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7:50 PM ET, February 26, 2014

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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 …
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Fail: Texas GOP Candidate Accidentally Endorses Gay Marriage On Twitter  —  This post has been updated.  —  Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick (R) accidentally endorsed same-sex marriage in a tweet on Wednesday.  —  Patrick, who is running for lieutenant governor, intended to express his disapproval …
Discussion: Gawker and The Daily Banter
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
Federal Judge Rules Texas Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
Discussion: The Raw Story
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Judge strikes down gay marriage ban in Texas
Discussion: The Moderate Voice, The Fix and GovBeat
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Americans know there's no GOP ‘alternative’ to Obamacare  —  Obamacare is a disaster for Democrats, and a certain winner for Republicans.  That's what we keep hearing, anyway.  —  So why does it look as if the percentage of Americans who favor repeal may have actually shrunk since its rollout problems began?
RELATED:
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 …
Philip Rucker / The Fix:
What Mitch McConnell and a twice-heated biscuit have in common
Denver Post:
U.S. REP. CORY GARDNER TO ENTER U.S. SENATE RACE AGAINST MARK UDALL  —  Republican Congressman Cory Gardner is planning to drop his re-election bid and run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Mark Udall, a political bombshell that is expected to alter Colorado's political landscape.
RELATED:
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:
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.
New York Times:
Despite Rifts, G.O.P. Has Election Edge, Poll Finds  —  Republicans are in a stronger position than Democrats for this year's midterm elections, benefiting from the support of self-described independents, even though the party itself is deeply divided and most Americans agree …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
RELATED:
Bob Christie / Associated Press:
AZ Gov Brewer In Emergency Meetings Over Anti-Gay Bill  —  PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was holding a series of private meetings Wednesday with opponents and proponents of legislation adding protections for people who assert their religious beliefs in refusing service to gays …
Discussion: Business Insider and Daily Kos
RELATED:
Daniel Strauss / Talking Points Memo:
Rick Scott Now Says He Would Veto Arizona Anti-Gay Bill
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
Guardian:
Adidas to stop selling Brazil World Cup T-shirts that ‘encourage sexual tourism’  —  Sportswear maker to stop selling T-shirts before World Cup after Brazil's ministry of women's affairs said shirts were offensive  —  Adidas agreed on Tuesday to stop selling two raunchy T-shirts months ahead …
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 …
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.
Alexander Burns / Politico:
Planned Parenthood reveals big 2014 game plan  —  The political arm of Planned Parenthood is preparing to launch its largest campaign offensive ever, targeting more than a dozen states and some of the cycle's top Senate and gubernatorial races to raise the alarm about the stakes …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
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: Hot Air, National Review and Fox News
Joanne Kenen / Politico:
Stretch run for Obamacare  —  Four million down.  Two million to go.  Five weeks to get it done.  —  Obamacare enrollment in a nutshell.  —  The White House announced late Tuesday that sign-ups in the federal- and state-run Obamacare insurance exchanges had surpassed the psychologically significant 4 million mark.
Discussion: CNN
New York Times:
Putin Drills Ground Troops at Ukraine's Doorstep as U.S. Warns Against Intervention  —  MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin ordered a surprise exercise of ground and air forces on Ukraine's doorstep Wednesday, intending to demonstrate his country's military preparedness at a time of heightened tensions …
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.
Michael W. Chapman / CNSNews:
In Mississippi, 72% of the Babies Aborted Are Black  —  (CNSNews.com) - Although whites outnumber blacks in Mississippi by nearly 2-to-1, 71.67% of the babies aborted in Mississippi are black, while 26.6% are white.  —  Based on data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention …
Damon Linker / The Week:
Bring back the real neoconservatives  —  Confessions of a bona fide neocon, circa 1976  —  I  —  n recent weeks, readers have asked me a cluster of questions about the positions I've staked out in my recent columns.  The questions go something like this: How can you think that Lyndon Johnson …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
 
 
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 More Items: 
Office Of The Governor:
[Press Release] Gov. Perry Statement on Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
Rob Wile / Business Insider:
SENATOR CALLS FOR BITCOIN BAN
Discussion: Engadget, The Verge and Mediaite
Ben Domenech / The Federalist:
Washington Republicans Shouldn't Fall For Keynesianism Lite
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Harry Reid Denies All Obamacare ‘Horror Stories’; ‘All Are Untrue’
Discussion: Hot Air
Robert E. Scott / Economic Policy Institute:
Stop Currency Manipulation and Create Millions of Jobs: With Gains across States and Congressional Districts
Talking Points Memo:
Tom Perkins Is Winning: The Rich Already Vote More
David Freedlander / The Daily Beast:
The Skunk at the Oscar Party
Discussion: Mediaite
 Earlier Items: 
Manu Raju / Politico:
Cruz's next battle
Discussion: Hot Air and Talking Points Memo
Dennis Tang / GQ Magazine Online:
Worst Congressional Style Ever? Yeah, Probably
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
“Stand Your Ground” Nation
Brooks Hays / UPI:
Radioactive water from Japan's Fukushima power plant reaches Canada
Discussion: Bloomberg, Shakesville and Firedoglake
 

 
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