Quote of the day.
“The American people do want us to govern from the center, in a sense. But it is not the center the pundits and politicians in Washington talk about. Citizens want us to deal with issues that are at the center of their lives.” Paul Wellstone, in the February 19, 2001 edition of The Nation. Ten years ago today, Sen. Wellstone, his wife, Sheila, their daughter Marcia, three staff members, and two pilots were killed in a plane crash while campaigning in Minnesota.
1. Obama says he’ll renew push for a ‘grand bargain’ on federal budget.
In an interview made public Wednesday, Obama said he would pursue a “grand bargain” with Republicans to tame the national debt and would quickly follow that with a push to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws.
2. Crucial subset: Female voters still deciding.
Whether or not the term “waitress moms” endures, it defines a distinct demographic: blue-collar white women who did not attend college. And they are getting a lot of attention from both campaigns as the presidential race barrels toward its conclusion because even at this late date, pollsters say, many waitress moms have not settled on a candidate.
(New York Times)
3. U.S. sues BofA for $1 billion for mortgage fraud.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan sued Bank of America for $1 billion on Wednesday, alleging the bank defrauded government-sponsored mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
4. Shifting mood may end blank check for U.S. security efforts.
The looming federal budget crunch, a sense that major attacks on the United States are unlikely and new bipartisan criticism of the sprawling counterterrorism bureaucracy may mean that the open checkbook era is nearing an end.
(New York Times)
5. CIA veteran reshapes counterterrorism policy.
In his windowless White House office, presidential counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan is compiling the rules for a war the Obama administration believes will far outlast its own time in office, whether that is just a few more months or four more years.
6. Activist girl's dad vows she'll return to Pakistan.
The father of a 15-year-old Pakistani activist girl who was shot and wounded by a Taliban gunman vowed Thursday that she would return home after finishing medical treatment abroad despite new insurgent threats against her.
7. Syria violence flares ahead of possible truce.
There has been fresh violence in several Syrian cities, opposition activists say, just hours before the Syrian government was due to announce a final decision on an Eid al-Adha ceasefire proposed by Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN, and Arab League envoy.
8. Egypt brokers informal Israel-Gaza truce: Israeli official.
Palestinian militants held fire overnight on Thursday and Israel refrained from air strikes as an informal truce brokered by Egypt appeared to take hold following two days of violence along the Israel-Gaza border.
9. Sectarian violence worsens in volatile Myanmar.
Hundreds of homes burned and gunfire rang out as sectarian violence raged for a fifth day between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in western Myanmar, testing the nascent democracy in one of Asia's most ethnically diverse countries.
10. China to approve new nuclear plants.
China is ready to approve new nuclear power plants as part of ambitious plans to reduce reliance on oil and coal, ending a moratorium it imposed because of Japan's Fukushima disaster last year.