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Space Junk, Cat Cafes, and Why the State of the Union Is Awesome — THE EDGE Space Junk, Cat Cafes, and Why the State of the Union Is Awesome ... Space Junk, Cat Cafes, and Why the State of the Union Is Awesome — T... Space Junk, Cat Cafes, an...

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The Edge

Space Junk, Cat Cafes, and Why the State of the Union Is Awesome — THE EDGE

January 28, 2014

By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: President Obama's State of the Union speech tonight is expected to include a vow to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors. Hillary Clinton already has 57 Democrats willing to endorse her for president. House Republican leaders are expected to propose a change to the country's immigration law giving legal status to some immigrants. Cat cafes have a long way to go before they are properly regulated. And the state of the union is probably going to be "strong," as always.

NJ'S TECH EDGE: The government made a major concession to tech companies on the NSA, Obama's State of the Union speech could touch on a handful of important tech issues, and two bitcoin big shots were arrested for money laundering. Tech Edge, National Journal's new morning tipsheet, rounds up the best coverage of technology policy. Sign up here, and view today's issue here.



OBAMA WILL RAISE MINIMUM WAGE FOR FEDERAL CONTRACTORS: The president will announce in his speech that he will use his executive power to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 per hour. He will also call on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. (Zachary Goldfarb, WaPo)

BUT THERE'S NO WORD ON RAISING THE 'SUB-MINIMUM' WAGE: The lesser-known sub-minimum wage, which applies to workers who get most of their income from tips, has stayed at $2.13 per hour since 1991. Some advocates are pushing for a raise on that wage, but Obama likely will not bring it up in his speech. (Catherine Hollander, NJ)

57 DEMOCRATS WOULD ENDORSE HILLARY CLINTON: Dozens of Democratic lawmakers would endorse Clinton for president, according to a poll by The Hill. Twenty-two Democrats already have endorsed her, and another 35 said they will if she runs. (Sachar/Cusack, The Hill)

REPUBLICAN LEADERS CALL FOR LEGAL STATUS FOR IMMIGRANTS: Top House Republicans will call this week for a change to the country's immigration laws giving legal status, but not citizenship, to immigrants in the U.S. illegally. William Kristol, editor of the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard, said such a move would be a "disaster." (Weisman/Parker, NYT)

TOM COBURN SAYS OBAMACARE WON'T COVER ONCOLOGIST: The Republican senator from Oklahoma announced earlier this month he will retire due to his ongoing cancer treatment, and said on Tuesday that his health insurance under the Affordable Care Act doesn't cover the treatment. Coburn said he is still receiving excellent treatment: "I'm doing well from a health standpoint, got great docs." (Tal Kopan, Politico)

TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: President Obama will deliver remarks on the economy at 10:25 a.m. at a Costco store in Lanham, Md., and again at 1:45 p.m. at a steel plant at West Mifflin, Pa. Attorney General Eric Holder will testify at 10 a.m. at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on government surveillance programs. The House and Senate are in session.


THE STATE OF THE UNION IS AWESOME: Presidents have said the state of the union is "strong" for decades. Why not mix it up? (Matt Vasilogambros, NJ)

SPACE TRASH: More junk is accumulating in orbit around the Earth, which is a problem for satellites and astronauts, unless we can dispose of it. (Alex Brown, NJ)

THE REGULATORY CHALLENGES OF CAT CAFES: Cafes for cats--and people, too--have taken off in Japan and Europe, but restaurant regulations have blocked their path in the U.S. (Jenny Xie, The Atlantic Cities)

STEPHEN GLASS WILL LIKELY NEVER PRACTICE LAW: The disgraced former journalist received his law degree in 2000 but lost his bid to practice law in California, one of the more forgiving states. (Maura Dolan, LA Times)

CAPITOL POLICE SEE SOTU AS THEIR TIME TO SHINE: The force's nearly 1,800 officers are taking security seriously leading up to tonight's speech. (Hannah Hess, Roll Call)


959 PAGES IN 48 HOURS: Lawmakers had less than two days to pass a massive farm bill. Is this omnibus-style legislation the new normal? (Sarah Mimms, NJ)

PETE SEEGER, CHAMPION OF FOLK AND POLITICAL ACTION, DIES: The folk singer, whose adaptation of "We Shall Overcome" became a civil-rights anthem, died Monday at 94. (Jon Pareles, NYT)


LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Jon Stewart gives a condensed State of the Union. Long story short, Congress has been terrible. (Reena Flores, NJ)

THE $950 MILLION FARM BILL, IN ONE GRAPH: More than three fourths goes to nutritional assistance. (Brad Plumer, WaPo)
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