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1.) BREAKING: World won’t actually end — The president’s spokesperson admitted his boss may have been exaggerating a bit when talking about the consequences of the sequester. TheDC’s Neil Munro reports:
“White House spokesman Jay Carney backed away Wednesday from his boss’ apocalyptic claims of imminent mass-layoffs if Congress does not stop the scheduled budget sequester by raising taxes. ‘Republicans in Congress face a simple choice,’ President Barack Obama claimed yesterday. ‘Are they willing to compromise … or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our entire economy at risk just to protect a few special interest tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations?’ he said Feb. 19. But pressed today by reporters about if the sequester would for immediately force of ‘hundreds of thousands’ of Americans, Carney demurred on Obama’s dire claims. ‘No, but there will be job losses,’ he said.”
That said, the threat to the Defense Department is serious. The president and Congress ought to ensure that it is spared whatever game of chicken is about to be played over the sequester.
“To one conservative group, Marco Rubio is the only perfect senator. Americans For Prosperity, a self-described ‘free market grassroots organization,’ announced its scorecard of the 112th Congress on Wednesday. That group ranks lawmakers by percentage based upon votes they took on certain bills that affect ‘economic freedom.’ The only senator to get a perfect 100 percent rating? Rubio, the freshman Florida senator thought to be gearing up for a possible 2016 presidential race.”
3.) Have you no shame, Chuck Hagel? — On Wednesday, we learned what we already knew: Chuck Hagel, no matter how hostile he may or may not be to Israel, was not stupid enough to accept money from a group called “Friends of Hamas,” if such a group even exists. But TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein and Will Rahn got exclusive tips from sources that may or may not be real detailing 15 equally nefarious groups Chuck Hagel may have gotten cash from. They include “Pals of Pol Pot.” And: ” St. Judes Hospital that Does Research on Children.” Also: “Veterans of Foreign Wars Against Christmas.” And of course: ” Young Americans for Genocide.” It’s really shocking, shocking stuff. See the rest of the list and be horrified.
4.) iRant — TheDC’s Matt Labash does not like the modern world. He writes:
“I remember the first time that I encountered an iPad in the wild. I’d gone to a local steakhouse with a friend, and as we were tucking in for what I hoped was our usual civilized three hours of boozy conversation, he propped his iIntrusion against the Splenda bin in an attempt to keep it upright on the table, as is iDork custom. It was as though he were announcing to the world, “I am a gullible conspicuous consumer who is easily marketed to, buying more overpriced contraptions that I don’t need in order to keep myself tethered to an increasingly clamorous world that can only be silenced through a six-martini lunch, which my iInvader is now disrupting.” But thinking nothing of the ungainliness of his new and suddenly essential toy, he’d have capped on me as being a preposterous philistine if I’d done the same with a book or a laptop, one of which is more aesthetically pleasing (book), while the other (laptop) provides greater utility for communicating — i.e., for typing in coherent sentences with 10 fingers instead of smudging up the screen with greasy thumbs. So I did my dutiful best to ridicule him. That’s what friends are for. But mostly, I just felt sorry for him.”
Read the rest. And then throw away your iPad.
6.) Today in North Korean News — BREAKING: “Congratulations to Kim Jong Un from Malaysian Political Party Leader”