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7:25 AM ET, March 3, 2014


 Top Items: 
Peter Baker / New York Times:
Pressure Rising as Obama Works to Rein In Russia  —  WASHINGTON — As Russia dispatched more forces and tightened its grip on the Crimean Peninsula on Sunday, President Obama embarked on a strategy intended to isolate Moscow and prevent it from seizing more Ukrainian territory even as he was pressured at home to respond more forcefully.
Ben Judah / Politico:
Why Russia No Longer Fears the West  —  The West is blinking in disbelief - Vladimir Putin just invaded Ukraine.  German diplomats, French Eurocrats and American pundits are all stunned.  Why has Russia chosen to gamble its trillion-dollar ties with the West?
Russell Berman / The Hill:
US moves to isolate Russia from ‘community of civilized nations’  —  The Obama administration on Sunday worked to isolate Russia on the world stage even as its president, Vladimir Putin, showed no signs of rolling back his military intervention in Ukraine.  —  President Obama spoke by phone …
The Hill:
Kerry: Putin now acting out of ‘weakness’ and ‘desperation’  —  Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday blasted Russian President Vladimir Putin's “stunning, willful” choice to invade Ukrainian territory and warned of possible sanctions.  —  “You just don't in the 21st century behave …
Walter Russell Mead / The American Interest Podcast:
Putin Smashes Washington's Cocoon
Elizabeth Piper / Reuters:   Putin takes on West over Ukraine: who blinks first?
Will Dunham / Reuters:
Kerry condemns Russia's ‘incredible act of aggression’ in Ukraine
Discussion: Guardian, Washington Post and Daily Kos
Yahoo! News:   Ukraine mobilizes after Putin's ‘declaration of war’
CBC News:
Ukraine crisis: Harper recalls ambassador, tells Putin to withdraw
Discussion: American Spectator
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
Jerry Brown Opposes Legal Pot Because ‘We Need To Stay Alert’  —  California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said Sunday that he is not convinced legalizing marijuana is a good idea because the population needs to “stay alert.”  —  “The problem with anything, a certain amount is okay,” Brown said on NBC's Meet the Press.
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Gov. Brown Not Ready To Legalize Weed, Worried About ‘Potheads’ (VIDEO)
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Kevin Drum / Mother Jones:
Here's What Is Going To Happen With Ukraine  —  Following up on the previous post, if you do want to fret about Ukraine, I have just the thing for you.  I'm going to tell you how this will all unfold:  — Vladimir Putin will do something belligerent.  (Already done.)
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Waiting for Jeb  —  The 2016 presidential election is Jeb Bush's now-or-never-moment.  —  As other potential GOP standard-bearers have been hit by scandal or seen their luster fade, many Republicans desperately want the former Florida governor to get in the race.
Reid J. Epstein / Politico:
Lerner's attorney says she won't testify, Issa wrong  —  Rep. Darrell Issa doesn't know what he's talking about, the attorney for former IRS official Lois Lerner said Sunday.  —  Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told “Fox News Sunday” …
Discussion: Fox News, PoliticusUSA, Mediaite and Hot Air
Steve Strunsky / New Jersey Online:
Port Authority officials: Battle over toll hikes was all for show  —  Current and former officials of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey say a scheme was devised to give the governors of both states political cover for a 2011 toll hike at bi-state bridges and tunnels.  (John Munson/The Star-Ledger)
Kevin Sieff / Washington Post:
Interview: Karzai says 12-year Afghanistan war has left him angry at U.S. government  —  KABUL — Hamid Karzai was in the midst of negotiating a security agreement with the United States when he met a 4-year-old girl who had lost half her face in an American airstrike.
Discussion: Guardian and Booman Tribune
Russia Gas Threat Shows Putin Using Pipelines to Press Ukraine  —  OAO Gazprom (OGZD)'s threat to end natural gas discounts for Ukraine adds to the financial burden on the near-bankrupt government in Kiev and makes Europe's energy supply part of the escalating crisis.
Discussion: Politico and
ABC News:
Pipeline Protesters Arrested at White House  —  Police are arresting a couple hundred people who strapped themselves to the White House fence on Sunday to protest the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.  —  The protesters were mostly college students who participated in a peaceful march …
Discussion: Politico and CNN
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 More Items: 
Kyle Smith / New York Post:
Where's their nerve? Today's comics mock poop, not the powerful
Discussion: Vox Popoli
Arthur C. Brooks / New York Times:
The Downside of Inciting Envy
Dan Raviv / CBS News:
U.S. pushing Israel to stop assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists
CBS Baltimore:
2 Arrested For Armed Robbery Of Pregnant Woman In Labor
 Earlier Items: 
New York Times:
My Life as a Writer  —  “Sabbath's Theater” is now being translated …
Discussion: The Week and Althouse
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
Big-Money Donors Demand Larger Say in Campaign Strategy
Michael Goodwin / New York Post:
De Blasio's anti-rich policies are driving wealthy people out of NYC