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1:20 AM ET, March 15, 2013


 Top Items: 
Talking Points Memo:
Feinstein Snaps At Cruz: 'I'm Not A Sixth Grader' (VIDEO)  —  Republican Ted Cruz, the junior senator from Texas, rankled the nerves of Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Thursday during a contentious hearing on legislation, introduced by the California Democrat, that would reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons.
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Panel approves assault weapons ban; Cruz, Feinstein get heated  —  The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a ban on the sale and manufacture of more than 150 types of semi-automatic weapons with military-style features Thursday in a party-line vote.  —  The 10-8 vote came after a heated exchange between …
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Dianne Feinstein, Ted Cruz trade barbs over gun ban  —  Yet gun-control advocates hailed today's vote as a victory, even if the bill faces a bleak outlook.  —  “There are plenty of weapons out there,” Feinstein said during Thursday's hearing.  “The whole point of this bill is to reduce …
Discussion: Power Line and Hullabaloo
John Bresnahan / Politico:
Feinstein to Cruz: ‘I am not a sixth grader’  —  The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a hugely controversial ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, but the measure faces nearly certain defeat on the Senate floor.  —  The proposal, authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein …
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
Ted Cruz And Dianne Feinstein Battle In Explosive Debate Over Gun Control In Senate: ‘I Am Not A 6th Grader’  —  On Thursday, during a committee hearing in the U.S. Senate on gun control legislation, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) engaged in a heated exchange …
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Explosive Exchange at Gun Hearing Between Ted Cruz and Dianne Feinstein
Discussion: Weasel Zippers
The United States Department of Justice:
Former Web Producer Indicted in California for Conspiring with “Anonymous” Members to Attack Internet News Site  —  A former web producer for a Tribune Company-owned television station in Sacramento, Calif., was charged today in an indictment for allegedly conspiring with members of the hacker group …
Reuters' Matthew Keys indicted for conspiring with hacker group ‘Anonymous’  —  An excerpt from the indictment.  Matthew Keys used the nickname AESCracked.  —  Matthew Keys, a deputy social media editor at Thomson Reuters, has been charged in a federal indictment for allegedly conspiring …
Justin Sink / Ballot Box:
Obama to headline April DCCC fundraiser in Calif.  —  President Obama will headline his first Democratic fundraiser of the 2014 election cycle at an event next month in San Francisco with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif).  —  Invitations for the April 4 event …
Discussion: Politico
Kate Nocera / Politico:
House Dems optimistic after Obama meeting
Discussion: CNN and Daily Kos
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
Paul chastises ‘stale and moss-covered’ GOP establishment  —  Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday told conservative activists the Republican Party had grown “stale and moss covered” and said the GOP needs a more libertarian approach that makes freedom the movement's defining principle.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and Politico
John Aravosis / AMERICAblog:
Religious right calls Chief Justice Roberts' adoption of 2 kids “second best”  —  It's already being called the religious right's “47% video.”  John Eastman, the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the lead religious right organization fighting against marriage equality for gay couples …
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
Dems plotting to lay a tax trap for GOP  —  I'm told that national Democrats are planning to mount a major campaign to hammer Republican candidates — particularly ones in swing areas — over a specific aspect of the Paul Ryan budget: The possibility that it could result in middle class tax hikes.
David Edwards / The Raw Story:
Baptist pastor: Sex with underage girl ‘is exactly what Christ desires’  —  The former pastor of a Indiana megachurch who is awaiting sentencing in a sex crimes case told a 17-year-old girl that Jesus wanted her to have sexual relations with him.  —  Federal prosecutors on Wednesday released letters …
Discussion: Chicago Sun Times
Pema Levy / Talking Points Memo:
Dick Morris Delivers Bad News To Republicans: Give Up On Roe V. Wade  —  “Well, we lost,” said Republican strategist Dick Morris as he took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside of suburban Washington, D.C., on Thursday.  And in order to win the next election …
Discussion: Hot Air, Booman Tribune and Politico
Sources: Benghazi suspect detained in Libya  —  (CNN) — A man suspected of involvement in the September attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi is being held in Libya, according to two sources who have spoken with CNN.  —  Both sources confirmed the man's name as Faraj al-Shibli (also spelled Chalabi).
Brian Stelter / Media Decoder:
Chris Hayes to Take Over 8 P.M. Slot on MSNBC  —  Chris Hayes will take over the 8 p.m. time slot on MSNBC in the next month, the channel is expected to announce on Thursday morning, the day after the current host of that hour, Ed Schultz, said he was moving from the weekdays to the weekends.
Washington Post:
Reopen the White House doors to tourists  —  THE DECISION to drop White House tours always had a whiff of what's known as Washington Monument syndrome.  The ham-handed tactic is employed when government is faced with budget cuts and officials go after the services that are most visible and appreciated by the public.
LHC cements Higgs boson identification  —  The LHC “sees” the Higgs in the debris produced when proton particles collide  —  Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider say the particle outlined in July 2012 looks increasingly to be a Higgs boson.  —  The Higgs, long theorised as the means …
Discussion:, NPR, PolicyMic and Guardian
Associated Press:
Physicists say they have found long-sought Higgs boson
Eli Lake / The Daily Beast:
Exclusive: Court Docs Reveal Blackwater's Secret CIA Past  —  It was the U.S. military's most notorious security contractor—but it may also have been a virtual extension of the CIA.  Eli Lake reports.  —  Last month a three-year-long federal prosecution of Blackwater collapsed.
Paul M. Barrett / Businessweek:
Why Gun Makers Fear the NRA  —  In the days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre on Dec. 14, executives with a half-dozen major U.S. gun manufacturers contacted the National Rifle Association.  The firearm industry representatives didn't call the NRA, which they support with millions …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and
Katherine Bindley / The Huffington Post:
Religion Among Americans Hits Low Point, As More People Say They Have No Religious Affiliation: Report  —  The number of Americans who claim to have no religious affiliation is the highest it has ever been since data on the subject started being collected in the 1930s, new research has found.
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
In meeting with Senate GOP, president says he's not setting a trap on deficit  —  President Obama pledged in a private meeting with Senate Republicans on Thursday to challenge his own party on entitlement reform.  —  He also asked Republicans not to believe conspiracy theories that he is pushing …
Washington Post:
Grand jury investigating Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), people familiar with probe say  —  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 …
Discussion: The Hill
Candice Leigh Helfand / CBS DC:
Obama Says Iran A Year Away From Nuclear Weapon  —  JERUSALEM (AP) — Iran is about a year away from developing a nuclear weapon and the United States remains committed to doing everything in its power to prevent that from happening, President Barack Obama said in an exclusive interview aired Thursday on Israeli TV.
Sam Baker / The Hill:
Cuts to court system ‘simply unsustainable,’ Justice Kennedy warns  —  The cuts to the court system from sequestration are “simply unsustainable,” Justice Anthony Kennedy warned Thursday.  —  The judicial branch is subject to a 5 percent cut under sequestration.
Discussion: Politico and ThinkProgress
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 More Items: 
Kasie Hunt /
CPAC chair: Christie didn't ‘deserve’ an invite this year
Discussion: The Moderate Voice and
Joseph P. Kahn / Boston Globe:
Boston Phoenix to close; Portland, Providence papers remain open
Hartford Courant:
Adam Lanza Researched Mass Murderers, Sources Say
Greg Hittelman / The Atlantic Online:
Why the World Needs a Global Arms Treaty
Michael Sean Winters / New Republic:
Pope With a Purpose  —  The Catholic world got a surprise yesterday …
Discussion: The Dish
Maggie Haberman / Politico:
Terry McAuliffe quips about Hillary Clinton 2016 run
Discussion: Business Insider
Peter Schroeder / The Hill:
Senate report rips JPMorgan for skirting rules, disguising losses
Discussion: Politico
 Earlier Items: 
Jillian Rayfield / Salon:
Rubio at CPAC: Liberals are “freeloaders”
Discussion: PostPartisan and The Reaction
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Obama's Israel Itinerary Includes Some Standard Stops, but Not Others
Sarah Kliff / Wonkblog:
Want Obamacare? Here's the 21-page draft application.
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Right-Wing Group Spent At Least $300,000 To Keep Scott Walker Ally on Wisconsin Supreme Court
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Stimulus: The Bottom Line and the Way Forward
Discussion: Washington Monthly
President Obama: I'm no Dick Cheney on drones