Let Me Start: Obama, Putin at 'standoff' over Ukraine

STANDOFF: "President Barack Obama once again finds himself in a standoff with Russian President Vladimir Putin — with no good options for getting out of it.

He’s not likely to send in the U.S. military, economic sanctions will take time to hurt Putin and so far the international condemnation has amounted to sternly-worded statements, not substantial action.

U.S. officials taunted Putin on Sunday while Secretary of State John Kerry, who is headed to Ukraine for meetings on Tuesday, lectured him during a tour of the Sunday morning news shows." (Politico)

WAITING FOR JEB: "The Bush name gives him a deep and broad political network, but sour memories of his brother’s presidency still fester, while the notion of a third Bush in the White House since his father won in 1988 might strike voters as too dynastic. It could, ironically, also make the alternative of a second Clinton presidency, via Hillary, seem fresher and more attractive." (The Hill)

OVERHAUL: "As a direct counter to President Obama’s recent emphasis on the gap between rich and poor, the upcoming House Republican budget will focus on welfare reform and recommend a sweeping overhaul of social programs, including Head Start and Medicaid.

The push, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, returns the GOP’s attention to a policy front that animated the party in the 1990s and signals Republicans’ desire to expand their pitch to voters ahead of this year’s midterm elections. This new effort comes after the party spent months fixated on combating the federal health-care law and engaged in intraparty squabbles over fiscal strategy." (Washington Post)


  • QUOTE OF THE DAY: "No matter where you're from, your dreams are valid." -Lupita Nyong'o, Best Supporting Actress winner at this year's Academy Awards
  • NUMBER OF THE DAY: 29 people--that's how many people were killed on Saturday in Kunming, southern China when a group attacked attacked strangers at a train station with knives; 143 others were also injured, and the suspects have been caught by authorities as of Monday.