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11:20 AM ET, February 26, 2013

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 Top Items: 
Jake Sherman / Politico:
John Boehner's big bet  —  House Speaker John Boehner has dug in.  —  If the let-the-cuts-happen approach on the sequester seems risky — especially with President Barack Obama blaming Republicans for everything from kids not getting vaccines to long lines at the airport — the alternative for Boehner is worse.
Discussion: CNN and The Hill
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Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
I don't understand the Republican position on the sequester  —  What's the plan?  (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)  —  As I understand it, the GOP has five basic goals in the budget talks:  —  1) Cut the deficit.  —  2) Cut entitlement spending.  —  3) Protect defense spending, and possibly even increase it.
New York Times:
The States Get the Bad News  —  In Kentucky, home of the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, residents woke up on Monday to news articles like these: Widespread government spending cuts that begin on Friday will cost 21,484 jobs in the state.  A construction project at Fort Knox will come to a halt.
Carrie Budoff Brown / Politico:
Obama plan: Divide, conquer
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
Obama: 'We've got to do some governing'
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage  —  WASHINGTON — Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry …
Numbers / Pew Research Center for the People …:
GOP Seen as Principled, But Out of Touch and Too Extreme  —  Images of the Parties: A Closer Look  —  OVERVIEW  —  At a time when the Republican Party's image is at a historic low, 62% of the public says the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56% think it is not open to change and 52% say the party is too extreme.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's … and The Fix
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Numbers / Pew Research Center for the People …:
Most Say Spending Cuts Would Have Major Impact on Economy, Military  —  Little Partisan Difference in Views of Sequester's Impact  —  OVERVIEW  —  While many Americans may be resigned to seeing automatic spending cuts in the budget sequester go into effect, the public is concerned about the potential impact of the reductions.
Andrew Dugan / Gallup:
Democrats Enjoy 2-1 Advantage Over GOP Among Hispanics
Discussion: Politico and The Daily Caller
Jake Sherman / Politico:
John Boehner: Let Senate get ‘off their ass’ this time  —  House Speaker John Boehner told Republicans in a closed meeting Tuesday that the House doesn't need to pass a third sequester replacement bill before the “Senate gets off their ass and passes it once.”
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Slate:
Entry 4: Forget Seth MacFarlane's sexist jokes.  This was the End of Men Oscars.  —  To: Dan Kois and Troy Patterson  —  We're one reproductive-technology breakthrough away from not needing men at the Oscars  —  I promise to spare you a long-form exegesis of Seth MacFarlane's opening number …
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Jessica Taylor / The Rothenberg Political Report:
Illinois 2 Special: The Real Range of Gun Control  —  Tuesday's special election in Illinois' 2nd District has been dominated by gun control — an issue magnified by the $2.2 million Michael Bloomberg's political action committee has dropped into the Chicago contest to attack two candidates.
RELATED:
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:   In Chicago election dominated by gun violence, New York's mayor makes big imprint
Mackenzie Weinger / Politico:
Right cheers Bob Woodward ‘fact check’  —  Conservatives in the media have found themselves armed with political ammunition in their battle with President Barack Obama over the impending sequester from a surprising source — Bob Woodward.  —  The journalism icon's fact check on the sequester …
David Brooks / New York Times:
Our Second Adolescence  —  In Friday's column, I wrote that the Obama administration has no plan to avoid the sequester save raising taxes on the rich.  That was unfair.  The White House approach is not what I would like, but it is more balanced than I described.  —  Humiliation is a good teacher.
Discussion: The Plum Line and Mother Jones
Diana West / Townhall.com:
It's Time to See Joe McCarthy For the Hero He Was  —  Freshman Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is just the latest in a long series of public figures to be reviled for “McCarthyism” following his recent questioning of Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for secretary of defense.  The response?
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Krissah Thompson / Washington Post:
Edward Blum defies odds in getting cases to Supreme Court  —  The odds are daunting: Last term, 8,952 cases were filed at the Supreme Court.  The justices agreed to schedule a mere 79 for oral argument.  —  That's a 0.88 chance of having your case reviewed.
Discussion: PointOfLaw Forum
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NBC's Taylor Hiegel / First Read:
CPAC to feature potential presidential candidates, GOP internal battle, and no Christie  —  Just months after their losses in the 2012 election, Republicans and conservatives are setting a vibrant — and crowded — stage at next month's closely watched political cattle call.
RELATED:
Shushannah Walshe / ABCNEWS:
Chris Christie ‘Not Being Invited’ to CPAC
Discussion: The Week and alan.com
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
DOJ to Federal Judge: We Can Force Your Wife to Violate Her Religion  —  (CNSNews.com) - While presenting an oral argument in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last fall, a lawyer for the U.S. Justice Department told a federal judge that the Obama administration believed …
Luke Johnson / The Huffington Post:
Walter Jones, GOP Congressman, Hits Dick Cheney Over Iraq War  —  Dick Cheney, Video, HuffPolitics Blog, Walter Jones, Dick Cheney Water Jones, Walter Jones Dick Cheney, Walter Jones Iraq, Walter Jones Iraq War, Politics News  —  Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), an outspoken critic of the war in Afghanistan …
Discussion: The Hill and The Raw Story
Yaakov Lappin / Reuters:
Gaza rocket slams South for first time since truce  —  Grad explodes in Ashkelon; first such attack by terrorists in Gaza since the ceasefire following Operation Pillar of Defense.  —  Palestinian terrorists broke a three month ceasefire on Tuesday and fired a rocket from Gaza into southern Israel.
Brian Tashman / Right Wing Watch:
Robertson: Worth Praying Over Clothes to Rebuke Demons  —  Today on the 700 Club, televangelist Pat Robertson said that demons can attach themselves to material goods and therefore it's not a bad idea to rebuke them before bringing them into your home.  —  After a viewer, Carrie …
USA Today:
Former surgeon general C. Everett Koop dead at age 96 … Koop was surgeon general from 1982 to 1989.  —  C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general who brought frank talk about AIDS into U.S. homes, has died at his home in Hanover, N.H., officials at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth said Monday.
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 More Items: 
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Ashley Judd's biggest problem: Her history of bizarre comments
Amir Efrati / Wall Street Journal:
Samsung Sparks Anxiety at Google
Discussion: The Verge, Mashable! and AllThingsD
Politico:
Senate GOP debates sequester plan
Discussion: Washington Monthly, CNN and msnbc.com
Washington Examiner:
Conn Carroll: What happened to the Golden State?
Discussion: UrbanGrounds
Denver Post:
Police: Man arrested for sending harassing e-mails to state Rep. Rhonda Fields
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Dems, GOP tee up rival sequester bills in Senate as deadline nears
Discussion: The Hill and msnbc.com
 Earlier Items: 
Lee Moran / NY Daily News:
Angry moms condemn Geico's cellphone app commercial they claim promotes bestiality
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Wonkette
Russell Wheeler / The Atlantic Online:
The Tortuous, Protracted Wait to Confirm Judges—From Abe to Obama
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