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1:45 PM ET, February 20, 2014

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 Top Items: 
Ted Cruz / CNN:
Ted Cruz assails fellow Republicans senators for ‘trickery’  —  Beaumont, Texas (CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz accused his own Republican leadership of “trickery” in trying to force a “show vote” on raising the debt ceiling last week, warning Republicans will get “clobbered in the polls” for not standing up for principle.
RELATED:
Mario Trujillo / The Hill:
Cruz: I didn't want to throw GOP under bus  —  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Wednesday that he did want to throw any of his colleagues under the bus by forcing a 60-vote threshold on a bill to increase the debt ceiling earlier this month.  —  Cruz said in a CNN interview that he heard …
Dana Davidsen / CNN:
Ted Cruz slams GOP leadership for ‘show vote’ on debt ceiling
Discussion: The Dish and Politico
Deirdre Walsh / CNN:
Cruz disagrees with Nugent, but doesn't rule out campaigning with him
Discussion: Politico and PoliticusUSA
CNN:
Truce crumbles amid gunfire in Ukraine, protesters claim 100 dead  —  Are you in Ukraine?  Send us your photos and experiences but please stay safe.  —  Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) — A shaky truce crumbled Thursday as gunfire erupted at Independence Square, the center of anti-government protests …
RELATED:
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Is Ukraine the Cold War's final episode?
Discussion: americanthinker.com and Althouse
Wall Street Journal:
McNider and Christy: Why Kerry Is Flat Wrong on Climate Change  —  It was the scientific skeptics who bucked the ‘consensus’ and said the Earth was round.  —  In a Feb. 16 speech in Indonesia, Secretary of State John Kerry assailed climate-change skeptics as members of the “Flat Earth Society” …
Discussion: White House Dossier and Hot Air
RELATED:
Seumas Milne / Guardian:
Climate change deniers have grasped that markets can't fix the climate  —  The refusal to accept global warming is driven by corporate interests and the fear of what it will cost to try to stop it  —  It's an unmistakable taste of things to come.  The floods that have deluged Britain may be small beer on a global scale.
Beth Reinhard / NationalJournal.com:
CPAC Welcomes Gay-Rights Groups After Years of Exclusion  —  Meet the kinder, gentler Conservative Political Action Conference.  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, snubbed last year after palling around with President Obama, is coming.  So is GOProud, the gay-rights group that was banned …
RELATED:
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
GOProud Founder Chris Barron Quits Board Over CPAC Flap
Discussion: Joe. My. God.
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
Rothman: CPAC's Sprint Toward Irrelevance
Discussion: Daily Kos and VodkaPundit
Sean Trende / Real Clear Politics:
How Likely Are Democrats to Lose the Senate?  —  A few weeks ago, I produced two Senate analyses.  One focused on the relationship between the president's job approval, the fate of Senate Democrats during the 2010 and 2012 elections, and what that would mean if this relationship continues through 2014.
Discussion: Democratic Strategist
RELATED:
Markos Moulitsas / The Hill:   A blue Georgia  —  Demographic changes are inevitably driving Texas …
Washington Post:
In 2014 midterms, parties see different issues and states as path to Senate majority
Discussion: The Fix, Daily Kos and ABC News
Howard Fischer Capitol / Arizona Daily Star:
Arizona Senate: Business owners can cite religion to refuse service to gays  —  PHOENIX — State senators voted Wednesday to let businesses refuse to serve gays based on owners' “sincerely held” religious beliefs.  —  The 17-13 vote along party lines, with Republicans in the majority …
RELATED:
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
Arizona Senate Passes Bill Allowing Anti-Gay Discrimination  —  The Arizona Senate passed a “religious freedom” bill Wednesday, which would effectively allow businesses to deny services to LGBT people.  —  The bill passed on a party line vote, according to the Arizona Republic.
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
Four Reasons The GOP Has A Huge Advantage In The 2014 Elections  —  For all their internal divisions and long-term worries as a party, political scientists and historical trends give Republicans a clear edge in the upcoming 2014 congressional elections.  —  Forget Obamacare …
Caitlin Flanagan / The Atlantic Online:
The Dark Power of Fraternities  —  A yearlong investigation of Greek houses reveals their endemic, lurid, and sometimes tragic problems—and a sophisticated system for shifting the blame.  —  One warm spring night in 2011, a young man named Travis Hughes stood on the back deck …
Discussion: The Awl
Alan Berube / Brookings Institute:
All Cities Are Not Created Unequal  —  In December 2013, President Obama gave a speech on economic mobility, in which he called income inequality and lack of upward mobility “the defining challenge of our time.”  —  That challenge is front and center in America's big cities today.
Discussion: GovBeat
RELATED:
Annie Lowrey / New York Times:
Study Finds Greater Income Inequality in Nation's Thriving Cities
Discussion: Gothamist
Kurtis Lee / The Spot:
Rep. Jared Wright leaves loaded handgun in House committee room  —  In the moments after lawmakers and visitors cleared a committee room Feb. 6 following a debate on concealed handgun permits, Rep. Jonathan Singer found a black canvas bag under the table where lawmakers sit.
Emily Heil / The Reliable Source:
Robin Wright: D.C. reporters sleep with sources  —  Actress Robin Wright has apparently gained much insight into the inner workings of Washington through her research into her “House of Cards” character - the malevolent Second Lady Claire Underwood.  —  For instance, she gleaned this little gem …
Audrey M. Dacosta / Caracas Chronicles:
19F - The Night Venezuela Finally Imploded  —  Tonight, Venezuela is seeing a spasm of violence that's unlike anything the country has experienced since 1989.  Information is fragmented, since an almost complete media black-out is in place, but you don't need the media to hear your neighbor's screams.
Sequoia Capital:
Four Numbers That Explain Why Facebook Acquired WhatsApp  —  WhatsApp Co-Founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton  —  Earlier today, Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp for $16 billion.  It's a spectacular milestone for the company's co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, and their remarkable team.
Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post:
Here's Why Obama Can't Get Democrats To Back His Trade Deal  —  WASHINGTON — The veal pen is becoming a dangerous place.  —  U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman — President Barack Obama's top trade official — ventured into it Tuesday evening, meeting with a group of liberal leaders …
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Associated Press:
Joe Biden: Obamacare enrollment may miss mark  —  MINNEAPOLIS — Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that it would be a good start for the federal health care law if 5 million to 6 million people sign up by the end of March, an acknowledgement that enrollments might fall significantly short …
Ravi Somaiya / New York Times:
Start-Up Site Hires Critic of Wall St.  —  Matt Taibbi, who made a name as a fierce critic of Wall Street at Rolling Stone magazine, has joined First Look Media, the latest big-name journalist to leave an established brand to enter the thriving and well-financed world of news start-ups.
 
 
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 More Items: 
Anemona Hartocollis / New York Times:
In New York, a Push for Compensated Surrogacy
Discussion: Joe. My. God.
Reno Gazette-Journal:
Nevada's Dean Heller predicts immigration reform will pass U.S. House if it gets a floor vote
Discussion: The Plum Line and Post Politics
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
Calif. beats ObamaCare sign-up goal weeks early
Discussion: New York Times
Politico:
Gene Sperling offers budget preview
Discussion: CNN
Yahoo! News:
Obama may escalate role in Syrian war
Discussion: Hot Air and NO QUARTER USA NET
 Earlier Items: 
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House GOP plots anti-reg blitz
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
A difference of opinion about IRS suppression of speech.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Linda Greenhouse / New York Times:
Law and Politics  —  I first read about Robert A. Dahl's death earlier …
Discussion: The Monkey Cage and ACS Blog
Quinnipiac News + Events:
Release Detail  —  February 20, 2014 - Clinton Sweeps 2016 Ohio Field …
Julian Hattem / The Hill:
Dems press Holder on secret FBI letters
Discussion: BillMoyers.com
Manu Raju / Politico:
Senate battle in Michigan: Whiskey and sled rides
Russ Smith / SPLICETODAY.com:
The Left Wing Can't Contain Its Fantasies
Discussion: The Daily Beast and Hit & Run
Adam Alter / Currency:
The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and The Agonist
 

 
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Re/code:
Razer Integrates WeChat Into Its Nabu Wearable, Says It Should Hit U.S. for Under $100

 
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