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8:05 PM ET, February 16, 2013


 Top Items: 
Paul Krugman:
Gratifying Signs of Desperation  —  On both sides of the Atlantic, the austerians seem to be freaking out.  And that has to be good news, an indication that they realize, at some level, that they're losing the debate.  —  First up, the sad story of Joe Scarborough, whose response …
Joe Scarborough / Politico:
Paul Krugman is wrong - but don't take my word for it  —  America's fiscal predicament is serious.  The problem has become obvious in the last few years, but it has been building for decades, largely the result of promises of extensive social benefits without a corresponding willingness to pay for them.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Hot Air
Alan Gomez / USA Today:
White House immigration bill offers path to residency  —  The legislation is being developed as members in both chambers of Congress are drafting their own immigration bills.  —  WASHINGTON — A draft of a White House immigration proposal obtained by USA TODAY would allow illegal immigrants …
Jonathan Bernstein / Salon:
Think Hagel's bad?  Just wait until there's a Supreme Court opening  —  The Hagel battle is actually a dry run for the next justice fight — and it's clear that the GOP will filibuster  —  Compare that Russian meteor hit earlier this week to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.  Got that?
Washington Post:
FBI investigating allegations Sen. Menendez patronized prostitutes in Dominican Republic  —  A team of FBI agents has been conducting interviews in recent weeks in the Dominican Republic and the United States, looking into allegations that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) patronized prostitutes …
Nicole Flatow / ThinkProgress:
Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul Join Bipartisan Bill To Legalize Hemp  —  While most Republican members of Congress have been lukewarm at best to the prospect of legalizing marijuana, senators introduced a bipartisan measure this week to legalize industrial hemp.
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
Rubio embarks on trip to Israel and Jordan  —  Republican rising star Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) departed for the Middle East on Saturday, beginning a journey that could do much to burnish the possible 2016 presidential candidate's foreign policy credentials.
Discussion: Israel Matzav, Politico and CNN
Joseph Stiglitz / Opinionator:
Equal Opportunity, Our National Myth  —  President Obama's second Inaugural Address used soaring language to reaffirm America's commitment to the dream of equality of opportunity: “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance …
Byron Tau / Politico:
Data mining is new lobbying gold  —  A congressman gets an earful from his neighbor after church about a tax bill.  A senator suddenly finds old high school classmates calling her about an upcoming vote on a small business bill.  —  Those meetings may not be coincidences.
Chicago Tribune:
1 dead, 3 wounded in 90 minutes Friday night  —  Woman dies in West Side shooting  —  Chicago police were flagged down by a man on the street as they responded to the sound of gunfire Friday night and found a woman lying on the ground, bleeding from gunshot wounds to her upper body.
Discussion: Politico and Weasel Zippers
JEB BUSH: I WOULD GOVERN LIKE LYNDON JOHNSON AS PRESIDENT  —  Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said he would strive to be like Lyndon Johnson, the Democrat famous for expanding the U.S. welfare state through the “Great Society,” if he were elected president.
Discussion: and Blog
E.J. Dionne Jr / Washington Post:
The best choice for pope?  A nun.  —  In giving up the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI was brave and bold.  He did the unexpected for the good of the Catholic Church.  And when it selects a new pope next month, the College of Cardinals should be equally brave and bold.  It is time to elect a nun as the next pontiff.
Discussion: Booman Tribune and Daily Kos
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Ted Cruz Runs Counter to the Senate's Courtly Ways  —  WASHINGTON — As the Senate edged toward a divisive filibuster vote on Chuck Hagel's nomination to be defense secretary, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, sat silent and satisfied in the corner of the chamber — his voice lost to laryngitis …
Frank Bruni / New York Times:
The G.O.P.'s Nasty Newcomer
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 More Items: 
James B. Stewart / New York Times:
Common Sense: High Taxes Are Not a Prime Reason for Relocation, Studies Say
Zack Colman / The Hill:
Obama in Florida for golf getaway
Discussion: CNN and Associated Press
Renee Dudley / Bloomberg:
Wal-Mart Executives Sweat Slow February Start in E-Mails
 Earlier Items: 
Annie Lowrey / New York Times:
Incomes Flat in Recovery, but Not for the 1%
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and JustOneMinute