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7:20 AM ET, March 5, 2013


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
Escort says Menendez prostitution claims were made up  —  View Photo Gallery — Sen. Robert Menendez: Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has been embroiled in a controversy involving his relations with a Miami campaign contributor and the awarding of a security contract at a port in the Dominican Republic.
David Martosko / The Daily Caller:
Washington Post report confuses one prostitute with another in bid to debunk Menendez allegations  —  The Washington Post mistook one prostitute for another Monday in a report that initially seemed to debunk a November 2012 Daily Caller exposé of New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez.
Discussion: Mediaite
Stephen Braun / Associated Press:
Menendez' bill could have aided donor's investment
Alyssa Rosenberg / ThinkProgress:
Theatrical Slut Shaming: Daily Caller Attacks Ashley Judd For Nude Scenes  —  It's a sign of how anxious the right wing is about the possibility that Ashley Judd might run for Senate against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that the attacks on her have geared up before she's even formally entered the race.
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
Ashley Judd's War With Kentucky's Coal Industry Could Doom Candidacy
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
GOP sniping over 2012 still going strong  —  Four months after taking an electoral pounding, Republicans can't agree on what went wrong in 2012 — let alone on a path to recovery.  —  Each week brings a new diagnosis of the party's woes.  Karl Rove says it's candidate quality.
Steve Kornacki / Salon:
“In the real world we were kidding ourselves”  —  Newt Gingrich talks to Salon about why he and his party were so wrong about the election and the future of the GOP  —  There was a popular theory for much of the 2012 Republican presidential campaign that Newt Gingrich wasn't actually running …
Benjy Sarlin / Talking Points Memo:
Jeb Bush's Immigration Flip Flop Stuns Reformers  —  After years of building a reputation as the “good” Republican on immigration, Jeb Bush shocked the reform community on Monday by ruling out a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a position solidly to the right of prominent GOPers like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee …:
Chairman Rogers Introduces Continuing Resolution to Prevent Government Shutdown, Protect National Defense and Veterans  —  House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) to prevent a government shutdown and continue government operations until the end …
David Rogers / Politico:
House GOP rolls out stop gap spending plan
Discussion: Daily Kos
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
House government funding bill seeks to soften blow from sequester
Discussion: National Review and CNN
Donovan Slack / Politico:
Obama job approval tumbles  —  President Obama's job approval rating took a hit over the weekend, falling to its lowest level in the Gallup three-day average since his reelection.  —  His approval rating was 46 percent between Feb 29 and March 2, down from 53 percent a week earlier.
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Pundits blowing it on sequester debate  —  Republicans are waving around a column by the New York Times' Bill Keller that pins the blame for the sequester on the President.  The title is “Obama's fault,” and Keller's effort is reminiscent of plenty of other punditry we've seen that adopts …
David Lauter / Los Angeles Times:
Deficit reduction target reached, but no one's happy
Pastor Scott / Scott Lively Ministries:
The Bi-Sexual T**d in the Gay Wedding Punchbowl  —  The next time you're at a “gay ' wedding with political, media or other important pro-gay-marriage celebrities, and one of them gets up with a glass of wedding punch to toast Partner A and Partner B for their courage to “be themselves,” …
Discussion: Firedoglake
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Obama's Thirteen Words  —  Remember George W. Bush's famous “16 words”?  They came from Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech, where Bush said: “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
Discussion: Whiskey Fire
Andrea Peterson / ThinkProgress:
The White House Agrees: It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking  —  Two weeks ago, a petition asking the White House to act on a recent Library of Congress decision that restricted consumer use of cell phones reached the required threshold for a response.
GOP Congresswoman: I Opposed Domestic Violence Bill Because It Protected Too Many Groups  —  Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Monday openly admitted that she opposed the latest reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because it included protections for LGBT, Native American, and undocumented victims of domestic violence.
Paul Krugman:
Urk, Charlie Rose Edition  —  Well, we'll see how it comes out after editing, but I feel that I just had my Denver debate moment: I was tired, cranky, and unready for the blizzard of misleading factoids and diversionary stuff (In 1997 you said that the aging population was a big problem!
Breanna Edwards / Politico:
Gov. Chris Christie fumes over sequester  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday ripped Washington, D.C., for failing to get a deal to avert the sequester, charging “real leadership” was AWOL.  —  “I don't understand it, I don't understand why they haven't fixed it already.
Discussion: ABCNEWS, CNN and BuzzFeed
New York Times:
Qualified Private Activity Bonds Come Under New Scrutiny  —  The last time the nation's tax code was overhauled, in 1986, Congress tried to end a big corporate giveaway.  —  But this valuable perk — the ability to finance a variety of business projects cheaply with bonds that are exempt …
Bill Cotterell / Reuters:
Florida Medicaid expansion suffers legislative setback  —  (Reuters) - Florida Governor Rick Scott's plan to expand Medicaid coverage to cover about 1 million more poor people suffered a setback on Monday when the proposal failed to make it out of a key state legislative committee hearing.
Allysia Finley / Wall Street Journal:
The Reverse-Joads of California  —  Low- and middle-income residents are fleeing the state.  Sacramento's liberal policies may bear much of the blame.  —  During the Great Depression, some 1.3 million Americans—epitomized by the Joad family in John Steinbeck's “The Grapes of Wrath”—flocked to California from the heartland.
Tommy Christopher / Mediaite:
Bill Cosby Slams Republicans Who Sat Through SOTU: As Bad As Civil Rights-Era Segregationists  —  One of the key issues currently being decided by the Supreme Court is whether or not racism has ended sufficiently to gut the Voting Rights Act, or as conservative hero Justice Antonin Scalia calls it, “racial entitlement.”
Neil Munro / The Daily Caller:
Napolitano promises to release more illegals  —  WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promised to release more illegal immigrants into the United States, saying the budget sequester has left her no choice.  —  Several hundred detainees have already released because of the sequester, she insisted.
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 More Items: 
Associated Press:
Florida Imam Convicted in Pakistani Taliban Case
Wall Street Journal:
U. S. Boosts War Role in Africa
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Michaud ‘looking at’ gubernatorial run
Discussion: Bangor Daily News
Washington Post:
The temptation of dark money
Discussion: Politico and
Holbrook Mohr / Talking Points Memo:
Family: Slain Mayoral Candidate Beaten, Burned
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
Another Journalist Tells Fox About White House Abuse: ‘Like My Mother Giving Me A Guilt Trip’
Jim Hoft / The Gateway Pundit:
Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile
 Earlier Items: 
Martha Stoddard / Omaha World-Herald:
Jon Bruning to seek re-election as Nebraska's top prosecutor
Discussion: Roll Call and Ballot Box
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
Hostile Teacher Writes ‘The Guns Are Loaded’ On Chalkboard, Asks Kids If They'd ‘Care To Try Me?’
Discussion: and The Raw Story
Jeffrey D. Sachs / The Huffington Post:
How Obama's Politics Led to Sequestration
Discussion: Achenblog and NewsBusters
Brian X. Chen / NYT Bits:
Samsung's New Smartphone Will Track Eyes to Scroll Pages
Discussion: TechCrunch, The Verge and Mashable!
Dylan Matthews / Wonkblog:
One study explains why it's tough to pass liberal laws