February 18, 2013
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SmartBrief on Business and Politics

National Pulse
GOP senators pave way for Hagel vote
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McCain, Graham/Reuters
Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham eased back on their criticism of Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel on Sunday, making it more likely that the Senate will get an up-or-down confirmation vote in coming days. Both senators still oppose Hagel's confirmation, but say they've received the information they need to permit a vote. "I don't believe that we should hold up his nomination any further," McCain said. FoxNews.com/The Associated Press (2/18), The Atlantic Wire (2/17)
Other News
Reader Polls
This week's poll: Favorite presidents
Today we celebrate George Washington's birthday, commonly known as Presidents Day, a time to honor the father of our country and his successors as chief executive of the U.S. This week's question: Who is your favorite president? Space does not permit us to list all 43 men who have held the office, but some possible answers are listed below. You can submit other presidents or share the reasons for your selection using this link. Results will be posted Friday.
VoteGeorge Washington
VoteThomas Jefferson
VoteAbraham Lincoln
VoteTheodore Roosevelt
VoteFranklin Delano Roosevelt
VoteDwight D. Eisenhower
VoteJohn F. Kennedy
VoteRonald Reagan
VoteBill Clinton
VoteGeorge W. Bush
VoteBarack Obama
VoteNone of the above/other
Agenda Items
Protesters seek to derail Keystone pipeline project
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Some 35,000 environmental protesters descended on the White House on Sunday in a demonstration against the Keystone XL pipeline. Activists say the president's decision on whether to go ahead with the pipeline will show whether he is willing to take action to tackle climate change even in the face of industry protests. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/18), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/IHT Rendezvous blog (2/18)
Data Points
Shift in household demographics calls for business rethink
Source: Esri
The shifting demographics of households within the U.S. have many businesses rethinking how they develop, package and market their products. As single-parent, multigenerational, non-family and one-person households are chipping away at the "norm" that was mom, dad, 2.5 kids and a dog. This article details what ZIP codes across the U.S. are seeing the greatest shift and what the "new normal" might look like in the years to come. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/18)
The Conversation
Daily Chuckle
Are you a White House trivia buff?
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Washington/Reuters/National Portrait Gallery
Quick -- which president had the biggest feet? Which loved skinny dipping in the Potomac? And which refused to vote until he was in his 60s? If you're at a loss, check out "The Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia," which contains all the trivia you'll ever need about the people who've inhabited the White House over the years. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (2/18)
Hot Topics
The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small, bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its demands."
-- Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th U.S. president
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