made reference to the effect that Supreme Court appointees will have on …
Newt Gingrich / CNN:
TRENDING: Gingrich blasts De Niro for first lady comments  —  (CNN) - Newt Gingrich delivered a scorching response Tuesday to Robert De Niro's comments Monday night at an Obama for America fundraiser in New York attended by first lady Michelle Obama that America wasn't “ready for a white first lady.”
Discussion: The Hill
Jennifer Bendery / The Huffington Post:
Robert DeNiro, Campaigning For President Obama, Asks: Is U.S. ‘Ready For A White First Lady?’
Discussion: The Raw Story
Virginia / CNN:   Obama leads GOP in battleground Virginia
Pgoodenough / CNSNews:
First Lady: 2012 'Will Determine Nothing Less Than What Kind of World We'll be Leaving for Our Children'
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and The PJ Tatler
Frances Robles /
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.
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 …
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.
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 …
Naftali Bendavid / Wall Street Journal:
GOP's Budget Targets Taxes
Daniel Foster / National Review:   And Here You Thought Hope Was Audacious
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.
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
Rep. Walsh Proposes Federal ‘Proof Of Citizenship To Vote’ Law That Could Disenfranchise 15 Million Americans  —  A Republican congressman from Illinois praised a controversial new voting measure at a town hall last month, calling for a national version of the law that could disenfranchise millions.
David Brooks / New York Times:
When the Good Do Bad  —  It's always interesting to read the quotations of people who knew a mass murderer before he killed.  They usually express complete bafflement that a person who seemed so kind and normal could do something so horrific.  —  Friends of Robert Bales …
Discussion: normblog, News Desk and Prairie Weather
New York Times:
U.S. War Game Sees Perils of Israeli Strike on Iran  —  WASHINGTON — A classified war simulation held this month to assess the repercussions of an Israeli attack on Iran forecasts that the strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead …
Michael Mechanic / Mother Jones:
And You Wonder Why We're Broke?  (Chart)  —  The International Institute for Strategic Studies  —  This chart from the International Institute for Strategic Studies—part of the think tank's recent report, “Military Balance 2012,” more or less speaks for itself.
David Martosko / The Daily Caller:
Tom Hanks, Glenn Frey in 2004: ‘Blackface,’ race jokes at fundraising auction [VIDEO]  —  Video footage obtained by The Daily Caller shows Hollywood screen legend Tom Hanks and Eagles musician Glenn Frey at a 2004 fundraising auction, playfully interacting with a white man dressed as an African native …
Discussion: Hot Air
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 More Items: 
Eric Ostermeier / Smart Politics:
Will Santorum Give Illinois Its Most Competitive GOP Primary in 100 Years?
Discussion: Chicago Tribune, Hot Air and
New York Post:
Bam's angry adviser
Carl Siciliano / The Huffington Post:
A Call to Cardinal Dolan to Stop Endangering LGBT Youth
Brendan Sasso / The Hill:
Apple says $60 billion will remain overseas until US tax law changes
Chris Cillizza / Washington Post:
Welcome to the Sweet 2016!  —  With the Fix's beloved Georgetown …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
 Earlier Items: 
Mohamed Fadel Fahmy / CNN:
Al Qaeda leader's brother to be freed in Egypt
Nicholas Hahn / RealClearReligion:
Rick Santorum: I'm No Evangelical
Discussion: Mother Jones and Wonkette
Bruno Waterfield / Telegraph:
Dutch Roman Catholic Church ‘castrated at least 10 boys’