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4:35 AM ET, March 9, 2014


 Top Items: 
Simon Denyer / Washington Post:
Malaysia Airlines plane vanishes over South China Sea; Vietnamese reportedly spot oil slicks  —  BEIJING — Vietnamese air force planes have spotted two large oil slicks that officials believe are from a Malaysia Airlines flight that suddenly vanished from air traffic control screens …
Julie Makinen / Los Angeles Times:
Terrorism not ruled out in disappearance of Malaysia Airlines jet  —  BEIJING — Malaysian officials investigating the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines plane Saturday said they were not ruling out terrorism — or any other causes — as reports emerged that two Europeans listed …
James Hohmann / Politico:
A Rand Paul rout in CPAC straw poll  —  NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Rand Paul handily won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday, one gauge of the Republican base's mood less than two years before the 2016 primary season kicks off.
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Paul electrifies conservative base
Discussion: Politico and CNN
Joseph Gerth / Courier-Journal:
McConnell waves musket, falls flat at CPAC  —  The normally sharp-shooting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may have misfired on Thursday when he took to the stage at the Conservatives Political Action Conference brandishing a gun.  —  The gun was actually an award from the National Rifle Association …
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Is Ben Carson 2016's sleeper candidate?  —  Neurologist Ben Carson could be 2016's sleeper presidential contender.  —  You won't find him in early polls, and he doesn't make headlines for huddling with top advisers in primary states.  —  Carson is lauded for his plainspoken yet forceful ability …
George F. Will / Washington Post:
The IRS's behavior taxes credulity  —  What's been said of confession — that it is good for one's soul but bad for one's reputation — can also be true of testifying to Congress, so Lois Lerner has chosen to stay silent.  Hers, however, is an eloquent silence.
David Martosko / Daily Mail:
IRS caves on Lois Lerner documents, will provide Congress with ALL of her emails since tea party targeting scheme began
Justin Sink / The Hill:
WH defends Obama's Key Largo vacation  —  White House spokesman Josh Earnest defended President Obama's weekend vacation in Key Largo, despite the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, arguing Obama would be able to monitor events from Florida.  —  “What the president will be doing this weekend …
Fox News:
Obama, Biden stick to vacation schedules despite Ukraine crisis
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Todd S. Purdum / Politico:
Why the Cold War isn't back  —  German Chancellor Angela Merkel's private analysis that Vladimir Putin is living “in another world” struck a chord because Russia's military incursion into Crimea does feel like a blast from the Cold War past of twilight struggle, eyeball-to-eyeball brinkmanship …
Discussion: Liberal Values
USA Today:
Hard drugs demand solid understanding: Column  —  Know heroin, combat Hoffman-like abuse.  —  Phillip Seymour Hoffman's death has prompted a lot of discussion about heroin in recent weeks.  Heroin statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) have fueled the debate, but they may be leading us astray.
Brian Tashman / Right Wing Watch:
Bachmann: ‘Our Movement At Its Core Is An Intellectual Movement’  —  Warning that the government is trying to appropriate the roles of the family and the church, Michele Bachmann told CPAC attendees today that the conservative movement must fight back because it is “at its core is an intellectual movement” …
Condoleezza Rice / Washington Post:
Will America heed the wake-up call of Ukraine?  —  Condoleezza Rice was secretary of state from 2005 to 2009.  —  “Meet Viktor Yanu­kovych, who is running for the presidency of Ukraine.”  Vladimir Putin and I were standing in his office at the presidential dacha in late 2004 …
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 More Items: 
Ben Judah / New York Times:
London's Laundry Business
Discussion: Guardian and The Dish
Mark Z. Barabak / Los Angeles Times:
Republicans question Iowa's key role in presidential balloting
Discussion: Booman Tribune
Busted in Nicaragua: ex-Rep. David Rivera's pal, Ana Alliegro, in FBI custody over campaign scheme
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
The Nation:
The Pentagon's Phony Budget Wars
Discussion: LewRockwell and Right Wing Watch
 Earlier Items: 
Woman's auto-payments hid her death for six years
Discussion: The Raw Story and HyperVocal
Erica Martinson / Politico:
EPA debunks one Bridgegate conspiracy
Discussion: Hot Air
Idaho Statesman:
Otter's career in film, as it were, is a cautionary tale