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Republicans Yield on Debt Limit…Barely—THE EDGE Republicans Yield on Debt Limit…Barely—THE EDGE

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The Edge

Republicans Yield on Debt Limit…Barely—THE EDGE

photo of Jack Fitzpatrick
February 12, 2014

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The Senate passed a "clean" debt-ceiling bill after overcoming a filibuster by Sen. Ted Cruz. Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was convicted on 20 of 21 charges relating to accepting payoffs for city contracts. Rand Paul is officially suing the Obama administration over the National Security Agency's domestic-spying programs. A confidential paper by the Syrian opposition on the country's future makes no mention of President Bashar al-Assad. And Republican lawmakers have been receiving strange, anonymous emails threatening political revenge for votes in favor of the "clean" debt-ceiling bill.


SENATE PASSES DEBT-CEILING BILL: A bill raising the debt ceiling passed the Senate with 55 votes soon after clearing a procedural hurdle. The bill overcame a filibuster by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, collecting barely enough votes from Republicans to end debate and vote on the bill. No Republicans voted in favor of the bill in the final vote. (Mimms/Izadi, NJ)


FORMER NEW ORLEANS MAYOR CONVICTED OF CORRUPTION: Ray Nagin, who was mayor of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, was found guilty on 20 of 21 charges centering on accepting payoffs for city contracts. Nagin could be facing about 20 years in prison. Witnesses testified during the trial that when potential contractors met with Nagin, he asked for favors, often payments to his granite countertop business, adding up to more than $500,000 in illicit benefits. (Campbell Robertson, NYT)

RAND PAUL SUES OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OVER NSA: The Kentucky Republican sued on the grounds that the NSA's spying programs violate Americans' Fourth Amendment rights, and said his class-action lawsuit could potentially represent hundreds of millions of people. Paul said he wasn't strictly against government spying programs: "I just want you to go to a judge, have a person's name, and individualize the warrant. That's what the Fourth Amendment says." (Dustin Volz, NJ)

SYRIAN OPPOSITION SEES NO PLACE FOR ASSAD IN THE NEXT GOVERNMENT: A confidential paper laying out future plans for the country makes no mention of President Bashar al-Assad. Opposition leaders have insisted that Assad not be involved in a transitional government that would seek to end the country's civil war. (Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Reuters)

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS LOSE POWER IN THE SOUTH: Homes throughout the deep South lost power as a strong winter storm moved through the region and up the East Coast. More than 2,200 Atlanta flights have been cancelled, and Amtrak announced it had canceled some services out of New York, Washington, and some parts of the South. (Kim Severson, NYT)

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: President Obama will speak at 11:45 a.m. about the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative for minority men. Vice President Biden will speak at the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will testify at 10:30 a.m. at a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez will testify at 10 a.m. at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the minimum wage.


REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN RECEIVING BIZARRE THREATS OVER THE DEBT LIMIT: An anonymous person has been sending House and Senate Republicans cryptic emails—to their usually unknown personal email address—about "lying to the American people" on the debt ceiling. (John Stanton, BuzzFeed)

WHY THE SAN DIEGO MAYORAL RACE MATTERS: Republican Kevin Faulconer's win Tuesday illustrates Democrats' turnout problem in 2014. (Scott Bland, NJ)

THE WASHINGTON HERALD-TRIBUNE-SUN-MOON: A guide to the capital's fictional newspapers, from "House of Cards," "Scandal," and other shows and books. (Matt Vasilogambros, NJ)

HOW THE RED SOX AND YANKEES EXPLAIN CONNECTICUT POLITICS: The state is torn between Boston and New York in congressional races, too. (Chris Cillizza, WaPo)

FRAPPUCCINOS ARE A GATEWAY DRUG: Coffee is now responsible for almost a quarter of the daily caffeine intake of 2- to 22-year-olds. (Rachel Feltman, Quartz)


AMERICA FORGOT HOW TO TALK TO ITS ZOMBIE SPACESHIP: A spacecraft launched in 1978 is accidentally still operating, but the technology used to communicate with it was scrapped long ago. (Alex Brown, NJ)

WHY DO WRITERS PROCRASTINATE? It might have something to do with English class. (Megan McArdle, The Atlantic)

WHY AMERICA LOVES LINCOLN: The 16th president's personal secretaries worked for years after his death to shape his legacy. (Joshua Zeitz, Smithsonian Magazine)


INTERACTIVE: HOW DO TWO SKIERS TIE FOR GOLD? Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze had the same time—down to hundredths of a second—in the women's downhill. Track their spot in the race in this interactive. (Bill Pennington, NYT)

LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 2 MINUTES: Jon Stewart wants to know why it's such a big deal that French President Francois Hollande is in the U.S. without a date. (Reena Flores, NJ)
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