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7:20 PM ET, March 26, 2012


 Top Items: 
Rene Stutzman / Orlando Sentinel:
Police: Zimmerman says Trayvon decked him with one blow then began hammering his head  —  With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head …
Frances Robles /
Multiple suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin  —  SANFORD — Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin was suspended from school in October in an incident in which he was found in possession of women's jewelry and a screwdriver that a schools security staffer described as a “burglary tool,” The Miami Herald has learned.
Wbastone / The Smoking Gun:
Mother Seeks Trayvon Martin Trademarks  —  Records: Late teenager's kin filed pair of applications last week  —  The mother of Trayvon Martin has filed two applications to secure trademarks containing her late son's name, records show.  —  Sabrina Fulton is seeking marks for the phrases …
Wbastone / The Smoking Gun:
An Unfortunate T-Shirt Hits Florida Streets In Wake Of Trayvon Martin Killing  —  Expanding the definition of “cracker,” a t-shirt featuring the photo of the man who shot Trayvon Martin is now available for purchase.  —  As seen at right (click to enlarge), the shirt has a picture of George Zimmerman and the words “Pussy Ass Cracker.”
Matt Gutman / ABCNEWS:
Trayvon Martin Killing Lead Prosecutor Says George Zimmerman Could Walk
Amanda Peterson Beadle / ThinkProgress:
Five States Still Debating ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws After Trayvon Martin's Tragic Death
Witness Says He Saw Trayvon Attack Zimmerman (Video)
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Newsy
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Argument recap: Moving on to the mandate (FINAL UPDATE)  —  When Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., commented at the end of Monday's first day of hearings on the health care law, “We'll continue argument on this case tomorrow,” it seemed to have a secondary meaning even if he did not intend it.
First glimpses of Supreme Court's thinking on health law  —  As protesters chanted outside, the Supreme Court opened three days of hearings Monday on President Barack Obama's landmark health care law by signaling that they will likely decide the core issues in the case now, rather than waiting until after 2014.
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Health Act Arguments Open With Obstacle From 1867  —  WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday starts three days of hearings on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care overhaul law, an epic clash that could recast the very structure of American government.
Ezra Klein:
Wonkbook: Absolutely everything you need to know about health reform's Supreme Court debut  —  Today's the day.  The Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments as to the constitutionality of various provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  Note that phrase: “Various provisions.”
Philip Klein / Campaign 2012:
SCOTUS skeptical of idea that mandate is a tax
Ariane De Vogue / ABCNEWS:
Justices Skeptical on Health Case Delay
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza / The Atlantic Online:
How Obamacare Will Be Settled: A Primer on the Commerce Clause
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
President Obama Asks Medvedev for ‘Space’ on Missile Defense — ‘After My Election I Have More Flexibility’  —  SEOUL, South Korea — At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” …
Alicia M. Cohn / The Hill:
Romney calls Russia ‘our No. 1 geopolitical foe’
Discussion: Politico
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
Obama asks Russia for ‘space’ through election
Discussion: CNN, Weasel Zippers and Betsy's Page
David Brody / The Brody File:
Exclusive: Rick Santorum Doesn't Rule Out Possible VP Slot: 'I'll do whatever is necessary to help our country.'  —  In an interview at our Brody File studio on Monday, Rick Santorum refused to rule out accepting an invitation to be Mitt Romney's vice president nominee, saying, “I'll do whatever is necessary to help our country.”
CBS News:
NYT reporter: Santorum outburst was for cameras
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Romney surrogate says Santorum has lost ‘self-control and discipline’
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Newt Gingrich loses his print reporters  —  Newt Gingrich has lost his last embedded print reporters, reporters on the trail confirm.  —  The last two print reporters covering Gingrich full-time on the trail — from POLITICO and the Atlanta Journal Constitution — pulled out on Friday.
Alex Pareene / Salon:
The silly 2016 speculation game  —  It may be impossible to make any serious predictions about a far-off race, but that has never stopped a pundit  —  Being that it's still March 2012 and we have no way of knowing who will actually be president by the end of January 2013 (besides “not Ron Paul …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Lobbyists, Guns and Money  —  Florida's now-infamous Stand Your Ground law, which lets you shoot someone you consider threatening without facing arrest, let alone prosecution, sounds crazy — and it is.  And it's tempting to dismiss this law as the work of ignorant yahoos.
Newt Gingrich / CNN:
Not quitting, because race isn't decided  —  (CNN) - Newt Gingrich may be far behind in the GOP delegate count - he has a quarter of the number frontrunner Mitt Romney does - but said on CNN's “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” that he isn't bowing out of the race.
Discussion: Indecision Forever
Walter Shapiro / The New Republic:
The Sad End of the Gingrich Campaign
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Juan Williams / The Hill:
Obama's health law proving successful  —  Just in time for the two-year anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the law's constitutionality this week.  —  This is a political column.
President Obama embraces ‘Obamacare’ label.  But why?  —  Even as the Supreme Court begins oral arguments over the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law today, the incumbent and his reelection team have made a critical strategic decision to embrace the term “Obamacare.”
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Models Based on ‘Fundamentals’ Have Failed at Predicting Presidential Elections  —  The 1988 presidential election was a victory for political science.  Michael Dukakis had led George Bush in the polls for much of the spring and summer.  But Mr. Bush had some fundamental advantages …
Amanda Marcotte / American Prospect:
Mad 21st Century Men  —  I'll have to work this in quickly before it becomes a cliché, but despite the show title, female characters have eclipsed male characters in audience sympathies on Mad Men.  Identity is the show's primary concern, putting the rapidly changing gender roles …
Paul Waldman / American Prospect:
Dogs and Cats Living Together  —  It often happens that when campaign negativity reaches a fever pitch, a candidate will take a small step back from the vitriol and say something like, “My opponent is a nice guy—he's just wrong about everything.”  What they almost never do, however, is say …
Strauss-Kahn charged in alleged prostitution ring  —  (CNN) — Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged in France on Monday with “aggravated pimping” for his alleged participation in a prostitution ring, prosecutors said.  —  He is not allowed to have contact …
Discussion: Wonkette and New York Magazine
Ker Than / National Geographic:
James Cameron Completes Record-Breaking Mariana Trench Dive  —  Solo sub dive is deepest ever.  —  The explorer-filmmaker emerges from his sub after returning from Challenger Deep.  —  Ker Than  —  At noon, local time (10 p.m. ET), James Cameron's “vertical torpedo” …
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 More Items: 
Stephanie Mencimer / Mother Jones:
Catholic Bishops Lose a Big Battle Over Contraception
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Booman Tribune
David Leigh / Guardian:
Questions for News Corp over rival's collapse
Evan McMorris-Santoro /
TPMDC  —  Sandra Fluke Is Relevant, Say Anti-Health Reform Tea Partiers
Discussion: Daily Kos and Hullabaloo
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Jill Abramson talks Israel-Iran coverage
Discussion: emptywheel
Zack Ford / ThinkProgress:
U.S. Customs Will Recognize Same-Sex Families At Borders
Discussion: The Stranger …
 Earlier Items: 
Bank Lobby's Onslaught Shifts Debate on Volcker Rule
Discussion: The New Republic
Katie Pavlich /
Under 40? Obama Has Branded You
Discussion: Hot Air and The PJ Tatler
John Sweeney / BBC:
Park Romney: Why he turned against the Mormon church
Discussion: Biased BBC and The Raw Story
Wall Street Journal:
Governor 13.3%  —  Jerry Brown's latest California accomplishment.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Josh Israel / ThinkProgress:
Texas Had ‘Fewer Than Five’ Voter Impersonation Cases Over Three Years
Zack Ford / ThinkProgress:
Anoka-Hennepin School District Rebuffs Conservative Group's Requests