|PM Note: It's the Secrecy, Stupid, Brennan Confirmed, Levin Retiring, Drugs vs. Money|
|Z. Byron Wolf||Mar 7, 2013, 6:35 PM|
Cool Story - Civil War Remains Headed for Arlington - Unidentified sailors were on USS Monitor - http://abcn.ws/XVNYHA
Carl Levin Won't Seek Reelection - http://abcn.ws/Wxl7v0 (Sunlen Miller)
QOTD - Selling Cocaine vs. Laundering Drug Money - ""If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you're going to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night - every single individual associated with this - and I just think that's fundamentally wrong." - Elizabeth Warren brings it to regulators at another Banking Committee hearing. This time she was angry that no one from HSBC went to jail. http://abcn.ws/XWHS8Y
Bin Laden Son-in-Law, Captured in Turkey, to Be Arraigned in New York - http://abcn.ws/XtFxDR
Brennan Confirmed; Paul Claims Victory - Secrecy, Not Drones is the Real Issue Here - When we wrote this note yesterday, Rand Paul was about six hours into what became about a 13-hour filibuster.
We're writing tonight and John Brennan has been overwhelmingly confirmed as CIA Director. And Rand Paul voted for to cut off debate (although he didn't vote for Brennan). http://abcn.ws/16c6oav (Miller)
Rick Klein points out One of the many things that makes this debate fascinating is the way it cuts across party lines - these are Bush-era policies, continued and reinforced by President Obama. They're now opposed by an unlikely alliance of libertarians, anti-Obama forces and civil-liberty advocates.
Indeed it was John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who have somehow become the great defenders of the Bush foreign policy, they took to the Senate floor to argue that Paul's filibuster of President Obama's drone war was "ridiculous" and makes a mockery of the Senate. They got tough questions Thursday from Dick Durbin, who was a great questioner of the Bush foreign policy when Bush was president. But now Durbin has to defend President Obama. He was the lone Democrat Wednesday night who fired tough questions at Paul. http://abcn.ws/W8xHOR
It is important to remember that the liberal groups backing Paul - the ACLU, for instance, and Jon Stewart's on-air attaboy - already had the same position on drones that he has. http://abcn.ws/12x1C8u
Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, did all the walking here in the face of a revolt by Republicans elected in 2010 and after.
Drones or Secrecy? - Paul drew his line in the sand about killing Americans with drones on American soil. But it seems in some ways like that's beside the point. If the government were going to kill a suspected American terrorist here, would they use a drone?
The reason Paul could get traction has more to do with transparency. The president promising a transparent administration has carried on a secret war. And secrecy fosters conspiracy theories.
The vast majority of Americans - 83 percent - support the drone program according to an ABC poll a year ago. But nobody really knows that much about it. Even lawmakers are largely in the dark. Read Walter Shapiro's column in Yahoo! News - http://yhoo.it/WYHBp4
North Korea's 'Pre-Emptive Nuclear' Threat - http://abcn.ws/XYTN3P
Sequester at Home: Uncertainty in D.C. Suburb Means Higher Taxes to Come - Residents of Virginia's most populous county should expect to see a bump in their property tax bill this year, thanks to economic uncertainty fostered by - you guessed it - Washington and the sequester, a county official said Thursday. http://abcn.ws/VLYEck (Sarah Parnass)
Activists to Challenge Arkansas Abortion Law - http://abcn.ws/XtBffH
Latinos Closing Digital Divide, Poll Shows - A new study out today shows Latinos are closing the digital divide - and cell phones are the device of choice. http://abcn.ws/14z1dhe (Jim Avila)
Secret Service: Canceling WH Tours Saves $74K a Week - ABC News tried all day yesterday to get an answer out of the White House and Secret Service about how much money will be saved by canceling White House tours. Now we have an answer. http://abcn.ws/10lZPlo (Jon Karl)
Top 5 Senate Filibusters - Will the senator yield? http://abcn.ws/WwZVoR (Anjuli Sastry)
Obama Lunches With Ryan, Van Hollen - Continuing his congressional outreach campaign, President Obama has invited House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and the top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, to lunch at the White House today. http://abcn.ws/10lMFol (John Parkinson and Mary Bruce)
Senate Committee Passes Gun Trafficking Bill - A Senate panel passed the first piece of proposed gun legislation out of committee Thursday morning with an 11 to 7 vote in favor of a bill to stem weapons trafficking. http://abcn.ws/12x1C8u (Arlette Saenz)