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12:50 PM ET, February 19, 2014


 Top Items: 
Rosalind S. Helderman / Washington Post:
Scott Walker, eyeing 2016, faces fallout from probes as ex-aide's e-mails are released  —  MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has been eyeing a 2016 presidential run since his battles with labor unions made him a Republican star, is in the midst of dealing with the fallout …
Victoria Butenko / CNN:
After 25 die, Ukrainian protesters dig in  —  Are you in Ukraine?  Send us your photos and experiences but please stay safe.  —  Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) — They've given up their ground before — voluntarily, as a political concession.  But that seems to be over.
Tensions high in Ukraine after at least 21 die in fiery clashes
Discussion: Mediaite, JHPolitics and Hot Air
Roger Simon / Politico:
Who are the real thugs?  —  Let's play a game.  It's called: “Who's the Thug?”  —  It's the day after Thanksgiving 2012, and four teenagers are sitting in a Dodge Durango outside a convenience store in Jacksonville, Fla.  —  The Durango is red, which is unimportant.  The teenagers are black, which is important.
Seni Tienabeso / ABC News:
Juror in ‘Loud Music’ Trial Wanted Murder Conviction … A juror in the controversial Florida “loud music” trial says there was no chance from the start of a murder conviction in the shooting of an unarmed teen at a gas station because several jurors were convinced Michael Dunn acted in self-defense.
Joshua Miller / The Boston Globe:
Scott Brown no longer under contract with Fox News  —  Ex-senator mum on whether he will run in N.H.  —  Former US senator Scott Brown, a frequent presence on Fox News, is no longer under contract with the widely watched cable station, a development sure to fan flames of speculation about his potential US Senate bid in New Hampshire.
Natalie Villacorta / Politico:
Scott Brown, Fox News split up
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Margaret Talbot / New Yorker:
READING THE NUMBERS  —  Last week's report about the declining abortion rate in the United States was potentially good news for everyone, especially, one would think, for right-to-life groups.  Most of them, though, weren't cheering.  A statement from Americans United for Life called the report …
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Early-Term Abortions and the Anti-Choicers
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Lisa O'Carroll / Guardian:
Blair advised Brooks on phone-hacking scandal, court hears  —  Former prime minister suggested setting up ‘Hutton style’ inquiry, according to email from former News International chief  —  Read Rebekah Brooks's email to James Murdoch in full (PDF)  —  Tony Blair advised Rebekah Brooks to launch a …
Washington Post:
Homeland Security is seeking a national license plate tracking system  —  The Department of Homeland Security wants a private company to provide a national license-plate tracking system that would give the agency access to vast amounts of information from commercial and law enforcement tag readers …
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Mississippi 2014 Senate election: Anatomy of a takedown  —  Part of an occasional series on the hottest races of the 2014 midterm election.  —  OXFORD, Miss. — As Sen. Thad Cochran faces a potentially career-ending primary challenge, his strategy for victory is straightforward …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Susan Davis / USA Today:
CBO report: Minimum wage hike could cost 500,000 jobs  —  Th new non-partisan report provides ammunition for both sides in an increasingly heated political fight over the minimum wage.  —  SHARE11  —  WASHINGTON — President Obama's call to raise the federal minimum wage could help lift 900,000 workers …
Cameron Joseph / The Hill:
Baca apologizes for calling Negrete McLeod a ‘bimbo’  —  Former Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) is apologizing for calling Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Calif.) “some bimbo” after the woman who defeated him last year announced her retirement.  —  In an interview earlier Tuesday with The Hill …
Chicago Tribune:
The IRS targets political speech again  —  Discouraging debate and curbing information … The Internal Revenue Service is used to being universally disliked every April 15.  But this year, the widespread denunciations have started early, and for good reason.
Discussion: The Hugh Hewitt Show
Andrew Doughman / Las Vegas Sun News:
With a focus on creating jobs, Hardy targets Horsford's seat  —  Republican Assemblyman Cresent Hardy wants voters in the northern Las Vegas Valley and much of rural Nevada to pick him as their congressman this November.  —  The 56-year-old businessman from Mesquite formally launched …
Sarah Hurtubise / The Daily Caller:
Fourth Georgia hospital closes due to Obamacare payment cuts  —  The fourth Georgia hospital in two years is closing its doors due to severe financial difficulties caused by Obamacare's payment cuts for emergency services.  —  The Lower Oconee Community Hospital is, for now …
David Zucchino / Los Angeles Times:
Soldier convicted in rape, murder of Iraqi girl is found hanged  —  Steven Dale Green in a booking mug shot taken at the Mecklenburg County Jail in Charlotte, N.C., in July 2006.  (Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office / July 3, 2006)  —  This post has been updated.  See below for details.
Kirsten Powers / USA Today:
Jim Crow laws for gays and lesbians?  Column  —  Kansas legislation could make discrimination easy.  —  What's the matter with Kansas?  A bill protecting the religious freedom of businesses and individuals to refuse services to same-sex couples passed the state House of Representatives last week.
Wayne Slater / Trail Blazers Blog:
Greg Abbott says he's campaigning with Ted Nugent “to expose” Wendy Davis on gun rights  —  Republican Greg Abbott touted Ted Nugent today as a political comrade in arms.  He largely avoided questions about Democrats who have singed out Nugent's outspoken comments calling President Obama …
Ted Nugent hits campaign trail after calling Obama ‘subhuman mongrel’
Discussion: The Daily Beast and Daily Kos
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
GOP Lawmakers Want To Define Anti-Gay Discrimination As ‘Religious Freedom’  —  The growing specter of legalized gay marriage, which has been advanced by numerous court decisions starting with the Supreme Court's overturning of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year, seems to have put a scare in GOP lawmakers.
Quinnipiac News + Events:
Release Detail  —  February 19, 2014 - Ohio Gov Can't Break Free Of Unknown Challenger, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Voters Divided On Death Penalty  —  Watch Video: Assistant Director Tim Malloy discusses poll results  —  Ohio Gov. John Kasich has a 51 - 36 percent job approval rating …
Discussion: Real Clear Politics
The Hill:
Green groups tell Obama Keystone won't be forgiven  —  If a flurry of climate change initiatives is an attempt by the administration to soften up environmental supporters ahead of an approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, green groups say President Obama better think twice.
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 More Items: 
Jerusalem Post:
Report: Kerry framework proposal calls for Israeli freeze of settlement construction
Discussion: Hot Air and Israel Matzav
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Jobless benefits: The GOP's search for an exit
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Plum Line
Frank Newport / Gallup:
More Americans Now View Afghanistan War as a Mistake
Discussion: Hot Air and Politico
David R. Henderson / Hoover Institution:
Obamacare's ‘Disincentive’ Scheme
Michael Warren / Weekly Standard:
Ad: Obamacare ‘Jeopardized My Health’
Discussion: Hot Air and JHPolitics
Loan Complaints by Homeowners Rise Once More
Discussion: Prairie Weather
 Earlier Items: 
Terence P. Jeffrey / CNSNews:
106%: Obama Has More Than Doubled Marketable U.S. Debt
Discussion: Fortune and ParaPundit
Paul Caron / TaxProf Blog:
TIGTA: 39% of IRS Employee Long-Term Travel May Not Comply With Tax Rules
Rebecca Shabad / The Hill:
McCain eyes Armed Services Committee
Doug Hall / Economic Policy Institute:
Low-Wage Workers Have Experienced Wage Erosion in Nearly Every State
Discussion: VodkaPundit, Shakesville and Daily Kos
Timothy P. Carney / Washington Examiner:
Obama's stimulus became a special-interest feeding frenzy
Discussion: Betsy's Page
David Cameron / Telegraph:
Why the Archbishop of Westminster is wrong about welfare
Discussion: Spectator, Guardian and BBC
It's True: Liberals Like Cats More Than Conservatives Do
Discussion: Liberal Values and Hot Air