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11:45 AM ET, March 21, 2013


 Top Items: 
Manu Raju / Politico:
Saxby Chambliss: 'I'm not gay.  So I'm not going to marry one'  —  Support for gay marriage is picking up steam all over the country — except on Capitol Hill.  —  Take Sen. Saxby Chambliss.  When asked if his views had changed on gay marriage, the Georgia Republican quipped: “I'm not gay.
Catherine Saint Louis / New York Times:
Pediatrics Group Backs Gay Marriage, Saying It Helps Children  —  The American Academy of Pediatrics declared its support for same-sex marriage for the first time on Thursday, saying that allowing gay and lesbian parents to marry if they so choose is in the best interests of their children.
Politicians and gay marriage: Profiles in calculation  —  When historians write the story of America's cultural revolution on gay marriage, March of 2013 may well get its own chapter — the month when the political balance on this issue shifted unmistakably from risky to safe.
Discussion: and
Obama urges Palestinians to new peace talks  —  RAMALLAH, West Bank — President Barack Obama on Thursday presented himself as a willing messenger to help peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders — but reiterated that they're the ones who need to take the lead.
Discussion: CNN
Netanyahu on Obama: This guy, I need  —  JERUSALEM — Benjamin Netanyahu has never been Barack Obama's biggest fan — and for four years, he's eagerly scored political points picking fights with the president.  —  But two paradigm-shifting elections — one in the U.S., one in Israel …
New York Times:
Obama Renews Call for 2-State Solution in Middle East  —  RAMALLAH, West Bank — Hours after Palestinian militants fired at least two rockets from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip that crashed into the Israeli border city of Sderot on Thursday, President Obama traveled to the West Bank city …
Associated Press:
Rockets hit Israel as Obama meets Palestinians
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Jesse Helfrich / The Hill:
Unified House Republicans poised to pass Ryan budget blueprint  —  Republican leaders are poised to pass Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget on Thursday, having convinced centrists and conservatives to back the blueprint that Democrats believe is their road map back to the House majority.
Discussion: CNN, Weasel Zippers, Daily Kos and
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
Dems force GOP to vote down RSC budget  —  Democrats voted present to force more Republicans to vote against the Republican Study Committee's (RSC) budget.  Democrats hoped that by getting their members to vote present instead of against the budget, it might be approved by the House.
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House rejects budget from Senate Democrats
Discussion: Hot Air and Weasel Zippers
New York Times:
Senate Approves Spending; House Debates Next Budget
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
Vulnerable House Democrats vote against Senate budget proposal
Greg Miller / Washington Post:
Secret report raises alarms on intelligence blind spots because of AQ focus  —  A panel of White House advisers warned President Obama in a secret report that U.S. spy agencies were paying inadequate attention to China, the Middle East and other national security flash points because they had become …
National Security Brief: Obama Says Israeli Settlements Are An Obstacle To Peace
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Document Shows Abbas's Desire to Resume Israeli Talks
Discussion: The Week and The Times of Israel
Quinnipiac News + Events:
Release Detail  —  March 21, 2013 - Clinton Tops Florida Favorite Sons In 2016 Race, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; 91% Back Universal Gun Background Checks  —  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has double-digit leads over either of Florida's favorite sons, former Gov. Jeb Bush …
Kathryn Haake / Talking Points Memo:
Montana Looks at Allowing Roadkill for Dinner  —  HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Elk, deer, antelope and moose: If Montana residents can scrape it up, they can eat it.  —  State lawmakers are poised to say just that after the Senate gave its initial backing Wednesday to a bill that would allow people to salvage roadkill for food.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Tessa Stuart / BuzzFeed:
Michelle Shocked Responds To Anti-Gay Rant Reports  —  The singer pens an open letter to fans.  “I'm very sorry: I don't always express myself as clearly as I should.”  —  Michelle Shocked performs on April 25, 2011, in Byron Bay, Australia.  Image by Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images
Ezra Klein / Wonkblog:
Why I was hoping for a government shutdown  —  I'll be honest.  I was sort of hoping for a government shutdown.  —  Congress, you're terrible at your job.  (Andrew Harrer/Bloomber)  —  It's not that I like government shutdowns.  I'm as big a fan of national parks as the next guy.
Principal cancels Honors Night in exchange for all-inclusive assembly  —  IPSWICH, Mass. ( - An Ipswich principal is in hot water with some parents after he reportedly canceled the middle school's Honors Night.  —  David Fabrizio, principal of Ipswich Middle School …
Matt Sledge / The Huffington Post:
CIA's Gus Hunt On Big Data: We ‘Try To Collect Everything And Hang On To It Forever’  —  NEW YORK — The CIA's chief technology officer outlined the agency's endless appetite for data in a far-ranging speech on Wednesday.  —  Speaking before a crowd of tech geeks at GigaOM's Structure:Data conference …
Thomas Kaplan / New York Times:
Cuomo Seeks to Ease a Newly Passed Gun Restriction  —  ALBANY — In the wake of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York pushed through the State Legislature gun control measures that included not only a tougher assault weapons ban but also a tighter restriction …
New York Times:
Companies: Show Us the Money  —  ON Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee gave Mary Jo White, President Obama's choice to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, a rousing show of support, voting 21 to 1 to send her nomination to the full Senate for a vote.
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
Pelosi backing Democratic leader embroiled in ethics scandal  —  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is standing behind Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) despite calls for the veteran lawmaker to relinquish his leadership post while he is investigated on ethics charges.
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
Daily Mail:
Dark Knight killer James Holmes ‘is now a Muslim who prays five times a day’  —  James Holmes, the gunman behind the Dark Knight massacre in Colorado last July, has reportedly turned Muslim and prays five times a day.  —  The killer showed off a lengthy, thick beard during a court appearance earlier …
Stuart Rothenberg / Roll Call:
The GOP: A Party Increasingly at Odds With Itself  —  “I am not a member of any organized party — I am a Democrat,” humorist Will Rogers said many years ago.  But if Rogers were alive today, he'd undoubtedly see his party as a model of organization and unity when compared to the GOP.
Discussion: First Read
Dan Auble /
Lobbyists 2012: Out of the Game or Under the Radar?  —  A CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS REPORT  —  (For a .pdf version of this report, click here)  —  Executive summary  —  Over the past several years, both spending on lobbying and the number of active lobbyists has declined.
Discussion: Roll Call and The BLT
David Weigel / Slate:
The Tea Party Caucus is Dead and That's Okay  —  Two-odd months ago, I asked a Republican Hill staffer what had happened to the Tea Party Caucus.  Launched with great fanfare in 2011, it was often cited in Michele Bachmann's introductions on the presidential campaign trail — “she's the founder of the Tea Party Caucus!”
Nick Wing / The Huffington Post:
Justice Safety Valve Act Would Give Flexibility On Mandatory Minimum Sentences  —  Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a bill Wednesday designed to give relief to the nation's bloated prison system by offering judges leeway to consider sentences below the mandatory minimum for all federal crimes.
Emmanuel Touhey / Judicial:
Paul-Leahy sentencing bill will ensure time fits the crime
Discussion: Hit & Run and Hullabaloo
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 More Items: 
Tarini Parti / Politico:
Bloomberg: $2M to anti-gun group
Catherine Rampell / New York Times:
Surprise U.S. Housing Demand Catches Industry Off-Guard
Discussion: Jared Bernstein and Mother Jones
Andrew Taylor / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Top Senate Democrat Durbin proposes commission to offer Social Security fixes
Discussion: AEIdeas, Corrente and Post Politics
Alleged al Qaeda Operative Charged in New York for Terrorism Offenses Against Americans Overseas
Discussion: ThinkProgress and emptywheel
Peter Wallsten / Washington Post:
Visas for high-skilled workers could double under bipartisan Senate plan
Discussion: The Hill and Wonkblog
Brian Beutler / Talking Points Memo:
Democrats Come Up Short In Sequestration Standoff
Lee Enterprises / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Claire McCaskill writing book about 2012 Senate race against Akin
Noemie Emery / Washington Examiner:
Excuses, excuses from the conservative wing
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Right Turn
 Earlier Items: 
Yahoo! News:
Scotland may allow Jedi to perform marriage ceremonies
Hingeapp / rate friends of friends:
Hingesights: Hottest Workforces in DC
Discussion: Politico and DCist