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8:00 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
Discussion: The Daily Banter and Gawker
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
Associated Press:   Federal judge strikes down Texas gay marriage ban
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:
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:
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.
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
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 …
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
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 …
Matthew O'Brien / The Atlantic Online:
How the Fed Let the World Blow Up in 2008  —  High oil prices blinded the Fed to the growing danger before the crash  —  It was the day after Lehman failed, and the Federal Reserve was trying to decide what to do.  —  It had been fighting a credit crunch for over a year, and now the worst-case scenario was playing out.
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.
Office Of The Governor:
[Press Release] Gov. Perry Statement on Same-Sex Marriage Ruling  —  Gov. Perry Statement on Same-Sex Marriage Ruling  —  Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government …
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
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
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.
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
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: 
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
Michael W. Chapman / CNSNews:
In Mississippi, 72% of the Babies Aborted Are Black
Robert E. Scott / Economic Policy Institute:
Stop Currency Manipulation and Create Millions of Jobs: With Gains across States and Congressional Districts
 Earlier Items: 
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
Dennis Tang / GQ Magazine Online:
Worst Congressional Style Ever? Yeah, Probably
Dahlia Lithwick / Slate:
“Stand Your Ground” Nation
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Evan Smith / The Texas Tribune:
New York Times-Texas Tribune content partnership to end Dec. 31, after four years

Micah L. Sifry / Mother Jones:
Before 2012 election, Facebook increased hard news stories in 1.9M feeds, which added measurably to civic engagement and voter turnout

Rafat Ali:
It's About To Get Ugly in Media Startupland

 
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