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The Edge

Russia Puts Cameras in Odd Places; UI Bill Denied Again—THE EDGE—Brought to You by Neustar

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The unemployment-insurance bill failed to pass the Senate, with Democrats coming one vote short of breaking a filibuster. Sen. Max Baucus was confirmed as ambassador to China. Russian officials say the recent criticism of Sochi hotels in unfounded and that they have surveillance footage—from bathrooms—to prove it. An anonymously leaked recording of a phone call between State Department officials includes one candidly criticizing the European Union. Sen. James Risch of Idaho had an even more conservative voting record last year than Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or Marco Rubio. And the tobacco industry isn't all that fazed by CVS's announcement Wednesday.


THE MOST LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE LAWMAKERS ARE … Several Democratic senators and representatives tied for National Journal's liberal superlatives, while Rep. Steve Chabot and Sen. James Risch were named most conservative. The biggest takeaway of the rankings may be that Congress will likely be even more polarized next year. (Josh Kraushaar, NJ)


UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BILL STALLS IN SENATE: Democrats were one vote shy of breaking a filibuster by Republicans, who said the bill needed to include more spending cuts to offset its cost. (Paul Kane, WaPo)

BAUCUS APPROVED AS CHINA AMBASSADOR: The Senate approved the Montana Democrat by a vote of 96-0. Baucus had already said he would not seek reelection this year when President Obama nominated him in December of last year. (Alan Fram, AP)

RUSSIAN OFFICIAL SAYS SHOWER SURVEILLANCE DISPROVES HOTEL COMPLAINTS: The deputy prime minister in charge of Olympics planning said he has surveillance video showing guests pointing shower nozzles at their bathroom walls. Another official later backtracked, saying the hotels did not have any surveillance at all in the bathrooms. (WSJ)

"F--- THE EU," SAYS A STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: In a recording of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland criticizes the European Union for its handling of the political protests in Ukraine. (Jordain Carney, NJ)

BOEHNER DOUBTS IMMIGRATION REFORM WILL HAPPEN THIS YEAR: The House Speaker said he probably does not have enough support from other Republicans to pass the kind of immigration measures he has supported for more than a year. In a news conference, he put the blame on President Obama, saying, "There's widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws, and it's going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes." (Jonathan Weisman, NYT)

TWITTER THREATENS TO FIGHT AGAINST SURVEILLANCE GAG ORDER: The company said in a blog post that the Justice Department's restrictions against disclosing information on surveillance violates its First Amendment rights, and is "considering legal options" based on that argument. Other online giants like Google and Facebook have struck deals with the Obama administration that the loosen secrecy rules. (Brendan Sasso, NJ)

COALITION OF WEBSITES VOWS TO "FIGHT BACK" AGAINST NSA: The Internet revolution is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 11, with more than 4,000 groups, including the ACLU, reddit and Tumblr, leading a campaign in favor of the USA Freedom Act, which would restrict the government's surveillance authority. (Dustin Volz, NJ)

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: President Obama will speak about the farm bill at 2 p.m. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will speak at 11:30 a.m. about his priorities as secretary. The Senate is in session.


THE WORKFORCE IS SHRINKING REGARDLESS OF OBAMACARE: The potential loss of full-time jobs due to the health care law is a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. (Tim Fernholz, Quartz)

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN TOMORROW'S JOBS REPORT: January's report might explain why December's was so bad. (Ylan Mui, WaPo)

WHY BIG TOBACCO ISN'T WORRIED ABOUT CVS: The industry has a fallback plan in e-cigarettes, in case other convenience stores stop selling tobacco products. (Matt Berman, NJ)


LESSONS ON TECHNOLOGY, FROM LAW & ORDER: It's surprisingly enlightening to watch every single episode of the show, which ran for 20 years, and take note of every computer on the show. (Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic)


LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Stephen Colbert is bored by the responses to the Congressional Budget Office report on Obamacare. (Mauro Whiteman, NJ)

MAPPING THE MOST LIBERAL AND CONSERVATIVE DELEGATIONS: See each state's liberal score in one map, with Vermont as the most liberal and Kansas as the most conservative. (Peter Bell, NJ)

WHY THE LANDLINE IS ABOUT TO DIE: What does the FCC do when all calls are made online? (Reena Flores, NJ)
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