Here are just a few things in Chad’s Pile that you will hear on Lubbock’s First News this morning. Give Chad your feedback on the steaming topics.

1. Newt is on top (link)

Surprise surprise, look who is now on top of the polls. It almost seemed like a forgone conclusion that Herman Cain would start to fall in the polls and someone knew would take over. That person is Newt Gingrich. If you've been listening or watching the debates, you know that Newt has sounded like the smartest person up there. The reason he sounds that way is because he is the smartest person running. Will Newt stay on top? I'm not sure, but I hope this means more speaking time for Gingrich. I think we could all learn so much from listening to him.

Newt Gingrich has taken the lead in PPP's national polling.  He's at 28% to 25% for Herman Cain and 18% for Mitt Romney.  The rest of the Republican field is increasingly looking like a bunch of also rans: Rick Perry is at 6%, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul at 5%, Jon Huntsman at 3%, and Gary Johnson and Rick Santorum each at 1%.

Compared to a month ago Gingrich is up 13 points, while Cain has dropped by 5 points and Romney has gone down by 4.  Although a fair amount of skepticism remains about the recent allegations against Cain there is no doubt they are taking a toll on his image- his net favorability is down 25 points over the last month from +51 (66/15) to only +26 (57/31). What is perhaps a little more surprising is that Romney's favorability is at a 6 month low in our polling too with only 48% of voters seeing him favorably to 39% with a negative opinion.

2. Obamacare to the Supreme Court (link )

It will be one of the most important showdowns at the Supreme Court in US history. The court said on Monday that they will hear arguments next March over Obama's health care overhaul. That's just a few months before the election.

This decision to hear arguments in the spring sets up an election-year showdown over the White House's main domestic policy achievement. And it allows plenty of time for a decision in late June, just over four months before Election Day.

The justices announced they will hear an extraordinary five-and-a-half hours of arguments from lawyers on the constitutionality of a provision at the heart of the law and three other related questions about the act. The central provision in question is the requirement that individuals buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty.

In the modern era, the last time the court allotted anywhere near this much time for arguments was in 2003 for consideration of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. That case consumed four hours of argument. This argument may spread over two days, as the justices rarely hear more than two or three hours a day.

So what do you think?

3. NBA (link )

It doesn't look like we will have a NBA season this year. The worst part for the NBA is... no one really cares.

Faced with a deal it could not accept, and a negotiating process that had reached a dead end, the National Basketball Players Association elected to disband Monday afternoon, thrusting the N.B.A. into chaos. The prospect of reviving the 2011-12 season now rests with the courts.

Billy Hunter, the executive director of the now-defunct N.B.P.A., made the announcement just before 2 p.m., after a four-hour meeting of union officials and player representatives from all 30 teams. A letter informing the N.B.A. of the union’s decision was sent before Hunter took the podium.

“The players just felt that they had given enough, that the N.B.A. was not willing or prepared to continue to negotiate,” Hunter said, with more than 40 players packed behind him in a small hotel conference room. “Things were not going to get better.”

The union’s decision comes four days after Commissioner David Stern issued an ultimatum to the union to accept the league’s current proposal, or have it replaced with an inferior deal. Stern reiterated over the weekend that the N.B.A. was done negotiating.

Oh well. My Mavs are still the champs.

These and many more topics coming up on Tuesday’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App.