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1:50 PM ET, March 5, 2014


 Top Items: 
Eric Lach / Talking Points Memo:
Ranking Dem Flips Out At IRS Hearing After Issa Cuts His Mic  —  Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) had looked forward to Wednesday.  —  The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee planned to haul former IRS official Lois Lerner back before the committee.
Fox News:
Issa, Cummings clash at hearing after ex-IRS official Lerner takes 5th  —  A House hearing on the IRS targeting scandal rapidly broke down into a heated and deeply personal argument between a top Democrat and Republican, moments after former IRS official Lois Lerner once again invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to testify.
Jay Sekulow / Fox News:
Four questions Lois Lerner must answer about IRS scandal
Discussion: Scared Monkeys   Lois Lerner Refuses to Testify on the IRS Scandal
Patrick Howley / The Daily Caller:
Lois Lerner fears for her life if she testifies at Wednesday's oversight hearing
Thomas L. Friedman / New York Times:
Why Putin Doesn't Respect Us  —  Just as we've turned the coverage of politics into sports, we're doing the same with geopolitics.  There is much nonsense being written about how Vladimir Putin showed how he is “tougher” than Barack Obama and how Obama now needs to demonstrate his manhood.
Discussion: National Review
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
How to Punish Putin  —  Ignore him.  He's running a regional power and isn't half as smart as Cold Warriors think.  —  Here are the real lessons of the crisis in Ukraine: Russia is not a great power, and Vladimir Putin is hardly the master grand strategist that many American Cold Warriors have been weirdly eager to believe.
Deirdre Walsh / CNN:
House committee to vote on Russia sanctions resolution
Discussion: Politico
Paul Steinhauser / CNN:
Ryan to Iowa as he keeps 2016 ‘options open’
Discussion: Politico
Peter Baker / New York Times:
No Easy Way Out of Ukraine Crisis
Discussion: JustOneMinute
McClatchy Washington Bureau:
Probe sought of CIA conduct in Senate study of secret detention program  —  WASHINGTON — The CIA Inspector General's Office has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations of malfeasance at the spy agency in connection with a yet-to-be released Senate Intelligence Committee report …
Mark Mazzetti / New York Times:
C.I.A. Employees Face New Inquiry Amid Clashes on Detention Program  —  WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency's attempt to keep secret the details of a defunct detention and interrogation program has escalated a battle between the agency and members of Congress and led to an investigation …
Long Beach Press-Telegram:
Hillary Clinton compares Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine to Adolf Hitler's in Nazi Germany  —  (Photo by Brittany Murray/Long Beach Press Telegram)  —  LONG BEACH >> Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday compared recent actions by Russian President Vladimir Putin …
Ruby Cramer / BuzzFeed:
Hillary Clinton Compares Russia Moves To Nazi Aggression  —  Clinton draws a parallel between the Russian government's issuing passports in Ukraine and pre-World War II actions taken by Germany.  The comments are Clinton's first since Putin's troops entered Ukraine on Saturday.  —  Olivier Douliery / MCT
Pope Francis Suggests Support For Civil Unions  —  CREDIT: Catholic Church of England and Wales  —  In an interview published Wednesday, Pope Francis appeared to support governments that recognize civil unions to provide non-traditional couples with access to benefits:
Discussion: Feed RSS, Advocate and Eschaton
Elisabetta Povoledo / New York Times:
A New Magazine for Fans of the Vatican's Biggest Star
Discussion: and The Week
Washington Post:
Support for same-sex marriage hits new high; half say Constitution guarantees right  —  Half of all Americans believe that gay men and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll in which a large majority also said businesses should not be able …
Israel Defense Forces / IDF Blog:
Breaking News: IDF Intercepts Iranian Shipment of Missiles to Terrorist Organizations in Gaza  —  The IDF intercepted an attempt to smuggle an Iranian shipment of advanced weaponry intended for terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip.  The operation took place in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Dan Williams / Reuters:
Israel says seized Gaza-bound rocket shipment from Iran
Discussion: Weekly Standard and Right Turn
Highest Minimum-Wage State Washington Beats U.S. in Job Creation  —  When Washington residents voted in 1998 to raise the state's minimum wage and link it to the cost of living, opponents warned the measure would be a job-killer.  The prediction hasn't been borne out.
Discussion: ThinkProgress
Mark S. Mellman / The Hill:
Max support for minimum wage
Discussion: Hullabaloo
Natalie Villacorta / Politico:
Barbara Bush cancels New York Times  —  Former first lady Barbara Bush says that The New York Times will do “anything to make news” and she has canceled her subscription.  —  During an interview that aired Wednesday on Fox, the former first lady was asked if she had seen Times columnist …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
The Real Poverty Trap  —  Earlier I noted that the new Ryan poverty report makes some big claims about the poverty trap, and cites a lot of research — but the research doesn't actually support the claims.  It occurs to me, however, that the whole Ryan approach is false in a deeper sense as well.
Peter Weber / The Week:
Watch The Daily Show ask Fox News why the poor shouldn't eat seafood  —  On Tuesday night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart focused on Republican opposition to food stamps.  The stated reason for opposing aid to the hungry is food stamp fraud, Stewart noted, before indulging in a little bit of light debunking.
Discussion: The Raw Story
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Refusing to Photograph a Gay Wedding Isn't Hateful  —  Some opposition to same-sex marriage is rooted in bigotry and some isn't.  Assuming otherwise is itself prejudice rooted in ignorance.  —  Remember the New Mexico photographer who got sued after declining to photograph a lesbian couple's wedding …
Discussion: Crooked Timber
Manny Fernandez / New York Times:
Texas G.O.P. Beats Back Challengers From Right  —  McALLEN, Tex. — Establishment Republican leaders on Tuesday defeated challenges from the right in a statewide primary election as conservatives inspired by Senator Ted Cruz largely failed to topple mainstream incumbents, and a race for lieutenant governor headed for a runoff.
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 More Items: 
Don Feder / American Thinker:
Vladimir Putin isn't the Easter Bunny.  On the other hand, he isn't Joseph Stalin.
Discussion: The Raw Story and Right Wing Watch
Jennifer Jacobs / Des Moines Register:
In rare mailing, Romney backs Iowa's Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate
Discussion: Politico and Roll Call
Yahoo! News:
Michele Bachmann: Jan Brewer wrong to veto Arizona's ‘anti-gay’ bill
Jeanine Poggi / AdAge:
Al Jazeera America at Six Months: Some New Advertisers, Few Viewers
Hamilton Nolan / Gawker:
A Letter From Ray Jasper, Who Is About to Be Executed
Discussion: Black Youth Project
Daniel Strauss / Talking Points Memo:
Media Matters Launches ‘Mythopedia’ Fact Check Tool Ahead Of CPAC
 Earlier Items: 
James Hohmann / Politico:
Scott Brown denies tweet he's running
Denise Gellene / New York Times:
Sherwin B. Nuland, ‘How We Die’ Author, Dies at 83
Discussion: Marginal REVOLUTION
New York Times:
A Standoff of Lawyers Veils Madoff's Ties to JPMorgan Chase
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Reid escalates feud with Koch brothers
Discussion: Jammie Wearing Fools
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Kinky Friedman makes Texas runoff
Discussion: The Reaction
Jeff Weiner / Orlando Sentinel:
Wife says Alan Grayson shoved her during domestic incident