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4:30 PM ET, February 26, 2014

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 Top Items: 
Robert T. Garrett / Trail Blazers Blog:
Federal judge voids Texas' gay marriage ban, though he delays order from taking effect immediately  —  Mark Phariss of Plano, left, held the hand of partner Victor Holmes, center, as they left the U.S. Federal Courthouse in San Antonio after a hearing earlier this month.
RELATED:
John Wright / Lone Star Q:
BREAKING: Federal judge strikes down Texas' bans on same-sex marriage  —  Mark Phariss, right, and Vic Holmes of Plano are one of two same-sex couples challenging Texas' marriage bans in DeLeon v. Perry.  —  Feb. 26, 2014  —  A federal judge in Texas ruled Wednesday that the state's bans …
CNN:
Texas ban on same-sex marriage struck down  —  (CNN) — A federal judge has struck down Texas' ban on same-sex marriage, ruling Wednesday it has no “rational relation to a legitimate government purpose.”  —  The decision is the latest in a series of federal and state court moves …
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Judge strikes down gay marriage ban in Texas  —  A Texas judge has struck down that state's ban on gay marriage.  —  U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia did not say gay marriages could be performed immediately.  Instead, he stayed the decision, citing a likely appeal.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice, The Fix and GovBeat
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
Federal Judge Rules Texas Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional  —  A federal judge in San Antonio declared Texas' ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Wednesday.  —  But U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued a stay along with the ruling, so the ban remains in place for the time being.
Discussion: The Raw Story
Dave Camp / Wall Street Journal:
Dave Camp: How to Fix Our Appalling Tax Code  —  Every year Americans spend more than six billion hours and $168 billion to file their returns.  —  There have been so many changes to the tax code over the past decade that it is now 10 times the size of the Bible, but with none of the Good News.
RELATED:
Janet Hook / Wall Street Journal:
Why Lawmaking on a Grand Scale Is a Dying Art  —  When Rep. Dave Camp (R., Mich.) laid plans to unveil a big tax reform bill this week, it was as if he was operating in some kind of time warp.  No one seemed to have told the Ways and Means Committee chairman that Congress isn't doing much legislating any more.
kff.org:
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: February 2014  —  Liz Hamel, Jamie Firth and Mollyann Brodie … Overall, more prefer expensive broad-network plans over cheaper narrow-network plans, but potential ACA exchange customers lean in the opposite direction  —  There has been a lot of discussion …
RELATED:
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Americans know there's no GOP ‘alternative’ to Obamacare
Philip Rucker / The Fix:
What Mitch McConnell and a twice-heated biscuit have in common
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
CBS News:
Jeb Bush, Rand Paul top GOP's 2016 presidential wish list: Poll  —  Shares -  —  While the 2016 presidential election may be two years away, some prospective contenders have been getting a bit of media attention.  The latest CBS News/New York Times Poll asked the public whether …
RELATED:
Dalia Sussman / New York Times:
Most Democrats Want Clinton to Run in 2016
Virginian-Pilot:
Va. GOP official apologizes for genital slang “error”  —  UPDATE: In an email, FitzSimmonds said he thought the word he used had the same meaning as “twaddle,” which is defined as foolish speech.  —  “The minute I found out my error, I deleted the post and apologized,” he told Pilot on Politics.
Kathryn A. Wolfe / Politico:
President Obama to urge $302 billion transportation bill  —  President Barack Obama on Wednesday will call for a four-year, $302 billion transportation bill to replace the law that expires at the end of September, while repeating his pitch for tax reform to fill some of that gap.
Discussion: The Heritage Foundation and CNN
RELATED:
Wall Street Journal:
Viva Rubio  —  What a great, myth-destroying statement …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Tony Lombardo / Army Times:
Soldier flagrantly avoids flag salute, sets off online outrage  —  A soldier who hid in her car to avoid saluting the flag — and then flaunted it on Instagram — is the latest service member to come under attack via social media and be accused of dishonoring her service.
Ilya Shapiro / Cato Institute:
For Marriage Equality, Religious Liberty, and the Freedom of Association  —  Even though I'm for marriage equality - next week I'll be filing a brief supporting the challenge to the marriage laws of Oklahoma and Utah in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit - I have no problem with Arizona's SB 1062.
RELATED:
Paul Mirengoff / Power Line:
No, this is not Jim Crow for gays, Part Two
irs.gov:
Four Tax Facts about the Health Care Law for Individuals  —  There are a few basic tips to keep in mind about the new health care law.  Health insurance choices you make now may affect the income tax return you file in 2015.  — Most people already have qualified health insurance coverage …
RELATED:
Sabrina Tavernise / New York Times:
Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43% in a Decade  —  Federal health authorities on Tuesday reported a stunning 43 percent drop in the obesity rate among 2- to 5-year-old children over the past decade, the first broad decline in an epidemic that often leads to lifelong struggles …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Eric Holder: Actually, somebody does have to defend gay marriage bans  —  BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL GAY MARRIAGE ERIC HOLDER ATTORNEY GENERAL GAY RIGHTS LAW  —  Attorney General Eric Holder stunned and disappointed many conservative lawyers with his decree that state attorneys general …
Discussion: National Review and Hot Air
Miles O'Brien:
“Just a Flesh Wound”  —  I wish I had a better story to tell you about why I am typing this with one hand (and some help from Dragon Dictate).  —  A shark attack would be interesting.  An assassination attempt would be intriguing.  Skydiving mishaps always make for good copy.
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
“Stand Your Ground” Nation  —  America used to value the concept of retreat.  Now we just shoot.  —  Ever since George Zimmerman gunned down Trayvon Martin in his Sanford, Fla., gated community, it's become an article of faith that the rash of lethal shootings in public places …
David Freedlander / The Daily Beast:
The Skunk at the Oscar Party  —  Jeremy Scahill may not fit in amongst Leo and Marty, but even if he doesn't take home a statue for his documentary ‘Dirty Wars,’ he's already winning big with the launch of ‘The Intercept,’ his new online venture backed by Ebay's Pierre Omidyar.
Discussion: Mediaite
Robert E. Scott / Economic Policy Institute:
Stop Currency Manipulation and Create Millions of Jobs: With Gains across States and Congressional Districts  —  Six years after the start of the Great Recession nearly 8 million jobs are still needed to return to prerecession labor market health (EPI 2013).  Job creation should still be goal number one.
ThinkProgress:
Rand Paul Blocks Surgeon General Nominee For Saying Gun Violence Is A Public Health Threat  —  On Wednesday — two years to the day after George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) placed a hold on President Barack Obama's nominee for Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy …
Discussion: Rand Paul and Daily Kos
Michael Barone / Washington Examiner:
Concealed-weapons laws have changed America regardless of national debate on gun control  —  BELTWAY CONFIDENTIAL GUN CONTROL SUPREME COURT  —  Over the last 25 years, we have had related national debates over proposed federal gun-control laws designed to restrict access to certain firearms.
Dennis Tang / GQ Magazine Online:
Worst Congressional Style Ever?  Yeah, Probably  —  Worst ever?  Yeah, right, how bad could it possiblyyyyyeeesh, okay, yeah, now that I look at it.  Definitely.  Is that a purple golf polo?  With a bow tie?  Is that a clip-on?  Did Craig Sager win a seat somewhere?  Am I having a seizure?
Ed Rogers / PostPartisan:
The Insiders: Another day, another Obamacare disaster  —  In a colossal “oh by the way” revelation, last Friday afternoon the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency under the United States Department of Health and Human Services (that would be the executive branch run …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Talking Points Memo:
Tom Perkins Is Winning: The Rich Already Vote More
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Parade Marches Backward
Discussion: Joe. My. God.
Damon Linker / The Week:
Bring back the real neoconservatives
 Earlier Items: 
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Bill Clinton helps Alison Lundergan Grimes raise $700K
Discussion: New York Times and Taylor Marsh
Maeve Reston / Los Angeles Times:
Hawaii health marketplace off to an especially rough start
Discussion: ABC News and Hot Air
Brooks Hays / UPI:
Radioactive water from Japan's Fukushima power plant reaches Canada
Discussion: Bloomberg, Shakesville and Firedoglake
The Hill:
Firm disowns lobbyist selling anti-gay bill
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
Issa, House GOP to recall Lois Lerner
 

 
From Mediagazer:

First Look Media:
The team Matt Taibbi hired at First Look Media is being let go

Joe Pompeo / Capital New York:
NYT editor Dean Baquet's newsroom memo on the hiring of Kinsey Wilson

Alex Weprin / Capital New York:
BuzzFeed passes $100M in revenue for 2014, promises staff Apple Watches if traffic goals hit

 
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