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5:55 PM ET, February 22, 2013

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 Top Items: 
David Brooks / New York Times:
The D.C. Dubstep  —  On July 26, 2011, Jack Lew, then the White House budget director, went to Harry Reid's office for a budget strategy session.  According to Bob Woodward's book, “The Price of Politics,” Lew told the Senate majority leader that they had come up with a trigger idea to force a budget deal.
RELATED:
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
Does Obama have a plan?  A conversation with David Brooks  —  David Brooks (David Burnett/Random House) … Ezra Klein: In the column, you said that the Obama administration doesn't have a plan to replace the sequester.  I feel like I've had to spend a substantial portion of my life reading …
Reuters:
Is Obama overplaying sequester hand?  —  President Barack Obama's greatest adversary in the latest budget battle isn't the Republican leadership in Congress — it's his confidence in his own ability to force a win.  —  He has been so certain of his campaign skills that he didn't open a line …
Numbers / Pew Research Center for the People …:
As Sequester Deadline Looms, Little Support for Cutting Most Programs  —  OVERVIEW  —  As the March 1 deadline for a possible budget sequester approaches, a new national survey finds limited public support for reducing spending for a range of specific programs, including defense, entitlements, education and health care.
RELATED:
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Sequester of Fools  —  They're baaack!  Just about two years ago, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the co-chairmen of the late unlamented debt commission, warned us to expect a terrible fiscal crisis within, um, two years unless we adopted their plan.  The crisis hasn't materialized, but they're nonetheless back with a new version.
New York Times:
Why Taxes Have to Go Up  —  Democrats and Republicans remain at odds on how to avoid a round of budget cuts so deep and arbitrary that to allow them now could push the economy back into recession.  The cuts, known as a sequester, will kick in March 1 unless Republicans agree to President Obama's demand …
White House Memo / New York Times:
For Obama and Team, Calm, Not Crisis, in Latest Fiscal Battle
Patrick O'Connor / Wall Street Journal:
The GOP Splits Over Pressure to Slash Defense Budget
Jane Mayer / News Desk:
Is Senator Ted Cruz our new McCarthy?  —  Last week, Texas Senator Ted Cruz's prosecutorial style of questioning Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for Defense Secretary, came so close to innuendo that it raised eyebrows in Congress, even among his Republican colleagues.
RELATED:
First Read / NBCNews.com:
First Thoughts: Hagel appears to have the votes for confirmation
Discussion: Firedoglake, The Hill and First Read
Henry J. Gomez / Plain Dealer:
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tells Cuyahoga County GOP it's time for new generation of leaders
Discussion: The Hill
Andrew Kirell / Mediaite:
Ann Coulter Battles Stossel, Calls Libertarians ‘Pussies,’ And Gets Booed By Room Full Of Students  —  What do you get when you invite outspoken conservative firebrand Ann Coulter to debate outspoken libertarian John Stossel in front of an audience of 1,000+ libertarian students?  —  Fireworks, that's what.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Oscar Predictions, Election-Style  —  Twice before, in 2009 and 2011, I sought to predict the Academy Award winners in six major categories based on a mix of statistical factors.  My track record?  Nine correct picks in 12 tries, for a 75 percent success rate.
RELATED:
Timothy Egan / Opinionator:
Why Oscar Will Snub ‘Zero Dark Thirty’
Discussion: Pressing Issues
Jen Wieczner / MarketWatch:
Why your boss is dumping your wife  —  Companies are dropping health coverage for spouses to cut costs … Companies have a new solution to rising health-insurance costs: Break up their employees' marriages.  —  By denying coverage to spouses, employers not only save the annual premiums …
Discussion: Hit & Run, Hot Air and “The Lid”
Michael Gerson / Washington Post:
The Republican Party needs a reality check  —  In the summer of 1999, George W. Bush chose the first major policy speech of his presidential campaign to pick a fight with Grover Norquist.  Bush flatly rejected the “destructive” view “that if government would only get out of our way …
Greg Hinz / Chicago Business:
Emanuel's poll rating turns negative  —  Burdened by a wave of murders, dissension over proposed school closings and perhaps his own hard-ball image, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's job-approval rating has taken a big hit in recent months, according to a new Crain's/Ipsos Illinois Poll.
RELATED:
Edward McClelland / nbcchicago.com:
Mayor Emanuel's Approval Rating In The Tank
Peggy Noonan / Wall Street Journal:
Noonan: Government by Freakout  —  Obama's scare tactics aren't much of a long-term strategy.  —  The president's sequester strategy is like Howard Beale in “Network”: “Woe is us. . . . And woe is us!  We're in a lot of trouble!”  —  It is always cliffs, ceilings and looming catastrophes with Barack Obama.
RedFlagNews.com:
DISTURBING REPORT: VETERANS ARE RECEIVING LETTERS FROM VA PROHIBITING THE OWNERSHIP OR PURCHASE OF FIREARMS... DEVELOPING...  Written By Constitutional Attorney Michael Connelly, J.D.  —  How would you feel if you received a letter from the U.S. Government informing you that because of a physical …
Joe Romm / ThinkProgress:
In First Big Speech, Kerry Sounds Like A Climate Hawk With The Courage To Reject Keystone XL Pipeline  —  A month ago I wrote that the “confirmation of climate hawk Kerry as Secretary Of State may doom dirty Keystone XL Pipeline.”  —  Now John Kerry has delivered his first big foreign policy speech …
Discussion: Daily Kos
McKay Coppins / BuzzFeed:
The Sequester Is Terrible For Traffic  —  Editors despair, but we can't stop writing about it.  Desperation breeds Kate Upton, cute animals, and the “spendocalypse.”  —  Traffic for a recent BuzzFeed story on the sequester.  —  Not since Mitt Romney ran for president has a national political story …
Discussion: Washington Wire, Gawker and The Fix
John Myers / KXTV:
Democrats lose supermajority as Fresno senator resigns  —  Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Shafter, cited the need to spend time with his family in a statement announcing his resignation.  —  “My wife and I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters, from whom we have learned a great deal,” said Rubio in a written statement.
Scott Conroy / Real Clear Politics:
Can Democrats Mess With Texas in 2016?  —  AUSTIN, Texas — From its modest headquarters on the first floor of a local union building about five miles from the State Capitol, the Democratic Party of Texas is trying to turn demographics into destiny.  —  With white, non-Hispanic voters …
Not Larry Sabato:
Fairfax County's Nightmare Is Over!!!  —  Great news breaking in Fairfax County this morning.  Electoral Boards are split 2-1 in Virginia, one Republican, one Democrat and one member of the Governor's party.  When Bob McDonnell was elected, the Fairfax GOP placed noted voter-fraud conspiracy …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
Justin Sink / Ballot Box:
Colbert hopes jokes don't ‘sully’ sister's congressional bid  —  Comedian Stephen Colbert said Thursday that he hopes his late-night television persona parodying conservative talk-show hosts doesn't “sully” his sister's congressional bid in South Carolina's first district.
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
House GOP Unveils Competing Violence Against Women Act  —  House Republicans released their version of the Violence Against Women Act on Friday and are poised to fast-track it to a floor vote next Tuesday during a Rules Committee hearing.  —  The House GOP's legislation is a scaled-down version …
Discussion: The Maddow Blog
Megan McArdle / Asymmetrical Information:
America's New Mandarins  —  The paths to power and success are narrowing.  So is the worldview of the powerful.  —  Yesterday, I wrote about the silliness of requiring a file clerk to have a college degree.  This morning, a friend sent me the following note about the narrowing of opportunity in modern America:
Discussion: The American Mind and Mother Jones
Kimi Yoshino / Los Angeles Times:
Oakland rapper ‘Kenny Clutch’ killed in Las Vegas Strip shooting  —  One of the victims in a spectacular predawn shooting and crash on the Las Vegas Strip has been identified as Kenneth Cherry Jr., an aspiring rapper known as Kenny Clutch.  —  His attorney, Vicki Greco, said his death was shocking.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Steve Hendrix / Washington Post:
At National Zoo, sequester could threaten exhibits but not animal care
Washington Examiner:
Video* Keystone Pipeline protester: The sooner we get rid of cars, the better this planet will be
Tom Jackman / Washington Post:
Today is ‘Gun Owners Support Starbucks Day,’ for Virginians who openly carry guns in public
Discussion: Politico, CBS DC and The Week
Matea Gold / Los Angeles Times:
Organizing for Action targets GOP lawmakers in first ad buy
Discussion: Daily Kos
Kim Russell / WXYZ-TV:
FBI: Armed Neo-Nazi supporter put metro-Detroit Jewish and civil rights leaders on a hit list
Keith Laing / The Hill:
White House warns sequester will produce chaos at nation's airports
Donovan Slack / Politico:
Obama meets with African American leaders
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Weasel Zippers
 Earlier Items: 
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Pelosi to GOP: You oppose minimum wage hike at your peril
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Hikes in health insurance premiums fall; administration credits healthcare law
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama calms fears over Supreme Court action on voting rights
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Avik Roy / Forbes:
Holtz-Eakin and Roy: The Critics Are Wrong About the Future of Free-Market Health Care Reform
 

 
From Techmeme:

Mike Isaac / Re/code:
Facebook Launching Mobile Ad Network At F8 Conference

Wall Street Journal:
Apple and Google offer promotional boost to games in exchange for exclusivity

Wall Street Journal:
Square discussed possible sale to Google, Apple, and PayPal, recorded loss of $100M in 2013

 
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