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8:20 PM ET, February 7, 2013

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 Top Items: 
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Panetta: Obama Absent Night of Benghazi  —  Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified this morning on Capitol Hill that President Barack Obama was absent the night four Americans were murdered in Benghazi on September 11, 2012:  —  Panetta said, though he did meet with Obama …
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William Kristol / Weekly Standard:
On Their Own  —  The White House left Ambassador Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith on their own on September 11 in Benghazi.  That is the upshot of today's Capitol Hill hearing featuring Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.
Discussion: Power Line and Bookworm Room
Tim Mak / Politico:
Leon Panetta defends Pentagon response after Benghazi attack
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
The Morning Plum: GOP resolve on sequester begins to crack  —  There's been a good deal of chatter to the effect that Republicans still retain leverage in the sequester fight, because some of them are willing to let the sequester happen.  But Politico reports that GOP resolve is cracking …
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Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Dems will offer GOP spending cuts to avert doom  —  The New York Times reports today that Senate Dems are putting together a plan to avert the sequester with new revenues drawn from things like nixing tax breaks enjoyed by oil and gas companies and closing loopholes for the wealthy and corporations.
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Kate Mather / L.A. NOW:
Women delivering newspapers in Torrance shot in manhunt for ex-cop  —  Two women who were shot by Los Angeles police in Torrance early Thursday during a massive manhunt for an ex-LAPD officer were delivering newspapers, sources said.  —  The women, shot in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue …
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Joe Picard / The Hill:
Obama ‘prepared, eager and anxious’ for sequester fight with Republicans  —  LANSDOWNE, Va. — President Obama told House Democrats on Thursday that he is “prepared, eager and anxious” to produce the broad fiscal package that has eluded Washington.  —  A pugnacious Obama told House Democrats …
Discussion: CNN and Politico
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Darlene Superville / Associated Press:
Michelle Obama to Attend Chicago Girl's Funeral
Discussion: CNN, Politico and NPR
Kevin Liptak / CNN:
Obama tells House Dems he wants ‘big deal’ on debt
Discussion: Politico
National and Local Weather Forecast …:
Winter Storm Nemo: Potential Historic Blizzard Looms  —  Potentially Historic Storm: Snow Impact  —  Winter Storm Nemo is now poised to become the latest example of a powerful, potentially historic, February storm.  —  We lay out the forecast of heavy snow on this page …
Miriam Valverde / Sun-Sentinel:
“Breastaurants” Tilted Kilt, Twin Peaks coming to area  —  Hooters Girls are getting more competition.  At least two new “breastaurant” chains are working on plans to open in South Florida this year, also featuring scantily clad women.  —  Next month, the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery will open …
Discussion: Vodkapundit
Ben Shapiro / BREITBART.COM:
SECRET HAGEL DONOR?:  WHITE HOUSE SPOX DUCKS QUESTION ON ‘FRIENDS OF HAMAS’  —  On Thursday, Senate sources told Breitbart News exclusively that they have been informed that one of the reasons that President Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has not turned …
Dana Halferty / Medium:
Damsel, Arise: A Westboro Scion Leaves Her Church  —  Just after 11 last Sunday morning at Old First Reformed Church in Brooklyn, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Meeter is starting the Sunday service as he always does.  He runs through the opening salutation and the collect for the day …
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Jennifer Jacobs / Des Moines Register:
Congressman Steve King: Help fight Karl Rove's crusade against me  —  Republican Congressman Steve King is going on the offensive, asking supporters for money to help him ward off GOP forces he thinks are trying to quash him - including Republican power player Karl Rove.
Discussion: Ballot Box, The Fix and Post Politics
RELATED:
Chris Good / ABCNEWS:
The New GOP Civil War
Discussion: Politico and The Huffington Post
John McCormack / Weekly Standard:
Cardinal Dolan: Obamacare Still Forces Americans to Provide ‘Illicit Coverage,’ Even for Their Children  —  Last week, the Obama administration rolled out what it calls an “accommodation” for religious institutions subjected to the Obamacare mandate that forces American employers to provide …
Discussion: nation.foxnews.com
RELATED:
Gatemouth / Room Eight:
Exclusive: Lena Dunham—Born Again Political Virgin  —  LENA DUNHAM (in a video supporting President Obama's re-election): Your first time shouldn't be with just anybody. … The actual story of the cherries jubilee celebrating the loss of Lena Dunham's virginity is somewhat less romantic.
Catherine Rampell / New York Times:
Profound Weight of Layoffs Is Seen in Work Trends Survey  —  Layoffs have touched nearly every American household in some fashion over the last few years, according to new survey data to be released Thursday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.
Discussion: Economix and NPR
Michael Sneed / Chicago Sun Times:
SNEED EXCLUSIVE: Pending Jesse Jackson Jr. plea deal includes ‘significant jail time,’ source says  —  Sneed has learned a plea deal is now on the table between former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and federal authorities probing allegations of campaign fund misuse.
Mike Malloy / Ames Tribune:
Bill would define abortion as murder  —  State Rep. Rob Bacon believes abortion is murder and he wants the Iowa Code to reflect that.  —  Bacon, R-Slater, and eight other Republicans introduced such a bill in the Iowa House Wednesday.  It would alter the definition of a person in murder cases to …
Felicia Sonmez / Post Politics:
Code Pink protests bring Brennan hearing to halt  —  Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called Thursday's hearing to recess barely a few minutes after it had started, as protesters one-by-one interrupted CIA Director-nominee John Brennan during his opening statement.
Michael Levenson / Boston Globe:
Dan Winslow, former Romney aide, says “I'm in” for Senate  —  State Representative Daniel B. Winslow, a former judge and onetime aide to Governor Mitt Romney, said Thursday he is entering the special election for the US Senate, the first Republican to officially declare his candidacy.
Discussion: Ballot Box, Roll Call and Post Politics
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Reagan-Appointed Judge On Race: ‘Eleanor Roosevelt Said Staffs Of One Color Always Work Better’  —  A Texas civil rights group filed a complaint against Judge Lynn N. Hughes, a Ronald Reagan-appointee to a federal district court in Texas, criticizing his “outlandish racial comments” …
Discussion: alan.com
 
 
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 More Items: 
Andrew Dugan / Gallup:
In U.S., Standard-of-Living Optimism at Five-Year High
Discussion: The Week and Business Insider
Dan Popkey / Idaho Statesman:
Longtime Labrador spokesman fired for bawdy Super Bowl tweet
Carl Franzen / Talking Points Memo:
Defense Distributed Unveils New 3D Printed Gun Magazine ‘Cuomo’ (VIDEO)
Discussion: TechCrunch
Sean Buckley / Engadget:
Wikipad in miniature: 7-inch gaming tablet to debut in spring for $249, 10.1-inch sees further delay
Discussion: TechCrunch
Adam Peck / ThinkProgress:
Alabama Republicans Advance Bill To Close Last Five Abortion Clinics In The State
Discussion: Washington Monthly and alan.com
 Earlier Items: 
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Sotomayor Plans for Pepsi Event Stirs an Outcry
Thomas B. Edsall / Opinionator:
The Persistence of Racial Resentment
Discussion: American Prospect and Mother Jones
Washington Post:
Sen. Menendez contacted top officials in friend's Medicare dispute
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Dave McNary / Variety:
Sony Has ‘No Further Release Plans’ for ‘The Interview’

Justin Ellis / Nieman Lab:
New friends: The Washington Post and The Texas Tribune enter into a new reporting partnership

Alex Kantrowitz / AdAge:
Inside the Business of the Serial Podcast

 
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