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3:50 AM ET, March 8, 2013


 Top Items: 
Talking Points Memo:
Obama Administration Responds To Rand Paul On Drones  —  The U.S. government cannot target an American citizen who is not engaged in combat on American soil, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday during his daily press briefing.  —  Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) …
Lois Romano / Politico:
Rand Paul: ‘Seriously’ weighing 2016 bid  —  Before Thursday, Rand Paul — tea party firebrand — hadn't vaulted into the top tier of Republican power players.  —  But all that seemed to change this week.  The Kentucky Republican senator showed serious clout by holding a 13-hour filibuster …
Luke Johnson / The Huffington Post:
Rand Paul Filibuster Leaves Senate Democrats Struggling To Explain Absence  —  WASHINGTON — While many Senate Democrats said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) raised legitimate concerns about the Obama administration's drone program during his epic filibuster of John Brennan's nomination as CIA director …
Grace Wyler / Business Insider:
IT'S WAR: John McCain And Lindsey Graham Just Ripped Into Rand Paul On The Senate Floor  —  U.S. Sen. John McCain blasted fellow Republican Rand Paul on the Senate floor this morning for his 13-hour filibuster to block John Brennan's confirmation as CIA Director.  —  “Calm down, Senator,” McCain said, in an apostrophe to Paul.
Justin Sink / The Hill:   Holder: US has no authority to kill Americans with drones on US soil
Daniel Strauss / The Hill:
Paul fires back: Sens. McCain, Graham think the ‘whole world is a battlefield’
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
John Brennan confirmed as CIA director following White House drone statement
Paul: Pro-drone Republicans on ‘wrong side of history’
Discussion: BuzzFeed, CNN and The Hill
Kate Nocera / Politico:
Rand Paul filibuster blasted by John McCain, Lindsey Graham
Discussion: Power Line
Internet Broadcasting / WPLG-TV:
Rand Paul ‘happy’ with drone response, ready to allow vote
Catalina Camia / Associated Press:
Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest
Walter Shapiro / Yahoo! News:   Rand's stand: How the filibustering blusterer made the Senate (briefly) a better place
Wall Street Journal:
Rand Paul's Drone Rant
Bill Clinton / Washington Post:
It's time to overturn DOMA  —  In 1996, I signed the Defense of Marriage Act.  Although that was only 17 years ago, it was a very different time.  In no state in the union was same-sex marriage recognized, much less available as a legal right, but some were moving in that direction.
Lee Smith / Weekly Standard:
Samira Ibrahim Speaks  —  Yesterday, THE WEEKLY STANDARD first reported that the State Department was about to bestow an International Woman of Courage Award on an anti-Semite and 9/11 fan.  Egypt women's rights activist Samira Ibrahim had left a record on her Twitter feed of statements quoting Hitler …
Shira Kallus Zwebner / The Times of Israel:
Yup, Samira probably sent those tweets  —  The row over Samira Ibrahim's tweets (written up by my fellow blogger Marc) is raging.  Mainstream US journalists are now beginning to cover the story, and Jeffery Goldberg has written that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum raised concerns …
Bradley Klapper / The Huffington Post:
US postpones award for Egyptian woman over tweets
Ta-Nehisi Coates / New York Times:
The Good, Racist People  —  Last month the actor Forest Whitaker was stopped in a Manhattan delicatessen by an employee.  Whitaker is one of the pre-eminent actors of his generation, with a diverse and celebrated catalog ranging from “The Great Debaters” to “The Crying Game” to “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.”
Discussion: Smartypants
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
The Racism of “Good People”  —  If you are a white person who has on occasion felt aggrieved at the persistence of allegations of white racism in America, do yourself and your conscience a favor and read Ta-Nehisi's Coates' guest column today in the New York Times.
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Carl Levin:
Sen. Carl Levin announces he will not seek re-election in 2014  —  WASHINGTON - Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced today that he will not seek re-election in 2014.  He released the following statement:  —  I have decided not to run for re-election in 2014.
Carl Levin / CNN:
Sen. Levin won't seek re-election in 2014
Discussion: Politico and Liberal Values
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:   Levin retirement leaves Dems defending fourth open seat in 2014 cycle
Chris Christie / CNN:
TRENDING: Poll: Clinton, Christie fare best in possible 2016 showdowns
Discussion: Politico
Talking Points Memo:
Fox News Host Offer To Pay For One Week Of White House Tours  —  Fox News Host Eric Bolling on Thursday offered to pay for one week's worth of White House tours after the administration temporarily suspended them due to cutbacks under sequestration.  “If I can get the White House doors open …
Discussion: Mediaite
New York Times:
New York Hearing Set as Son-in-Law of Bin Laden Is Caught  —  WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden's son-in-law was recently arrested in the Middle East, was transferred to the United States and is now in a New York jail, according to two people briefed on the matter.
Discussion: Hot Air and Politico
Brian Ross / ABCNEWS:
Homeland Chair: Osama bin Laden's Son-in-Law ‘Cooperating’
Discussion: Mediaite and The Jawa Report
Devin Leonard / Businessweek:
How Disney Bought Lucasfilm—and Its Plans for ‘Star Wars’  —  One weekend last October, Robert Iger, chief executive officer of Walt Disney (DIS), sat through all six Star Wars films.  He'd seen them before, of course.  This time, he took notes.  Disney was in secret negotiations to acquire Lucasfilm …
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
New Study Finds Firearms Laws Do Nothing to Prevent Homicides  —  That's the headline you should be seeing, but won't.  Instead, you will see headlines like this one, on CNN: “Study links gun laws and lower gun mortality.”  Or this one, from the Chicago Tribune: “States with strict gun laws found to have fewer shooting deaths.”
Tim McDonnell / Mother Jones:
The Scariest Climate Change Graph Just Got Scarier … Back in 1999, Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann released the climate change movement's most potent symbol: The “hockey stick,” a line graph of global temperature over the last 1,500 years that shows an unmistakable …
Travis Waldron / ThinkProgress:
Pelosi Backs Bill That Would Raise Minimum Wage To $10 An Hour  —  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called on Republican House leadership to take up legislation recently introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) that would raise the federal minimum wage above $10 an hour.
Discussion: The Hill and The Raw Story
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Obama sets end-of-July goal for bipartisan agreement on deficit  —  President Obama wants to complete a grand bargain to reduce the deficit by the end of July, an aggressive timeline coinciding with the expiration of the nation's debt limit.  —  Obama told a small group of Republican senators …
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Senators blast financial regulators over ‘prosecution-free zone for large banks’  —  Financial regulators faced relentless questioning Thursday from senators frustrated the nation's largest financial institutions haven't faced tougher penalties and more prosecutions for corporate malfeasance.
Lisa Madigan moves toward run in Illinois  —  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan spoke with several of the nation's top progressive groups during a visit to Washington D.C. last week, further fueling expectations that the popular Democrat will run for governor in 2014.
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 More Items: 
Manuela D'Alessandro / Reuters:
Berlusconi gets jail sentence in wiretap trial
Militants from Russia's North Caucasus join “jihad” in Syria
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and Via Meadia
David M. Drucker / Roll Call:
RNC '12 Autopsy Due March 18, Will Address Debates
 Earlier Items: 
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
In Supreme Court Debate on Voting Rights Act, a Dubious Use of Statistics
Discussion: Mother Jones and JustOneMinute
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
The GOP's easy route to victory in fiscal fight