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12:10 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.
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 …
Discussion: and Wonkblog
Damian Paletta / Wall Street Journal:
Simpson and Bowles Offer Up Deficit Fix
Discussion: Business Insider
Politico:   Erskine Bowles pessimistic about a ‘grand bargain’
Jackie Calmes / New York Times:
Obama to Turn Up Pressure for Deal on Budget Cuts
Discussion: Daily Kos
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Report: New Simpson-Bowles plan
Meghashyam Mali / The Hill:   Simpson, Bowles to offer new $2.4 trillion deficit-reduction plan
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Obama To Call On Congress To Avert Mandatory Spending Cuts — Again
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Reuters
Jeanne Sahadi /   New Bowles-Simpson deficit plan would cut $2.4 trillion
Lynn Bartels / Denver Post:
Colorado lawmaker Joe Salazar issues apology over rape remark  —  The video of a Democratic lawmaker talking about rape while debating a gun bill involving college campuses has gone viral, with Republicans and Second Amendment activists likening Rep. Joe Salazar to failed Senate candidate Todd Akin.
Dana Loesch / RedState:
Colorado Democrat: Women Don't Need Guns If They 'Feel Like They're Going To Be Raped'  —  Chill, women, says Colorado Democrat Rep. Joe Salazar.  While arguing for the disarmament of college students, Salazar says that even if women feel like they're going to be raped, they may not, so who needs a firearm for protection?
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
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.
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.
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
Tea Party challenger to McConnell emerging  —  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could see a primary challenge from local businessman Matt Bevin, who sources say is reaching out to Tea Party groups in the state to gauge support for a 2014 Senate run.
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: CNN
J. Lester Feder / BuzzFeed:
Mexican Supreme Court: American Cases Demand Marriage Equality
Discussion: Joe. My. God.
David Rogers / Politico:
Why John McCain turned on Chuck Hagel  —  Tower, a Texas Republican, Navy veteran and powerhouse in the Senate Armed Services Committee, had befriended McCain as a young naval liaison to Congress and later helped him first run for the House in 1982.  As a freshman senator …
Discussion: The Dish
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 …
Jennifer Steinhauer / New York Times:
Lawmakers Look at Ban on High Capacity Gun Magazines  —  WASHINGTON — Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, is haunted by many things that emerged from the investigation of the December mass shooting at a Newtown elementary school.  Among them is the nagging question …
Joel Gehrke / Washington Examiner:
Obama ignores DOJ researchers who conclude assault weapons ban won't cut gun violence
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 …
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Dems propose US engage diplomatically with Iran over nukes  —  House Democrats have proposed legislation that would require the government to establish a diplomatic envoy to Iran to attempt to convince that country to abandon its nuclear ambitions.  —  Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) …
Jonathan Lloyd / NBC Southern California:
At Least 4 Dead in OC Shootings, Carjackings  —  At least four people are dead after a series of shootings and carjackings early Tuesday near the 5 and 55 freeways in the Tustin and Villa Park areas.  —  Map: Shooting Investigation Locations  —  It was not immediately clear whether the gunman was among the deceased.
Discussion: BBC, The Hinterland Gazette and Gawker
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 More Items: 
Zachary A. Goldfarb / Washington Post:
Obama presses Congress for stopgap sequester fix
Discussion: Prairie Weather and Post Politics
Erick Erickson / Fox News:
If Elizabeth Warren wants to lay blame for financial mess, she can look in the mirror
Discussion: Firedoglake, Salon and Boston Globe
Sarah Kliff / Washington Post:
It's official: The feds will run most Obamacare exchanges
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Kristen A. Lee / NY Daily News:
Michelle Obama blames her chic new bangs on a midlife crisis on ‘Rachael Ray Show’
Discussion: First Read
Bret Stephens / Wall Street Journal:
Filibuster Hagel  —  If Republicans refuse, they won't be standing …
 Earlier Items: 
John Horgan / National Geographic Magazine:
Drones May Be Watching You  —  Unmanned aircraft have proved …
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Strategist Returns for Democrats' 2014 Senate Battles
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
What's News, and What Isn't  —  The liberal media manifest …
Discussion: Yahoo! News and Arutz Sheva
Alex Pappas / The Daily Caller:
Conservative columnist resigns after Kentucky paper refuses to run op-ed on publication's liberal bias
Richard Epstein / Ricochet Conversations Feed:
Ronald Dworkin: A Tribute from the Other Side of the Political Spectrum