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2:50 PM ET, March 19, 2014


 Top Items: 
Elise Viebeck / The Hill:
O-Care premiums to skyrocket  —  Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration.  —  The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs.
President Obama's Final 4 revealed  —  President Barack Obama, the nation's first basketball fan, took marker to bracket with ESPN again at the White House and selected defending tournament champion Louisville, No. 1 overall seed Florida, top seed Arizona and Michigan State to advance to this year's NCAA men's Final Four.
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Obama reveals Final Four bracket picks
Discussion: Althouse
New York Times:
Malaysia Turns to F.B.I. for Help in Plane Inquiry  —  SEPANG, Malaysia — The Malaysian authorities say some data was deleted from the flight simulator that one of the pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet had built in his home, and they have turned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation …
Jeff Wise / Slate:
A “Startlingly Simple Theory” About the Missing Airliner is Sweeping the Internet.  It's Wrong.  —  Chris Goodfellow doesn't have much patience for the uncertainty concerning Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.  The instrument-rated Florida pilot found the theories and countertheories mooted on outlets like CNN “almost disturbing.”
Kiley Kroh / ThinkProgress:
Nate Silver's New Science Writer Ignores The Data On Climate Science  —  Nate Silver's highly anticipated data-driven news site FiveThirtyEight launched on Monday, with a controversial figure covering science issues.  Silver has brought on Roger Pielke, Jr., a professor of environmental studies …
David Corn / Mother Jones:
Hillary Insiders Say They Won't Work for Her If She Hires This Man  —  “I would do anything for Hillary.  Except work with Mark Penn.”  —  UPPA/ZUMA  —  In recent weeks, I've talked to several Washington politicos close to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and when I've asked …
Discussion: Balloon Juice
Steven Nelson / U.S. News:
National Geographic Plans to Show Crimea as Part of Russia on Maps  —  Top mapmakers split on recognizing Crimea as part of Russia.  —  A map showing Crimea as part of the Russian Federation was briefly showcased Tuesday on Wikipedia's English-language entry for Russia.  (CC-GNU-FDL-1.2)
James Carville / The Hill:
Throw the lead to November  —  In early February this year, I wrote a column for The Hill in which I tried to talk Democrats off the cliff.  I warned them against having such a gloomy outlook for November.  To tell you the truth, though, when I saw the result from the Florida special election last Tuesday …
Sean Sullivan / The Fix:
The four biggest takeaways from the Illinois primaries  —  Illinois voters went to the polls Tuesday to pick nominees for federal and state races, several of which will be among the most hotly contested in the country this fall.  —  Here's what stood out most about the results:
Caitlin MacNeal / Talking Points Memo:
Georgia Senate Passes Bill To Allow Guns In Churches  —  The Georgia Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that will let church leaders allow guns in their churches, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  —  The Senate pared back the House version of the legislation …
Detroit Free Press:
Pay it forward: Plan would allow Michigan students to attend college for ‘free’  —  The latest, greatest idea for making a college education affordable sounds simple enough — students can attend school for free.  —  But there's a catch.  —  In return for free tuition …
Discussion: The Raw Story and The Week
Datelines from Crimea  —  We've been asked whether, with the Russian takeover of Crimea, we will change our style for datelines from Crimean cities.  —  Previously, we wrote “SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP).”  But Ukraine no longer controls Crimea, and AP datelines should reflect the facts on the ground.
Leon Wieseltier / The New Republic:
The Emptiness of Data Journalism  —  Nate Silver could learn a lot from those op-ed columnists he maligns  —  I wish to say a word or two in defense of “bulls**t.”  That is Nate Silver's meticulously chosen term—he does nothing imprecisely—for opinion journalism.
Judd Legum / ThinkProgress:
7-11 Clerk Says She Was Fired For Giving Freezing Homeless Man A $1 Cup Of Coffee  —  Ava Lins, a 19-year-old clerk at 7-11, started making small talk with a homeless man who came into the store last Thursday night.  He told her that the homeless shelter was full and he didn't know where he was going to sleep.
Discussion: WCVB Channel 5 and MyFoxBoston
Carlotta Gall / New York Times:
What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden  —  Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, I went to live and report for The New York Times in Afghanistan.  I would spend most of the next 12 years there, following the overthrow of the Taliban, feeling the excitement of the freedom and prosperity that was promised …
Megan Garber / The Atlantic Online:
The Secret Lives of Inner-City Black Males  —  Paul Ryan's explanation for urban poverty isn't much different from Barack Obama's.  Why did it make liberals so angry?  —  On Sunday, I took my son to see two movies at a French film festival that was in town.  The local train was out.
Razshafer / RedState:
It's Time to Draft Ted Cruz for President  —  When Republicans run for the White House as conservatives, we win.  When they run as moderates, we lose.  Yet every four years, the party bosses and political consultants tell us that conservatives are unelectable and that we must support their big-government candidates.
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
‘Morning Joe’ Host Says He Won't Run in 2016, but He Leaves Door Ajar  —  WASHINGTON — Joe Scarborough is running a campaign.  It may be a campaign to change the Republican Party, to sell a book or perhaps to enhance his reputation.  —  But not, he insists, a campaign for president.
Kevin Bogardus / The Hill:
Union frustration adds to Dems' woes  —  An angry and deflated union base is adding to the midterm woes for congressional Democrats.  —  Parts of the labor coalition are fed up with the White House over ObamaCare and the delayed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and they are making clear …
Kane shut down sting that snared Phila. officials  —  The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office ran an undercover sting operation over three years that captured leading Philadelphia Democrats, including four members of the city's state House delegation, on tape accepting money, The Inquirer has learned.
Harold Meyerson /
How to Raise Americans' Wages  —  Eight proposals to jump-start the incomes of workers.  —  Once upon a time in a faraway land—the United States following World War II—workers reaped what they sowed.  From 1947 through 1973, their income rose in lockstep with increases in productivity.
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 More Items: 
Eugene Volokh / Washington Post:
Public housing tenants have a right to bear arms, even in common areas
Discussion: National Review
Josh Eidelson / Salon:
How New York could crack down on fast food's corporate crime wave
Mark Tapscott / Washington Examiner:
‘Most transparent’ White House ever rewrote the FOIA to suppress politically sensitive docs
Discussion: Hot Air
Colin Campbell / Politicker:
Rangel Questions Why Obama Thought He Could Work With ‘Mean, Racist’ Tea Party
 Earlier Items: 
Alexandra Jaffe / The Hill:
McConnell fundraiser: Wives have ‘obligation’ to sleep with husbands
Discussion: Daily Kos and PoliticusUSA
Ashley Killough / CNN:
Libertarian-leaning Paul heads to liberal-leaning campus
Discussion: Politico
L. Gordon Crovitz / Wall Street Journal:
America's Internet Surrender
Discussion: The Glittering Eye and Lawfare
Timothy Cama / The Hill:
Greens pressure Obama to reject expansion of natural gas exports
Discussion: Hot Air
Bob McManus / New York Post:
Cuomo's grasp of public opinion leaves de Blasio looking dumb
Discussion: Politicker