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12:25 PM ET, February 15, 2013


 Top Items: 
Meteorite hits central Russia, more than 500 people hurt  —  (Reuters) - More than 500 people were injured when a meteorite shot across the sky and exploded over central Russia on Friday, sending fireballs crashing to Earth, shattering windows and damaging buildings.
Meteor strike injures hundreds in central Russia  —  The BBC's Daniel Sandford says people described a ball of fire in the sky  —  A meteor crashing in central Russia's Ural mountains has injured at least 500 people, as the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings.
New York Times:
Meteor Fragments Are Said to Rain Down on Siberia; Hundreds of Injuries Reported  —  MOSCOW — Bright objects, apparently debris from a meteor, streaked through the sky in western Siberia early Friday, accompanied by a thunderous shock wave that damaged buildings across a vast territory.
Daily Mail:
Moment meteorite exploded in the sky above Russian town as doctors treat 950 people injured when sonic boom shattered windows  —  A terrifying meteorite shower left more than 950 people injured, buildings devastated and the mobile network wiped out when it hit Russia this morning.
Phil Plait / Slate:
BREAKING: Huge Meteor Blazes Across Sky Over Russia; Sonic Boom Shatters Windows [UPDATED]
Discussion: Quartz and The Maddow Blog
Cosmic Log /
‘Panic’ as streaking meteor injures hundreds in Russia
Howard Amos / Guardian:
Meteorite explosion over Chelyabinsk injures hundreds
Discussion: TechCrunch and Quartz
Meteor blast injures hundreds
Discussion: The Jawa Report and This Just In
Associated Press:
Meteor falls in Russia's Chelyabinsk region; 700 injured
Discussion: WorldViews, Guardian and Hot Air
Why President Obama went all-in on Chuck Hagel  —  President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have fiercely defended the nomination of Chuck Hagel, despite advisers and Hill Democrats who questioned the move and predicted a firestorm, according to Democratic sources.
Hayes Brown / ThinkProgress:
McCain Says He's Opposing Hagel Because Hagel Was Mean To Bush  —  Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told us how he really feels about Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel on Fox News this afternoon, saying “people don't forget” when you cross your own party.  —  Speaking to Fox News host Neil Cavuto …
Paul Kane / Washington Post:
Senate Republicans filibuster Hagel nomination  —  Senate Republicans delivered a sharp rebuke to President Obama on Thursday when they began a filibuster of Chuck Hagel's nomination as secretary of defense.  —  The confirmation process stalled Thursday when GOP senators deprived Hagel …
Jennifer Medina / New York Times:
Over a Decade, Maureen O'Connor Spent $1 Billion on Bets  —  LOS ANGELES — A former mayor of San Diego spent the last decade wagering more than a billion dollars at casinos across the country, eventually liquidating her savings, auctioning her belongings, selling off real estate …
NBC Politics:
Congressman says deleted tweets were to his recently discovered daughter  —  Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., tells NBC News that the 24-year-old woman he tweeted at during the State of the Union address was not a romantic interest, but in fact his daughter.  —  After “The Hill” reported that Cohen …
Lloyd Grove / The Daily Beast:
Rahm Emanuel May Be Toying With 2016 Presidential Run  —  Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel might make a go for 2016, two well-connected Democrats tell Lloyd Grove—as long as Hillary doesn't.  And the potty-mouthed Chicago mayor could win.  —  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel …
Lynn Sweet / Chicago Sun Times:   Rahm throws water on claim he is considering a presidential run
Mike Lillis / The Hill:
Pelosi: Congressional pay cut undermines dignity of the job  —  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she opposes a cut in congressional pay because it would diminish the dignity of lawmakers' jobs.  —  “I don't think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do …
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Bionic Eyes and “Health Care Costs”  —  Argus II glasses with embedded camera.  —  Second Sight publicity still for Argus II  —  I read an informative piece in the NY Times from Ezekiel Emannuel today delivering the “good news” that health care spending volumes are increasing at a slower pace …
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Ezekiel J. Emanuel / Opinionator:
Health Care's Good News
Discussion: National Review
Judicial Watch:
JW Releases Confidential USDA Videos Revealing “Cultural Sensitivity Training” Program … Videos Reveal Indoctrination Program Requiring USDA Staffers to Bang on Tables, Chant, “The pilgrims were illegal aliens”  —  (Washington, DC) - Judicial Watch today released previously unseen USDA videos revealing …
Caroline May / The Daily Caller:
Confidential, expensive USDA sensitivity training: ‘The Pilgrims were illegal aliens’ [VIDEOS]
Jennifer Jacobs / Des Moines Register:
BREAKING: Vilsack will not seek U.S. Senate seat in 2014  —  Tom Vilsack has ruled out running U.S. Senate in 2014, clearing the way for the early Democratic frontrunner, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, to press forward and raise money for what's expected to be one of the most fiercely competitive races in the country.
Discussion: Post Politics and Roll Call
Jonathan Martin / Politico:
Lone Star rising  —  AUSTIN, Texas — California fancies itself as a trendsetter and Florida prizes its claim as a microcosm of America.  —  But when it comes to politics — both present-day battles and future trends — ground zero right now is the fastest-growing of the mega-states: Texas.
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Rubio and the Zombies  —  The State of the Union address was not, I'm sorry to say, very interesting.  True, the president offered many good ideas.  But we already know that almost none of those ideas will make it past a hostile House of Representatives.  —  On the other hand, the G.O.P. reply …
Chris Ariens / TVNewser:
Herman Cain Joins Fox News as Contributor  —  Fox News Channel has hired former Republican presidential candidate and Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain as a contributor.  Cain will provide political and business analysis and commentary across FNC's daytime and primetime programming, as well as on Fox Business Network.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's … and Daily Kos
David Brooks / New York Times:
When Families Fail  —  Today millions of American children grow up in homes where they don't learn the skills they need to succeed in life.  Their vocabularies are tiny.  They can't regulate their emotions.  When they get to kindergarten they've never been read a book …
Discussion: National Review and Mother Jones
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 More Items: 
Betsy Rothstein / FishbowlDC:
Valentine's Day Bloodbath: WaPo Lays Off Workers in Hush-Hush Manner
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
First on CNN: New player in gun control ad wars
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and The Hill
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Obama caught between friends in fight over Keystone XL pipeline
Discussion: Hot Air
Beth Reinhard /
Can Marco Rubio Live Up to the Hype?
Discussion: First Read
CBS News:
Oscar Pistorius weeps in court as he appears to face murder charge in shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
With 2 weeks until deadline, $85B sequester is looking inevitable
Fred Thys / WBUR:
WBUR Poll Gives Markey Slight Edge Over Lynch
Discussion: Politico and Ballot Box
 Earlier Items: 
Would Hayek Have Approved Obamacare?
Discussion: Marginal Revolution
Matt Taibbi / Rolling Stone:
Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail
Discussion: Taylor Marsh
Tom Simonite / MIT Technology Review:
Welcome to the Malware-Industrial Complex
Discussion: Boing Boing
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
White House Confirms: Obama Did Nothing on Benghazi
Discussion: Washington Times and Flopping Aces
John M. Broder / Wheels:
That Tesla Data: What It Says and What It Doesn't
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Obama favors sacking the expensive penny
Discussion: The Week and CNN