Tomorrow – Challenge to the Voting Rights Act Reaches Supreme Court – The opposing sides in a landmark Supreme Court case concerning a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have filed court briefs that suggest they see America through two different lenses. http://abcn.ws/15g7CA4 (Ariane DeVogue)
Today – Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel - http://abcn.ws/13Sg6e0
McCain Upbeat After Obama Meeting on Immigration – http://abcn.ws/ZHevLn
Christie Joins GOP Guvs in Expanding Medicaid Under Obamacare – http://abcn.ws/WgKb9i
SCOTUS Divided on DNA – Is it ‘the fingerprinting of the 21st Century?’ – Ariane de Vogue reports from the court: “It’s not very often a Supreme Court Justice says something like this at arguments: “I think this is perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that this court has heard in decades.” – http://abcn.ws/YyAHR2
Real Jeopardy! Category - ‘A Binder Full of Women’ – http://abcn.ws/VLN3Zr
What is an ‘Ass’ Alex? – A non-vulgar definition for the word “ass” is “a stupid, foolish, or stubborn person.” The stubborn part, at least, could be applied to any number of lawmakers in this whole sequestration business. Here’s why:
Sequester A– Posterior: What Did This Accomplish? – T-minus two days to sequester and there’s no real effort afoot to avert the sequester before it takes effect in two days. But politicians are starting to get a little frustrated.
House Speaker John Boehner said it isn’t his body’s job to find a way around sequester. He told journalists he hopes the Senate “get off their ass” to figure something out.
Harry Reid shot back that it’s Boehner’s House Republicans who aren’t making any movement.
“I think he should understand who is sitting on their posterior,” Reid told reporters. ”We’re doing our best here to pass something. The speaker’s doing nothing to try to pass anything over there. He’s falling back onto what he said they did last congress. http://abcn.ws/YVVccv (John Parkinson)
So sequestration ho!
“The impact of this policy won’t be felt overnight, but it will be real,” said Obama at a shipyard in Newport News, Va. “The sequester will weaken America’s economic recovery. It will weaken our military readiness. And it will weaken the basic services that the American people depend on every single day.”
Republicans, meanwhile, continue to criticize the dire warnings.
“Armageddon or tax hikes,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., describing Obama’s frame for the debate. http://abcn.ws/WpsYoV (Devin Dwyer)
Sequester Leads to Release of Undocumented Immigrants – From Fusion’s Ted Hesson:
Several hundred lower-priority immigration detainees have been released from facilities across the country over the past several days. They were either let go on their own recognizance or required to use a telephone check-in system or an ankle bracelet, according to Gillian Christensen, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE)…
These detainees will still face immigration charges. But much like a person convicted of a minor crime, they will be free from detention until their scheduled court date. http://abcn.ws/X8YY4z
80 Republicans Stand Up for Gay Marriage Ahead of Supreme Court Arguments - Prominent members of the party are submitting an amicus or “friend of the court” brief in support of a lawsuit aiming to strike down Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that passed in 2008 banning same sex marriage, despite staunch opposition by Speaker Boehner and other Republicans. http://abcn.ws/13lOqlT (Shushannah Walshe)
Journalists, Lawyers Can’t Challenge Intl. Secret Wiretapping - In a decision that pitted the Obama administration against the 4 Liberal Judges… Ariane de Vogue reports the Supreme Court ruled today that a group of lawyers, journalists and human rights researchers do not have the legal right to challenge the constitutionality of a federal law that expands the government’s authority to conduct secret electronic surveillance of international calls and communications. http://abcn.ws/Wg7MXC (Ariane DeVogue)
Will Sequester Make U.S. Second Rate Power? Two days before those deep automatic spending cuts take effect, President Obama visits Newport News Shipbuilding to highlight where the “meat-cleaver” spending cuts of sequestration will be felt most: the military, defense contractors, suppliers and their families. http://abcn.ws/13QiYrZ (Devin Dwyer)
Bernanke on Sequester Cuts: Too Much, Too Soon – The chairman of the Federal Reserve says if lawmakers can’t reach a deficit reduction deal by Friday the resulting mandatory budget cuts known as “the sequester” could become a case of too much, too soon for the fragile economic recovery. http://abcn.ws/XE3y7r (Matthew Larotonda)
Liberal Super PAC Backtracks on ‘Racist’ Tweets Against ex-Labor Sec.-A liberal super PAC in Kentucky is backtracking on tweets that accuse former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao of using influence over her husband, Sen. Mitch McConnell, to benefit the Chinese economy at America’s expense. http://abcn.ws/XeLx1s (Sarah Parnass)
Dems Envision Blue Texas - “…but its staff are warning that process could take years to accomplish.” http://abcn.ws/128OQNb (Jordan Fabian)
Dr. Oz Gives Governors Sex Advice – America’s governors got some intimate advice from Dr. Mehmet Oz who urged them to have more sex. http://abcn.ws/YVxmwh (Sarah Parnass)
Senate Finance Committee Approves Lew Nomination for Treasury Sec. – The Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday to approve Jack Lew’s nomination for secretary of the Treasury. http://abcn.ws/128lsXw (Arlette Saenz)
New Jersey Gov. Christie Shows Softer Side Before Budget Address – The office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today released a video teasing some of the issues the governor will highlight in his budget address this afternoon. http://abcn.ws/13kzODu (Shushannah Walshe)