By Dustin Volz (@dnvolz)
TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Chris Christie held another combative news conference about Bridgegate to tout a new report clearing his name of the scandal, but doubts remain about the objectivity of the findings. Obama wants Putin to pull his troops back from the Ukraine border (the real ones, not the dolphins). Mike Rogers's surprise decision to not seek reelection has GOP lawmakers in House Intel already vying for the committee gavel. And Newt Gingrich has a plan to save the world from the imminent End of Days.
CHRIS CHRISTIE TALKS FOR A REALLY LONG TIME AGAIN: "In contrast to the apologetic figure who addressed reporters in December after news of the George Washington Bridge scandal broke, the governor who spoke to reporters Friday was assured and absolute. As the governor sees it, the 300-plus page report commissioned by his administration is the final word in the matter. And that final word is that he is innocent." (Berman/Resnick, NJ)
OBAMA TELLS PUTIN TO STAND DOWN: The president called on Russia to withdraw tens of thousands of troops now along the country's border with Ukraine. Officials are growing increasingly worried the forces could signal an attempt by Russia to annex more of its neighbor. (Ernesto Londono, WaPo)
MEANWHILE, CONGRESS FAILS TO ACT ON UKRAINE BILL: The president won't see any legislation on his desk until next week, as lawmakers intoned they were skittish to act swiftly after the heartburn experienced following a quick, sneaky voice vote Thursday on Medicare payments--the so-called doc fix. (Stacy Kaper, NJ)
WHO WILL REPLACE MIKE ROGERS?: The House Intelligence Committee chairman is heading to radio after this term, and already Peter King and Devin Nunes are lobbying to seize the gavel. Who else is going to come out of the woodwork? (Sara Sorcher, NJ)
THE WEEKEND IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Vice President Joe Biden will deliver the weekly presidential address for the first time ever, making the ritual potentially worth watching now. Obama returns from his overseas trip. Sens. Angus King and John Barrasso stop by Fox News Sunday, and Sen. Ron Wyden and Rick Santorum visit Meet the Press.
NEWT GINGRICH THINKS THE APOCALYPSE IS NIGH: But, thankfully, he has a plan to survive it. (Alex Brown, NJ)
MORE NEWT! ELECTIONS FAVOR BILLIONAIRES: And the only way to limit the influence of the Kochs and Sheldon Adelson is through campaign finance reform, so says the biggest benefactor of Adelson's limitless cash. (Billy House, NJ)
JOHN BOEHNER'S BEST USES OF PROFANITY: From "Hell no, you can't!" to "crap sandwich," the speaker's tenure has been marked by some memorable cursing. (Russell Berman, The Hill)
CALIFORNIA SENATE SUSPENDS THREE DEMOCRATS: By a vote of 28-1, the chamber suspended three lawmakers charged with or convicted of criminal wrongdoing in separate cases, a move further eroding the party's supermajority. (Laila Kearney, Reuters)
IS THE WATER SAFE?: A toxic chemical leak, a contaminated water supply, and a long wait for answers in West Virginia. (Marin Cogan, NJ)
HOW DID NO ONE NOTICE THEIR NEIGHBOR WAS DEAD SINCE 2009?: "Between those two moments—when she died and when her body was discovered—she was a kind of Schrödinger's cat, biologically dead but also, in a way, among the living, paying for her power and phone, the roof over her head." (Carmen Maria Machado, New Yorker)
TWITTER HAS A PLAN TO FIX ITSELF: And it's not about the money, which has, by all accounts, been better than expected. (John McDuling, Quartz)
LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 2 MINUTES: Russia's defense dolphins are having trouble learning how to shoot the pistols strapped to their heads. Ted Cruz thinks he is Winston Churchill, and squirrels hibernate so hard you can juggle them. (Mauro Whiteman, NJ)