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Marriage Limbo in Utah, and Why December Was Bad for Job Seekers and Target Shoppers—THE EDGE Marriage Limbo in Utah, and Why December Was Bad for Job Seekers and T...

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The Edge

Marriage Limbo in Utah, and Why December Was Bad for Job Seekers and Target Shoppers—THE EDGE

January 10, 2014

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc) and Laura Ryan (@NJljryan)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: President Obama will detail his plans for reforming the NSA on Jan. 17. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the federal government will recognize the marriages of about 1,000 same-sex couples in Utah who were awaiting a final court ruling on the state's same-sex marriage ban. A disappointing jobs report estimates the country gained only 74,000 jobs in December, but something seems off about the report. Target's data breach last month was almost twice as bad as initially thought. And Congress will likely have to buy some extra time to work on a spending bill and avoid another shutdown.


HOLDER RECOGNIZES UTAH SAME-SEX MARRIAGES: The Obama administration waded into the increasingly complicated same-sex marriage situation in Utah. Holder said the federal government will recognize the unions of couples who married before the Supreme Court issued a stay on a federal ruling that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The couples will be eligible for "all relevant federal benefits," Holder said (Charlie Savage, NYT)


SO COUPLES ARE MARRIED IN U.S. BUT NOT UTAH? Holder's announcement put about 1,000 couples in an awkward position: The federal government recognizes their marriages but their home state does not. The unfortunate part is that courts move slowly, so it could take years for the issue to be resolved. (Brian Resnick, NJ)

OBAMA TO UNVEIL NSA CHANGES: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Obama will outline reforms to the NSA in a speech on Jan. 17, emphasizing that the changes "will not harm our national security." The announcement follows Obama's Wednesday meeting with intelligence officials and key lawmakers. (Sasso/Volz, NJ)

UNEMPLOYMENT DROPPED, BUT DON'T GET TOO EXCITED: Unemployment at 6.7 percent might sound like an improvement, but only 74,000 jobs were added in December -- a drastically disappointing estimate compared with recent months, in which about 200,000 were added. The unemployment rate ticked down largely because about 347,000 people stopped looking for work. The best spin you could put on this news is that December's estimate was so terrible it might be inaccurate. (Neil Irwin, WaPo)

TARGET'S DATA BREACH WAS WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT: About 70 million Target shoppers' credit- and debit-card information was stolen in December -- much worse than the initial estimate of 40 million. Target pledged to continue investigating and to offer customers a free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection. (Dustin Volz, NJ)

CONGRESS TO USE STOPGAP BILL TO AVOID ANOTHER SHUTDOWN: Negotiators are still working on a $1 trillion spending bill but probably won't be able to finish it in time for their Jan. 15 deadline. So Congress will vote early next week on a three-day funding bill to give themselves extra time to avoid another federal government shutdown. (Erik Wasson, The Hill)

DEMOCRATS BREAK RANKS ON ANTI-OBAMACARE BILL: The House passed a bill requiring victims of security breaches to be notified within two days, with 67 Democrats joining Republicans to vote for the measure. That is the highest number of Democrats siding with Republicans on an Obamacare-related bill to date. (Dumain/Fuller, Roll Call)

THE WEEKEND IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Sen. Marco Rubio will discuss the War on Poverty on Face the Nation. Meet the Press and This Week will each feature a panel discussion on the implications of Bridgegate for Gov. Chris Christie. Candi Crowley will interview Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, part of a series of interviews with possible presidential party picks in 2016, on State of the Union. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will kick off award season as the hosts for the Golden Globes.

Join National Journal on Tuesday, Jan. 21 for "A Conversation With Charlie Cook," underwritten by The Washington Auto Show. Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building, 1:30-3:30 pm. RSVP @


MOVE OVER, CHRISTIE: Six 2016 presidential hopefuls may get more of the spotlight now that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie looks vulnerable. (Alexandra Jaffe, The Hill)

CGI GETS THE BOOT: The Obama administration is preparing to breakup with CGI, the IT contractor that built the disaster, and reportedly has its eye on Accenture as its replacement. (Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein, WaPo)

NO FOOD STAMPS FOR POT BROWNIES: Colorado state lawmakers have proposed a bill adding marijuana dispensaries to the list of places you can't use an electronic benefits card to get cash. (Kristen Wyatt, AP)

IGNORE THE JOB REPORT: There is something askance with today's job report. It is largely inconsistent with any of the other recent data on the labor market. (Matt Philips, Quartz)


LAWMAKERS TAKE FLIGHT: "Indeed, the reality is that lobbyists who can't legally buy a lawmaker a sandwich can still escort members on trips all around the world." (Shane Goldmacher, NJ)

FALLUJAH'S FALL SHAKES FAITH: The surprising fall of Fallujah is forcing many U.S. Marines to reevaluate the cause they risked their lives for. (Richard Oppel, Jr., NYT)


LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Chris Christie's management philosophy is, "My way, or I'll shut down your highway." Pope Francis gives an old friend a spin in the Popemobile, and makes his friend reevaluate what he accomplished in life. (Reena Flores, NJ)

THE WORLD'S SCOTCH WHISKEY DRINKERS: The U.S. imports the most Scotch, but it turns out no one loves the drink more than Singaporeans. (Roberto Ferdman, Quartz)

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