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11:25 AM ET, March 16, 2014


 Top Items: 
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Dems in Distress  —  WASHINGTON — Scott Brown, the Republican who admitted he wore pink leather shorts on his first date with his wife-to-be, is back.  —  And Democrats are scared to death.  —  It's not that Democrats are particularly scared that the 54-year-old former Massachusetts senator …
New York Times:
Obama Factor Adds to Fears of Democrats  —  WASHINGTON — Democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed about their midterm election fortunes amid President Obama's sinking approval ratings, a loss in a special House election in Florida last week, and millions of dollars spent by Republican-aligned groups attacking the new health law.
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
Scott Brown fires up Senate fight  —  Scott Brown's decision to explore a Senate run in New Hampshire has implications beyond just the borders of the Granite State.  —  The former Massachusetts senator's decision not only gives Republicans their best shot at taking down Sen. Jeanne Shaheen …
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
Maureen Dowd finds the lightning bug
Discussion: Althouse
Daily Mail:
Doomed airliner pilot was political fanatic: Hours before taking control of flight MH370 he attended trial of jailed opposition leader as FBI reveal passengers could be at a secret location  —  Police are investigating the possibility that the pilot of missing Flight MH370 hijacked his own aircraft in a bizarre political protest.
Robert Mendick / Telegraph:
Malaysia Airline MH370: 9/11-style terror allegations resurface in case of lost plane  —  Possible plot investigated after Al-Qaeda supergrass told court that four or five Malaysian men planned a passenger airliner hijack  —  By Robert Mendick, Robert Verkaik in London, Dean Nelson in Kuala Lumpur and Malcolm Moore in Beijing
Discussion: Jihad Watch
Yahoo! News:
Crimea holds referendum to split from Ukraine  —  Simferopol (Ukraine) (AFP) - Crimeans took to the polls on Sunday for a referendum on breaking away from Ukraine to join Russia that has precipitated a Cold War-style security crisis on Europe's eastern frontier.
Washington Post:
Crimeans begin voting on Russia referendum
Washington Post:
Tensions mount as Crimea prepares for referendum
Discussion: Washington Monthly and The Week
Associated Press:
Karzai says Afghanistan doesn't need U.S. troops to stay past end of year  —  KABUL — In his final address to Afghanistan's parliament Saturday, President Hamid Karzai said U.S. soldiers can leave at the end of the year because his military already protects 93 percent of the country and was ready to take over entirely.
Discussion: Washington Monthly
Andrew Lynch /
California gun store owner refuses to give ATF his customer list  —  OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KSWB) — The owner of an Oceanside store that sells various gun parts to build a rifle from scratch refused to turn over his customer list when he was raided by federal agents Wednesday.
Christopher Clark / Spiegel Online:
What History Teaches Us About the Ukraine Crisis  —  On the 100th anniversary of World War I, it is tempting to compare events in Ukraine to 1914.  But the current crisis bears little resemblance to the geopolitical situation of the time.  The answers history provides are anything but singular and absolute.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Andrew Cuomo / CNN:
CNN Poll: Rand Paul goes where his father never went  —  Washington (CNN) - Rand Paul has done something his father never did - top the list of potential Republican presidential candidates in a national poll.  —  According to a new CNN/ORC International survey, 16% of Republicans and independents …
Discussion: OnPolitics
American Prospect:
Piketty's Triumph  —  Three expert takes on Capital in the Twenty-First Century, French economist Thomas Piketty's data-driven magnum opus on inequality.  —  Jacob Hacker, Paul Pierson, Heather Boushey, Branko Milanovic  —  In the 1990s, two young French economists then affiliated …
Inside Politics: The Political Forecast: More Democrats to retire this week  —  CNN's John King and other top political reporters empty out their notebooks each Sunday on “Inside Politics” to reveal five things that will be in the headlines in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Discussion: RedState
Tyler Cowen / Associated Press:
Crimea Through a Game-Theory Lens  —  A Russian occupation of Crimea raises the specter of the Cold War, in which the nuclear stalemate between the United States and the Soviet Union devolved into regional disputes around the world.  —  While military and political frictions made the biggest headlines …
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 More Items: 
Oliver Bullough / The New Republic:
Sleepless in Simferopol  —  No one knows what Putin will do after Sunday's election.
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Why millennials have abandoned Obama
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Cathleen Decker / Los Angeles Times:
In old memo, a glimpse of conflict ahead for Hillary Clinton?
 Earlier Items: 
Tom Kertscher / PolitiFact:
In Context: Were Paul Ryan's poverty comments a ‘thinly veiled racial attack’?
Jeremy W. Peters / New York Times:
Senate Balks at Obama Pick for Surgeon General
Bari Weiss / Wall Street Journal:
Thank You for Smoking—Marijuana