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11:50 AM ET, February 20, 2013


 Top Items: 
John Boehner / Wall Street Journal:
The President Is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created  —  Obama invented the ‘sequester’ in the summer of 2011 to avoid facing up to America's spending problem.  —  A week from now, a dramatic new federal policy is set to go into effect that threatens U.S. national security, thousands of jobs and more.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Shutdown isn't fight GOP wants  —  Republicans have decided that the sequester scheduled for March 1 — not a government-funding bill due at the end of March — is where they'll make their stand on spending cuts.  —  After the bruising political battles of the last Congress …
Discussion: Washington Monthly and First Read
Kori Schulman / White Blog:
Setting the Record Straight About the Sequester  —  In less than two weeks, dangerous across the board budget cuts are slated to take effect, potentially threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, our national security and our economic recovery.  The President has laid out a specific plan …
David Jackson / USA Today:
Obama: Sequester ‘meat cleaver’ will hurt economy
Jon.Ralston / Ralston Reports:
Fahrenkopf opines on GOP's “idotic” stances, Christie's “French kiss,” the media's bias and more  —  What better place than the Las Vegas Country Club, where time seems to have stopped in 1974 or so, for a group of conservatives to gather to figure out how to capture the glory days.
Patrick Marley / JSOnline:
Patience Roggensack, Ed Fallone advance out of Supreme Court primary  —  By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel  —  Madison - State Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack and Marquette University law professor Ed Fallone cleared a three-way primary Tuesday, setting them up to face off …
Discussion: Althouse
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:   Voting Rights Act In The Supreme Court's Crosshairs
Frank Pompa / USA Today:
Voting Rights Act: Do we still need it?
Discussion: SCOTUSblog
Dan Friedman / NY Daily News:
‘Friends of Hamas’: My role in the birth of a rumor  —  A Daily News reporter explains how he inadvertently created the myth that Chuck Hagel spoke to a non-existent group.  —  Daily News reporter Dan Friedman recounts the origin of a rumor he unwittingly started about Chuck Hagel (pictured) …
The Senate's Most Conservative Member: Ever Heard of Him?  —  James Risch, an Idaho Republican, edges out his more well-known colleagues in the upper chamber.  —  When people think about conservative “all stars” in the Senate (if people ever actually think about such a thing), a few names probably come to mind.
Discussion: Trail Blazers Blog
Kenneth P. Vogel / Politico:   Koch World reboots
Manu Raju / Politico:
Joe Miller's return gives GOP establishment heartburn
Discussion: The Hill
Quinnipiac News + Events:
Release Detail  —  February 20, 2013 - New Jersey Gov Flies High, Buries Unknown Dem, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Christie Close To Clinton, Leads Cuomo In '16 Pres Race  —  New Jersey voters today continue Gov. Christopher Christie's record-breaking 74 - 22 percent approval rating …
Cristina Silva / Associated Press:
McCain defends immigration plan to angry residents  —  PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona took center stage in the national immigration debate Tuesday as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano toured the state's border with Mexico and Sen. John McCain defended his proposed immigration overhaul to an angry crowd in suburban Phoenix.
Spencer Ackerman / Wired:
Senate Minority Leader Fooled by Report in Military Version of The Onion  —  The best parody contains elements of truth.  Which might explain how the military's answer to The Onion suckered the Senate's Republican leader.  —  Meet The Duffel Blog, if you haven't already.
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Maddow Blog
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
The Devil Made Them Do It  —  Senate Democrats try to dodge responsibility for ObamaCare.  —  “Powerful Democrats” subjected a top Obama administration health-care official “to withering criticism” last week, notes Walter Russell Mead.  When Gary Cohen, head of the Center for Consumer Information …
Jeffrey H. Anderson / Weekly Standard:
California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’  —  For three years, a private citizen named Steve LeBard has led the effort to build a privately funded memorial in Orcutt, California—a tranquil small town located on the Golden State's gorgeous Central Coast—to honor military veterans.
Discussion: The Spectacle Blog
Mark Gokavi / Dayton, Ohio, News and Information:
Woman claims she was fired for voting for Obama  —  DAYTON —  A Kettering woman alleges in a lawsuit that she was fired for voting for President Obama, a charge the company denies.  —  Patricia Kunkle is seeking in excess of $25,000 from Dayton-based defense contractor Q-Mark …
Discussion: Associated Press
Steven Mufson / Washington Post:
Gas prices are on a mysterious climb  —  The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline has jumped 45 cents in the past 31 days, according to AAA, the fastest run-up since 2005.  —  Retail gasoline prices have climbed for 33 days in a row.  A month ago, a gallon of regular gasoline cost $3.30 …
Discussion: Hot Air and Informed Comment
Erik Ortiz / NY Daily News:
Body of missing Canadian woman, 21, found in water tank on Los Angeles hotel roof  —  Elisa Lam, of Vancouver, British Columbia, had travelled to California last month alone.  She was reported missing on Jan. 31.  Officials matched the body found inside a water tank Tuesday at the Cecil Hotel.
Greg Bishop / New York Times:
A Company That Runs Prisons Will Have Its Name on a Stadium  —  In recent years, where stadium naming rights could be sold, universities and professional sports teams have sold them — to airlines and banks and companies that sell beer, soda, doughnuts, cars, telecommunications, razors and baseball bats.
Ulrike Putz / Spiegel Online:
How the Mossad Works: The Mystery of Israel's ‘Prisoner X’  —  An Israeli agent commits suicide in his prison cell.  Was he a traitor?  The mysterious case of “Prisoner X,” reported to be Australian-born Benjamin Zygier, provides an insight into the workings of the Mossad.
David R. Henderson / Wall Street Journal:
An Economist Who Made the Science Less Dismal  —  Armen Alchian never won a Nobel Prize in economics.  But no less than Friedrich Hayek said he ‘deserved’ one.  —  In 1975, I attended a week-long conference in Connecticut at which the star attraction was Friedrich Hayek.
Emily Schultheis / Politico:
McAuliffe, Cuccinelli in dead heat in Virginia  —  A Quinnipiac poll in Virginia finds Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli tied in the race for governor, though it's clear many voters in the state haven't started paying attention to the race yet.
Discussion: CNN
Corrie MacLaggan / Reuters:
Republican Senator Cruz defends style a Democrat likened to McCarthyism  —  (Reuters) - First-term Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas on Tuesday staunchly defended his aggressive, in-your-face style that already is raising eyebrows in Washington and has led a Senate Democrat to suggest his tactics reminded her of McCarthyism.
Jason Garcia / Orlando Sentinel:
Universal to drop health insurance for part-time workers  —  Universal Orlando plans to stop offering medical insurance to part-time employees beginning next year, a move the resort says has been forced by the federal government's health-care overhaul.  —  The giant theme-park resort …
Discussion: Hot Air and NewsBusters blogs
Niels Lesniewski / Roll Call:
Biden: Buy Shotguns, Not Assault Weapons  —  Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Tuesday that parents interested in having firearms for protection should purchase shotguns instead of assault weapons.  —  “If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun,” …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Million-Dollar Ad Campaign Aims For Bipartisan Marriage Equality Message  —  “None of us would want to be told we can't marry the person we love,” the Respect for Marriage Coalition's new TV ad states.  Featured: President Obama, former Vice President Cheney, Colin Powell and Laura Bush.
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 More Items: 
Sarah Lyall / New York Times:
Oslo Journal: In Norway, TV Program on Firewood Elicits Passions
Ron Charles / Washington Post:
Ron Paul is calling school to order
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
Robin Roberts Returns to ‘Good Morning America’
Discussion: The Week, Taylor Marsh and Poynter
Catherine Rampell / New York Times:
College Degree Required by Increasing Number of Companies
David M. Drucker / Roll Call:
NRA Targets Democratic Senators Up in 2014 With Local Newspaper Ads
Mark Finkelstein / NewsBusters blogs:
Chuck Todd: It's ‘Mythology’ That MSM Hostile To Conservatives
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
Forecast Is Dire on Budget Cuts, but Timing Is Disputed
Discussion: Right Turn
Martha T. Moore / USA Today:
Al Jazeera makes major U.S. expansion
Discussion: American Spectator
Katherine Skiba / Chicago Tribune:
Jesse Jackson Jr., Sandi Jackson expected to plead guilty
Kevin Cirilli / Politico:
Rand Paul: Obama ‘histrionics’ over cuts
John Schwartz / New York Times:
Obama to Flesh Out Plans for Infrastructure Projects
Discussion: and The Caucus
Sabrina Siddiqui / The Huffington Post:
John Duncan On VAWA: Most Men Can Handle Violence Better Than Most Women