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12:25 PM ET, February 20, 2014


 Top Items: 
Ted Cruz / CNN:
Ted Cruz assails fellow Republicans senators for ‘trickery’  —  Beaumont, Texas (CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz accused his own Republican leadership of “trickery” in trying to force a “show vote” on raising the debt ceiling last week, warning Republicans will get “clobbered in the polls” for not standing up for principle.
Mario Trujillo / The Hill:
Cruz: I didn't want to throw GOP under bus  —  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Wednesday that he did want to throw any of his colleagues under the bus by forcing a 60-vote threshold on a bill to increase the debt ceiling earlier this month.  —  Cruz said in a CNN interview that he heard …
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Dana Davidsen / CNN:
Ted Cruz slams GOP leadership for ‘show vote’ on debt ceiling  —  (CNN) - Ted Cruz sharpened his critique against the Republican establishment in Washington, taking leaders in his party to task for allowing GOP senators to cast a “show vote” on the debt ceiling and misleading constituents.
Discussion: Politico and The Dish
Deirdre Walsh / CNN:
Cruz disagrees with Nugent, but doesn't rule out campaigning with him
Discussion: PoliticusUSA and Politico
Andrea Drusch / Politico:
Wendy Davis fundraising off Ted Nugent
Discussion: CNN
Wall Street Journal:
McNider and Christy: Why Kerry Is Flat Wrong on Climate Change  —  It was the scientific skeptics who bucked the ‘consensus’ and said the Earth was round.  —  In a Feb. 16 speech in Indonesia, Secretary of State John Kerry assailed climate-change skeptics as members of the “Flat Earth Society” …
Discussion: White House Dossier and Hot Air
Seumas Milne / Guardian:
Climate change deniers have grasped that markets can't fix the climate  —  The refusal to accept global warming is driven by corporate interests and the fear of what it will cost to try to stop it  —  It's an unmistakable taste of things to come.  The floods that have deluged Britain may be small beer on a global scale.
Beth Reinhard /
CPAC Welcomes Gay-Rights Groups After Years of Exclusion  —  Meet the kinder, gentler Conservative Political Action Conference.  —  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, snubbed last year after palling around with President Obama, is coming.  So is GOProud, the gay-rights group that was banned …
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
GOProud Founder Chris Barron Quits Board Over CPAC Flap  —  “I cannot ... sit by and watch as the current leadership of the organization disingenuously pawns off an unconditional surrender to the forces of bigotry as some sort of ‘compromise,’” Chris Barron tells BuzzFeed.
Discussion: Joe. My. God.
Noah Rothman / Mediaite:
Rothman: CPAC's Sprint Toward Irrelevance
Discussion: Daily Kos and VodkaPundit
Sean Trende / Real Clear Politics:
How Likely Are Democrats to Lose the Senate?  —  A few weeks ago, I produced two Senate analyses.  One focused on the relationship between the president's job approval, the fate of Senate Democrats during the 2010 and 2012 elections, and what that would mean if this relationship continues through 2014.
Discussion: Democratic Strategist
Markos Moulitsas / The Hill:   A blue Georgia  —  Demographic changes are inevitably driving Texas …
Washington Post:
In 2014 midterms, parties see different issues and states as path to Senate majority
Discussion: The Fix, Daily Kos and ABC News
Truce crumbles amid gunfire in Ukraine, protesters claim 100 dead  —  Are you in Ukraine?  Send us your photos and experiences but please stay safe.  —  Kiev, Ukraine (CNN) — A shaky truce crumbled Thursday as gunfire erupted at Independence Square, the center of anti-government protests …
George F. Will / Washington Post:
Is Ukraine the Cold War's final episode?
Discussion: and Althouse
Gene Sperling offers budget preview  —  President Barack Obama's upcoming budget will emphasize spending programs intended to help the economy now and include long-term deficit savings proposals, outgoing National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling said on Thursday.
Discussion: CNN
New York Times:
The Clear Benefits of a Higher Wage
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
Four Reasons The GOP Has A Huge Advantage In The 2014 Elections  —  For all their internal divisions and long-term worries as a party, political scientists and historical trends give Republicans a clear edge in the upcoming 2014 congressional elections.  —  Forget Obamacare …
Kurtis Lee / The Spot:
Rep. Jared Wright leaves loaded handgun in House committee room  —  In the moments after lawmakers and visitors cleared a committee room Feb. 6 following a debate on concealed handgun permits, Rep. Jonathan Singer found a black canvas bag under the table where lawmakers sit.
Sequoia Capital:
Four Numbers That Explain Why Facebook Acquired WhatsApp  —  WhatsApp Co-Founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton  —  Earlier today, Facebook announced its acquisition of WhatsApp for $16 billion.  It's a spectacular milestone for the company's co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, and their remarkable team.
Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post:
Here's Why Obama Can't Get Democrats To Back His Trade Deal  —  WASHINGTON — The veal pen is becoming a dangerous place.  —  U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman — President Barack Obama's top trade official — ventured into it Tuesday evening, meeting with a group of liberal leaders …
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Associated Press:
Joe Biden: Obamacare enrollment may miss mark  —  MINNEAPOLIS — Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that it would be a good start for the federal health care law if 5 million to 6 million people sign up by the end of March, an acknowledgement that enrollments might fall significantly short …
Caitlin Flanagan / The Atlantic Online:
The Dark Power of Fraternities  —  A yearlong investigation of Greek houses reveals their endemic, lurid, and sometimes tragic problems—and a sophisticated system for shifting the blame.  —  One warm spring night in 2011, a young man named Travis Hughes stood on the back deck …
Discussion: The Awl
Audrey M. Dacosta / Caracas Chronicles:
19F - The Night Venezuela Finally Imploded  —  Tonight, Venezuela is seeing a spasm of violence that's unlike anything the country has experienced since 1989.  Information is fragmented, since an almost complete media black-out is in place, but you don't need the media to hear your neighbor's screams.
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
Arizona Senate Passes Bill Allowing Anti-Gay Discrimination  —  The Arizona Senate passed a “religious freedom” bill Wednesday, which would effectively allow businesses to deny services to LGBT people.  —  The bill passed on a party line vote, according to the Arizona Republic.
Pete Kasperowicz / The Hill:
House GOP plots anti-reg blitz  —  House Republicans next week will pass a legislative package aimed at making federal regulations more transparent and less costly to the economy.  —  The legislation is the GOP's latest attempt to reduce the regulatory red tape that they say is stifling job creation.
Quinnipiac News + Events:
Release Detail  —  February 20, 2014 - Clinton Sweeps 2016 Ohio Field As Christie Drops, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Obama Approval Goes From Terrible To Bad  —  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sweeps the 2016 presidential field in Ohio as New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie …
Yahoo! News:
Obama may escalate role in Syrian war  —  Americans unquestionably oppose any U.S. military intervention in Syria of the “boots on the ground” variety.  They're not fans of the idea of air strikes there, either.  But how would they respond to narrowly tailored attacks targeting Islamist fighters …
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 More Items: 
Alan Berube / Brookings Institute:
All Cities Are Not Created Unequal
Discussion: New York Times and GovBeat
Greg Sargent / The Plum Line:
The moral case for immigration reform
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
Calif. beats ObamaCare sign-up goal weeks early
Discussion: New York Times
Emily Heil / The Reliable Source:
Robin Wright: D.C. reporters sleep with sources
Discussion: Hot Air and Mediaite
Ben Terris / Washington Post:
Survival of a salesman: Former Fla. governor Charlie Crist tries to get back where he was
Discussion: OnPolitics and NewsBusters
Daniel Henninger / Wall Street Journal:
Henninger: The Rube Goldberg Democrats
Discussion: Fox News
 Earlier Items: 
Stephen Dinan / Washington Times:
Money for nothing: Feds in D.C. closed 25% of the time
Ravi Somaiya / New York Times:
Start-Up Site Hires Critic of Wall St.
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
A difference of opinion about IRS suppression of speech.
Discussion: Betsy's Page
Linda Greenhouse / New York Times:
Law and Politics  —  I first read about Robert A. Dahl's death earlier …
Discussion: The Monkey Cage
Julian Hattem / The Hill:
Dems press Holder on secret FBI letters
Manu Raju / Politico:
Senate battle in Michigan: Whiskey and sled rides
Russ Smith /
The Left Wing Can't Contain Its Fantasies
Discussion: The Daily Beast and Hit & Run
Adam Alter / Currency:
The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and The Agonist