February 2013

Feb 28, 2013

Eric Holder Says Sequester Makes America Less Safe

With Pierre Thomas, ABC News

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Bloomberg Goes to Washington to Push Gun Laws, but Senate Has Other Ideas

By 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.

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Republican Losses Obscure US Drift to Right

By Charles Babington, Associated Press

Republican angst over presidential election losses obscures the fact that many conservative ideals have prospered for decades.

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Scenarios for Future of 'Big Finance'

With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

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Sequester Spin Gets Ahead of Reality

By 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.

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Analysis: In voting-rights case, liberal justices pitch to Kennedy

By 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?

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Feb 27, 2013

Sanctions Bite, But Iran Shows No Signs Of Budging

By 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.

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Republican Congressman Faces Tea Party Wrath for Flying Air Force One

By 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.

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Defense Hawks Seek Alternatives to 'Bad' Sequester

By 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.

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New Spate of Acrimony in Congress as Cuts Loom

By 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.

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Sequester Will Sock a Vulnerable Economy

By 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.

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Feb 26, 2013

The Stupid Sequester -- And You

By 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.

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