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11:15 AM 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 …
Patricia Zengerle / Reuters:
Romney gaining on Obama: Reuters/Ipsos poll  —  (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's lead over Mitt Romney has narrowed to 4 percentage points from 11 points a month ago, now that Romney has established himself as the probable Republican presidential nominee, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday.
CNN Poll: Gender gap and likeability keep Obama over Romney
Frank Newport / Gallup:
Romney, Obama in Tight Race as Gallup Daily Tracking Begins
CNN/ORC poll: Most Americans say tax system favors wealthy
Discussion: ThinkProgress, The Hill and Reuters
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.
Roseanne Barr / The Daily Beast:
Roseanne Barr on Ann and Mitt Romney and the Mommy Wars  —  Let us not be dragged back into the “working mom versus stay-at-home mom” dialogue.  By Roseanne Barr.  —  I almost got sick to my stomach when I heard Hilary Rosen's unfortunate words regarding Mrs. Mitt Romney.
Sarah B. Boxer / CBS News:
Trump-hosted fundraiser with Ann Romney set to raise $600K
Discussion: ThinkProgress and GOP 12
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
Albert R. Hunt / New York Times:
Romney's Running Mate Is Anyone's Guess  —  WASHINGTON — The U.S. news media are rife with speculation about Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Susana Martinez, Bob McDonnell or Rob Portman as possible running mates for Mitt Romney.  —  It's the time of the political season when conjecture runs wild, much of it ill-informed.
Discussion: and The Hill
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
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Romney's bright electoral landscape
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 …
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.
Discussion: Gawker and Business Insider
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’
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
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
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.
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 …
U.S. Minimum Wage Lower Than in LBJ Era Needs A Raise  —  Here's an unhappy observation about the minimum wage: Congress last increased the rate in stages in 2006, topping it out at $7.25 an hour in 2009, or $15,080 a year.  —  That amount, when adjusted for inflation …
Discussion: Corrente
Spencer S. Hsu / Washington Post:
Convicted defendants left uninformed of forensic flaws found by Justice Dept.  —  Justice Department officials have known for years that flawed forensic work might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people, but prosecutors failed to notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled.
Discussion: Suburban Guerrilla
Katie Roiphe / The Daily Beast:
Spanking Goes Mainstream  —  From the steamy bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey to HBO's Girls, sexual domination is in vogue.  Katie Roiphe on why women's power at work may be fueling the craze.  Plus, Fifty Shades of Grey's naughtiest bits.  —  If every era gets the sadist it deserves …
Italian ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi ‘hosted nun strippers’  —  Model Imane Fadil claimed she saw women stripping for Silvio Berlusconi at one of his parties  —  A witness at the trial of Silvio Berlusconi has said strippers dressed as nuns performed for the former Italian prime minister at a party.
Discussion: Guardian and
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 More Items: 
Walter Russell Mead / Via Meadia:
The United Nations Today: A Case Study in Failure
Discussion: Daniel W. Drezner and Eunomia
Sean Higgins / Capital Hill:
Washington Post: We Tried To Bury That Story About ObamaCare Blowing Up The Deficit
Meredith Shiner / Roll Call:
Harry Reid Pushed to Allow Government Conferences in Vegas
Fred Lucas / CNSNews:
Subsidized, Bankrupt Solyndra Managers Got $368,500 in Court-Ordered Bonuses
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Nicholas Confessore / The Caucus:
$800 Million Target for Romney Campaign and Republican Committee
Atossa Araxia Abrahamian / Reuters:
Special Report: Tax time pushes some Americans to take a hike
CBS News:
(CBS/AP) Under pressure to take action on rising gasoline prices …
 Earlier Items: 
Sen. Tom Coburn's New Book ‘The Debt Bomb’ Warns of Economic Crisis
Discussion: The Hill
Daily Mail:
Report abuse
Discussion: Guardian
Caitlin McDevitt / Politico:
Newt Gingrich bitten by a penguin
Kirk Semple / New York Times:
More U.S. Children of Immigrants Are Leaving U.S.
James Pethokoukis / The Enterprise Blog:
Here's how big the potential 2013 tax hikes would be