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5:55 PM ET, March 20, 2014


 Top Items: 
Fred Kaplan / Slate:
How to Stop Putin in His Tracks  —  He knows he's weak.  The West must show we know it, too.  —  Is the crisis in Ukraine almost over or just beginning?  The answer depends on what Vladimir Putin really wants and what the West does next.  —  Fred Kaplan  —  FRED KAPLAN
Alexey A. Navalny / New York Times:
How to Punish Putin  —  MOSCOW — AS I write this, I am under house arrest.  I was detained at a rally in support of anti-Putin protesters who were jailed last month.  —  In September, I ran for mayor of Moscow as a pro-reform, pro-democracy opposition candidate and received almost a third …
Miriam Elder / BuzzFeed:
The New U.S. Sanctions Against Russia Are For Real  —  You may not have heard of them — but the new targets are Putin's actual inner circle.  —  The head of state-run monopoly Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin addresses a Franco-Russian Economic Forum on Nov. 28, 2013.  —  ERIC PIERMONT/AFP / Getty Images
U.S. Department of the Treasury:
Resource Center  —  Home » Resource Center » Financial Sanctions » OFAC Recent Actions » Ukraine-related Designations  —  Ukraine-related Designations  —  OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL  —  Specially Designated Nationals List Update The following individuals have been added to OFAC's SDN List:
Mark Landler / New York Times:
U.S. and Russia Swap Sanctions Tit for Tat Over Crimean Crisis
Discussion: Fox News, Fortune and Daily Kos
Associated Press:
EU targets Putin's inner circle, scraps summit
Discussion: Wall Street Journal, RT and OnPolitics
Daniel Henninger / Wall Street Journal:
Henninger: American Fatigue Syndrome
Discussion: alicublog, Fox News and Betsy's Page
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
Reporter: WH Press Secretary Gets Questions from Reporters Before Press Briefing  —  A CBS reporter from Arizona reveals that President Obama's press secretary, Jay Carney, receives questions from the press in advance of his daily press briefing.  In fact, she says, the reporters often receive …
Tom Kludt / Talking Points Memo:
News Anchor Retracts Claim That Jay Carney Gets Questions In Advance  —  Phoenix news anchor Catherine Anaya acknowledged on Thursday that she didn't have things quite right earlier this week when she said White House press secretary Jay Carney gets questions in advance from reporters.
Discussion: Daily Mail and The Week
Evan McMorris-Santoro / BuzzFeed:
Local Reporter: Story That Carney Gets Questions In Advance Was “My Mistake”
KPHO-TV:   Catherine Anaya  —  Three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist …
Sam Stein / The Huffington Post:
Scott Brown Awkwardly Finds Out That Obamacare Is Also Helping Republicans  —  Obamacare Saves Money Scott Brown Obamacare Obamacare New Hampshire Scott Brown Herb Richardson Chris Brown Obamacare Savings Fergus Cullen Affordable Care Act Barack Obama Scott Brown Obamacare Scott Brown Republicans …
Discussion: ThinkProgress, ABC News and Daily Kos
Dylan Scott / Talking Points Memo:
Scott Brown Confounded By Republican Who Benefitted From Obamacare  —  It seems Scott Brown, the once (and future?)  U.S. senator, didn't have an answer when confronted with one of his fellow Republicans who has benefitted from Obamacare.  —  The Huffington Post flagged the Wednesday story from the Coos County Democrat.
Discussion: PoliticusUSA
Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo:
Children Confirm Fred Phelps Dead At 84  —  Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps died before midnight Wednesday at age 84, his children Tim Phelps and Shirley Phelps-Roper confirmed to Kansas news outlets.  —  Phelps's estranged son Nate had announced last weekend that the church founder …
David G. Savage / Los Angeles Times:
Supreme Court faces wave of free-speech cases from conservatives  —  Once embraced by liberals, 1st Amendment arguments are now being applied to contest campaign contribution limits, union dues and no-protest zones at abortion clinics.  —  Antiabortion demonstrators protest in Washington.
Discussion: Hit & Run
Sahil Kapur / Talking Points Memo:
Everything You Need To Know About The Supreme Court Taking On Birth Control
Discussion: NBC News, The Plum Line and Liberaland
New York Post:
Teen sneaks past guard to reach WTC spire  —  A New Jersey teen captivated by 1 World Trade Center sneaked out of his home in the dead of night, got past the wall of security — and a sleeping guard — making it all the way up to the spire, The Post has learned.
Leslie Patton / Bloomberg:
Starbucks to Bring Alcohol Sales to Thousands of Stores  —  Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) is going big on booze.  —  Starbucks will expand its evening alcohol and light bites menu, which includes bacon-wrapped dates and Malbec wine, to thousands of stores, Chief Operating Officer Troy Alstead said in a phone interview.
Jonathan Oosting /
Right to Life: Gary Peters ‘wants to make sure abortion is accessible and cheap for his daughters’  —  Students from Michigan State University and Lansing Community College protest the state's new abortion insurance law outside of the state Capitol on Tuesday, March 18.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Daily Kos
Lawmaker Accused Of Opposing Michigan's Rape Insurance Law To Keep Abortion ‘Cheap For His Daughters’
Discussion: and Shakesville
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
CNN's Don Lemon: ‘Is It Preposterous’ to Think a Black Hole Caused Flight 370 to Go Missing?  —  CNN's Don Lemon has been entertaining all sorts of theories about the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, including the chance something “supernatural” happened, but on Wednesday night …
Andrew Kaczynski / BuzzFeed:
This Video Of Rep. John Lewis Dancing To “Happy” Is The Best Thing You Will See Today  —  A video uploaded late Wednesday night shows Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, dancing to Pharrell's “Happy.”  A spokesman for the congressman didn't immediately return a request …
Brookings Institute:
Are the Long-Term Unemployed on the Margins of the Labor Market?  —  ABSTRACT  —  The short-term unemployment rate is a much stronger predictor of inflation and real wage growth than the overall unemployment rate in the U.S. Even in good times, the long-term unemployed are on the margins …
The biggest lease holder in Canada's oil sands isn't Exxon Mobil or Chevron.  It's the Koch brothers.  —  David Koch, executive vice president of Koch Industries (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)  —  You might expect the biggest lease owner in Canada's oil sands, or tar sands …
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Daily Kos
Kos Folds Up the Big Tent  —  If Markos Moulitsas had his way there'd be no Affordable Care Act, no Dodd-Frank, no economic stimulus package.  That's the price when purity tests are applied to Democrats.  —  In a remarkable post yesterday, Moulitsas, founder and publisher …
Tal Kopan / Politico:
Cory Booker: My dinner with Ted Cruz  —  Sen. Cory Booker said Thursday that when he met last week with Republican firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz for dinner, they had a “great intellectual discussion” and “no filibusters.”  —  The New Jersey Democrat said he's trying to work with Republicans …
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
ACA at Age 4: More Disapproval than Approval  —  But Most Opponents Want Politicians to Make Law Work  —  As the four-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act approaches, the law remains unpopular with the public.  Currently, 53% disapprove of the 2010 health care law while 41% approve of the law.
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 More Items: 
Noah Berlatsky / The Atlantic Online:
Students Who Do Sex Work
Discussion: Chicago Boyz
Richard A. Oppel Jr / New York Times:
General Is Reprimanded, but Spared Jail, in Misconduct Case
Discussion: Feministing
Cameron Joseph / The Hill:
Kingston touts penny-pinching in new ad
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
At town hall, Christie talks bridge scandal, pot and missing plane
Discussion: Politico
Erica Fink /
This drone can steal what's on your phone
Discussion: ThinkProgress and The Daily Caller
Sarah Jaffe / Washington Post:
Journalists' and activists' strange approach to low-wage workers
Discussion: Lawyers, Guns & Money
Dylan Byers / Politico:
‘Meet The Press’ finishes distant third
 Earlier Items: 
Daniel Strauss / Talking Points Memo:
Rahm Emanuel Says D.C. Is Denying Oxygen To Chuck Todd's Brain
Discussion: Mediaite
Michael S. Teitelbaum / The Atlantic Online:
The Myth of the Science and Engineering Shortage
Discussion: Daily Kos and The Glittering Eye
Jim Jordan / Wall Street Journal:
A Special Prosecutor for the IRS