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Feb 13, 2014
Senate clears debt ceiling hikeBy Susan Davis, USA Today
Three years of battling over the nation's debt and borrowing authority reached an anticlimactic end Wednesday, when the Senate approved with little debate and only minor delay a House-passed measure to suspend the debt ceiling until March 2015.Read more
Obamacare Sign-Ups -- 3.3 Million -- Skew Older, FemaleBy Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics
The Obama administration said Wednesday it doesn’t know how many Americans who previously had no health insurance have enrolled under the Affordable Care Act, but newly released government data indicates that 82 percent of nearly 3.3 million enrollees have qualified for tax subsidies or other assistance to gain coverage.Read more
For Obama, procrastination on Keystone XL might be a virtueBy Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline may look like just another example of the partisan divide on Capitol Hill. If only it were that easy.
President Obama's dilemma over whether to approve the 1,600-mile pipeline, which would move oil from Canada to Texas, has more to do with disagreements within the Democratic Party, and with foreign relations.Read more
Feb 12, 2014
House passes ‘clean’ debt-ceiling bill, ending two-week showdownBy Paul Kane, Robert Costa and Ed O’Keefe, Washington Post
The House approved a year-long suspension of the nation’s debt limit Tuesday in a vote that left Republicans once again ceding control to Democrats after a collapse in support for an earlier proposal advanced by Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).Read more
The Day the Boehner Rule DiedBy Jeff Zeleny, ABC News
The “Boehner Rule” died today.
Speaker John Boehner once coined that phrase based on this conservative principle: Any increase in the nation’s debt ceiling would be accompanied by an equal dose of spending cuts.Read more
Spy Chief Says Snowden Took Advantage of ‘Perfect Storm’ of Security LapsesBy David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times
The director of national intelligence acknowledged Tuesday that nearly a year after the contractor Edward J. Snowden “scraped” highly classified documents from the National Security Agency’s networks, the technology was not yet fully in place to prevent another insider from stealing top-secret data on a similarly large scale.Read more
Obama steps up efforts to help young men of colorBy Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times
President Obama will launch an initiative aimed at improving the lives of young black and Latino men by bringing businesses and foundations together with government agencies to change what an administration official called the "school-to-prison pipeline."Read more
Holder Calls For Restoring Felons' Voting RightsBy Carrie Johnson, NPR
Attorney General Eric Holder called on 11 states to repeal "counterproductive" laws that bar convicted felons from "the single most basic right of American citizenship-the right to vote."
In a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University law school, Holder used his bully pulpit to note that 5.8 million people are prohibited from voting because of current or former felony convictions, including 1-in-5 black adults in Florida, Kentucky and Virginia.Read more
How Important are Gay Rights to President Obama?By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
As the White House prepares to host French President François Hollande for a rare state dinner on Tuesday, here are three questions to start the week:Read more
Feb 11, 2014
GOP Pushes Plan Tying Debt Ceiling to Military PensionsBy Susan Davis, USA Today
House Republican leaders are moving ahead with an increase in the nation's debt limit in exchange for a reversal of minor cuts in military pensions that were part of the recent bipartisan budget deal.Read more
Employer Health Care Mandate DelayedWith John Harwood, CNBC Watch more
GOP Irked by New Delay of Obamacare MandateBy Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics
It took mere minutes Monday before howls of GOP outrage circulated through Washington.
The Obama administration is “unilaterally making it up as they go along,” protested Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus after learning the administration used executive “discretion” Monday to delay until 2016 the Affordable Care Act’s mandates for mid-size employers.Read more
U.S. Debates Drone Strike on American Terrorism Suspect in PakistanBy Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times
The Obama administration is debating whether to authorize a lethal strike against an American citizen living in Pakistan who some believe is actively plotting terrorist attacks, according to current and former government officials.Read more
Voices: 'Hispanic' is poor way to describe rich culturesBy Alan Gomez, USA Today
As I finished an interview with a state senator in northern Florida, he suggested I try out a Mexican restaurant a few blocks away.
"You'll love it," he said. "Two blocks down, on the left."
I thanked him for the suggestion, but pointed out that I was of Cuban descent, not Mexican. He paused, gave me a quizzical stare and said, "Uh huh. Two blocks down, on the left."Read more
Feb 10, 2014
The GOP’s immigration conundrumBy Dan Balz, The Washington Post
House Republicans’ latest revolt against immigration reform spells potential trouble for the party’s 2016 presidential candidates. The last thing the GOP needs in 2016 is another primary season marked by debate and dissension over the fraught issue.Read more
Dead on ArrivalBy John Dickerson, Slate Magazine
In the famous scene from Monty Python's Holy Grail, a man tries to convince an undertaker with a cart full of bodies that the old man he is carrying on his shoulder is dead. The alleged corpse protests, "I'm not dead yet." They debate the point. "I don't want to go on the cart," says the old man. "Don't be such a baby," says his captor.Read more
If the House ever debates immigration, here’s where it might startBy Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post
Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) sought to temper expectations last week by suggesting that it will be incredibly difficult for the House to make any progress on immigration reform this year.Read more
Snowden Used Low-Cost Tool to Best N.S.A.By David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times
Intelligence officials investigating how Edward J. Snowden gained access to a huge trove of the country’s most highly classified documents say they have determined that he used inexpensive and widely available software to “scrape” the National Security Agency’s networks, and kept at it even after he was briefly challenged by agency officials.Read more
American terror suspect possibly targeted for drone attackBy Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press
An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year.Read more
Charlie Crist Hugs Barack Obama All Over AgainBy Beth Reinhard, National Journal
You'd think Charlie Crist would know better.
He nearly destroyed his political career five years ago by wrapping his arms around Barack Obama. And now he's doing it again.Read more