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Netanyahu & Obama Showdown on Iran After AIPAC, Why Putin Won the Russian Election, and What You Need to Read Today

Today's Word – The stakes are high as President Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the White House today to discuss containing Iran. The Jerusalem Post calls this meeting the most important since the two leaders took office. Obama previewed his message with an appeal for patience during his speech at AIPAC on Sunday, in which he argued the world should give sanctions time to work before launching military strikes against Iran. Still, he took a hard-line on Iran when addressing the pro-Israel audience, saying, "When it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say." In response, Occupy activists have now turned their attention to foreign policy. In the central DC square outside AIPAC, they have constructed mock-checkpoints and wear pink IDF uniforms with plastic guns. Peace activists are using the "Occupy" brand to draw a connection between economic inequality in America and military spending abroad. See more here.

Expert of the Day – Christine Harbin says despite billions in government subsidies, the Chevy Volt has failed to meet expectations. That means that each Volt sold to date has cost taxpayers $250,000 to produce. When the government picks winners and losers in the market, it almost always picks losers. Follow her on Twitter @idiosynchrissy.

Top Stories Americans Elect, POPVOX, and 8 Political Startups to Watch at SXSW (Hudson Baird) – South by Southwest is the most-hyped music, film, and tech conference of the year held in Austin, Texas. This year's conference (March 9-18) will showcase some of the coolest, hippest political start-ups around.

Austin SXSW

Blunt Amendment Showdown Highlights Need to End Employer-Based Health Care Plans
(Akil Alleyne) – The government should phase out the current employer-based health care system gradually and empower Americans to purchase their own private health insurance directly in competitive markets.

Chris Christie and Republicans Use Religion to Oppose Marriage Equality and Gay Rights
(Jeffrey Hartinger) – Recent successes in Washington and Maryland show that America may be at a turning point for marriage equality, but politicians like Chris Christie still use religion to condone anti-LGBT actions.

5 Barack Obama Spotify Songs for the 2012 Campaign (and Mitt Romney's Response) (Alex Marin) – Here are the top five Spotify songs that best reflect President Obama's message of economic inequality and social justice, as well as Mitt Romney's rich response. Yes, Ricky Martin made the list.

Today's Fun Links – 27 reasons why Vladimir Putin definitely won the presidential election (BuzzFeed); Incredible photos from the Smithsonian's annual photo contest (The Atlantic); How public art can change the world (Artroots).

Putin

What We’re Reading – Rush Limbaugh isn't the only media misogynist (The Daily Beast); Foreign policy could cost Obama the election (Newsweek); Koch Brothers sue the Cato Institute in ownership dispute (NY Times); Inside the bully economy (Salon); The incomplete media debate about Iran (Glenn Greenwald).

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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