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Mar 01, 2013
For Obama and Congress, It's Zero HourBy Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics
Tick, tick, tick . . .
Friday is the end of the hourglass for President Obama and congressional leaders. They will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss an impasse that has bedeviled them since January, trying -- for the cameras, at least -- to find a way “to reduce our deficit in a balanced way,” as Obama put it Thursday.Read more
Cuts Roll In as Time Runs OutBy Janet Hook and Damian Paletta, Wall Street Journal
The federal government enters a controversial new phase of deficit cutting Friday, as an automatic trigger begins slicing budgets in some areas while leaving programs such as Medicare and Medicaid—among the largest drivers of future debt—largely untouched.Read more
Obama Meets Congressional Leaders on SequesterBy Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post
Congressional leaders gathered at the White House on Friday to meet with President Obama on ways to avoid the steep budget cuts known as the sequester, but expectations for the meeting were low.Read more
Meet the Man Behind the Conservative Political Action ConferenceBy Beth Reinhard, National Journal
Al Cardenas is a “big tent” Republican: The first Hispanic chairman of the American Conservative Union. A strong proponent of minority outreach and immigration reform. A whistle-blower on conservatives who attack their compatriots.
“We are at war with liberals and moderates, but it now seems we have added fellow conservatives as the enemy,” he wrote in Human Events one week ago. “If we go down this road, we will destroy our ability to succeed.”Read more
Can Governors Be The Cure For What Ails Politics?By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report
Watching the current state of dysfunction in D.C. these days, it's easy to romanticize the seemingly functional role played by the nation’s Governors.
Washington is about process. State Capitols are about progress.Read more
Feb 28, 2013
Analysis: In voting-rights case, liberal justices pitch to KennedyBy Joan Biskupic, Reuters
Barely a minute into a U.S. Supreme Court hearing, liberal justices began a strategic barrage of questions that came down to this: Why should a time-honored plank of the 1965 Voting Rights Act be invalidated in a case from Alabama with its history of racial discrimination?Read more
Sequester Spin Gets Ahead of RealityBy Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post
The descriptions of the post-sequester landscape coming from the Obama administration have been alarming, specific — and, in at least some cases, hyped.Read more
Scenarios for Future of 'Big Finance'With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal Watch more
Republican Losses Obscure US Drift to RightBy Charles Babington, Associated Press
Republican angst over presidential election losses obscures the fact that many conservative ideals have prospered for decades.Read more
Bloomberg Goes to Washington to Push Gun Laws, but Senate Has Other IdeasBy Jackie Calmes and Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York met separately on Wednesday with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and several senators, a day after his campaign for tougher gun laws was newly fortified by the victory of his preferred candidate in a special Congressional primary election in Chicago where he had spent more than $2 million.Read more
Eric Holder Says Sequester Makes America Less SafeWith Pierre Thomas, ABC News Watch more
Feb 27, 2013
Sequester Will Sock a Vulnerable EconomyBy Jim Tankersley, The Washington Post
The U.S. economy won’t collapse when the automatic spending cuts start hitting after Friday’s deadline. A few economists even say the sequester and its indiscriminate whack at the budget could eventually help the economy grow faster than it would have otherwise.Read more
New Spate of Acrimony in Congress as Cuts LoomBy Janet Hook and Peter Nicholas, Wall Street Journal
With deep federal spending cuts poised to begin Friday, Congress engaged in a new round of finger-pointing, intraparty bickering and frustration on Tuesday, at one point prompting top party leaders to hurl vulgarities at each other.Read more
Defense Hawks Seek Alternatives to 'Bad' SequesterBy Susan Davis, USA Today
House Republicans are intensifying their efforts to protect the Defense Department from $42.7 billion in budget cuts this year that kick in Friday.Read more
Republican Congressman Faces Tea Party Wrath for Flying Air Force OneBy Beth Reinhard, National Journal
In just over two years in Congress, Republican Scott Rigell of Virginia has piqued conservatives by voting to raise the debt ceiling, disavowing an anti-tax pledge, and partnering with Democrats on gun control legislation. He was one of only two Republicans last year to oppose holding Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt.Read more
Sanctions Bite, But Iran Shows No Signs Of BudgingBy Tom Gjelten, NPR
A new round of international talks on Iran's nuclear program is under way in Kazakhstan, where the U.S., Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany are asking Iran to give up any thought of building a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from sanctions.
Western leaders do not predict a breakthrough, but they say small steps could be taken that would increase confidence on both sides.Read more
Feb 26, 2013
White House expands list of woes budget ax could causeBy Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times
Planes delayed. Teachers laid off. And, now, more illegal immigrants slipping past the Border Patrol.
The White House on Monday added to its list of dire consequences it says would come from automatic federal budget cuts scheduled to start Friday, part of a campaign to ignite a public outcry.Read more
Why Republican Governors Hate the Republican CongressBy Molly Ball, The Atlantic
A bunch of Republican governors have been in Washington the past few days for the National Governors Association meeting, just in time to chew out their fellow Republicans in Congress over the upcoming sequestration cuts.Read more
Obama Administration Reaches Out to Local Governments to Spread Its Climate MessageBy Coral Davenport, National Journal
President Obama used his Inaugural Address and State of the Union speech to issue the boldest, clearest call to action on climate change ever voiced by a sitting U.S. president—but don’t expect him to barnstorm across the country with that message.Read more
The Stupid Sequester -- And YouBy Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
Tired of the sequester yet?
The automatic cuts to federal spending don’t start until Friday, and even then their effects will only be gradual. But Washington is already in a frenzy over a crisis that the two parties have brought on themselves with a scheme that was -- as I noted in my Sunday column -- designed to be stupid.Read more