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11:15 AM ET, March 6, 2013


 Top Items: 
Rory Carroll / New York Times:
In the End, an Awful Manager  —  IN Caracas, Venezuela, you could tell a summit meeting mattered to Hugo Chávez when government workers touched up the city's rubble.  Before dignitaries arrived, teams with buckets and brushes would paint bright yellow lines along the route from the airport …
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.
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.
Christopher Hitchens / Slate:
What I learned about Hugo Chávez's mental health when I visited Venezuela with Sean Penn.  —  Less than a day after Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's communication minister appeared on television to announce that the socialist leader was in failing health, Chávez has died.
Wall Street Journal:
Venezuela Takes Page From Cuban Playbook
Discussion: Gawker and FP Passport
Greg Grandin / The Nation:
On the Legacy of Hugo Chávez
Discussion: Mediaite and The Daily Caller
Frank Bajak / Associated Press:
Juan Forero / Washington Post:   Hugo Chavez, passionate but polarizing Venezuelan president, dead at 58
New York Times:
Trying to Revive Talks, Obama Goes Around G.O.P. Leaders  —  WASHINGTON — With Republican leaders in Congress forswearing budget negotiations over new revenues, President Obama has begun reaching around them to Republican lawmakers with a history of willingness to cut bipartisan deals.
Now Dems worry: Did Obama cry wolf?  —  President Barack Obama hopes to spark a pitchfork revolt against Republicans over sequester-induced budget cuts — but many Democrats fret that he's undermined that effort with an early strategy marred by hype, poor planning and muddled messaging.
Election bump over, Obama approval drops to 43 percent: Reuters/IPSOS poll  —  Reuters/Reuters - President Barack Obama departs the Oval Office of the White House in Washington before departing to visit wounded military personnel at the Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda, ...more
Jonathan Martin / Politico:   GOP smackdown: Wonks vs. pols
Zev Chafets / Vanity Fair:
Exclusive Excerpt: Roger Ailes Off Camera  —  Roger Ailes is one of the most powerful—and controversial—characters in television media, pilloried by critics and many in the mainstream media and lionized by conservative viewers who can't get enough of his posse of charismatic hosts.
Mike Allen / Politico:
THE REAL ROGER AILES — BILL GATES kicks off Playbook Cocktails — Cronkite awards: POLITICO/ABC7, CNN, Jon Karl, Martha Raddatz — Zeke Miller to TIME — Bday: Greenspan, Webster, Bond  —  CLICK DU JOUR — posts an exclusive adaptation of “Roger Ailes: Off Camera …
Discussion: FishbowlDC
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
Zack Ford / ThinkProgress:
WATCH: Bill O'Reilly Harasses Gay Colorado Speaker Over Child Molester Laws  —  As expected, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly is continuing his smear campaign against Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino (D), who is openly gay, because of his opposition to instituting “Jessica's Law,” …
Jonathan Weisman / New York Times:
Congress Ready to Start Work on Budget  —  WASHINGTON - After two years of chaotic fiscal clashes, Congress on Wednesday will begin a more orderly process to get the nation's finances in order - or at least to keep the government open.  —  The so-called regular order on the federal budget …
Discussion: The Reaction
Jonathan Cohn / New Republic:
Paul Ryan Ups the Ante
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
Orlando Sentinel:
Lawyer: State's most important witness in George Zimmerman murder case lied  —  SANFORD — Trayvon Martin's girlfriend, the state's most important witness in the George Zimmerman murder case, was caught in a lie, it was revealed Tuesday.  —  It was not the first piece of misinformation tied to her …
Yahoo! News:
Zimmerman Stuns Court, Waives Right to ‘Stand Your Ground’ Hearing in Trayvon Martin Case
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
McConnell campaign shakes it up with Harlem Shake  —  (CNN) - The dance craze that's been sweeping the nation has made it to the campaign trail.  —  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's re-election team Wednesday put out a web video of a person wearing a mask of the Republican senator from Kentucky dancing to the Harlem Shake.
Discussion: Ballot Box
Greg Holyk / ABCNEWS:
Most Back Cuts Overall - But Not to the Military  —  For all the dire warnings, most Americans welcome a five percent cut in overall federal spending this year.  But the defense budget is another matter.  —  The public by nearly 2-1, 61-33 percent, supports cutting the overall budget along …
Willon / L.A. NOW:
L.A. mayor's race: Garcetti and Greuel top the field  —  City Councilman Eric Garcetti and Controller Wendy Greuel remained ahead of the pack in the race for mayor of Los Angeles early Wednesday morning with all city precincts reporting.  —  The top-two finishers in Tuesday's election …
Evan McMorris-Santoro / Talking Points Memo:
White House Cancels Tours Due To Sequester  —  From a White House email sent to a Republican House member's office Tuesday:
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 More Items: 
Erica Martinson / Politico:
Amid storm, climate hearing to go on
Carl Campanile / New York Post:
Mayor Bloomberg's new health crusade: too-loud earbuds
Lara Jakes / ABCNEWS:
Too Much Money Spent in Iraq for Too Few Results
Discussion: Jammie Wearing Fools
Aaron Kalman / The Times of Israel:
‘If Iran reaches critical point in nuke drive, Israel will attack’
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed:
Cory Booker Will Make Senate Announcement After Governor's Race
Discussion: First Read
 Earlier Items: 
Will Bunch /
Corbett, wife accepted thousands in gifts from biz execs, lobbyists
George E. Condon Jr /
Disgraced Ex-Congressman Attacks John Boehner in New Book
Ramesh Ponnuru / Bloomberg:
Do Conservatives Actually Want to Win Elections?
Toddstarnes / Fox News:
Obama Admin Wants to Deport Christian Home School Family
Discussion: TBogg and Outside the Beltway
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Email tells feds to make sequester as painful as promised