Five Key Legacies of Richard Nixon On His 100th Birthday – http://abcn.ws/UW49ms
An Unexpected Resignation - Labor Secretary Hilda Solis stepped down today, leaving another vacancy in Obama’s second-term cabinet. She was the first Latina to serve in a presidential cabinet. http://abcn.ws/13hRCh5
Jon Karl on Who is Out of the Obama Cabinet and Who was Asked to Stay - http://abcn.ws/13hS7rf
Loop-dy Lew – Sometimes this is a strange and ridiculous place.
President Obama could nominate Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary as early as tomorrow. It will be a high-stakes confirmation fight as the country stares down triplet fights over the debt ceiling, government spending and the delayed sequester. That news is here: http://abcn.ws/13iTMMf
But the thing a lot of people took away from today is that Jack Lew’s got a really odd signature, how it could find it’s way onto greenbacks, and how the White House wouldn’t rule out the platinum coin proposal.
It’s true that Lew’s loops look more like something by Kurt Vonnegut than like a John Hancock.
Handwriting analyst Fiona MacKay Young told ABC News in an email that Lew’s signature – essentially a series of loops – conveys that he is “not interested in communicating and…doesn’t want to give away more than necessary.” MacKay said his choice to use loops instead of letters “also shows open mindedness.”
Jay Carney said as far as he knows, Lew isn’t planning on changing it, although Tim Geithner made his more legible -
Here’s the full story from Sarah Parnass – http://abcn.ws/11guAYu
But the fascination with Lew’s signature – wasn’t the only Washington oddity today.
Trillion Dollar Coin Turns Proxy for Presidential Power Argument – Jon Karl put it well:
“White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today flatly ruled out any negotiations with Congress over raising the debt ceiling, but there’s one odd-ball solution he would not rule out: minting trillion dollars coins to pay off the debt.
… Asked if the administration would rule out minting trillion dollars coins if Congress fails to act, Carney deflected saying “you could speculate about a lot of things.”
… “I answered it thoroughly,” he later joked. “And I have no coins in my pocket.”
But there was something else Carney ruled out – Obama using the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.
“We just don’t believe that it provides the authority that some believe it does,” Carney said.
Maybe when they retire a monoply token they can replace it with the trillion dollar coin – http://abcn.ws/U5u3mu
Biden Asks Gun-Safety Advocates for Anti-Violence Ideas-Vice President Joe Biden asked representatives of victims’ groups and gun-safety organizations for their input today as he works to develop ideas to prevent future events like last month’s deadly shooting in Newtown, Conn.http://abcn.ws/TLkmL8 (Mary Bruce)
Cuomo Joins Gun Control Fight – Shush Walshe reports: “Cuomo’s voice rose as he urged the passing of “safe, reasonable gun control,” asking New York to “set an example for the rest of the nation.”
In an address that was close to an-hour-and-a-half long, Cuomo put forward a seven point plan and also called on the closing of the private sale loophole by requiring federal background checks of all sales including private ones; the ban of high capacity magazines; enacting tougher penalties for illegal gun use; guns on school grounds, and gangs, keeping guns from people are mentally ill; banning the direct internet sale of ammunition purchases; one state check on all firearms purchases; and programs to cut gun violence in high crime neighborhoods. http://abcn.ws/TLJjGi
Supreme Court Argues DWI Blood Tests Without a Warrant-Justice Sonia Sotomayor didn’t waste time at today’s Supreme Court hearing on whether and when law enforcement officers — without a warrant- can force a drunk driving suspect to take a blood test to check for intoxication.http://abcn.ws/WP7JMK (Ariane De Vogue)
Justice Sonia Sotomayor Gets Personal-Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor begins her book tour today for her memoir, “My Beloved World.”http://abcn.ws/ULTVaO (Ariane De Vogue)
Hillary Clinton ‘Thrilled to Be Back’ at Work-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today she was “thrilled to be back” at work at the State Department after having been away for more than a month because of the stomach flu, a concussion and a blood clot in her head.http://abcn.ws/XkqucT (Luis Martinez)
Wal-Mart Reverses Stance, Will Attend Biden Gun Meeting-Representatives from Wal-Mart, one of the largest sellers of firearms in this country, will attend gun violence meetings with Vice President Joe Biden tomorrow after initially turning down the invitation, a spokesperson for the company confirmed Wednesday.http://abcn.ws/UK9b4v (Arlette Saenz)
Richard Blanco: First Latino, Gay Man Selected as Inaugural Poet-Out of the five people selected to read an original poem at a presidential inauguration, the 44-year-old Blanco will be the first Latino, first gay man, and youngest person to serve the role. The presidential inaugural committee officially announced the choice of Blanco, the son of Cuban exiles, on Wednesday. http://abcn.ws/Xkingr (Jordan Fabian)
Inauguration Lineup Includes Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, James Taylor-In addition to the political crowd-planning that’s part of the pomp and circumstance of a presidential inauguration, three musical stars will join the swearing-in ceremony in a couple weeks.http://abcn.ws/11fRChU (Sarah Parnass)
Inauguration Luncheon Menu - New England chowder, hickory grilled bison and plenty of New York wines. Plus a special champagne that’s not from Champagne. http://abcn.ws/13hPHcf
National Cathedral to Officiate Same-Sex Marriages-The wedding bells will chime in the 106-year-old Washington National Cathedral as Rev. Gary Hall affirmed that, effective immediately, same-sex weddings may be celebrated at the Cathedral of the Episcopal Church located in the northwest quadrant of Washington D.C.http://abcn.ws/ZqOCdl (Jilian Fama)
White House Won’t Deport Piers Morgan - for now at least. In response to a petition asking Obama to deport the British CNN host for allegedly undermining Americans’ rights with his advocacy for gun control, Jay Carney urged Americans to not let “arguments over the Constitution’s Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First.” (Mary Bruce) http://abcn.ws/13hTfv2
Iran Sanctions: Chuck Hagel vs. Obama, Biden, and Kerry-As has been well documented, not everyone is so pleased that President Obama nominated former Senate colleague Chuck Hagel, a Republican, as the next secretary of defense.http://abcn.ws/10ep759 (Chris Good)