Quote of the day.
“It is my great hope that I’ll be a great justice, and that I’ll write opinions that will last the ages. But that doesn’t always happen. More importantly, it’s only one measure of meaning in life. To me, the more important one is my values and my impact on people who feel inspired in any way by me.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in an interview at a recent book signing.
(New York Times)
1. President Obama calls for short-term fix to avert automatic spending cuts.
President Obama on Tuesday urged Congressto head off deep automatic spending cuts set to hit the Pentagon and other federal agencies on March 1 and replace them, at least for a few months, with a new debt-reduction package that includes fresh tax revenue.
2. House G.O.P. open to residency for illegal immigrants.
House Republicans on Tuesday staked out what they cast as a middle-ground option in the debate over immigration, pushing an approach that could include legal residency but not a path to citizenship — as their Democratic counterparts favor — for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.
(New York Times)
3. Immigration's latest ally: Christian right.
The usual suspects pushing immigration reform have a new ally in the fight this time — the religious right. Christian conservatives, who stayed on the sidelines in 2006 or opposed reform outright, have sprung into action for the cause.
4. Senate Dems face dilemma over push for assault-weapons ban.
Senate Democrats are facing a major dilemma on how hard they should push for an assault weapons ban, a sensitive topic for vulnerable centrists who are running for reelection next year.
5. Lost votes, problem ballots, long waits? Flaws are widespread.
The flaws in the American election system are deep and widespread, extending beyond isolated voting issues in a few locations and flaring up in states rich and poor, according to a major new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
(New York Times)
6. Brennan nomination exposes criticism on targeted killings and secret Saudi base.
President Obama’s plan to install his counterterrorism adviser as director of the CIA has opened the administration to new scrutiny over the targeted-killing policies it has fought to keep hidden from the public, as well as the existence of a previously secret drone base in Saudi Arabia.
7. Top Tunisian opposition leader shot dead.
A top Tunisian opposition figure, Shokri Belaid, leader of the left-leaning opposition Democratic Patriots party, has been shot dead as he was leaving his home. … Belaid had been critical of Tunisia's leadership, especially the Islamic party Annahda that dominates the government.
8. Iran's Ahmadinejad seeks strategic axis with Egypt.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the first visit to Cairo by an Iranian leader in more than three decades, called for a strategic alliance with Egypt and said he had offered the cash-strapped Arab state a loan, but drew a cool response.
9. World powers back U.N. force in Mali.
African and other world powers have thrown their support behind a proposal that would see the United Nations deploy a peacekeeping force to Mali, taking over responsibilities from a similar African force.
10. Although splintered, al-Qaeda finds new life in unstable areas.
Pushed to the brink of collapse in its traditional strongholds, al-Qaeda has staged an unlikely but limited recovery over the past year through affiliates that have taken root in chaotic environments awash in weapons and beyond the reach of the U.S. military and CIA drones.