People Signing On Urge SCOTUS Against Prop 8 Today - Eastwood and his 'Empty Chair' - 1. Obama Admin. To Urge Overturning Prop 8 - Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, plans to file a brief today with the Supreme Court in favor of challengers of Prop. 8, according to an administration source. It would mark the first time that the Obama administration has come out in court against the California ballot initiative that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. http://abcn.ws/VQIo8B
2. Clint Eastwood and 80 other Republicans - A growing split in the Republican Party deepened today when Clint Eastwood, the movie star who rocked the GOP convention by interviewing an invisible President Obama, joined the ranks of Republicans who are in favor of legalizing gay marriage. http://abcn.ws/VeK1Od (Shushannah Walshe)
Fasten Your Sequester Belts - Sometime between the next two midnights President Obama is going to engage sequestration, something we've known about for a good long while now. Also tomorrow - President Obama and leaders from Capitol Hill will have their first face-to-face working meeting since December 17th. That's about 73 days.
If cuts happen, "all of us should be fired," said Sen. Lindsey Graham. "This is a low point for me in the US Congress"
The full wrap on all of the ins and outs of Sequester is here from Devin Dwyer and a full cast of ABC characters - http://abcn.ws/XJ8YOu
Despite what Graham said (and despite furloughs and potential pink slips for government workers), no lawmakers are going to get fired any time soon (the next election is 2014… and Graham is up for reelection, tho).
But if they did…
How to Say Goodbye - It's out of our beat, but we wish resigning cabinet officials and lawmakers would take a cue from former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason's Sayonara: "After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding - I was fired today. If you're wondering why… you haven't been paying attention. http://bit.ly/15UnM3k
White House Denies Threatening Bob Woodward - The White House today adamantly denied that Gene Sperling threatened Bob Woodward, adding that the president's top adviser on economic policy was "incredibly respectful" in his emails to the veteran journalist. http://abcn.ws/15lPW6j (Mary Bruce)
Sequester May Revive 'Amtrak Joe' Biden- Choo, choo! Coming soon, Amtrak Joe may be riding the rails once again. Even though President Obama flew a few hundred miles on Air Force 1 to coastal Virgnia this week, Joe Biden is going to do the sequester slim-down by hopping onto his old Acela (Sarah Parnass and Arlette Saenz) http://abcn.ws/WkqygB
Communities Predict Teachers, Prison Guards, Elderly Will Feel Pain of Sequester Cuts - The automatic budget cuts of the legislation called the sequester kick in Thursday. http://abcn.ws/Y2hB60 (Sarah Parnass)
Can Cuba Get Off 'Terror' List? - According to the U.S. State Department, the world's most prolific terrorist groups are supported by the government of Iran, Sudan, Syria and Cuba. http://abcn.ws/12dvkiz (Dana Hughes)
House Passes Violence Against Women Act - On to the president's desk: The House voted today to pass a Senate-approved version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, sending the bill to President Obama for his signature. An earlier vote on a controversial Republican version of the legislation was voted down. http://abcn.ws/Y809zJ (John Parkinson)
Michelle Obama Announces Active Schools Initiative - First Lady Michelle Obama today launched a new "Let's Move!" Active Schools initiative, in an effort to encourage more physical activity in the nation's classrooms. With the help of a $50 million investment from Nike, the program will help schools to "create active environments where students get 60 minutes of physical activity before, during and after the school day." ____ (Mary Bruce) Sequestration: Surrender is in the Air - On the eve of sequestration, there's a tone of surrender on Capitol Hill - even from the Senate Chaplain who offered a poignant prayer this morning for senators. http://abcn.ws/15loDJf (Sunlen Miller)
Manning Offers Pleas to Judge in WikiLeaks Case - An Army private charged in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history offered guilty pleas Thursday to 10 of 22 charges against him and a military judge said she would allow the soldier to read a statement explaining his actions. http://abcn.ws/WrMocW
The Politics of Picking a Pope - VATICAN CITY - In a U.S presidential campaign, the New Hampshire primary is thought of as "retail politics," where the candidates actually get to meet and have contact with real voters. That's Walmart, compared to a Vatican conclave. This process is more of a boutique. http://abcn.ws/YJ9Upu (David Wright)
With Benedict's Departure, World's Attention Turns To Who Will Replace Him As Pope Benedict XVI flew off from Vatican City today to start a secluded life at the papal retreat outside Rome, the world's attention turns to who will replace him at the helm of the Roman Catholic Church. http://abcn.ws/XF8xYC (Matthew Jaffe)
By the Numbers: Catholics in America - With Pope Benedict XVI's departure, Catholics will soon have a new leader, who will no doubt hold sway over a good chunk of American voters. http://abcn.ws/YDrglJ (Sarah Parnass)
Has Ted Cruz Hit The Tipping Point? - The Ted Cruz headlines just won't stop. http://abcn.ws/15l6L15 (Michael Falcone)