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First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day.

OBAMA AGENDA: Marking Trayvon Martin’s death

The president on Thursday marked the third anniversary of Trayvon Martin's death, saying that on the day, "showing all of our kids -- all of them -- every single day, that their lives matter -- that's part of our task."

The AP on Israeli-American relations: "At home, Netanyahu is being accused of cynically turning the speech into a campaign stop ahead of March 17 elections, insisting on confronting Obama to distract from scandals and domestic issues dogging his re-election bid. The uproar has even pushed aside debate over his key argument that Iran's nuclear weapons-making capabilities will be left largely intact. The Israeli media and political opponents have lambasted the decision to flout the White House, and even some allies who support Netanyahu's message have criticized the approach."

The New York Times checks in with David Petraeus. "Today, General Petraeus is Citizen Petraeus, a new partner in KKR & Company, a New York private equity firm. Last month he was back in Kazakhstan, this time courting the business elite at Nazarbayev University, founded by the Kazakh leader."

CONGRESS: Racing against the clock

Playing catchup on the DHS funding fight? Here's all the latest.

More, from the Washington Post: "Facing a Friday-night-into-Saturday-morning shutdown deadline, the plan might ultimately win support from lawmakers in both parties on Friday. But its passage would only continue a standoff between the House and the Senate over longer-term DHS funding. Separately, the Senate was moving toward a final vote on a funding bill that would not go after Obama’s immigration directives."

The AP notes: "Numerous House Republicans say it's preferable to let the Homeland Security Department go unfunded for a few days, at least, if that's the cost of undoing a White House immigration policy they consider unlawful. These lawmakers say the impact on national security would be minimal, as would the political risks."

Pot politics: "Some Congressional Republicans said Thursday that they would increase their efforts to prevent residents here from possessing small amounts of marijuana, which became legal in Washington at midnight, and warned that the city would face numerous investigations and hearings should the mayor continue her practice of telling them to please find something else to worry about," writes the New York Times

So this happened: "Sen Jim Inhofe (R-OK), a staunch opponent of claims that humans have contributed to climate change, took to the Senate floor Thursday to make his case -- by holding a snowball."


Miss yesterday's festivities? Here's our wrap of the day at CPAC (with plenty more to come today!)

And we put together some of the best video moments from Thursday's speakers.

Here’s McClatchy’s take on CPAC: “Republican potential presidential candidates seemed torn Thursday: Would they get more accolades from conservatives by bashing President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush?

The New York Times notes that the format changes at CPAC are forcing candidates to answer more specific policy questions.

NBC's Leigh Ann Caldwell writes that Walker and Christie's approaches to unions were both tested Thursday at CPAC.

BUSH: In a speech to the Club for Growth, Jeb Bush "backed a set of education standards known as Common Core and touted the economic benefits of increased immigration, restating his belief that immigrants in the country illegally should eventually be granted some form of legal status," writes the Wall Street Journal.

Buzzfeed: “When Bush officially launches his presidential bid later this year, he will likely do so with a campaign manager who has urged the Republican Party to adopt a pro-gay agenda; a chief strategist who signed a Supreme Court amicus brief arguing for marriage equality in California; a longtime adviser who once encouraged her minister to stick to his guns in preaching equality for same-sex couples; and a communications director who is openly gay.”

PERRY: MSNBC's Kasie Hunt talked to Rick Perry about Scott Walker's comparison of his fight against unions to his ability to fight ISIS. "These are Americans," Perry said. "You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship between them and the unions is inappropriate."

RUBIO: The Hill writes that Marco Rubio has the most to gain or lose from CPAC.

WALKER: A Walker spokesman, on his comments re: ISIS and union protesters: "Governor Walker believes our fight against ISIS is one of the most important issues our country faces. He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS. What the governor was saying was when faced with adversity he chooses strength and leadership. Those are the qualities we need to fix the leadership void this White House has created."

He's headed to Germany, Spain and France in April.


*** Friday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) about funding the Department of Homeland Security, Democratic Strategist Robert Zimmerman and Republican Strategist John Feehery about CPAC, NBC News reporter Tracy Connor about her story on former NFL star Kermit Alexander, actress Cynthia Nixon about her directorial debut for the play “Rasheeda Speaks”, and “The Dog Whisperer” Cesar Milan about his new show on NAT GEO Wild: “Cesar 911” .

*** Friday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Kristen Welker will interview Rep. Luis Gutierrez, “Meet the Press” Moderator Chuck Todd, Re/code Co-Executive Editor Kara Swisher, MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, Bloomberg Editor Jeanne Cummings, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell, Luke Russert and Richard Engel and the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza.