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6:20 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.
Paul Waldman / American Prospect:
White House Reporters versus the Obama Administration
Discussion: CNN, Politico and The Daily Caller
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.
Joe Scarborough / Politico:
Tearing down the conservative echo chamber  —  A “Morning Joe” discussion from Tuesday is sure to set off extremists within the Republican Party who remain more interested in defending the GOP's losing ways than charting a new course to victory.  After Chuck Todd concluded that Republicans …
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 …
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:
Why Does the New Simpson-Bowles Deficit Plan Look So ... Republican?  —  Please see update at bottom.  —  The new deficit reduction plan from Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles calls for $5 trillion in savings this decade — $6 trillion including interest — roughly the same as their outline in December 2010.
Discussion: Wonkblog, and Hullabaloo
Kevin Robillard / Politico:
Report: New Simpson-Bowles plan
Discussion: Slate, Washington Monthly and
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Missouri Bill Makes It A Felony For Lawmakers To Propose Gun Safety Legislation  —  Yesterday, Missouri state Rep. Mike Leara (R) proposed legislation making it a felony for lawmakers to so much as propose many bills regulating guns.  Leara's bill provides that “[a]ny member of the general assembly …
Discussion: Truthdig
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Missouri Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Make It A Felony To Propose Gun Control Legislation
Evan McMorris-Santoro / Talking Points Memo:
Missouri Republican Wants To Make It A Felony For His Fellow Lawmakers To Propose Gun Laws
Michael Tomasky / The Daily Beast:
More Republican Denial  —  Conservatives keep reminding everyone that the sequester was Obama's idea.  But, says Michael Tomasky, that doesn't mean he's to blame for the current crisis.  —  Whose “idea” was the sequester, and why should it matter?  My Twitter feed these last couple of weeks …
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,” …
Alana Goodman / Washington Free Beacon:
Report: Hagel Said Israel Headed Toward Apartheid, Netanyahu a ‘Radical’  —  Secretary of defense nominee Chuck Hagel said Israel is on its way to becoming an apartheid state during an April 9, 2010, appearance at Rutgers University, according to a contemporaneous account by an attendee.
NBC Southern California:
Police ID Gunman in OC Shooting Deaths  —  Four people are dead after a series of shootings and carjackings near freeways in Orange County that began after the slaying of a woman at a home in Ladera Ranch.  —  Map: Shooting Investigation Locations  —  The gunman was identified as Ali Syed …
Ryan Broderick / BuzzFeed:
Alabama Politician Thinks A Fetus Is The Largest Organ In A Woman's Body
Discussion: Montgomery Advertiser
Exclusive: Apple, Macs hit by hackers who targeted Facebook  —  (Reuters) - Apple Inc was recently attacked by hackers who infected the Macintosh computers of some employees, the company said on Tuesday in an unprecedented disclosure that described the widest known cyber attacks against Apple-made computers to date.
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.
Paul Krugman:
Data, Stimulus, and Human Nature  —  David Brooks writes about the limitations of Big Data, and makes some good points.  But he goes astray, I think, when he touches on a subject near and dear to my own data-driven heart: … Actually, he's not quite right there, as I'll explain in a minute.
David Brooks / New York Times:   What Data Can't Do  —  Not long ago, I was at a dinner …
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Colorado State Rep. Joe Salazar sorry for rape comment  —  A Colorado Democratic state lawmaker is apologizing for a comment he made about rape after conservatives lambasted him for the remark, saying in a statement that he is “deeply sorry” if he “offended anyone.”
Lynn Bartels / Denver Post:
Colorado lawmaker Joe Salazar issues apology over rape remark
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 …
New York Times:
Oscar 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 had intended to take her life …
Robert Barnes / Washington Post:
Supreme Court sides with drug-sniffing dog; supports soldier's child custody case  —  The Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with a drug-sniffing German shepherd named Aldo in ruling that police do not have to extensively document a dog's expertise to justify relying on the animal to search someone's vehicle.
Wall Street Journal:
Christensen, Flier and Vijayaraghavan: The Coming Failure of ‘Accountable Care’  —  The Affordable Care Act's updated versions of HMOs are based on flawed assumptions about doctor and patient behavior.  —  Spurred by the Affordable Care Act, hundreds of pilot programs called Accountable Care Organizations …
David Ariosto / CNN:
NASA restores communication with International Space Station  —  (CNN) — NASA restored communication with the International Space Station on Tuesday after connections went dark following a routine computer software update.  —  Before the fix, the space agency said the craft was able …
Mary Ann Ahern /
Where Rahm Emanuel Stands On 2nd District Race  —  A short five years ago Rahm Emanuel recruited Debbie Halvorson to run for Congress.  Back then he lobbied moderate Democrats, even pro-gun Democrats like Halvorson.  —  Halvorson recalls Emanuel trying to entice her by boasting …
Michael Lind / Salon:
Southern poverty pimps  —  The “original sin” of the Southern political class is cheap, powerless labor  —  Contemporary American politics cannot be understood apart from the North-South divide in the U.S., as I and others have argued.  Neither can contemporary American economic debates.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Biden: ‘Buy a shotgun.  Buy a shotgun.’  —  Vice President Joe Biden defended a proposed assault weapons ban on Tuesday during an online town hall.  —  Biden, responding to a question about what a possible ban would mean for citizens who want to defend themselves, argued that someone …
Discussion: CNN
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 More Items: 
Washington Examiner:
No, California's economy is not growing faster than the rest of the country
Discussion: Hot Air and Ed Driscoll
DSWright / Firedoglake:
Aaron Swartz's FBI File
Discussion: Guardian
Andrew C. Revkin / Dot Earth:
Is There Room for Varied Approaches to Energy and Climate Progress?
Discussion: Grist and Lawyers, Guns & Money
Joe Nocera / New York Times:
How Not to Fix Climate Change
Rajiv Chandrasekaran / Washington Post:
Gen. John Allen intends to retire, decline military's top post in Europe
Eric Shawn / Fox News:
Did Obama supporter vote 6 times in 2012? Ohio poll worker target of investigation
Michael S. Rosenwald / Washington Post:
Weapons made with 3-D printers could test gun-control efforts
Discussion: Hot Air and AMERICAblog
 Earlier Items: 
Lori Ziganto / Twitchy:
War on women: Press secretary Carney sneers at female reporter; ‘I know you are just filling in’
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Leonard Greene / New York Post:
Police probing Baldwin's ‘race’ rant at Post fotog as hate crime
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Scott Brown blames phone for unusual ‘Bqhatevwr’ tweet
Discussion: CNN and Politico
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Like a Swarm of Lethal Bugs: The Most Terrifying Drone Video Yet
Rebecca Leber / ThinkProgress:
Virginia Pizza Shop Offers A Discount To Anyone Who Carries A Gun
Discussion: Shakesville and
David Rogers / Politico:
Why John McCain turned on Chuck Hagel
Discussion: The Dish