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8:50 PM ET, March 16, 2014


 Top Items: 
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.
New York Times:
Pilot Spoke to Air Controllers After Shutoff of Data System  —  SEPANG, Malaysia — A signaling system was disabled on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet before a pilot spoke to Malaysian air traffic control without hinting at any trouble, a senior Malaysian official said Sunday …
Real news, real entertainment . . . in real time  —  MH370 picture exclusive: Pilot wears anti-government slogan t-shirt amid fears he hijacked missing jet
Robert Mendick / Telegraph:
Malaysia Airline MH370: 9/11-style terror allegations resurface in case of lost plane
Associated Press:
Crimeans overwhelmingly vote for secession  —  SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Fireworks exploded and Russian flags fluttered above jubilant crowds Sunday after residents in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.  The United States and Europe condemned the ballot …
Discussion: Mashable and neo-neocon
Ukraine crisis: Early results show Crimea votes to join Russia
Discussion: Liberaland and National Review
Burgess Everett / Politico:
U.S. rejects Crimea vote as invalid
Discussion: CNN
Crimeans Choose to Join Russia in Vote, Exit Poll Shows
Yahoo! News:
Crimea holds referendum to split from Ukraine
Washington Post:
Crimeans begin voting on Russia referendum
Hemant Mehta / Friendly Atheist:
Fred Phelps, Founder of the ‘God Hates Fags’ Westboro Baptist Church, is on the ‘Edge of Death’  —  You know Fred Phelps.  You loathe Fred Phelps.  You despise everything he stands for, like his family members' infamous protests at soldiers' funerals with their awful “God Hates Fags” signs.
Doyle Murphy / NY Daily News:
Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps Sr. ‘on the edge of death’  —  The anti-gay Kansas preacher who courted notoriety by picketing the funerals of gays and U.S. soldiers is living out his last days in a hospice care facility near his Topeka church.  —  Westboro Baptist Church member …
Ross Douthat / New York Times:
The Age of Individualism  —  IN the future, it seems, there will be only one “ism” — Individualism — and its rule will never end.  As for religion, it shall decline; as for marriage, it shall be postponed; as for ideologies, they shall be rejected; as for patriotism, it shall be abandoned; as for strangers, they shall be distrusted.
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
Maureen Dowd / New York Times:
Dems in Distress  —  WASHINGTON — Scott Brown, the Republican …
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
Maureen Dowd finds the lightning bug
Discussion: Althouse
Jack Pickell / Boston Globe:
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will not participate in South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade  —  Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has released a statement announcing he will not participate in the annual South Boston St. Patrick's Day parade: … Late Saturday night, Walsh tried in vain to reach …
Carole Cadwalladr / Guardian:
Scarlett Johansson interview: ‘I would way rather not have middle ground’  —  The star talks to Carole Cadwalladr about playing an alien in Under the Skin - Jonathan Glazer's low-budget sci-fi film set in Glasgow - and her role in the recent SodaStream controversy
Discussion: Israpundit and Israel Matzav
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
RNC Chair On Paul Ryan's Remarks: Dems Always Waiting To ‘Pounce’ (VIDEO)  —  This post has been updated.  —  Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Sunday addressed the controversy over Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) remarks about a “culture problem” in inner cities of men not wanting to work.
Discussion: Hinterland Gazette and Hullabaloo
Jonathan Topaz / Politico:
RNC chair: Obamacare ‘main target’
Discussion: CNN and DNC Rapid Response
Andrew O'Hehir / Salon:
How did Irish-Americans get so disgusting?  —  When the Provisional Irish Republican Army agreed to end its paramilitary insurgency (and/or terrorist campaign) against British rule in Northern Ireland with the Good Friday accords of 1998, it was unambiguously a good thing for the people of Ireland and their British next-door neighbors.
Michael Hiltzik / Los Angeles Times:
Abby Huntsman wants to lead her own generation into poverty  —  Abby Huntsman on Social Security: New generation, same old lies.  —  Abby Huntsman is really, really upset about Social Security.  We know this because the television presenter, a daughter of former GOP Presidential contender Jon Huntsman …
Discussion: The Huffington Post
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 More Items: 
Lauren McGaughy / New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Louisiana sues over Bobby Jindal billboard
Laura Hancock / Casper Star-Tribune:
‘The Death Sentence of AIDS:’ Newly minted Wyoming lawmaker stands by controversial book
Discussion: The Raw Story and Booman Tribune
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
McCain Compares Russia To A Gas Station
Inside Politics: The Political Forecast: More Democrats to retire this week
Discussion: RedState
Associated Press:
Karzai says Afghanistan doesn't need U.S. troops to stay past end of year
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Cuomo / CNN:
CNN Poll: Rand Paul goes where his father never went
Discussion: Politico, OnPolitics and Scared Monkeys
Christopher Clark / Spiegel Online:
What History Teaches Us About the Ukraine Crisis
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
Tyler Cowen / Associated Press:
Crimea Through a Game-Theory Lens
American Prospect:
Piketty's Triumph  —  Three expert takes on Capital in the Twenty …