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2:35 PM ET, February 19, 2013


 Top Items: 
Obama, the puppet master  —  President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.  —  Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated.
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Ed Henry: 'This isn't about a golf game'  —  White House Correspondents Association president Ed Henry is standing by his complaints about the lack of press access to President Obama, pushing back against critics who say he and his fellow White House correspondents are just “whining” and don't respect the president's privacy.
Paul Waldman / American Prospect:
White House Reporters versus the Obama Administration  —  At some point in every presidency, the White House press corps begins to complain about how they're being treated.  Sometimes these complaints are legitimate and necessary, the Fourth Estate demanding that the public be adequately informed of what its government is up to.
Discussion: Politico, Daily Mail and Hullabaloo
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Report: New Simpson-Bowles plan
Discussion: Washington Monthly, Slate and
A BIPARTISAN PATH FORWARD TO SECURING AMERICA'S FUTURE  —  Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson are co-chairs of the Moment of Truth project and formerly co-chaired the President's bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.  —  The United States faces two big risks …
Damian Paletta / Wall Street Journal:
Simpson and Bowles Offer Up Deficit Fix
Discussion: and Business Insider
Molly K. Hooper / The Hill:
Who's afraid of the sequester's ax? Not us, say Republican lawmakers
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Obama says sequester would take ‘meat cleaver’ to government
Discussion: Politico
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:
Simpson, Bowles to offer new $2.4 trillion deficit-reduction plan
Discussion: Politico
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
Obama presses Congress for stopgap sequester fix
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
Obama Turns Up Pressure for Deal on Budget Cuts
Discussion: Daily Kos
Politico:   Erskine Bowles pessimistic about a ‘grand bargain’
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Marco Rubio: The Electable Conservative?  —  Some commentators have expressed surprise upon learning about the very conservative voting record of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address last week.
Bret Stephens / Wall Street Journal:
Filibuster Hagel  —  If Republicans refuse, they won't be standing …
Discussion: Right Turn
Jennifer Kabbany / The College Fix:
Prof Strips, Shows 9/11 Footage, Impales Stuffed Animal (VIDEO)  —  A science professor at Columbia University on Monday began a quantum mechanics lecture by stripping into his boxers and eating a banana while rap music played in the background.  —  Then it got weird.
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Like a Swarm of Lethal Bugs: The Most Terrifying Drone Video Yet  —  An Air Force simulation says researchers are at work on killer robots so tiny that a group of them could blend into a cityscape.  —  Science writer John Horgan's feature on the many ways drones will be used in coming years …
Discussion: The Week
Kenneth P. Vogel / Politico:
Tea party group pictures Rove in Nazi uniform  —  A top tea party group is taking its clash with Karl Rove to a new level, sending out a fundraising email Tuesday featuring a photoshopped image of the GOP operative in an SS uniform.  —  “Wipe the Smirk Off Karl Rove's Face,” …
Discussion: and Washington Examiner
New York Times:
Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.S.  —  On the outskirts of Shanghai, in a run-down neighborhood dominated by a 12-story white office tower, sits a People's Liberation Army base for China's growing corps of cyberwarriors.  —  The building off Datong Road …
Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Topeka Capital-Journal:
Bill asks teachers to question climate change in class  —  HB2306 calls climate change ‘scientific controversy’  —  With the Kansas State Board of Education preparing to vote on new science standards this year, the House Education Committee has introduced a bill asking schools to include evidence …
Rebecca Leber / ThinkProgress:   Kansas Bill Would Require Teachers To Misinform Students About Climate Change
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
Quote of the Day  —  “I'm not much different from Andrew Cuomo.  I probably agree with him on 98% of the issues.”  — Chris Christie (R), quoted by the Glen Falls Chronicle, in a conversation with a union organizer.
Jimmy Vielkind / Capitol Confidential:   Christie: 'I'm not much different from Andrew Cuomo'
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Supreme Court to hear RNC suit challenging campaign finance limits  —  The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to consider whether certain limits on campaign contributions are too low — or altogether unconstitutional.  —  The court said it would hear a case, filed by the Republican National Committee …
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Fredreka Schouten / USA Today:
Supreme Court to hear case on campaign donation limits
Discussion: and Hot Air
Greg Hinz / Chicago Business:
Illinoisans back gay marriage 50-29: Crain's/Ipsos poll  —  Most Illinois residents want the Legislature to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, according to the latest results of the Crain's/Ipsos Illinois Poll.  —  The survey of 600 adults found that 50 percent support the gay-marriage bill …
Discussion: The Dish and Towleroad News #gay
Jonathan Lloyd / NBC Southern California:
Four Dead After OC Shootings, Carjackings  —  Four people are dead after a series of shootings and carjackings near freeways in Orange County that began after the shooting death of a woman at a home in Ladera Ranch.  —  Map: Shooting Investigation Locations
New York Times:
Pistorius Denies Murdering Girlfriend  —  PRETORIA, South Africa — Facing a charge of premeditated murder in the death of his girlfriend, Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee track star and one of the world's best-known athletes, denied on Tuesday that he intended to take her life when he opened fire …
Rebecca Leber / ThinkProgress:
Virginia Pizza Shop Offers A Discount To Anyone Who Carries A Gun  —  At one Virginia pizza shop, customers who bring in a gun or show a gun permit get 15 percent off their order.  The pro-gun owner of All Around Pizzas and Deli claimed that 80 percent of his customers have walked in carrying …
Discussion: Shakesville and
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Scott Brown blames phone for unusual ‘Bqhatevwr’ tweet  —  Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) for the first time addressed questions over a series of hastily deleted early morning Twitter messages posted last month, denying he was intoxicated at the time.  —  “Anyone ever hear of pocket tweet, pocket dial?
Discussion: CNN and Politico
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 More Items: 
Usa Today / PR Newswire:
USA TODAY To Collaborate With Pew Research Center On Public Opinion Polling
Evan McMorris-Santoro / Talking Points Memo:
Missouri Republican Wants To Make It A Felony For His Fellow Lawmakers To Propose Gun Laws
David Ariosto / CNN:
NASA restores communication with International Space Station
Discussion: The Raw Story
David Brooks / New York Times:
What Data Can't Do  —  Not long ago, I was at a dinner …
Discussion: Paul Krugman and Economist's View
Lahav Harkov / Jerusalem Post:
Livni becomes 1st member of Netanyahu-led gov't
Discussion: and Israel Matzav
Leonard Greene / New York Post:
Police probing Baldwin's ‘race’ rant at Post fotog as hate crime
John Tierney / New York Times:
Time and Punishment: Long Prison Terms Eyed as Contributing to Poverty
Discussion: Hit & Run
 Earlier Items: 
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Dems propose US engage diplomatically with Iran over nukes
First Read:
First Thoughts: Here comes the bully pulpit
David Rogers / Politico:
Why John McCain turned on Chuck Hagel
Discussion: The Dish
Kristen A. Lee / NY Daily News:
Michelle Obama blames her chic new bangs on a midlife crisis on ‘Rachael Ray Show’
Discussion: First Read
Lynn Bartels / Denver Post:
Colorado lawmaker Joe Salazar issues apology over rape remark