Morning Briefing: March 12, 2012

Following the horrific killing rampage of an American soldier in Afghanistan that left 16 civilians dead this weekend, the Taliban has vowed that they will seek revenge. On its website, the group promised revenge, putting NATO troops on high alert in the country.

President Obama said he was “deeply saddened” by news of the attack, calling the shooting “tragic and shocking” said he supported the military’s efforts to investigate and punish those responsible. The attack was carried out by a lone Army sergeant, who slipped away from the base and may have a had a mental break.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that 60 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has not been not worth fighting. Just 30 percent believe the Afghan public supports the U.S. mission there while 54 percent of Americans say the U.S. should withdraw immediately, even if it means not completing the current effort to train Afghan forces.

Rick Santorum won big in Kansas’ GOP presidential caucus this weekend, beating Mitt Romney by 30 percent, 51 to 21 percent in the country’s “reddest state.” After his strong win, Santorum said Newt Gingrich is “irrelevant.” However, Romney picked up delegates in contests in the U.S. territories Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands.


A coalition of reform groups and labor unions is taking aim at corporate donors to super PACs. Common Cause, the Service Employees International Union, Americans United for Change, and others will seek to discourage company donations via boycotts, shareholder pressure and calls for pension funds to divest from offending companies,

Birther and immigrant hater Joe Arpaio of Arizona is facing two challengers in his November re-election bid for Sheriff of Maricopa County. Arpaio will be challenged by both a Democrat and Independent.

Obama will make the case for his administration’s energy policies in a series of interviews today, highlighting successful efforts to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil and increase the production and utilization of clean energy alternatives.

Lobbying firms are wasting no time reaching out to congressmen who have announced plans to retire, reports Politico, and the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street remains unimpeded despite the growing political liability that the term “lobbyist” now represents.

Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) will resign from Congress to focus on his gubernatorial campaign.

And finally: Mitt Romney posted his Spotify playlist on Friday, leading many publications to deconstruct the list for insights. The selection is fairly diverse, including classics like Roy Orbison and the Beach Boys, as well newer hits like The Killers are Carrie Underwood’s “All American Girl.”