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Helene Cooper and Thom Shanker write in the New York Times: "The emerging outlines of President Obama's plan for Afghanistan include proposals to shift more American efforts toward problems in neighboring Pakistan and to seek some kind of political reconciliation with the vast majority of insurgents in the region, according to administration officials."

Carrie Johnson writes in The Washington Post that Obama has not made clear whether he plans to keep or purge the dozens of conservative U.S. Attorneys appointed by former president George W. Bush who, for now, remain in office.

Robert Pear writes in the New York Times: "Just seven weeks into office, President Obama is being forced to confront one of the most sensitive social and political issues of the day: whether the government must provide health insurance benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees."

Rachel L. Swarns writes in the New York Times: "Michelle Obama flew Thursday to Fort Bragg, where she hugged soldiers, comforted their spouses, read to their children and urged Americans to reach out to the wounded soldiers and military families in their communities."

The first lady tells ABC News's Robin Roberts that she is distressed by the plight of many military families who are struggling to keep their heads above the poverty line while the soldier in the family is in harm's way in Iraq or Afghanistan.

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 13, 2009; 12:20 PM ET
 
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