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12:15 PM ET, April 17, 2012


 Top Items: 
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Notes on Poll-Watching, as Shift Toward General Election Season Begins  —  In a couple of weeks, we'll be starting our FiveThirtyEight forecasts for the general election.  But there's still a fair amount of work to get those ready, and we seem to be seeing an increasing number of head …
CNN/ORC poll: Most Americans say tax system favors wealthy
Discussion: ThinkProgress, Reuters and The Hill
CNN Poll: Gender gap and likeability keep Obama over Romney
Washington Post:
Poll: Romney rallies GOP, faces big popularity deficit for general election
Chris Francescani / Reuters:
Trayvon Martin's killer showed signs of injury: neighbors  —  (Reuters) - Neighbors of George Zimmerman say he had bandages on his nose and head the day after he shot dead Trayvon Martin, supporting statements by the neighborhood watch volunteer that he was beaten in a confrontation with the black Florida teenager.
Tom Maguire / JustOneMinute:
Trayvon Martin: Reuters Finds Bandages On Zimmerman, But Why Now?  —  Matt Drudge links to a Reuters story with the following “news”:  —  Trayvon Martin's killer showed signs of injury: neighbors  —  (Reuters) - Neighbors of George Zimmerman say he had bandages on his nose and head …
Discussion: Pat Dollard
Russell Goldman / ABCNEWS:
Dog Seamus ‘Loved’ Trips Atop Family Car, Says Ann Romney  —  Seamus, Mitt Romney's Irish setter who traveled with his young family strapped to the roof of their station wagon, “loved” those trips, despite once getting ill, Ann Romney told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.
Sarah B. Boxer / CBS News:
Trump-hosted fundraiser with Ann Romney set to raise $600K
Discussion: ThinkProgress, GOP 12 and The Hill
Charles Mahtesian / Politico:
Mitt's chances in Michigan  —  It's too early to tell whether Michigan will be in play this fall as many Republicans argue, or whether it will prove to be a disappointment to the GOP, as it was in 2008 when John McCain abruptly abandoned the state one month before Election Day.
Albert R. Hunt / New York Times:
Romney's Running Mate Is Anyone's Guess
Discussion: and The Hill
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Romney's bright electoral landscape
Frances Martel / Mediaite:
Bob Beckel Screams ‘F**k’ Live On Hannity, Refuses To Believe He Was On Air  —  Bob Beckel didn't realize when the commercial break ended during tonight's final segment of Hannity, caught in a heated off-camera argument with fellow panelist Jennifer Stefano.
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
In Senate, Republicans Block Debate on ‘Buffett Rule’  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a move to open debate on the so-called Buffett Rule, ensuring that a measure pressed for months by President Obama and Senate Democrats to ensure that the superrich pay a tax rate …
Annie Lowrey / New York Times:
For Two Economists, the Buffett Rule Is Just a Start
Exclusive: Secret Service Bragged About Protecting Obama While Partying At Colombian Brothel  —  ABC News' Reena Ninan, Christine Romo and Mary Bruce Report:  —  CARTAGENA, Colombia — ABC News has learned exclusively that the Secret Service officials accused of misconduct in Colombia revealed …
Fox News:
Secret Service revokes security clearance for agents in prostitution probe, Pentagon ‘embarrassed’
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Obama's Gaffes Are His Own  —  Yesterday Barack Obama addressed the Summit of the Americas in Colombia and spoke about the conflict between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Falklands.  Obama seemed to tilt toward Argentina by calling the islands the “Malvinas” rather than the Falklands …
Jonathan Gilbert / Telegraph:
Barack Obama makes Falklands gaffe by calling Malvinas the Maldives
Nile Gardiner /
Is Hillary Clinton becoming an embarrassment as Secretary of State?  —  The pictures of Hillary Clinton dancing the night away in Colombia during the Summit of the Americas are now all over Twitter, and were first reported by ABC News: … The overwhelmingly liberal US media is treating …
Tom Cohen / CNN:
GSA whistle-blower testifies on scandal  —  Washington (CNN) — A General Services Administration official who first raised questions about overspending at a 2010 Las Vegas conference said Tuesday that she supported the findings of a government investigation and the steps taken in response to the controversy.
Discussion: protein wisdom and Althouse
Meredith Shiner / Roll Call:   Harry Reid Pushed to Allow Government Conferences in Vegas
Associated Press:
Obama seeks to confront oil market manipulation  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Under pressure to take action on rising gasoline prices, President Barack Obama wants Congress to strengthen federal supervision of oil markets, increase penalties for market manipulation and empower regulators to increase …
Phil Pruitt / ABCNEWS:
Obama expected to talk oil, GSA lavish spending the focus on Capitol Hill again, plus more to watch …
Discussion: Politico and Yahoo! News
Bob Goldsborough / Chicago Tribune:
Axelrod buys $1.7 million Michigan Ave condo  —  (Nuccio DiNuzzo/ Chicago Tribune / April 16, 2012)  —  Longtime political strategist David Axelrod, who helped advise President Obama's presidential run in 2008 and is serving as communications director for Obama's re-election campaign …
Richard Rubin / Bloomberg:
Obama Delivers on Tax Cut Promises as Increases for Rich Blocked  —  President Barack Obama campaigned in 2008 on tax cuts for most Americans and tax increases for the fortunate few.  He has delivered on the breaks and, for the most part, been unable to follow through on attempts to raise taxes.
Discussion: The Agonist and The Reaction
Mohammad Hamid / Reuters:
Afghan schoolgirls poisoned in anti-education attack  —  (Reuters) - About 150 Afghan schoolgirls were poisoned on Tuesday after drinking contaminated water at a high school in the country's north, officials said, blaming it on conservative radicals opposed to female education.
Sean Higgins / Capital Hill:
Washington Post: We Tried To Bury That Story About ObamaCare Blowing Up The Deficit  —  Washington Post columnist Patrick Pexton made a rather startling admission in the paper's Sunday edition: The Post never meant for their recent story about how President Obama's health care law expands …
Keith Perine / Politico:
Supreme Court takes copyright case  —  The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a copyright case involving the online sale of foreign-made textbooks that's being closely watched by the tech sector.  —  The case, Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., involves the “first-sale doctrine,” …
Discussion: Paper Chase and SCOTUSblog
Michael Hastings / BuzzFeed:
Chelsea Clinton, TV's Dork Diva, Struggles At NBC  —  Hillary and Bill have worked their way back into our hearts, and now it's Chelsea's turn.  The only problem: she's “terrible” on television, as network executives privately admit.  —  Amy Sly for BuzzFeed
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 More Items: 
Herman Cain Flops on Gingrich Endorsement, Says, 'Let's Get On With This'
Rebecca Kaplan / CBS News:
Santorum still not ready to endorse
Discussion: The Hill, The Hill, ThinkProgress and GOP 12
Walter Russell Mead / Via Meadia:
The United Nations Today: A Case Study in Failure
Spencer S. Hsu / Washington Post:
Convicted defendants left uninformed of forensic flaws found by Justice Dept.
Discussion: Suburban Guerrilla
Italian ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi ‘hosted nun strippers’
Discussion: Guardian and
 Earlier Items: 
U.S. Minimum Wage Lower Than in LBJ Era Needs A Raise
Discussion: Corrente
Sen. Tom Coburn's New Book ‘The Debt Bomb’ Warns of Economic Crisis
Discussion: The Hill
Kirk Semple / New York Times:
More U.S. Children of Immigrants Are Leaving U.S.