The administration changes tactics on defending ObamaCare. “Early [Tuesday] night, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a notice of appeal in Florida v. HHS, the multi-state lawsuit that has the best chance of striking down Obamacare. And this morning, DOJ filed a motion in the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals for expedited review of the case, which was a condition the district judge imposed on the DOJ to grant its request for a stay of the judgment pending appeal. . . . The bottom line for those of us who can calculate the appellate timetables is that it is likely that a decision will be reached in the court of appeals by this fall, if not earlier, and the Supreme Court can consider and hear the case next winter for a likely decision in June 2012 or earlier.” Wow.

Independents change their minds.”Independents’ approval of President Barack Obama has dropped sharply in the past month, a new poll suggests. Obama’s approval rating among independents fell to 37 percent in a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday, down from 47 percent a month ago.” You don’t think it’s his defense of the spending status quo, do you?

Newt Gingrich changes his tune. Now it was all that hard work for America that got him off track: “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them.” He did it for us! Good grief.

Time for change, says David Brooks: “In a time of fiscal restraint, we’re paying benefits we can’t afford to some people, at the upper end of the income scale, who don’t need it.” I guess Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has been right all along.

Sen. Chuck Schumer changes his mind about no more spending cuts. “Top Senate Democrats visited with Obama on Wednesday afternoon to plot strategy. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a participant, declined to comment afterward, other than to say he recognizes his party will have to move in the GOP’s direction. One reason is that Democratic moderates are agitating for further cuts to spending.” It sure is clear who is leading and who is following in the Senate.

Remember how we were told that the Tucson memorial and the lame-duck tax deal were game-changers for Obama? Not so much. “President Barack Obama averaged 46% job approval the week of Feb. 28-March 6, his lowest weekly average since mid-December. Obama’s weekly approval rating had steadily improved from mid-December to late January, peaking at 50% during the final two weeks in January, before dropping below that mark in February.” Maybe non-leadership isn’t a winning gambit.

Charles Lane says it is time to change how NPR operates. I bet some House and Senate Democrats will agree it is time to “set it free”: “It is precisely because I love NPR that I think the time has come to end federal funding for the radio network and other public broadcasting. Radio and TV broadcasting is not a high national priority in an age of multiple media options and fiscal difficulty, so I believed NPR’s subsidy was expendable even before fundraiser Ron Schiller revealed himself to be a biased blowhard on hidden camera. The irony was almost too much to bear: Here’s a guy expounding on the stupidity of America’s ‘uneducated’ masses even though he lacked the wit to do a basic background check before breaking bread with a couple of purported Middle Eastern donors.”

Well, of course we have to change the law. Otherwise all those schools would be failing. “Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Congress needs to act now to change the law that was enacted in 2002. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told Congress on Wednesday that 82 percent of the nation’s public schools could be failing by next year under the standards of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law.” Thunk.