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7:55 AM ET, February 20, 2014


 Top Items: 
Patrick Marley / JSOnline:
Emails link Scott Walker to secret email system  —  By Patrick Marley, Daniel Bice, Bill Glauber and Kevin Crowe of the Journal Sentinel  —  Madison — Thousands of documents unsealed Wednesday revealed the closest links yet between Gov. Scott Walker and a secret email system used in his office when he was Milwaukee County executive.
Evan McMorris-Santoro / BuzzFeed:
Highly Racist Email Forward Found In Scott Walker Investigation Documents  —  “THE NIGHTMARE ... 'I can handle being a black, disabled, one armed, drug-addicted Jewish homosexual ... but please, oh dear God, don't make me a Democrat.'” A 2010 email forward from then Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's …
Adam Alter / Currency:
The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking  —  Since publishing “The Secret,” in 2006, the Australian author Rhonda Byrne has been writing self-help manifestos based on the idea that people who think positive thoughts are rewarded with happiness, wealth, influence, wisdom, and success.
Discussion: CANNONFIRE and The Agonist
Craig Schneider / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
New Confederate license plate brings skirmishes  —  Georgia's new license plate commemorating the Sons of the Confederacy features the Confederate battle flag more prominently than in the prior design.  The emblem, incorrectly referred to in popular culture as the “Confederate flag,” …
Manu Raju / Politico:
Senate battle in Michigan: Whiskey and sled rides  —  Part of an occasional series on the hottest races of the 2014 midterm election.  —  MARQUETTE, Mich. — Braving sub-zero temperatures at the annual dog sled race here, Democratic Senate candidate Gary Peters happily indulged …
Wal-Mart Says ‘Looking’ at Support of Federal Minimum Wage Rise  —  Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the largest private employer in the U.S., said it's looking at supporting an increase in the federal minimum wage, breaking with business and industry groups that oppose such a measure.
Aviva Shen / ThinkProgress:
Why Gap Is Raising Its Minimum Wage To $10
Discussion: Consumerist
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 …
Markos Moulitsas / The Hill:
A blue Georgia  —  Demographic changes are inevitably driving Texas and Arizona into purple — and eventually blue — territory.  The growth of the Latino population is poised to overwhelm predominantly conservative white voters in both states, absent a genuine and successful rebranding by the Republican Party.
Julia Ioffe / The New Republic:
What's Happening in Kiev Right Now Is Vladimir Putin's Worst Nightmare  —  I will not explain to you what is happening in Kiev tonight other than to say that it is Vladimir Putin's worst nightmare.  —  The last time that this many people came out to the Independence Square (the Maidan) …
Exclusive: Mega-donors plan GOP war council  —  Sources say the genesis for the American Opportunity Alliance can be traced to a late September meeting in New York City.  That gathering, which drew roughly 20 major donors whose views spanned the GOP political spectrum, was organized by Singer, Ricketts and energy executive Joe Craft.
Discussion: Yahoo! News
Seumas Milne / Guardian:
Deniers grasp 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.
Andrea Drusch / Politico:
Wendy Davis fundraising off Ted Nugent  —  Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott might be making waves with his Ted Nugent tour this week, but his opponent Wendy Davis is making money.  —  Specifically, her campaign is seeking to harness the controversial rocker's presence on the trail …
Discussion: Trail Blazers Blog
Deena Winter /
Judge throws out Nebraska pipeline law, complicating Keystone XL plans  —  LINCOLN, Neb. — A Nebraska judge has declared unconstitutional a 2012 law that gave the governor and state environmental regulators the authority to approve oil pipeline routes, throwing yet another obstacle in the path of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Ed Tibbetts / Quad City Times:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry to return to Iowa next week  —  Texas Gov. Rick Perry is returning to Iowa.  —  Perry, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, will be in Des Moines and Davenport on Feb. 27th and 28th.  —  He will be sitting down with business leaders to discuss a wide range of issues …
Discussion: The Iowa Republican and Politico
Russ Smith /
The Left Wing Can't Contain Its Fantasies  —  Left-wing Democrats have the ability, especially at election time, to express the sort of giddiness that confounds not only Republicans but centrist members of their own Party as well.  Looking at today's political climate at face value …
Discussion: Yahoo! News and Hit & Run
Sarah Palin / Facebook:
Texas, it starts with you!  —  2014 is here.  The choices are becoming clearer, and the battle lines are being drawn.  The GOP Beltway crowd has convinced itself that the way to maintain or retake the majority is through compromise and capitulation on important issues like amnesty, Obamacare, and the ever-increasing federal debt.
Columbia Daily Tribune:
State to buy tinfoil hats to combat Common Core  —  JEFFERSON CITY - The House Appropriations - Education Committee cut deeply today into Gov. Jay Nixon's proposals for public schools and higher education, slashing his planned increases by more than $200 million.
Discussion: Whiskey Fire and Right Wing News
Ex-Con Ex-Governor Running for Congress  —  You're wrong if you think politics couldn't get saucier in Louisiana, where the ex-Democratic mayor of New Orleans was just convicted for bribery and the religious-right-supporting senator who got caught with hookers is a favorite to win the governorship …
Peter Coy / Businessweek:
The Official Forecast of the U.S. Government Never Saw This Winter Coming  —  Surprised by how tough this winter has been?  You're in good company: Last fall the Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted that temperatures would be above normal …
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
The Endless Third-Party Fantasy  —  Since third-party fantasies reemerge every time there is evidence Americans hold their elected officials in minimum high regard, Brendan Nyhan provides a public service with a compendium of “here comes a third party!” predictions dating back to 2005.
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Tal Kopan / Politico:
George W. Bush: ‘I miss Air Force One’  —  Former President George W. Bush said Wednesday that there isn't much he misses about being president, except for one big perk.  —  “A lot of people ask me, you know, do I miss much about being president,” Bush said.  “The answer's really no. I mean I miss the people I served with.
Discussion: CNN and Talking Points Memo
Ray Hagar / Inside Nevada Politics:
After Sisolak says no, Harry Reid says Nevada Democrats have another candidate for governor waiting in the wings  —  The news that Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said he unequivocally won't run for governor as a Democrat did not seem to bother Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Tuesday in Carson City
Craig Lucie / WSB-TV:
Attorney: Teen was shot for having Wii controller in hand  —  EUHARLEE, Ga. —  The family of a 17-year-old shot and killed by a Euharlee police officer has hired an attorney, and they say he had a remote control in his hand.  They say it was not a gun.
Gautham Nagesh / Wall Street Journal:
FCC Plans to Issue New ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules  —  Agency Seeks to Prevent Blocking or Slowing Down of Websites by Internet Providers  —  WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday it would again issue rules to prevent Internet service providers from blocking or slowing …
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 More Items: 
Seung Min Kim / Politico:
Activists include immigration in ‘war on women’
Discussion: Hot Air
Peter Hamby / CNN:
Hillary Clinton surfaces as issue in Republican Senate race
Discussion: Politico
Emily DePrang / The Texas Observer:
Dem Candidate for Harris County DA Says Domestic Violence is ‘Overrated’
Andrew Cohen / The Atlantic Online:
Another Chance for the Justices to Say No to Prosecutorial Misconduct
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Chris Geidner / BuzzFeed:
Colorado Same-Sex Couples Sue For Marriage Rights
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Michelle Millhollon / Baton Rouge news …:
Poll: Jindal unpopular; Vitter leads in 2015 race
Associated Press:
 Earlier Items: 
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
Iowa Newspaper Drops Brent Bozell's Column, Nobody Complains
Discussion: Quad City Times and The Raw Story
Michael S. Rosenwald / Washington Post:
‘We need the iPhone of guns’: Will smart guns transform the gun industry?
Discussion: Fox News, Hot Air and The Daily Caller
Julian Hattem / The Hill:
NSA, DHS drop parody complaint
Discussion: New York Times and Lawfare