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February 8, 2013
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National Pulse 
  • State of the Union address will pledge a focus on jobs
    Read full story  
    President Barack Obama previewed his State of the Union address for Democratic lawmakers this week, promising to use the speech to present issues such as immigration and education reform as means to boost employment. Tuesday's speech could be a defining moment for Obama, giving him the chance to set out his vision at a time when he has significant political capital. "He's never really had an opportunity like this -- and he probably won't have one again," write Sean Sullivan and Aaron Blake. USA Today/The Oval blog (2/8) , The Washington Post/The Fix blog (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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Reader Polls 
  • This week's poll: Haggling over Hagel
    Is Chuck Hagel a good choice for secretary of Defense? Most of you don't think so, according to this week's poll. By a 2-to-1 margin, respondents voted thumbs down on the Hagel nomination. Of those who offered details of their positions, one writer suggested appointing Vice President Joe Biden to the Defense post and allowing him to serve as both VP and secretary. Others criticized Hagel's comments on Israel and one critic went so far as to say Hagel would be an embarrassment as secretary. Among supporters, Hagel's military service in Vietnam was cited as a strong qualification for the position. Next week: The drone debate.
    No  58.83%
    Yes  28.82%
    Neutral/no opinion  11.89%
    None of the above/other  0.46%
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Agenda Items 
  • Spending cuts could hurt GOP in military areas
    Republicans lawmakers in military districts could be vulnerable in 2014 if the party fails to act to prevent the "sequestration" spending cuts, Democrats say. "Republicans who are unwilling to compromise ... are going to find an unwelcome reception from voters," predicts Jesse Ferguson, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (2/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Data Points 
  • Friday fact-check: Reid was "doubly wrong" on deficit cuts
    Read full story  
    Sen. Harry Reid was wrong to claim this week that Congress had already cut $2.6 trillion from the national deficit by cutting "non-defense programs," according to's researchers. The claim, made on ABC's "This Week," stemmed from figures that actually pertain to both security and non-security spending, and that include new tax revenues as well as spending cuts. (2/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

The Conversation 
Daily Chuckle 
  • Why the Army is saying "no thanks" to more tanks
    Watch video  
    America should spend $3 billion to buy 300 new M1 tanks, according to a bipartisan group of 173 lawmakers. Only one problem: The military doesn't want them and already has 3,000 surplus tanks mothballed in a Reno boneyard. Comedy Central's Al Madrigal tries to get answers. Comedy Central (2/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Too many critics mistake the deliberations of the Congress for its decisions."
--Sam Rayburn, American politician and speaker of the House
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