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9:05 PM ET, February 25, 2013


 Top Items: 
Jennifer Rubin / Right Turn:
Why was Michelle Obama at the Oscars?  —  It was the average too-long, unfunny, over-produced Academy Awards TV show and then, after suffering through the 10-hour (well, it seemed like it) show, there was the first lady.  In a ball gown.  With military service personnel in dress uniform behind her.
Iranian News Agency Alters Image Of Michelle Obama
Washington Post:
White House releases state-by-state breakdown of sequester's effects
Jason Rezaian / Washington Post:
Iranian media criticize Oscar win for ‘Argo’
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and ABCNEWS
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
McCain, Graham to meet with Obama for immigration talks
Discussion: CNN
Hunter Walker / Politicker:
Dov Hikind Parties Down for Purim in ‘Black Basketball Player’ Costume  —  Dov Hikind and his family in their Purim costumes.  (Photo: Facebook)  —  Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind hosted a massive Purim party at his home yesterday that featured over fourteen hours of food and drink and …
Thomas Kaplan / New York Times:
Assemblyman Defends Wearing Blackface to Party  —  A prominent Brooklyn assemblyman defended himself on Monday after attracting attention for wearing blackface to a party he hosted this weekend to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim.  —  The assemblyman, Dov Hikind, a Democrat …
The Onion  · 2,265,644 like this  —  On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars.  It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent …
New York Times:
Democrats and Republicans Miscalculate on Automatic Cuts  —  WASHINGTON — With Congress unlikely to stop deep automatic spending cuts that will strike hard at the military, the fiscal stalemate is highlighting a significant shift in the Republican Party: lawmakers most keenly dedicated …
Erick Erickson / RedState:
Virginia's Governor Bob McDonnell Thinks You're an Idiot  —  at 8:00 a.m. Bob McDonnell will go to CPAC and address the Faith & Freedom Coalition Prayer Breakfast.  For those of you who attend this event, you will be sitting staring at a liar.  —  If you are a conservative, remember Bob McDonnell thinks you're an idiot.
Wall Street Journal:
A Cavalier Fiasco  —  Virginia Republicans try to elect the next Democratic Governor.  —  There's one thing uglier than a Democratic tax-and-spend spree.  A Republican one.  On Friday Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and a GOP-run legislature approved a five-year, $6 billion transportation …
Associated Press:
C. Everett Koop Dead: Former Surgeon General Dies At 96  —  Video, C Everett Koop, C Everett Koop Dead, C Everett Koop Dies, C Everett Koop Surgeon General, Everett Koop, Everett Koop Dead, Everett Koop Dies, Everett Koop Surgeon General, Everett Koop Aids, Koop, Politics News
Dana Ford / CNN:   Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop dies at age 96
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
“Clearing the Field”  —  Jonathan Martin's Politico piece today wherein he asks a bunch of ambitious Democratic governors if they think Hillary Clinton could “clear the field” if she runs for president in 2016 is the first of many along these lines we will likely see in the months and maybe years ahead.
Jonathan Martin / Politico:
Dems 2016: Will Hillary Clinton clear the field?
Shushannah Walshe / ABCNEWS:
Judd Makes Steps Toward Senate Bid  —  The beautiful movie star tries to take on Washington by defeating a powerful Republican leader.  It's not a plot line, it's reality: The actress Ashley Judd is making moves to take on GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Mike Riggs / Hit & Run:
White House Report Claims Sequestration Will Affect Federal Department That No Longer Exists  —  If you want a thorough agency-by-agency rundown of the budget cuts sequestration would deliver, the Office of Management and Budget has you covered.  In compliance with The Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 …
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
GOP lawmaker: Obama using fake Twitter messages in fight over gun control  —  A Texas Republican on Monday said President Obama's gun control campaign is a fraud based on fake messages over Twitter.  —  Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) accused Obama of trying to make support for his position look stronger …
Ed O'Keefe / Post Politics:
Assault weapons ban could get committee vote Thursday  —  Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) stands next to a display of assault weapons during a news conference in January on Capitol Hill.  (Alex Wong/Getty Images)  —  A proposed ban on military-style assault weapons faces a key test vote …
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Senate Judiciary Committee to consider assault weapons ban
Discussion: CNN
Ryan Lizza / New Yorker:
David Zurawik / Daily Download:
MSNBC, With Ex-Obama Aides, Now Almost ‘A Bona Fide Organ of State Propaganda’  —  MSNBC has long been as bad as Fox News when it comes to ideological bias.  But with the hiring of longtime Team Obama loyalists David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, it's official: MSNBC is worse.
NBC's Taylor Hiegel / First Read:
CPAC to feature potential presidential candidates, GOP internal battle, and no Christie  —  Just months after their losses in the 2012 election, Republicans and conservatives are setting a vibrant — and crowded — stage at next month's closely watched political cattle call.
Discussion: ABCNEWS, Hot Air and Twitchy
Lara Seligman / The Hill:
The Hill Poll: Voters: Pentagon should bear the brunt of deficit cuts  —  A majority of voters believe cutting America's debt is more important than maintaining domestic and military programs at their current levels, according to a new poll for The Hill.  —  But the public also feel strongly …
Jonathan Earle / Telegraph:
John Kerry invents country of Kyrzakhstan  —  John Kerry has suffered his first gaffe as the new US secretary of state, inventing the nation of ‘Kyrzakhstan’  —  In an embarrassing slip of the tongue, Mr Kerry last week praised US diplomats working to secure “democratic institutions” in the Central Asian country, which does not exist.
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 More Items: 
Betsy Woodruff / National Review:
Farrakhan Cheers Hagel's ‘Jewish Lobby’ Comment
Mark Hosenball / Reuters:
Senate Intelligence Committee drops bin Laden film probe
Stephen Castle / New York Times:
Ikea Withdraws Meatballs After Horse Meat Is Found
Discussion: The Week
Daniel Foster / National Review:
GOProud or Go Home  —  For the second straight year …
Joe Picard / The Hill:
House GOP rips Obama as ‘road show president’ without a plan for sequester
Discussion: Politico
Nick Gillespie / Hit & Run:
If You Think the Sequester Cuts Will Tank the Economy, I've Got a Bridge In Brooklyn You Might Want to Buy
AbcnewsPr / ABCNEWS:
Jeff Zeleny Joining ABC News
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Jay Carney Struggles To Deny $500,000 OFA Donation Gets You Access To The President
Discussion: The Daily Caller
 Earlier Items: 
Gina Kolata / New York Times:
Mediterranean Diet Can Cut Heart Disease, Study Finds
Hope Yen / Talking Points Memo:
U.S. Dropping Use Of ‘Negro’ On Census Surveys
Bill Mears / CNN:
Sotomayor slams controversial remarks by prosecutor
Discussion: SCOTUSblog and The Raw Story
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Austerity, Italian Style
Discussion: Business Insider and Paul Krugman