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2:30 PM 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
Manu Raju / Politico:
Saxby Chambliss: 'I'm not gay. So I'm not going to marry one'
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Politicians and gay marriage: Profiles in calculation
Discussion: and
Herb Keinon / Jerusalem Post:
Analysis: Obama, he had us at ‘Shalom’  —  We so want to be accepted, so want to be understood.  —  He had us at the word “Shalom,” did President Barack Obama, on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport.  —  Or if not at “Shalom,” then 33 words later when he said in Hebrew, “Tov lihiyot shuv ba'aretz” (It's good to be back in Israel).
Mark Landler / New York Times:
Obama Appears to Move Closer to Israeli Position on Peace Talks  —  RAMALLAH, West Bank — President Obama, visiting the Israeli-occupied West Bank, appeared to move closer to the Israeli position on Thursday regarding resumption of long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians …
James S. Robbins / Associated Press:
Obama's Middle East policy in tatters: Column  —  U.S is now less popular in the region than at the end of the George W. Bush administration.  —  President Obama's first journey to Israel as president comes amid earth-shattering change in Middle East, much of it for the worse.
Palestinians protest Obama visit: We want RPGs, not CIA collaboration
James Nye / Daily Mail:
Thanks but no thanks: Tree gifted by President Obama to Israel this morning is dug up hours later for ‘pest’ testing
Discussion: Betsy's Page and Guardian
Associated Press:
Rockets hit Israel as Obama meets Palestinians
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Washington Wire:
Text of Obama's Speech in Israel
Thomas B. Edsall / Opinionator:
The Republican Autopsy Report  —  On Monday a Republican task force released a remarkably hard-headed diagnosis of the party's many liabilities: its ideological rigidity, its preference for the rich over workers, its alienation of minorities, its reactionary social policies and its institutionalized repression of dissent and innovation.
Stuart Rothenberg / Roll Call:
The GOP: A Party Increasingly at Odds With Itself
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Nancy Cook /
The GOP Disconnect on Economic Policy
Discussion: The Plum Line, First Read and Reuters
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.
Alan Silverleib / CNN:
House passes Ryan budget
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed:
Biden, Bloomberg Present United Front On Assault Weapons Ban  —  Reid has dropped it from the Senate bill, but Bloomberg calls for an amendment vote.  “I'm not going to rest, and neither is the president, until we do all of these things,” Biden says.  —  Image by Ruby Cramer/Buzzfeed
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's … and NPR
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 …
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.
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 …
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
Michele Bachmann: Obamacare Will ‘Literally’ Kill People  —  As the country prepares to celebrate the third anniversary of health care reform, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) insisted on Thursday that the Affordable Care Act will “kill” vulnerable women and children during a speech on the floor of the House.
Discussion: Mediaite
Charles P. Pierce / Esquire:
THE SILENT MAJORITIES  —  There's a lot of buzz at and around the Cool Kidz table today because, glorioski, there's actually another budget proposal out there, the one put together by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and it not only seems to make more sense to more people than, for example …
Philip Klein / Washington Examiner:
Iraq War made Obamacare possible … This week brought two milestones: It has been 10 years since the United States invaded Iraq, and three years since President Obama's health care legislation became law.  It's fitting that the two events coincided, because it was the Iraq War that made the passage of Obamacare possible.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Hit & Run
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 …
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 …
David Rogers / Politico:
Congress avoids government shutdown  —  Congress approved and sent to the White House on Thursday a stopgap spending bill to avert any threat of a government shutdown next week and keep agencies funded through September in the wake of automatic cuts ordered under sequestration.
USA Today:
Want to change college athletics?  Financially punish coaches … March Madness is underway, but the 2011 champion, the University of Connecticut, is conspicuously absent.  The Huskies men's team isn't competing this year because it failed to meet the minimal academic requirements set by the NCAA for postseason play.
Discussion: The Hill and Politico
Andy Kroll / Mother Jones:
EXCLUSIVE: State Dept. Hid Contractor's Ties to Keystone XL Pipeline Company  —  A top expert who helped write the government's latest Keystone report previously consulted on three different TransCanada projects—a fact the State Department tried to hide.  —  A woman protests the Keystone XL pipeline …
Discussion: Firedoglake
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 More Items: 
Cindy Adams / New York Post:
Elisabeth Hasselbeck wooed by CNN?
GOP leaders not so peachy on Paul Broun votes
Public Religion Research Institute:
Survey | Citizenship, Values, and Cultural Concerns: What Americans Want from Immigration Reform
Discussion: New York Times and Washington Wire
Trip Gabriel / New York Times:
Carson Makes Conservatives Look to 2016
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Kristin Roberts /
How Many Americans Are on the Kill List? Zero.
 Earlier Items: 
Jordy Yager / The Hill:
Pelosi backing Democratic leader embroiled in ethics scandal
Discussion: The PJ Tatler
New York Times:
Companies: Show Us the Money
Peter Wallsten / Washington Post:
Visas for high-skilled workers could double under bipartisan Senate plan
Discussion: The Caucus, Wonkblog and The Hill
Hingeapp / rate friends of friends:
Hingesights: Hottest Workforces in DC
Discussion: Politico and DCist
Kathryn Haake / Talking Points Memo:
Montana Looks at Allowing Roadkill for Dinner
Discussion: Outside the Beltway