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2:40 AM ET, March 6, 2013


 Top Items: 
The Carter Center:
Statement From Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on the Death of Hugo Chavez  —  Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Hugo Chávez Frías.  We met Hugo Chávez when he was campaigning for president in 1998 and The Carter Center was invited to observe elections for the first time in Venezuela.
Zack Beauchamp / ThinkProgress:
Why Democrats Shouldn't Eulogize Hugo Chavez  —  Rep. Jose E. Serrano (D-NY) released a statement today praising former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, despite the latter's record of harsh crackdowns on his political opponents and state-sanctioned persecution against Venezuela's Jewish population.
Frank Bajak / Associated Press:
HUGO CHAVEZ, FIERY VENEZUELAN LEADER, DIES AT 58  —  CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez, the fiery populist who declared a socialist revolution in Venezuela, crusaded against U.S. influence and championed a leftist revival across Latin America, died Tuesday at age 58 after a nearly two-year bout with cancer.
William Neuman / New York Times:
Chávez Dies, Leaving Bitterly Divided Nation  —  CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela died Tuesday afternoon after a long battle with cancer, the government announced, leaving behind a bitterly divided nation in the grip of a political crisis that grew …
Rebecca Ford / Hollywood Reporter:
Sean Penn on Hugo Chavez's Death: ‘I Lost a Friend’  —  “I mourn a great hero,” said Oliver Stone of the Venezuelan president who died on Tuesday after a long bout with cancer.  —  Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday after a long bout with cancer.  He was 58.
Daniel Wallis / Reuters:
Chavez's breathing problems worsen, has severe new infection
Adam Serwer / Mother Jones:
Obama Administration Says President Can Use Lethal Force Against Americans on US Soil  — Drones: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Always Afraid to Ask  — Here's Why Obama Won't Say Whether He Can Kill You With a Drone: Because He Probably Can  — 8 Drones That Aren't Out to Kill You
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Holder: Obama could order lethal force in U.S.
Discussion: CNN and Outside the Beltway
Scott Shane / New York Times:
John Brennan, C.I.A. Nominee, Clears Committee Vote
Discussion: CNN and News Desk
Sources: Paul Ryan to reject Medicare age shift  —  Rep. Paul Ryan's budget is now expected to exempt seniors 55 years old and above from his Medicare overhaul — despite his personal preference to raise that age to 56 — according to several GOP sources familiar with his plans.
Jonathan Cohn / New Republic:
Paul Ryan Ups the Ante
Brooks Barnes / ArtsBeat:
Jon Stewart to Direct Serious Film, Will Take Hiatus From ‘Daily Show’  —  LOS ANGELES — Jon Stewart, serious film director?  —  Mr. Stewart, the stand-up satirist and “Daily Show” host, said on Tuesday that he would direct his first movie, a drama called “Rosewater,” from a screenplay that he wrote.
Fox News:
White House cancels tours over sequester cuts, as lawmakers call decision political  —  Sorry, Washington-bound spring-breakers.  Your White House tours have been canceled.  —  The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it will cancel all tours starting this weekend, due to sequester cuts.
Amie Parnes / The Hill:
White House cancels tours due to sequester
Discussion: CNN, Mediaite and Politico
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
More sequester pain: White House cancels tours
Jennifer Epstein / Politico:
White House cuts tours, citing sequester
Discussion: and CNN
Sam Baker / The Hill:
GOP lawmakers say spending bill should target contraception mandate  —  A group of House Republicans said Tuesday that a bill to fund the federal government should include provisions targeting the contraception mandate in President Obama's healthcare law.  —  GOP lawmakers reintroduced …
Tara Culp-Ressler / ThinkProgress:
House Republicans Propose Rolling Back Access To Birth Control To Avert Government Shutdown  —  In order to avert a government shutdown later this month, Congress and the Obama administration must negotiate a continuing resolution to maintain federal funding — and a group of House Republicans …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Yahoo! News:
Zimmerman Stuns Court, Waives Right to ‘Stand Your Ground’ Hearing in Trayvon Martin Case  —  ABC News - Zimmerman Stuns Court, Waives Right to ‘Stand Your Ground’ Hearing in Trayvon Martin Case (ABC News)  —  George Zimmerman's attorneys stunned court observers Tuesday when they waived …
Orlando Sentinel:
Lawyer: State's most important witness in George Zimmerman murder case lied
New Report: Radical antigovernment movement continues explosive growth; SPLC urges government to review resources devoted to domestic terrorism  —  The number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups on the American radical right reached an all-time high in 2012 …
Discussion: Daily Kos, Guardian and
O. Kay Henderson / Radio Iowa:
Bill would forbid parents from getting no-fault divorce  —  Seven Republicans in the Iowa House are pushing a bill to prohibit parents of minor children from getting a “no fault” divorce and the proposal could be debated in a House committee this week.  —  A three-member subcommittee debated the bill today.
The Huffington Post:
Iowa GOP Lawmakers Try To Curtail Divorce, Worry It Makes Young Women More ‘Promiscuous’
Discussion: WHOTV and Daily Kos
Jeff Plungis / Bloomberg:
TSA Will Permit Knives, Golf Clubs on U.S. Planes  —  The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will let people carry small pocketknives onto passenger planes for the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, along with golf clubs, hockey sticks and plastic Wiffle Ball-style bats.
Adam Snider / Politico:   TSA allowing knives back on planes
Benjy Sarlin / Talking Points Memo:
Jeb Bush Bashes Romney, Obamacare In New Book  —  Jeb Bush's new tome, “Immigration Wars: Forging An American Solution,” hit bookstores on Tuesday and is already making waves in the immigration debate and 2016 sweepstakes alike.  —  Bush's book, co-authored by Goldwater Institute director Clint Bolick …
Benjy Sarlin / Talking Points Memo:
Is Jeb Bush Already Backing Down On A Path To Citizenship?
George E. Condon Jr /
Disgraced Ex-Congressman Attacks John Boehner in New Book  —  Bob Ney, who was imprisoned for his role in the Jack Abramoff scandal, has some scores to settle.  —  Former Congressman Bob Ney has spent time in India with devotees of the Dalai Lama since being released from prison.  (Tsering Chonay)
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Email tells feds to make sequester as painful as promised  —  The Obama administration denied an appeal for flexibility in lessening the sequester's effects, with an email this week appearing to show officials in Washington that because they already had promised the cuts would be devastating, they now have to follow through on that.
Toddstarnes / Fox News:
Obama Admin Wants to Deport Christian Home School Family  —  The Romeike family fled their German homeland in 2008 seeking political asylum in the United States - where they hoped to home school their children.  Instead, the Obama administration wants the evangelical Christian family deported.
Discussion: TBogg and Outside the Beltway
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 More Items: 
Will Bunch /
Corbett, wife accepted thousands in gifts from biz execs, lobbyists
International Business Times:
Saudi Arabia to Teach Jihad in Schools
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Jihad Watch
Ramesh Ponnuru / Bloomberg:
Do Conservatives Actually Want to Win Elections?
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
Republican Senators Bob And Weave On Voting Rights Act
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Rachel Weiner / Post Politics:
Bob McDonnell not invited to speak at CPAC
 Earlier Items: 
The Week:
Why the GOP must come to terms with George W. Bush's disastrous presidency
Discussion: The Fix
Cliff Kincaid / Accuracy in Media:
Black Socialist Pope to Follow Black Socialist President?
USA Today:
Dow Jones high on Fed steroids: Our view