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The Edge

Obama Jeans and the Best Job in Politics—THE EDGE Brought to you by the National Retail Federation

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.S. and Russia are still far away from agreeing on Crimea's right to secede from Ukraine. House Republicans are taking a poll to see how much support there is for Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan. Ryan plans to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus about his remarks on inner-city men "not even thinking about working." The missing Malaysian airliner seems to have been deliberately flown off course for several hours, heading west toward the Middle East or Europe. And despite all of Detroit's problems, or maybe because of them, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan might have one of America's best political jobs.


HOUSE REPUBLICANS GAUGING SUPPORT FOR RYAN'S BUDGET: Party leaders are polling to measure support for Budget Committee chairman's budget, which would propose deeper spending cuts starting after 2015. The party has not yet made a decision on whether to advance a budget this year. (Wasson/Berman, The Hill)


RYAN TO MEET WITH BLACK CAUCUS OVER POVERTY COMMENTS: Ryan had spoken about a "tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working, and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work." He later admitted his comments were "inarticulate"; Rep. Barbara Lee called them a "thinly veiled racial attack." (Elahe Izadi, NJ)

HHS: INSURANCE COMPANIES CAN'T DENY SAME-SEX COUPLES. Same-sex couples who buy health insurance plans individually rather than getting coverage through an employer must be treated the same as opposite-sex couples, the department clarified. "This will further enhance access to health care for all Americans, including those with same-sex spouses," HHS said. (Sam Baker, NJ)

LAVROV: U.S., RUSSIA HAVE NO 'COMMON VISION' ON CRIMEA. Secretary of State John Kerry's talks with Russia's foreign minister haven't gone far. While Lavrov said the country will not invade Crimea, he said Russia still recognizes the region's right to hold a referendum on whether to leave Ukraine, and he wouldn't say how Russia would react if voters there approve secession. (Gearan/Lally, WaPo)

MISSING FLIGHT DELIBERATELY FLOWN OFF COURSE: Malaysian Flight MH370 was purposefully diverted from its planned flight path, according to military radar data. Sources say the flight seems to have been following navigational waypoints normally used for flights to the Middle East or Europe, suggesting either the pilots or someone else with knowledge of the flight corridor was in control of the plane. (Koswanage/Govindasamy, Reuters)

SATELLITE DATA COULD HELP FIND PLANE: Satellite communications company Inmarsat said it recorded electronic "ping" signals from the plane, which could be especially important considering the news that the plane may have flown far from its intended course. (Buckley/Clark, NYT)

THE WEEKEND IN ONE PARAGRAPH: White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer will talk to NBC's Meet the Press about the 2014 midterm elections, the CIA's spying activities, and the political strife in Ukraine. On CBS's Face the Nation, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers will talk about the situation in Ukraine, and Capt. Sully Sullenberger, who made the 2009 emergency landing in the Hudson River, will talk about the missing Malaysian airliner. On Fox News Sunday, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and former National Transportation Safety Board Managing Director Peter Goelz will also discuss Flight MH370. On ABC's This Week, Bill Gates will discuss Common Core teaching standards.

Join National Journal on Tuesday, March 25, for "A New America: How Millennials Are Sparking Change," underwritten by Microsoft. Student Activity Center, Black Box Theater, The University of Texas (Austin), 3:00-5:00 pm. RSVP @ https://a-new-america-how-millennials-are-sparking-change-tickets


PPP: HUCKABEE LEADS GOP; BUSH FARES BEST AGAINST CLINTON. The poll also found a huge drop-off in Democratic candidates after Hillary Clinton, with Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren receiving little support. (Alexandra Jaffe, The Hill)

THE FUTURE OF HYDROGEN-POWERED CARS: Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda all have plans for environmentally friendly (and futuristic) cars that could blow Tesla out of the water. (Todd Woody, Quartz)

THE TRUTH BEHIND OBAMA'S MOM JEANS: The president claims his baggy jeans pictured in 2009 were a onetime mistake, but this investigation finds he frequently wears ill-fitting pants. (Connor Simpson, The Wire)


THE BEST JOB IN POLITICS: Being the mayor of Detroit may seem terrible because of the city's economic troubles, but considering the low expectations and the limited power of the role, Mayor Mike Duggan might be pretty lucky. (Tim Alberta, NJ)

WHY RUNNING AGAINST CLINTON ISN'T THAT CRAZY: Some candidates have run simply to draw attention to issues they care about, or to force the eventual nominee to the right or left. Maybe someone like Sen. Bernie Sanders will do the same in 2016. (Alex Seitz-Wald, NJ)


EXPLAINING DEATH, IN ONE CHART: Looking at the causes of death by race illustrates the damage inflicted on black communities by HIV in the '90s, the disparity in homicide rates, and more. (NJ)

VISUALIZING CLINTON'S BUDDING CAMPAIGN: The infrastructure of Clinton's presumptive 2016 president campaign is divided into four outside groups: Correct the Record, Priorities USA, Ready for Hillary, and EMILY's List. (Alex Seitz-Wald, NJ)

LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 2 MINUTES: Jon Stewart discovers that all that B-roll of Mitch McConnell goes well with a wide variety of background music. (Mauro Whiteman, NJ)

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