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11:15 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: 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 …
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.”
RELATED:
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 …
RELATED:
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 …
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, Post Politics and alan.com
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
RELATED:
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
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.
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 …
Denver Post:
Police: Man arrested for sending harassing e-mails to state Rep. Rhonda Fields  —  (Brennan Linsley, Associated Press file)  —  Denver police have arrested a Colorado Springs man for sending racially and sexually offensive e-mails to state Rep. Rhonda Fields, including one that said he hoped …
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Sotomayor chides prosecutor for ‘racially charged’ question  —  Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor accused a Texas federal prosecutor Monday of tapping into a “deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice” in his questioning of a black man facing a drug charge.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Dems, GOP tee up rival sequester bills in Senate as deadline nears  —  Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate are teeing up rival bills aimed at shielding their members from blame when an $85 billion cut to federal spending takes effect on Friday.  —  The Senate will vote this week …
Discussion: The Hill and msnbc.com
 
 
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 More Items: 
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
Andrew Dugan / Gallup:
Democrats Enjoy 2-1 Advantage Over GOP Among Hispanics
Discussion: Politico and The Daily Caller
Lee Moran / NY Daily News:
Angry moms condemn Geico's cellphone app commercial they claim promotes bestiality
Discussion: Hullabaloo and Wonkette
Annie-Rose Strasser / ThinkProgress:
Indiana House Passes Mandatory Drug Tests For Welfare Recipients
Discussion: Associated Press and alan.com
 Earlier Items: 
USA Today:
Former surgeon general C. Everett Koop dead at age 96
Mark Hosenball / Reuters:
Senate Intelligence Committee drops bin Laden film probe
Stephen Castle / New York Times:
Ikea Withdraws Meatballs After Horse Meat Is Found
Discussion: The Week
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
“Clearing the Field”  —  Jonathan Martin's Politico piece today wherein …
Thomas Kaplan / New York Times:
Assemblyman Defends Wearing Blackface to Party
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