Mar
9

Rand Paul Speaks as Parties Change Places on Executive Power

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Rand PaulKentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has finally stopped talking, but the conversation about presidential war powers and extrajudicial killings sparked by his filibuster continues.

On Thursday morning, pro-Paul hashtags like #StandWithRand remain among the top trending topics on Twitter. Nearly ever major news outlet has covered Paul’s filibuster, which delayed the confirmation of President Obama’s CIA nominee John Brennan.

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Mar
9

Senators Hush-Hush Crafting Immigration Bill

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John McCainWASHINGTON (AP) — The eight senators meet in private several times a week, alternating between Sen. John McCain’s and Sen. Charles Schumer’s offices. They sit in arm chairs arranged in a circle and sip water or soft drinks as they debate temporary workers and border security. In a capital riven by partisanship and gridlock, they are determined to be the exception and actually get something done.

This is immigration reform’s “Gang of Eight.” With them lies the best hope in years for overhauling the nation’s byzantine immigration laws — and they know it. That’s partly why they are, by all accounts, working amazingly well together as a self-imposed deadline approaches for their sweeping legislation to be released. The progress is happening even though the group includes some of the Senate’s most outsized personalities, failed and prospective presidential candidates, one lawmaker dogged by scandal and another facing a potential re-election challenge that could be complicated by his stance on immigration.

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Mar
9

Obama Dials Down Budget Blame in New Tack on Deficit Fight

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 Obama dials backWASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said he is looking for compromise in the coming months to end a two-year fight with Congress over how to reduce the deficit, promising Americans in his weekly radio address that he will try to find common ground with lawmakers.

Turning away from the sharp rhetoric he has used in recent weeks to blame Republicans for $85 billion in government spending cuts that took effect March 1, Obama this week highlighted how he is working with lawmakers in Congress.

“The fact is, America is a nation of different beliefs and different points of view. That’s what makes us strong, and frankly, makes our democratic debates messy and often frustrating,” Obama said.

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Mar
8

Law Requiring the Head of Every Household to Own a Firearm

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policeExcerpted from POLITICO: A small town in Georgia is on its way to approving a largely symbolic local law requiring the head of every household to own a firearm to combat growing fears of the federal government overreaching, local officials say.

“It’s a statement from a little town to the government – you’re not going to get into our lives and take our firearms away, that type of thing,” Nelson, Ga., councilwoman Edith Portillo told POLITICO. “This government intrusion in our lives is getting bigger and bigger – it’s getting into every section of our lives.”

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Mar
8

Canceled White House Tours

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white house tors cancelledRepublicans are having a great time ridiculing the Obama administration for canceling White House tours as $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts take hold. They’ve got questions for the White House: Why not instead cancel golf, or calligraphy, or the president’s upcoming vacation? They’ve also got advice for disgruntled tourists: Come on over to the Capitol for a tour, we’ll show you a good time.

Fact-checkers, meanwhile, have been in overdrive debunking many of the dire claims President Obama and his allies have made about the impact of the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester. The White House, which says it’s trying to save on Secret Service costs by canceling the tours, is losing the current round of public-relations competition.

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Mar
8

Secret Service: Canceled White House Tours Save $74k a Week

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WH Tours cancelledAs Republicans continue to blast the White House for canceling tours due to the sequester’s budget impact, the United States Secret Service is offering further explanation about its decision to nix the visits for tourists beginning this weekend.

According to an official who broke down the numbers for NBC News, there are 37 Secret Service officers staffed for tours. They each get paid $50 per hour for eight-hour shifts. These officers work five days a week, adding up to a savings of $74,000 per week that the tours are off.

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