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5:00 PM ET, February 24, 2013


 Top Items: 
Roll Call:
Does Boehner Even Have the Votes to Replace the Sequester?  —  Speaker John A. Boehner's decision to wait on the Senate before taking up a sequester replacement bill may be more tied to his own difficulties getting the votes for one than to a calculated political messaging strategy.
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
On the sequester, the American people ‘moved the goalposts’  —  I don't agree with my colleague Bob Woodward, who says the Obama administration is “moving the goalposts” when they insist on a sequester replacement that includes revenues.  I remember talking to both members of the Obama administration …
Ed O'Keefe / Washington Post:
Senators near a deal on background checks for most private gun sales  —  A bipartisan group of senators is on the verge of a deal that would expand background checks to all private firearms sales with limited exemptions, but significant disagreements remain on the issue of keeping records …
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
Leahy: Immigration, gun bills can pass Congress this year
Discussion: CNN
Hamid Shalizi / Reuters:
Afghan president to expel U.S. special forces from key province  —  KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has given U.S. special forces two weeks to leave a key battleground province after some U.S. soldiers there were found to have tortured or even killed innocent people, the president's spokesman said on Sunday.
Discussion: This ain't Hell …
Matthew Rosenberg / New York Times:
Afghanistan Orders U.S. Troops to Leave Crucial Province  —  KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan government on Sunday banned elite American forces from operating in a strategic province adjoining Kabul, citing complaints that Afghans working for American Special Forces have killed and tortured villagers in the area.
Discussion: CNN and Gawker
Washington Post:
The big sequester gamble: How badly will the cuts hurt?  —  Evan Vucci/AP - President Barack Obama speaks in Chicago Feb. 15, 2013.  The president and congressional Republicans each seem content with the political ground they hold and are prepared to let across-the-board spending cuts take effect on March 1.
Kevin Liptak / CNN:
Controllers must be cut in a week, LaHood says
Discussion: Politico
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Bobby Jindal: Republicans Can Continue Discriminating Against Gays And Still Win Elections  —  Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) — a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016 — rejected former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's argument that conservatives must embrace marriage equality for gays …
Emily Goodin / The Hill:
Political movies look to win big at Oscars  —  Political movies are expected to rake in the trophies at Sunday night's Academy Awards ceremony.  —  “Argo,” a film about the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, is favored to win the biggest prize of the night: Best Picture.
Discussion: Politico, Taylor Marsh, Althouse and Gawker
Michael Cieply / New York Times:
A 9/11 Victim's Family Raises New Objections to ‘Zero Dark Thirty’
Discussion: BBC and WFPL
‘This Week’ Transcript: Two Powerhouse Roundtables  —  Intelligence Committee Chair Representative Mike Rogers, (R) Michigan, Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Representative Eliot Engel (D) New York, ABC News' George Will, and ABC News' Global Affairs Anchor Christiane Amanpour on ‘This Week’ (ABC News)
Discussion: Hullabaloo
The Raw Story:
Emotional Pope says God asked him to retire  —  Pope Benedict XVI delivered an emotional last Sunday prayer in St Peter's Square, saying God had told him to devote himself to prayer but assuring supporters he would not “abandon” the Church.  —  Tens of thousands of supporters turned …
Discussion: Addicting Info
New York Times:
Violent, Drunk and Holding a Gun  —  Multiple mass shootings by deranged young men have made keeping firearms out of the hands of mentally ill people a big part of the gun debate.  —  Given the enormity of those crimes, that is understandable.  Federal law does, in fact …
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
Michael Goldfarb Gleeful Provocateur at Intersection of Many Worlds  —  At 11:42 a.m. on Feb. 14, a conservative online magazine called The Washington Free Beacon posted a dispatch about a speech Chuck Hagel gave in 2007 in which it said he called the State Department “an adjunct to the Israeli foreign minister's office.”
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 More Items: 
Patrick B. Pexton / Washington Post:
Is the Post ‘pro-gay’?  —  I get a steady stream of e-mails …
Discussion: NewsBusters blogs
Jessica Silver-Greenberg / New York Times:
Major Banks Aid in Payday Loans Banned by States
Glen Owen / Daily Mail:
Bombshell email: Nick Clegg was told about Lib Dem sex scandal four years ago
Discussion: Guardian and BBC
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
McCain: Backing immigration reform won't hurt GOP lawmakers in primaries
Discussion: Politico
Bernie Becker / The Hill:
McCain predicts Hagel likely to get up-or-down Senate vote this week
Discussion: CNN and Weasel Zippers
Grae Stafford / The Daily Caller:
Juan Williams: Liberal media will ‘shut you down, stab you, kill you, fire you’ if you disagree [VIDEO]
 Earlier Items: 
Fox News:
Proposed design of NC illegal immigrant licenses sparks concern
Discussion: Right Wing News
Associated Press:
John Kerry heading overseas
Discussion: Taylor Marsh and CNN
Coming Up on ‘This Week’: Two Powerhouse Roundtables
Wall Street Journal:
ObamaCare and the ‘29ers’
Discussion: Power Line
Associated Press:
Court Finds No Right to Conceal a Firearm
Neil King Jr / Washington Wire:
Rick Perry: Texas Will Never Go Blue