The So-Called Internet Sales Tax Bill, Explained – That 1990s Super Nintendo System you’ve been eying on eBay for $79.97 might soon include an extra fee for sales tax, thanks to a bill up for consideration in the Senate this week. http://abcn.ws/ZwIDJ0 (Parnass)
Syria: The Red Line Zone - Literally during opening of George W. Bush Presidential Library today came word that US believes – with a “reasonable amount of confidence” – that Syria used chemical weapons.http://abcn.ws/14SH2Ra
That means the red line is crossed, right?
John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Dianne Feinstein and John Boehner all say yes. The Obama administration isn’t quite ready to go that far. They want to examine the chain of custody for samples that suggest chemical weapons, reports Alex Marquart and Mary Bruce.
Hagel argued today that is it unclear whether the red line has been crossed and said more evidence was needed.
“We need all the facts. We need all the information. What I’ve just given you is what our intelligence community has said they know,” he said. “They are still assessing and they are still looking at what happened, who was responsible, and the other specifics that we’ll need.”
McCain said the red line is behind us. What should come now, he said, per Sunlen Miller, is some sort of action.
“The president of the United States said this would be a red line if they use chemical weapons,” said McCain. “The president of the United States has now told us that they used chemical weapons. Those stocks of chemical weapons, some of which are in disputed areas, must be secured and we must give the opposition the capability to drive out Bashar al-Assad once and for all. And our relations with Russia should be directly related to their assistance to Bashar al-Assad which is significant.” http://abcn.ws/12oNKd1
Train Wreck? The Obamacare Unknown – It has been a little more than three years since Obamacare was signed into law, and it is still 251 days until the majority of the law kicks in. After that, nobody really know what’s going to happen. One senior Democrat recently predicted a “train wreck” unless the Obama administration does a better job explaining how things are going to work. The one thing that everyone knows for sure is that the law is complicated. Republicans have assembled a seven-foot tower of paper to represent all of the regulations and rules that will go along with the law. Americans still don’t really understand or like the law. But they don’t want to get rid of it. Republicans no longer agree that the law should be repealed. But even Democrats are publicly nervous about what happens when the law finally takes effect and people have to buy insurance or pay a tax. What lies at the end of the line on Jan. 1, 2014? A “train wreck” if you ask Sen. Max Baucus, a key author of the law who helped dash progressive dreams of a more liberal overhaul. http://abcn.ws/12oNKd1
70 Votes for Immigration Reform – Jordan Fabian reports on McCain and Schumer’s joint appearance today: “Maybe this is hopeful, but it would be wonderful if we could get a majority on both sides,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), a leading Democrat in the “Gang of Eight,” told reporters at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. “I think it’s very doable,” added Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a top Republican in the “Gang.” abcn.ws/ZvsYd3
Obama: Thank Bush If Immigration Passes-One major piece of unfinished business from George W. Bush’s presidency is comprehensive immigration reform. With the issue once again before Congress, President Barack Obama said Thursday if it passes this time, Bush should receive a lion’s share of the credit. http://abcn.ws/ZKSF84 (Jordan Fabian)
Will @BillClinton get half a million Twitter followers in one day? Probably Not.
Perspective Piece: – For George W. Bush Legacy, ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ is Back- With the George W. Bush Presidential Center opening today, the former president and his team are moving back to the beginning in seeking to shape the legacy of their four years in office. Meet George W. Bush, compassionate conservative. Again. Though it’s easy to forget in a presidency that saw 9/11, two wars, Hurricane Katrina and a financial crisis, “compassionate conservatism” was the philosophy Bush used to first define himself on the national stage. He defined it as insisting on “responsibility and results,” coupled with an obligation to help “citizens in need.” http://abcn.ws/13xSLzW (Rick Klein)
Barbara Bush Votes ‘No’ on Jeb Bush for President- If mother truly knows best, there will be no more additions to the Bush presidential legacy. Bush family matriarch Barbara Bush said she’s not in favor of a 2016 presidential run by her youngest son, Jeb Bush. “There are other people out there that are very qualified and we’ve had enough Bushes,” she told NBC’s Matt Lauer. Jeb Bush has not said if he will seek the presidency. “He’ll get half of our friends and all of our enemies,” she added, referring to the possibility of family baggage getting in the way of a successful 2016 presidential candidacy. http://abcn.ws/15JvbnY (Alisa Wiersema)
State Department ‘Doesn’t Agree’ with House GOP Benghazi Report- The State Department is defending its investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, against a new report from House Republicans calling into question the department’s actions, including those of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The interim progress report was put together by members from the Armed Services, Judiciary, Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Government Reform committees, and is being distributed to House GOP members. http://abcn.ws/XYPfxS (Dana Hughes)
Floating Colony Planned for High-Tech Workers- Blueseed, an offshore entrepreneurial venture, plans to address the visa shortage for international Silicon Valley hopefuls. By docking a converted cruise ship in international waters 12 miles off the shore of San Francisco, Blueseed hopes to allow U.S. companies and their foreign employees to work from the live-aboard ship without breaking H-1B visa limitations. http://abcn.ws/12Km1oj (Alisa Wiersema)
Laura Bush Looks Back on Her Husband’s Presidency- Walking through the new George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University, Laura Bush looked back on the pivotal moments in her husband’s presidency. The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 topped the list. The former first lady spoke with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer at the new library, set to open on Thursday. As the news media and the nation take a moment to revisit George W. Bush’s tenure in the White House, so did his wife. http://abcn.ws/Y6rZAf (Chris Good)
Obama Recess Appointment Case Comes to the Supreme Court - abcn.ws/YWoG9Z