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6:25 PM ET, March 15, 2013


 Top Items: 
The Columbus Dispatch:
Rob Portman commentary: Gay couples also deserve chance to get married  —  I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn't deny them the opportunity to get married.
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
Rob Portman, Gay Marriage, and Selfishness  —  Rob Portman's dual revelations that his son is gay and that he has decided to support gay marriage are both a touching story of familial love and another signpost in the astonishingly rapid success of the gay-rights revolution.
Dana Bash / CNN:
CNN Exclusive: One conservative's dramatic reversal on gay marriage  —  Ohio Sen. Rob Portman gave his only on-camera interview about the change in his position on same-sex marriage to CNN's Dana Bash on Thursday.  He also discussed it with a few print reporters from Ohio and wrote …
Matthew Yglesias / Slate:
Rob Portman and the Politics of Narcissism
Discussion: EconLog and Paul Krugman
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
Romney urges GOP to ‘learn from’ mistakes he made in 2012 campaign  —  GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney appealed for the Republican Party to learn from the mistakes of his losing 2012 presidential campaign and — as conservatives chart their future — to look to GOP governors for a path to future electoral wins.
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
Santorum delivers emotional CPAC speech inspired by nephew's death  —  Former Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum on Friday delivered an emotional address at the Conservative Political Action Conference, inspired by the death of his nephew the night before, that indicated …
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Michael Patrick Leahy / BREITBART.COM:
CADDELL UNLOADS ON ‘RACKETEERING’ GOP CONSULTANTS  —  Pat Caddell, the Fox News Contributor and Democrat pollster who engineered Jimmy Carter's 1976 Presidential victory, blew the lid off CPAC on Thursday with a blistering attack on “racketeering” Republican consultants who play wealthy donors like “marks.”
James Hohmann / Politico:
Mitt Romney gets B-list treatment at CPAC  —  Indifference awaits Mitt Romney Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference as he delivers his first public speech since election night.  —  The base moved on four months ago, and most Republican activists don't really care what their failed nominee thinks any more.
Washington Post:
Romney expresses optimism about GOP's future in speech to conservatives
Discussion: Post Politics and Wonkblog
Elise Foley / The Huffington Post:
Marco Rubio CPAC Speech: GOP Senator Addresses Beliefs On Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion Rights
Discussion: The Plum Line and CNN
Michael O'Brien /
Mitt Romney makes curious re-emergence at CPAC
CPAC Participant Defends Slavery At Minority Outreach Panel: It Gave ‘Food And Shelter’ To Blacks  —  NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — A panel at the Conservative Political Action Committee on Republican minority outreach exploded into controversy on Friday afternoon, after an audience member defended slavery as good for African-Americans.
Benjy Sarlin / Talking Points Memo:   CPAC Event On Racial Tolerance Turns To Chaos As ‘Disenfranchised’ Whites Arrive
Brian Beutler / Talking Points Memo:
Sequestration NIMBYism Grips GOP  —  A strange sickness is afflicting congressional Republicans.  —  Unwilling to team up with Democrats to replace sequestration with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases, and unable to pass a cuts-only sequestration measure on their own …
Charlie Cook /
The GOP Keeps Getting Whiter  —  While the country is becoming more racially diverse, Republican congressional districts are becoming less.  —  After Republicans won only 48 percent of all votes cast for the House in 2012 but 54 percent of the seats, it's no secret that the party enjoys …
New York Post:
NYPD cops ordered to run criminal checks on domestic-abuse victims  —  Women who report domestic violence are exposing themselves to arrest under a new NYPD directive that orders cops to run criminal checks on the accused and the accuser, The Post has learned.
Rolling Stone:
Live-Blogging Senate Hearing Tomorrow, When J.P. Morgan Chase Will Be Torn a New One  —  Beginning at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, I'm going to be live-blogging a hearing held by Senator Carl Levin's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations - the best crew of high-end detectives this side of The Wire …
Kim Zetter / Wired:
Federal Judge Finds National Security Letters Unconstitutional, Bans Them  —  Ultra-secret national security letters that come with a gag order on the recipient are an unconstitutional impingement on free speech, a federal judge in California ruled Friday.  —  U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered …
Discussion: Hit & Run and Lawfare
Steve Anderson / The Independent:
Want to join the 62-mile-high club?  Not so quick, sex in outer space could be bad for your health, say scientists  —  With commercial space flights in the pipeline and financiers appealing for a couple to volunteer for a manned (and womanned) mission to Mars, it's only going to be a matter …
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Md. General Assembly repeals death penalty  —  The House of Delegates voted 82-56 to repeal Maryland's death penalty on Friday, making the state the sixth in as many years to abolish executions and delivering a major legislative victory to Gov. Martin O'Malley.
Discussion: The Fix, Law Blog and Hullabaloo
Howard Gleckman / TaxVox:
House GOP Would Need $5.7 Trillion in Tax Hikes to Offset Ryan Rate Cuts  —  House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's (R-WI) fiscal plan promises to balance the federal budget in 10 years, make major cuts in income tax rates for both individuals and corporations, and raise the same amount of revenue as current law.
Juliet Eilperin / Washington Post:
EPA likely to delay climate rules for new power plants  —  The Obama administration is leaning toward revising its landmark proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, according to several individuals briefed on the matter, a move that would delay tougher restrictions and could anger many environmentalists.
Discussion: Daily Kos, Hot Air, E2-Wire and Guardian
Mark Drajem / Bloomberg:
Obama Will Use Nixon-Era Law to Fight Climate Change  —  President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they have to consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.  —  The result could be significant delays …
Discussion: protein wisdom and Weasel Zippers
Idaho Statesman:
Dan Popkey: Top Idaho lawmaker botches civil rights history  —  ‘We need to have our Rosa Parks moment,’ says Rep. Crane during debate.  —  The No. 3 Republican leader in the Idaho House says he made a “slight mistake” when he described Rosa Parks as a champion of states' rights.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Wonkette
Courtney Coelho / Brown University News and Events:
Iraq War: 190,000 lives, $2.2 trillion  —  More than 70 percent of deaths from direct war violence have been civilians.  That does not include indirect deaths from disease or injury suffered in conditions degraded by war.  Credit: Kevin Holden for U.S. Army
Nicholas Ballasy / The Daily Caller:
Obama couldn't eat at Hill meeting without food ‘taster’ [AUDIO]  —  WASHINGTON — Following President Obama's lunch meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins described the food served and the president's reaction to what was on menu.
New York Times:
Vatican Rejects Argentine Accusations Against Pope Francis  —  By DANIEL J. WAKIN, ALAN COWELL and GAIA PIANIGIANI  —  VATICAN CITY — For the first time since the election of Pope Francis two days ago, the Vatican on Friday formally defended him from accusations that, decades ago …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
After the Flimflam  —  It has been a big week for budget documents.  In fact, members of Congress have presented not one but two full-fledged, serious proposals for spending and taxes over the next decade.  —  Before I get to that, however, let me talk briefly about the third proposal presented …
Annie Lowrey / New York Times:
Younger Generations Lag Parents in Wealth-Building  —  WASHINGTON — Pearl Brady has a stable job with good benefits and holds two degrees, a bachelor's and a master's.  But despite her best efforts, she has no savings, and worries that it will be years before she manages to start putting away money …
Discussion: The Atlantic Online
M. Alex Johnson /
US to add missile defense assets as N. Korea ups threats  —  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will announce Friday that the U.S. is deploying 14 new ground-based missile interceptors, probably in Alaska, defense officials told NBC News.  —  The officials didn't say specifically why the interceptors …
Discussion: The Daily Caller
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 More Items: 
John M. Broder / New York Times:
Obama's $2 Billion Plan to Replace Fossil Fuels in Cars
David M. Drucker / Roll Call:
Exclusive: RNC to Revamp GOTV Operations
James MacPherson / Associated Press:
North Dakota Senate approves 6-week abortion ban
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Chris Johnson / Washington Blade:
Court grants DOJ speaking time in Prop 8 case
Discussion: Towleroad News #gay
Josh Gerstein / Reuters:
Court deals blow to CIA drone secrecy
Discussion: The Week
Nate Cohn / New Republic:
Obama's Plunge in Popularity is No Big Deal (Yet)
Discussion: The Dish and Guardian
Janet Adamy / Wall Street Journal:
Employers Blast Fees From New Health Law
Discussion: Via Meadia, Law Blog and The PJ Tatler
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Report: Olbermann woes cited
 Earlier Items: 
Rosie Gray / BuzzFeed:
Sources: Duggar Son May Join Family Research Council
Discussion: Queerty
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
NRA president tells ‘elitist’ gun control advocates to ‘be damned’
Discussion: Politico
Ian Swanson / The Hill:
McConnell decries ‘crybaby caucus,’ tells conservatives they must unify
Discussion: CNN and Politico
Rush Limbaugh / PolicyMic:
Pandering to Millennials Will Ruin the GOP
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Cameron Joseph / Ballot Box:
Ryan's speech to CPAC will provide clues to his 2016 plans
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Matt Wilstein / Mediaite:
Coulter Destroys Feinstein Over Cruz Debate On Hannity: ‘Liberal Women Should Not Be Able To Hold Office’
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
John Boehner Turns Down Obama Invitation To Join Visit To Vatican, New Pope
Discussion: The Reaction
Maggie Haberman / Reuters:
Sarah Palin's next act: Candidate or ‘Kardashian’?