The Washington Post

Happy Hour Roundup

* MSNBC’s First Read crew reruns the tape on the Terri Schiavo fiasco and sees the same thing happening again.

* David Atkins on how conservatives see the birth control fight as only one battle in a larger ideological war.

* Brad Plumer marks the stimulus’ third birthday by noting (the usual suspects will scoff, but it’s true) that many, many experts have concluded the economy would be in far worse shape without it.

* Republicans privately acknowledge they don’t believe that poll showing Scott Brown up nine points over Elizabeth Warren. Both sides think it’ll stay within the margin of error all the way down to the wire.

* Even Brown’s own pollster is questioning the findings; Mark Blumenthal does a deep dive explaining why.

* Santorum-mentum? Newt Gingrich’s lackluster campaigning is giving Rick Sanorum an opening to make a major statement about his status as the alternative to Romney in advance of Super Tuesday.

* Santorum-mentum! All signs are that Santorum’s surge is outlasting those of the other not-Romneys: Gingrich supporters are flowing to Santorum, offsetting the gazillions in negative Romney camp ads.

* This quote from an unnamed GOP Senator is burning up the right-o-sphere Twitter feeds, and will feed speculation about a brokered convention: “If Romney cannot win Michigan, we need a new candidate.”

* Ron Brownstein on why Michigan is so important: A strong Santorum showing will confirm beyond doubt Romney’s weakness with downscale whites, a potentially serious blow to his case for electability.

* The Obama administration will no longer defend laws prevent equal treatment for servicemembers with same-sex partners, the latest way Obama is quietly advancing gay rights without supporting gay marriage.

* Ari Berman on how Super PACs are ensuring that the 2012 elections are being largely shaped by ... the .0000063 percent.

* Karl Rove is now calling Obama a “third world dictator” for requiring coverage of birth control for woman, which is really, really great politics for Republicans.

* This opening line from a fundraising letter writen by DSCC chair Patty Murray shows how bullish Dems are about making birth control central: “I feel like I woke up this morning on the set of ‘Mad Men.’”

* And Eric Wemple on one of the silliest flaps in some time: Criticism of the White House for ... honoring the late, great Anthony Shadid.

What else?

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.

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