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3:45 AM ET, March 23, 2012


 Top Items: 
NBC's Andrew Rafferty /
Santorum: GOP better off with Obama than ‘Etch A Sketch’ Republican  —  SAN ANTONIO, TX — Rick Santorum today suggested it would be better to stick with President Obama over a candidate that might be “the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future” — a shot at chief rival Mitt Romney.
Michael A. Memoli / Los Angeles Times:
Santorum suggests Obama preferable to ‘Etch-A-Sketch’ Romney  —  Rick Santorum holds an Etch-A-Sketch as he speaks during a campaign stop in San Antonio, Texas.  (Eric Gay / Associated Press / March 22, 2012)  —  Rick Santorum's latest attempt to use a Mitt Romney aide's “Etch-A-Sketch” …
Joe Klein / Swampland:
Mitt Romney's Etch A Sketch Disaster  —  I've been thinking about this all night: Eric Fehrnstrom's Etch A Sketch gaffe yesterday may go well beyond a momentary embarrassment and become a campaign-defining disaster, much as John Kerry's “I voted for it before I voted against it” gaffe …
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Democrats Have No Fear Of Romney
Discussion: Daily Kos
Jim DeMint / CNN:
DeMint calls for GOP assessment of race, praises Romney
Mario Tama / ABCNEWS:   Santorum Suggests Obama Beats an ‘Etch A Sketch’ Candidate
Rasmussen Reports:
Louisiana GOP: Santorum 43%, Romney 31%, Gingrich 16%, Paul 5%
Michael D. Shear / New York Times:
For Romney's Trusted Adviser, ‘Etch A Sketch’ Comment Is a Rare Misstep
Alexander Burns / Politico:
DeMint: Time for ‘self-reflection’ from Romney foes
Discussion: Hot Air and Swampland
Maureen O'Connor / Gawker:
James O'Keefe's Panty-Stealing ‘Rape Barn’ Sex Scandal  —  It's a right-wing rabble-rouser showdown!  Jazz-handed pimp impersonator James O'Keefe is at “#WAR” with a former Project Veritas colleague who is now blogging an O'Keefe tell-all involving stolen panties, drugged beers, a “rape barn …
Tommy Christopher / Mediaite:
Former James O'Keefe ‘Accomplice’ Reveals ‘Barn Incident’ And Harassment Complaint  —  Last week, we reported that Nadia Naffe, self-described “accomplice” to conservative activist James O'Keefe , had begun publishing a multi-part tell-all series of posts to her blog.
Discussion: Crooks and Liars and Daily Kos
Part II: The Barn Incident  —  Making the decision to come forward to discuss in detail what happened at the barn that night, between me and James O'keefe, was one of the hardest choices I've ever had to make.  When I left the Westwood Courthouse after the hearing with James …
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
EXCLUSIVE: Sanford Commissioners Who Voted In Support Of Police Chief To Face Recall  —  SANFORD, FL — Two Sanford city commissioners who, amidst widespread outrage at the police investigation of Trayvon Martin's death, sided with police chief Bill Lee at a meeting last night …
Florida governor appoints new prosecutor in Trayvon Martin case  —  Gun control advocates say the Florida law that authorizes using deadly force to stop someone from committing a serious crime also encourages violent behavior.  NBC's Pete Williams reports.  —  By staff
Andrew Restuccia / The Hill:
Obama heckled during energy speech in Ohio  —  A heckler interrupted President Obama's speech on energy policy Thursday at Ohio State University.  —  The president, looking frustrated, stopped speaking and addressed the man  —  “Sir.  Im here to speak to these folks.  You can hold your own rally.
Meenal Vamburkar / Mediaite:
Pres. Obama To Heckler: 'You Can Hold Your Own Rally. You're Being Rude'
Discussion: CBS News
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Karl Rove: Bin Laden killing was no biggie  —  Keep an eye on this one, too, because it will also be central to GOP efforts to rewrite the history of the Obama presidency.  —  In his big Wall Street Journal Op ed piece today atttacking Obama's campaign documentary and minimizing the magnitude …
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Senate passes JOBS Act, with tweak  —  The Senate on Thursday approved a package of bills that relaxes federal regulations to help boost small businesses and startup companies as the economy continues to recover.  —  Senators passed the JOBS Act on a 73-26 vote Thursday, two weeks after the House voted 390-23 to approve it.
Discussion: The Raw Story
David Dayen / Firedoglake:
Senate Passes JOBS Act, STOCK Act
Josiah Ryan / The Hill:
Senate passes House GOP's JOBS Act
Discussion: Politico and The Raw Story
Larry J. Sabato / Sabato's Crystal Ball:
Tilting the Toss Ups - the Eight Races That Will Decide the Senate  —  Ah, the Senate.  The battle for control fascinates us — and all election observers — because there are so many intriguing races and personalities.  Yet, as we update our ratings today and move in a new direction …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Homework at Virginia school: Do some oppo research on Republicans but not on Obama  —  The bad news: This is a brazen bit of political indoctrination.  The good news: The class is now more or less qualified for work in America's mainstream media.  If you're going to push your politics on kids, at least teach 'em a trade.
Kalyn McMackin / The Daily Caller:
Va. middle-schoolers assigned opposition research on GOP candidates
Chris Stirewalt / Fox News:
Obama tries to spread blame on Solyndra, Keystone  —  “Obviously we wish Solyndra hadn't gone bankrupt.  Part of the reason they did was the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways Solyndra couldn't compete.  But understand, this was not our program per se.”
Linda Greenhouse / Opinionator:
Never Before  —  Journalistic convention requires that when there are two identifiable sides to a story, each side gets its say, in neutral fashion, without the writer's thumb on the scale.  This rule presents a challenge when one side of a controversy obviously lacks merit.
Nicole Belle / Crooks and Liars:
Supreme Court Voids Part of Family Leave Act
Chris Kromm / Pope Watch:
Locke Foundation blog uses racist image in blog on NC's Amendment One (UPDATED)  —  The Meck Deck, an official blog of the Art Pope-funded conservative John Locke Foundation, this week published racially-charged and homophobic imagery of President Obama in a piece this on the president's opposition …
Charlie Savage / New York Times:
U.S. Relaxes Some Restrictions for Counterterrorism Analysis  —  WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is moving to relax restrictions on how counterterrorism analysts may retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats.
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 More Items: 
E. Donald Elliott / The Atlantic Online:
The Case for Trimming the EPA
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
Politics, Odors and Soap
Mike Lillis / Ballot Box:
Rep. King: GOP hopefuls not fighting hard enough for balanced budget
Marty Cobenais / Climate Connections:
BREAKING NEWS: Native Americans Protest Keystone XL From A Cage
Discussion: Firedoglake, Grist and Daily Kos
Jason Cherkis / The Huffington Post:
Rick Santorum 1994 Campaign: The Opposition File
 Earlier Items: 
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Hillary Clinton to announce continued U.S. aid to Egypt
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Erick Erickson / Erick's blog:
Forgetting History
David Boaz / The Huffington Post:
Cal Thomas's Confusion About Freedom
Brendan Sasso / The Hill:
Feds accuse AT&T of making millions from calls by Nigerian scam artists
Discussion: Politico
Murray Weiss /
John Edwards is First Name Uncovered in ‘Millionaire Madam’ Investigation

From Mediagazer:

Benjamin Mullin / New York Times:
Ben Sherwood and Joanna Coles take minority stakes in The Daily Beast; Sherwood will be CEO and publisher, and Coles will be chief creative and content officer

Max Tani / Semafor:
The Intercept is losing ~$300K/month and could run out of cash by May 2025, according to data from March; its CEO says the projection was a worst case scenario

Nicole Sperling / New York Times:
As Netflix's new film chief Dan Lin takes charge, the company aims to shift its film strategy to focus on audience appeal and cost efficiency

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