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11:25 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.
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.”
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.
Sabrina Siddiqui / The Huffington Post:
Ron Johnson: John Boehner Would Lose Speakership If He Caves On Taxes To Avert Sequester  —  Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would lose his speakership if he agrees to new tax revenues to avert the across-the-board spending cuts that are set to kick in on March 1.
Fox News:
Dems, GOP at odds over portrayal of sequestration
Discussion: Business Insider
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 …
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 …
RELATED:
Carrie Budoff Brown / Politico:
Obama plan: Divide, conquer
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
Obama: 'We've got to do some governing'
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
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
RELATED:
Andrew Dugan / Gallup:
Democrats Enjoy 2-1 Advantage Over GOP Among Hispanics
Discussion: Politico and The Daily Caller
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
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
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 …
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:
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
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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
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: 
Politico:
Ken Cuccinelli ripped by business leaders
Discussion: The Maddow Blog, Reuters and The Dish
Christopher Emsden / Wall Street Journal:
‘Lost Generation’ Feels Italy's Fiscal Squeeze
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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
Washington Examiner:
Conn Carroll: What happened to the Golden State?
Discussion: UrbanGrounds
Zack Colman / The Hill:
Interior chief says sequester would hurt parks, local economies
Discussion: Hot Air
 Earlier Items: 
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
USA Today:
Former surgeon general C. Everett Koop dead at age 96
David Zurawik / Daily Download:
MSNBC, With Ex-Obama Aides, Now Almost ‘A Bona Fide Organ of State Propaganda’
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