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4:03 PM ET, March 20, 2012

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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 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?”
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
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.
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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 …
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
The Budget Wars: Why Obama and the GOP Are Light-Years Apart  —  If it seems like Republicans and Democrats are on different planets with their approach to budgeting, it's because they really are providing answers to completely different questions.  —  “This isn't just about math …
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.
Rosalind S. Helderman / Washington Post:
GOP budget plan cuts deeply into domestic programs, reshapes Medicare, Medicaid
Jeremy Herb / The Hill:
GOP budget boosts defense spending
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Project …
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?
Montreal Gazette:
Obama's daughter spends spring break in Mexico
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.
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Charles Johnson / Little Green Footballs:
Fox News Commenters React to Trayvon Martin: ‘Good Shot Zimmy’  —  I don't even know what to say about this any more; the comments about Trayvon Martin at Fox News are just unbelievable.  —  Here's the article: Department of Justice Opens Investigation Into Case of Black Teenager Killed by Neighborhood Watch Captain |
Discussion: Fox News and Booman Tribune
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.
WESH-TV:
State Attorney Sends Trayvon Martin Case To Grand Jury
Discussion: The Raw Story
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.
RELATED:
Charles Mahtesian / Politico:
Illinois primary: 5 things to watch
Discussion: CNN, Runnin' Scared and Washington Post
ABCNEWS:
Santorum Campaign Floats New Delegate Math Showing Much Tighter Race With Romney
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 …
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
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.
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 …
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Warren holds small lead in MA-Senate race  —  PPP's newest Massachusetts poll finds Elizabeth Warren leading Scott Brown 46-41.  —  Brown is not proving to be an overwhelmingly popular Senator.  45% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 42% who disapprove.
Discussion: Firedoglake and Boston Globe
 
 
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 More Items: 
Rosie Gray / BuzzFeed:
Occupy Wall Street Plans “General Strike” — But Labor Isn't Coming Along
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Daily Caller
Jonathan Easley / Ballot Box:
Nebraska GOP challenging Bob Kerrey's voter registration
Discussion: CNN
Associated Press:
Report: Just $31B from Buffett rule tax on rich
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Don't Bring a Pig to a News Conference
Discussion: The Raw Story and Hotline On Call
Megan McArdle / The Atlantic Online:
Liberals Are Wrong: Free Market Health Care Is Possible
Discussion: Maggie's Farm
David Rogers / Politico:
GOP set to move on debt package
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Newt in the red  —  Newt Gingrich has more debt than cash on hand …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
 Earlier Items: 
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, Ed Driscoll and The PJ Tatler
Scott Keyes / ThinkProgress:
Rep. Walsh Proposes Federal ‘Proof Of Citizenship To Vote’ Law That Could Disenfranchise 15 Million Americans
David Brooks / New York Times:
When the Good Do Bad  —  It's always interesting to read …