Morning Must Reads: February 21

In the news: GOP's support dwindles, Menendez's approval rating plummets, Karl Rove, drones v. journalists, and CIA sex.

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • A new poll by USA Today/Pew Research shows that 22% of Americans consider themselves Republicans, a nearly record low. There is popular support for a minimum wage increase, immigration reform, and gun background checks.
  • Sen. Bob Menendez’s approval rating has dropped 15 points in a month due to his recent scandal.
  • Pentagon on sequester: 750,000 civilians would experience pay cuts of about 20 percent between late April and September.
  • Prettier in print:
  • As Karl Rove’s critics smell blood, the GOP strategist advises his party to avert the sequester by giving Obama more authority to move funds around in a continuing resolution.
  • Can Presidents use drones against journalists?
  • New Republic cover story: “Prudes have rarely done well” in the CIA.