Oh, Baby, I Was Bound for Mexico - President Obama heads to Mexico tomorrow - While the Immigration talks go on without him in Washington, President Obama will take his juice on the road for a trip South to Mexico and Costa Rica.
Here's the AP preview:
"President Barack Obama is seeking to refocus economic relations between the U.S. and Mexico, even as fresh questions about security cooperation threaten to cast a shadow over the president's visit to the southern neighbor.
"Obama also will use his three-day trip, which begins Thursday and includes a stop in Costa Rica, to highlight the immigration overhaul moving through Capitol Hill, both for an audience in Latin America and for those back home in the U.S.
"The president is scheduled to arrive Thursday afternoon in Mexico City for meetings with President Enrique Pena Nieto and members of Mexico's business community.
"Since taking office in December, Pena Nieto has moved to end the widespread access it gave U.S. security agencies helping fight drug trafficking and organized crime. The changes mark a dramatic shift from the policies of Pena Nieto's predecessor, Felipe Calderon, who was lauded by the U.S. for boosting cooperation between the two countries as he led an aggressive attack on Mexico's drug cartels." http://abcn.ws/11DdNLN
Got a Fiver for Fleet Week? - A last-ditch effort by the USO to save Fleet Week from sequestration involves average Joe, not Uncle Sam - http://abcn.ws/18dgR6p (Sarah Parnass)
WH Furloughs Start Today - From Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman: "The $85 billion in cuts known as sequestration is hitting every White House staffer with day-long furloughs scattered throughout the next two weeks… Administration officials said about 468 people work at the White House, though they cited for that figure a nearly year-old payroll report from July 2012 - which doesn't reflect turnover in the administration - and declined to provide updated numbers.
… Most of their support staff will be furloughed and on those days won't be permitted to come into their offices or do any work from home, including checking e- mail." http://bloom.bg/15ahq2j
Here is Why Gay Marriage Has Everything to Do With Immigration Reform - From Fusion's Jordan Fabian - Gay Rights Could Complicate Immigration Bill- A push to include gay couples in a bipartisan immigration reform bill threatens to upset the delicate coalition backing the proposal in the Senate, Politico reports. Under current law, Americans in a heterosexual relationship can sponsor their foreign-born spouses for green cards. But gay and lesbian couples cannot do so, since federal law does not recognize same-sex marriages. The "Gang of Eight" bill as written leaves same-sex couples out. http://abcn.ws/ZWdr4I
3 More Arrested in Boston Bombing - Friends of Djhokar Tsarnaev were arrested in Boston today for disposing of items in his room after the FBI posted pictures of the suspected bombers.
When one of the friends asked Djhokar if he was the one on TV, Tsarnaev responded with an "LOL."
From the Blotter: "A criminal complaint filed today alleges two college-aged friends of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19-year-olds Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, allegedly destroyed or concealed a laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks belonging to Dzhokhar after the bombing. The third suspect, American 19-year-old Robel Phillipos, has been charged with lying to federal law enforcement officers. All three suspects appeared in a Boston court today for an initial hearing where they were voluntarily detained pending future bail hearings." http://abcn.ws/12XbS6E
Most Americans Don't Know Much About Immigration Bill - When it comes to immigration reform, most Americans don't know much about it and few think the Boston bombing should be a factor in the debate. The issue may be front-and-center in the nation's capital, but around the rest of the country when it comes to the immigration reform bill before Congress, it turns out most of the country doesn't know much about it, at least according to a new Pew Research Center survey. http://abcn.ws/Yn0vGI (Serena Marshall, Jim Avila)
Obama Ramps Up Support for Syrian Opposition- President Obama has directed his national security team to identify ways to significantly ramp up U.S. support of the opposition forces battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Among the options under consideration is supplying arms to rebel forces, although no decision on that has been made. http://abcn.ws/YmlEAV (Jonathan Karl)
Mark Zuckerberg's Political Status: It's Complicated- Less than three weeks after Mark Zuckerberg officially launched his pro-immigration reform group, the billionaire technology mogul seems to be experiencing the Facebook equivalent of a liberal de-friending. http://abcn.ws/159phgx (Michael Falcone)
Chris Christie Drops $1.2M on First Re-Election TV Ad- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is out with the first television ad of his gubernatorial re-election campaign. Sixty seconds long, the ad will begin running in the major media markets of New York City and Philadelphia today with a large buy of $1.2 million, according to the Christie campaign. http://abcn.ws/11XbCDs (Shushannah Walshe)
Ed Markey, Gabriel Gomez Win Senate Primaries in Massachusetts- Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez are the winners in Tuesday's primary for the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated when John Kerry became Secretary of State. Markey, a House member since 1976, bested U.S. Rep Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., and Gomez beat out former acting ATF director and former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan, as well as state legislator and former general counsel to Mitt Romney, Dan Winslow, the Associated Press determined. http://abcn.ws/12jZQl8 (Shushannah Walshe)
Was RGIII 'Tyranny' Tweet Aimed at Efforts To Change Redskins' Name?- It is not exactly clear what Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III (aka RGIII) was referring to when he sent a frustrated tweet about political correctness Tuesday afternoon. But one possible explanation has to do with the decades-long effort to make his team's name and its distinctive logo featuring a Native American with feathers in his hair more politically correct. From Redskins to Red Tails? http://abcn.ws/ZVXD1Q (Steve Portnoy, Z. Byron Wolf)