|PM Note: 'Scaring' People Over Sequester, Oscar Opts for Happy Ending Political Movie, Hagel's Mulligan|
|Z. Byron Wolf||Feb 25, 2013, 6:11 PM|
R.I.P. C. Everett Koop - http://abcn.ws/XxusRB
Welcome to the ABC team, Jeff Zeleny - abcn.ws/125ULT6
Spoiler Alert: In Field of Political Films, Hollywood Opts for Happy Ending-Michelle Obama's surprise appearance via satellite from the White House to give the Oscar for Best Picture was perfectly fitting: Hollywood was choosing among three front-runners that portrayed very different views of U.S. presidents and history - high drama, gritty suspense and a stylish thriller. Set aside the costumes and the score and the editing and all that - the whole storytelling part of each movie - you can argue that by giving the Oscar to "Argo," Hollywood made a choice about U.S. history, too. And it chose a happy ending regardless of how distant it feels from reality. Here's a fuller version of this argument. Hopefully some people will disagree - http://abcn.ws/XUNksB
And for all the facts… National Journal's Jill Lawrence has an epic look at the Iran Hostage Crisis vs. Argo… and interviews with former hostages… Click here - http://bit.ly/13iMOtp
Tuesday: Senators take a Hagel Mulligan, Panetta will watch from home - http://abcn.ws/XUVj8X McCain heads to White House for immigration meeting. Obama Heads to Norfolk to apply sequestration pressure, Supreme Court hears really interesting DNA vs. privacy case.
Three days left… do you know where your lawmakers are?
Jindal to Obama: "Stop Scaring the American People"- It is still not clear what will happen when the sequester kicks in (although it is more sure that the sequester will kick in). Lawmakers will have about a month to tie the sequester into solutions for other looming fiscal issues like the debt ceiling and funding the government.
Jon Karl points to the words of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who told the White House and President Obama to stop scaring people.
Karl: "Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) barely had time to finish dessert in the State Dining Room before he came to cameras on the North Drive of the White House to accuse his lunch host of fear-mongering about impending spending cuts. "He's trying to scare the American people. He's trying to distort the impact," Jindal said. "The president needs to stop campaigning. Stop trying to scare the American people.
"The Louisiana Republican delivered his criticism of President Obama just steps away from the Oval Office following a lunch hosted by the president for governors of all 50 states. He used the opportunity to talk about the looming across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to go into effect on Friday. '"To me that's a lack of leadership - for him to send out his cabinet secretaries to warn about all kinds of devastating consequences when we're talking about a federal budget that will still be larger than last year's budget," Jindal said.
"While Jindal was speaking, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was about 50 feet away talking to reporters in the White House briefing room - warning that the spending cuts could make America less secure.
'"I'm not here to scare people," Napolitano said when asked about Jindal's comments. "If people are scared, it's because the full impact of this is finally being made evident. And so people now are saying, oh my gosh, what do I need to do?"
Napolitano said the cut - which she said would force her to trim the Homeland Security budget by about 5 percent - would force dramatic cuts across the department, including reductions in the number of border security and TSA agents. http://abcn.ws/XWWrpH (More K arl)
Boehner Not Blinking In Budget Deal - With sequestration set to strike on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner returned to the Capitol after a nine-day recess with no apparent change in his political posture: If the $85 billion cuts are going to be averted, Boehner insists, it's up to the Senate to act. http://abcn.ws/Zw3fOc (John Parkinson)
Only in Washington Tweets - from Politico's @mkady: 5th grader at my kid's school, upon getting popcorn in a plastic bag instead of fancy white/red stripes: "Is this b/c of sequestration?"
GOP Sea Change - as noticed by the NY Times Weisman and Parker - "The fiscal stalemate is highlighting a significant shift in the Republican Party: lawmakers most keenly dedicated to shrinking the size of government are now more dominant than the bloc committed foremost to a robust national defense, particularly in the House. That reality also underscores what Republicans, and some Democrats, say was a major miscalculation on the part of President Obama. He agreed to set up the automatic cuts 18 months ago because he believed the threat of sharp reductions in military spending would be enough to force Republicans to agree to a deficit reduction plan that included the tax increases he favored. http://nyti.ms/Weh9al
Former Romney Strategist 'Obsessive' About Twitter, But Warns Technology Is Not The GOP's Panacea - It's not over yet. The 2012 presidential campaign, that is. At least not if you ask Mitt Romney's former top strategist, Stuart Stevens, who has been writing and talking a lot about blame lately. http://abcn.ws/Ywuw46 (Michael Falcone)
DNA Dragnet - When the Supreme Court hears a case challenging a Maryland DNA law this week, one former prosecutor will be remembering the dormant rape case she says was solved because of the law. http://abcn.ws/Yw1qO8 (Ariane De Vogue) U.S. Census Bureau Drops 'Negro' From Surveys - The U.S. Census Bureau is bidding farewell to "Negro" on its surveys and forms after more than 100 years of use. http://abcn.ws/YwmQil (Jilian Fama)
NY Pol Under Fire For Blackface Costume - A New York politician is under fire for wearing blackface for the Jewish holiday of Purim - in which people traditionally wear costumes - over the weekend. http://abcn.ws/YTDuoT (Shushannah Walshe)
Obama Enlists Governors To Help Get Sequester Deal - With less than five days to prevent $85 billion in sweeping, automatic budget cuts, President Obama today asked the nation's governors to help pressure Congress to compromise on a deal to avert the sequester. "There are always going to be areas where we have some genuine disagreement," the president told a meeting of the National Governors Association at the White House. "But there are more areas where we can do a lot more cooperating than I think we've seen over the last several years." http://abcn.ws/13KvtW0 (Mary Bruce)
Lawmakers Angry with Facebook Over Newtown Comments -A trio of lawmakers representing Newtown, Conn., where Sandy Hook Elementary School is located, wrote a letter to Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to complain on behalf of families and victims who say they may have been exploited for their loss by bad actors on the popular social media site. http://abcn.ws/V2gJT4 (John Parkinson)
Michelle Obama's Image Altered By Iranian News Agency-A semi-official Iranian news agency called Fars altered an image of Michelle Obama at the Academy Awards to appeal to their more conservative readers. http://abcn.ws/X6JrSH (Jilian Fama)
If Washington Chose the Oscar Winners … According to OpenSecrets.org, if Washington had given out Oscars, the winners might have been (slightly) different. With a combined total of more than $3.6 million in donations to Democrats over the past 12 years, Hollywood continues its historical association with that party. Amounts of the donations vary, but many nominees across major categories contributed to Democratic political campaigns in some way. http://abcn.ws/XTRNM1 (Alisa Wiersema)
This Week In History Feb. 25- March 1-Does this week seem like any other week? Well, think again. Check out some of the most important political events that happened this week in history. http://abcn.ws/V1AzxN (Jilian Fama)
Michelle Obama Names 'Best Picture' in Surprise Oscars Appearance-The first lady named the Best Picture winner Sunday night. Michelle Obama announced the big award in a surprise appearance live from the White House at Sunday's Academy Awards, naming Hollywood hit "Argo" as Best Picture of the year. http://abcn.ws/YSIf1R (Jilian Fama)