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9:30 PM ET, March 18, 2014


 Top Items: 
Chris Goodfellow / Wired:
A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet  —  There has been a lot of speculation about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  Terrorism, hijacking, meteors.  I cannot believe the analysis on CNN; it's almost disturbing.  I tend to look for a simpler explanation …
The rich strike back  —  NEW YORK — Just a few months ago, it looked like 2014 would be the year of the populist, with Democrats running on economic inequality, tea party Republicans bashing banks and newly minted New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledging to soak the rich with higher taxes.
Washington Post:
NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls  —  The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country's telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month …
Mitt Romney / Wall Street Journal:
Romney: The Price of Failed Leadership  —  The President's failure to act when action was possible has diminished respect for the U.S. and made troubles worse.
Marian Burros / New York Times:
White House's Top Pastry Chef to Leave Post  —  WASHINGTON — The first lady, Michelle Obama, is soon to lose her executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses.  And she is partly to blame.  —  She has piqued his interest in the relationship between food and health, he said in a recent telephone interview …
Obama selects replacement for departing top aide
Discussion: Politico
Ron Paul / USA Today:
Crimea secedes.  So what?  —  Residents of Crimea voted over the weekend on whether they would remain an autonomous region of Ukraine or join the Russian Federation.  In so doing, they joined a number of countries and regions — including recently Scotland, Catalonia and Venice …
New York Times:
Defying West, Putin Signs Treaty to Annex Crimea
James Hamblin / The Atlantic Online:
The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains  —  Leading scientists recently identified a dozen chemicals as being responsible for widespread behavioral and cognitive problems.  But the scope of the chemical dangers in our environment is likely even greater.  Why children and the poor are most susceptible …
Discussion: Prairie Weather
Erin O'Neill / New Jersey Online:
Chris Christie town hall disrupted by protesters again  —  SOUTH RIVER — A group of Rutgers University students, as well as union representatives, were kicked out of a town hall meeting with Gov. Chris Christie today.  —  The group rose up in unison after Christie finished answering …
Christie faces pushback; defends conservative credentials
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and OnPolitics
Garrett Epps / The Atlantic Online:
Don't Tell Ruth Ginsburg to Retire  —  If Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had followed advice from male law professors like me, she would probably not be where she is today.  —  Her entire career has involved defying expectations and forcing her way into places where she did not “belong” …
Adam Winkler / Slate:
And that's why Hobby Lobby should lose at the Supreme Court.
KOMO News:
2 killed as KOMO News helicopter crashes near Space Needle  —  SEATTLE - Two people were killed and one was critically injured when the KOMO News helicopter crashed and burst into flames Tuesday morning on Broad Street only yards away from the Space Needle.  —  Emergency personnel immediately rushed …
Daniel Strauss / Talking Points Memo:
RNC Chair: ‘Tsunami’ Election Coming, Especially In The Senate  —  The way Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus sees it, 2014 won't be an average election for the party out of power.  It'll be a “tsunami” wave election.  —  At a Christian Science Monitor Breakfast …
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Reince Priebus predicts 2014 GOP ‘tsunami’
Discussion: Mediaite, CNN and Hot Air
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
Texas GOP Chief Tells Women To Become ‘Better Negotiators’ Instead Of Suing Over Pay  —  Texas Gop Equal Pay Greg Abbott Fair Pay Video Texas Gop Fair Pay Beth Cubriel Equal Pay Greb Abbott Equal Pay Politics News  —  The day after the head of a Texas GOP women's PAC flubbed her answer on equal pay …
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Raw Story
Sally Kohn / The Daily Beast:
Wendy Davis Is One Step Closer To Turning Texas Purple
Laura Bassett / The Huffington Post:
GOP Lawmaker Says Sick Leave, Equal Pay Bills Make Women ‘Look Like Whiners’  —  Minnesota Women Whiners Minnesota Whiners Andrea Keiffer Whiners Minnesota Womens Economic Security Act Politics News  —  A package of bills in Minnesota that would enhance women's economic security by raising the minimum wage …
Discussion: Liberaland and Talking Points Memo
Jonathan Easley / The Hill:
Obama to Hispanics: We won't deport relatives because you enroll in ObamaCare  —  President Obama on Tuesday sought to assure legal immigrants that they can sign up for ObamaCare without worrying that “the immigration people” will come for family members who are in the country illegally.
Discussion: Mediaite
William K. Rashbaum / New York Times:
U.S. Prosecutors in New Jersey Sought Port Authority Records on Bridge Contracts  —  Federal prosecutors in New Jersey subpoenaed records last week relating to potential conflicts of interest involving the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey chairman, David Samson …
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Olga Khazan / The Atlantic Online:
Do Moms Who Work Less Have Healthier Babies?  —  Pregnant women and their newborns tend to be healthier when the economy is worse, a new study shows.  Why?  —  Imagine you lived in Barcelona and lost your job, like thousands of Spaniards did each year of the most recent recession.
Discussion: Clayton Cramer
Peter Beinart / The Atlantic Online:
America Is Too Broke to Rescue Ukraine  —  The real contest between Russia and the West involves economics, not military might.  —  If only America were fighting more wars, Russia would never have taken Crimea.  That's basically the argument John McCain made last Friday in The New York Times.
Political Insider blog:
Paul Broun spends $33k in office cash on rhetoric coach  —  U.S. Rep. Paul Broun has spent $33,000 of his congressional office budget over the last two years on a specialist in rhetorical skills, according to the above clip from Justin Gray of Channel 2 Action News.  —  The video focuses on the expenditure of taxpayer dollars.
James Surowiecki / New Yorker:
PUTIN'S POWER PLAY  —  Vladimir Putin, in his campaign to restore Russian dominance over post-Soviet states, has an unconventional weapon in his arsenal: vast supplies of natural gas.  In 2006 and 2009, Gazprom, the Russian gas company, cut off supplies to Ukraine (the second time, this created shortages in Europe, too).
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 More Items: 
Megan McArdle / Bloomberg View:
Young Invincibles Are Killing Obamacare
Discussion: AEIdeas and
Katie Fretland / The Colorado Independent:
Oklahoma scramble to find lethal injections prompts delay in two executions
Discussion: TalkLeft and Mediaite
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
Nancy Pelosi Admits That Congress Is Scared Of The CIA
Brandon Keim / Wired:
Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It
Anne Barnard / New York Times:
Three Years of Strife and Cruelty Put Syria in Free Fall
Discussion: Business Insider
Byron Tau / Politico:
Oprah to raise money for Virginia Democrat Lavern Chatman
Discussion: CNN
 Earlier Items: 
Philip Ewing / Politico:
Report: Navy Yard shooting preventable
Discussion: National Review
Josh Gerstein / Politico:
Feds confirm Bush-era e-mail surveillance
James Fallows / The Atlantic Online:
Are Transponders the Main Problem? In a Word, No
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Colorado Senate Close, Hickenlooper grows lead
Discussion: Daily Kos and Weekly Standard
Kyle Mantyla / Right Wing Watch:
Fischer: God Hasn't Struck Down Bill Maher In Order To Give Him A Chance To Repent