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Posted at 10:14 AM ET, 03/19/2012

Solicitor general’s no Mr. Nice Guy; inside the West Wing; and who’s behind the ads? (read-this roundup)

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli might seem like a sweetheart. . .. (Haraz N. Ghanbari - AP)
Don’t let the nice-guy act fool you. Solicitor General Don Verrilli, the guy who’ll be defending the White House’s heath care reform law in the Supreme Court this month, might seem like a sweetheart. He’s described as “gentlemanly,” but he swears there’s a tough-as-nails interior lurking inside.

Reports our colleague Robert Barnes: “Verrilli. . .said his low-key manner and niceties should not be misinterpreted. ‘I’m intensely competitive. Oh, yeah, I’m intensely competitive. I’m up there to win.’”

In the room — In case you missed it, here’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes post-mortem of last summer’s showdown over the debt limit. Remember all the talk of a “grand bargain”? The reality unfolding in the West Wing was anything but grand.

Naming names — There’s a movement afoot to make broadcasters disclose online who’s paying for all those lovely political ads you’ve been seeing. Now, one can figure out who bought them, but to do so, you’d have to actually show up—in person—and ask to look at paper forms, which is so last century. “This notion of someone walking in and looking at pieces of paper — in the 21st century — it’s ridiculous on its face and it merely is meant to obfuscate,” says one advocate of online disclosure, according to our colleague Todd Shields.

Headline of the day: “Santorum says Obama soft on porn.”

By  |  10:14 AM ET, 03/19/2012

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