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7:40 PM ET, February 14, 2013


 Top Items: 
Chuck Hagel blocked: Harry Reid says he doesn't have the votes  —  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Thursday that Republicans have told him that they plan to block Chuck Hagel's nomination to be the next secretary of Defense over demands for more information from the White House.
David Weigel / Slate:
“Friends of Hamas”: The Scary-Sounding Pro-Hagel Group That Doesn't Actually Exist  —  Palestinian high school students show off their skills during a graduation ceremony from a military school course organized by the Hamas security forces and the Hamas Minister of Education on January 24, 2013 in Gaza City.
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
McCain Satisfied With WH Benghazi Response, Ready To Press On With Hagel Vote  —  Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Thursday that the White House's response to his and other Republican senators' questions on the September attack in Benghazi, Libya was satisfactory.
Discussion:, The Impolitic and CNN
Steve Kornacki / Salon:
When Republicans play with fire  —  Just how unprecedented is their filibuster of Chuck Hagel?  In a word: Very  —  Whether they'll cop to it or not, Republicans are currently engaged in a filibuster of Chuck Hagel's nomination to be Defense secretary.  —  Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma's conservative …
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
Why Republicans Can No Longer Be Trusted on National Security  —  Because their leaders have become shallow, ignorant, and totally unserious on the issue that matters most.  —  It's been clear, at least since the 2012 election, that the Republican Party has abrogated its role—really …
Justin Sink / The Hill:
White House endorses Senate sequester plan, urges House Republicans to act  —  White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday Republicans face “a simple choice” now that Senate Democrats have proposed a plan that would offset the sequester with a $110 billion plan split evenly between spending cuts …
Discussion: Politico
Fox News:
Republicans vow to go to war with filibuster over Hagel  —  The battle over Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel reached a boiling point Thursday, as senior Hill sources said Republicans have told Democrats they intend to block his confirmation until more information is provided about the Benghazi terror attack.
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Senate Republicans block Hagel nomination for Defense secretary
Discussion: Politico
Chris Cillizza / The Fix:
Why Republicans are filibustering Chuck Hagel
National Review:
Amash Mulls Senate Run
Robert Draper / New York Times:
Can the Republicans be Saved From Obsolescence?  —  One afternoon last month, I paid a visit to two young Republicans named Bret Jacobson and Ian Spencer, who work in a small office in Arlington, Va., situated above an antique store and adjacent to a Japanese auto shop.
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
The Cool Kids of the GOP Show the Christian Right the Door  —  Today's Big Read for those who are bored with the regular news (or lack thereof) is Robert Draper's very long piece in the New York Times Magazine about the difficulty the Republican Party is experiencing in keeping up with the Obamas.
Discussion: Mother Jones and The Mahablog
David Corn / Mother Jones:
FreedomWorks Made Video of Fake Giant Panda Having Sex With Fake Hillary Clinton  —  The investigation at the influential tea party group could get weird.  —  An internal investigation of FreedomWorks—the prominent conservative advocacy group and super-PAC—has focused on president Matt Kibbe's management …
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Report: FreedomWorks made fake Hillary Clinton sex video
Matt Friedman / New Jersey Online:
Lautenberg will not seek re-election next year  —  Photos: Senator Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey  —  TRENTON — U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a pugnacious and plain-spoken Democrat who has represented New Jersey for three decades, will not seek re-election to a sixth term next year.
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Lautenberg to retire from Senate, opening a path for Cory Booker
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
Senate Dems unveil $110B sequester-replacement bill  —  Senate Democratic leaders unveiled a $110 billion sequester-replacement bill at a closed-door caucus meeting Thursday that would replace $85 billion in automatic spending cuts set for March 1.  —  The Senate Democratic package …
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Sequester Cuts: Senate Democrats Settle On Replacement Plan
Discussion: Daily Kos
Martin Peretz / Wall Street Journal:
The New New Republic  —  I don't recognize the magazine I used to own.  We were liberal but not narrowly partisan.  —  Like many readers of the New Republic, I didn't at first recognize the most recent issue of the magazine.  The stark white cover was unlike anything the New Republic ran during my 35 years as the owner.
Alana Goodman / Washington Free Beacon:
Report: Hagel Said State Department Controlled by Israel  —  Fox News Channel on Tuesday reported that secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel failed to disclose to the United States Senate speeches delivered to controversial groups such as the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee …
Wayne LaPierre / The Daily Caller:
Stand and Fight  —  Before I tell you how the NRA and our members are going to Stand And Fight politically and in the courts, let's acknowledge that all over this country, tens of millions of Americans are already preparing to Stand And Fight to protect their families and homes.
Michael Tabb / Student Life:
Nate Silver talks politics to filled Graham Chapel  —  New York Times writer and statistician Nate Silver told a full Graham Chapel audience that he might stop writing his renowned blog should his analyses ever start affecting election results.  —  Silver spent an hour minimizing his achievements …
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
Missouri Democrats Introduce Legislation to Confiscate Firearms - Gives Gun Owners 90 Days to Turn in Weapons  —  Missouri Democrats introduced an anti-gun bill which would turn law-abiding firearm owners into criminals.  They will have 90 days to turn in their guns if the legislation is passed.
Elon Musk / Tesla Motors:
A Most Peculiar Test Drive  —  You may have heard recently about an article written by John Broder from The New York Times that makes numerous claims about the performance of the Model S. We are upset by this article because it does not factually represent Tesla technology …
Godfrey Hodgson / Guardian:
Ronald Dworkin obituary  —  Brilliant philosopher of law who put human dignity at the centre of his moral system  —  Ronald Dworkin, who has died aged 81, was widely respected as the most original and powerful philosopher of law in the English-speaking world.
Discussion: Crooked Timber and Althouse
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
Ronald Dworkin, Legal Philosopher, Dies at 81
Discussion: TalkLeft
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 More Items: 
Reid J. Epstein / Politico:
Obama meets 47% video guy
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Chicago Tribune:
Illinois Senate approves gay marriage
Discussion: Guardian and Business Insider
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Minimum Wage Up, EITC Down
Discussion: Slate and Hullabaloo
John Stanton / BuzzFeed:
Karl Rove Huddles With House Republican Leaders
Shobhana Chandra / Bloomberg:
Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell More Than Forecast Last Week
 Earlier Items: 
David Dayen / Salon:
Wall Street wins again
Kevin Cirilli / Politico:
Reports: Marco Rubio selling Florida home
Discussion: The Hill, CNN, and Ballot Box
Ron Fournier /
Republican Leaders Worry Their Party Could Divide in Two
Discussion: USA Today and Hot Air
Joshua Miller / Roll Call:
Kentucky Democrats Fear Judd May Drag Down Ticket
Discussion: Taylor Marsh, The PJ Tatler and WHAS
New York Times:
Pistorius Charged With Murder in Shooting of Woman