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- "A Congressional Budget Office analysis released Tuesday predicted that the Affordable Care Act would shrink the work force by the equivalent of more than two million full-time positions and recharged the political debate over the health care law, providing Republican opponents fresh lines of attack and putting Democrats on the defensive." (New York Times)
- "Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a sweeping overhaul of a broad range of federal farm and nutrition policies affecting what farmers grow, how food is packaged and sold and how the government helps poor people pay for their groceries. The Senate voted 68 to 32 Tuesday afternoon to approve a new, five-year farm bill that the House passed last week. The measure heads next to President Obama, who is expected to sign it in the coming days." (Washington Post)
- In AR SEN, Americans for Prosperity (R) "will launch a TV ad on Thursday educating Arkansans on the tremendous downsides of" Sen. Mark Pryor's (D) "vote for the Affordable Care Act." (release)
- Also in AR SEN, Pryor released two new ads Wednesday "both featuring women criticizing" Rep. Tom Cotton (R) "on Medicare. The ads are part of a six-figure buy and will run statewide on broadcast television." (Politico)
- In MN SEN, state Sen. Julianne Ortman (R) raised "about" $130,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013. (AP)
- In NC SEN, Americans for Prosperity (R) "is putting another $1.4 million into a statewide TV ad campaign criticizing" Obamacare "and attacking" Sen. Kay Hagan (D) "for supporting it." (Raleigh News & Observer)
- Also in NC SEN, FreedomWorks PAC (R) endorsed physician Greg Brannon (R) on Tuesday. (release)
- The League of Conservation Voters "will launch a $220,000-plus TV ad campaign in New Hampshire slamming" former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), "who is still considering whether to jump into" NH SEN. (Politico)
- In SC SEN, "Det Bowers, a well-connected Columbia pastor known for his oratory, put weeks of rumors to rest on Monday and said he is joining the five-person Republican Senate primary field." (CNN)
- In WV SEN, a new Clarity Campaigns (D) (IVR) poll, conducted Jan. 29-30 for EMILY's List (D), shows Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R) leading Secretary of State Natalie Tennant (D), 45-39%. (release)
- In CA-33, women's rights activist Sandra Fluke (D) has decided against running for retiring" Rep. Henry Waxman's (D) "seat, instead planning a bid for the state Senate." (Los Angeles Times)
- In NC-02, pop singer Clay Aiken (D) "announced on Wednesday that he will run. ... In a video announcing his candidacy, Aiken referenced his time on 'American Idol,' saying 'for most Americans, there are no golden tickets. At least not the kind you see on TV.'" (WRAL-TV)
- In FL-02, Americans for Prosperity (R) "has reserved $150,000 in airtime ... for three weeks of advertising, starting Wednesday" to defend Rep. Steve Southerland (R). (The Hill)
- A new Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll of MA GOV Democratic primary LVs, conducted Jan. 29-Feb. 3, shows Attorney General Martha Coakley leading Treasurer Steve Grossman, 56-11%, with former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem at 4%, former CMS administrator Donald Berwick at 1%, and businessman Joe Avellone at 1%. (release)
- In MN GOV, Gov. Mark Dayton (D) "selected his longtime chief of staff Tina Smith to be his running mate as he begins his campaign for a second term" on Tuesday. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
- In OK GOV, state Rep. Joe Dorman (D) "announced his candidacy in the ... race Tuesday." (Oklahoman)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• The breadth and scope of AFP's ad campaign over the past six months dwarfs what any individual candidate can combat. The group has spent more than $8 million thus far in North Carolina, where Hagan, one of her party's best 2014 fundraisers, had just $2.7 million on hand at the end of 2013.
HAIR OF THE DOG
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "Americans for Prosperity ... is emerging as the most powerful ally of the Republican Party ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, bombarding Senate Democrats with early air attacks that could help the GOP retake the Senate." (Washington Post)
- "Battling investigations over the 'Bridgegate' scandal in his home state," New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) "plans to embark on a national tour that will give him a chance to raise money for fellow Republicans, woo conservatives and show party leaders that he is not politically toxic." (Reuters)
- "I applaud this morning's news that CVS Caremark has decided to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in its stores, and begin a national campaign to help millions of Americans quit smoking instead. As one of the largest retailers and pharmacies in America, CVS Caremark sets a powerful example, and today's decision will help advance my Administration's efforts to reduce tobacco-related deaths, cancer, and heart disease, as well as bring down health care costs – ultimately saving lives and protecting untold numbers of families from pain and heartbreak for years to come." -- Obama, in a statement Wednesday
- "As a dad with three daughters, is there some place I can sign?" -- Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), on the WhiteHouse.gov petition to deport Canadian pop star Justin Bieber (National Journal)
- MT-AL candidate/former state Sen. Ryan Zinke (R) "says he was joking when he called" former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) "the 'anti-Christ' at a recent campaign event." (AP)
- Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) "argued the federal government is clearly implicated in" actor Philip Seymour Hoffman's "death, calling the allocation of federal resources to marijuana arrests 'a crime committed by our government.'" (National Journal)
- "Former 'Saturday Night Live' cast member Victoria Jackson wants her next act to be as a Williamson County Commissioner. Jackson ... is petitioning as an independent to become a candidate for one of two District 2 commission seats." (Nashville Tennessean)
- GA SEN candidate/businessman David Perdue (R) "mocks his Republican Senate foes in a new campaign video, literally portraying them as cry-babies. Perdue's opponents are represented by crying infants, each one with a candidate's name on their t-shirt and diaper and a prop representing the candidate, to portray them as whining Washington insiders." (The Hill)
- A new study from George Mason University finds that former President Bill Clinton was Jay Leno's "top political joke target over the past two decades" on "The Tonight Show." Former President George W. Bush came in second and former Vice President Al Gore finished third. (release)
- According to a new CBS News poll, conducted Jan. 15-19, in a head-to-head matchup between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, 50% of Americans said the Beatles are the better rock band, while 33% chose the Rolling Stones. As for Americans' favorite Beatles song, "Hey Jude" tops the list at 9%, while "Yellow Submarine" comes in at a close second with 8%. (release)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Rain and freezing rain early this morning, then rain this afternoon. Areas of fog early this morning. Areas of fog this afternoon. Highs in the mid 40s. Southwest winds 5-10 mph.
- The House returns at 10 a.m.
- The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee meets to consider what it calls "an insurance company bailout" as part of the Affordable Care Act. (2154 RHOB, 9:30 a.m.)
- The House Budget Committee holds a hearing on the CBO's budget outlook. (210 CHOB, 10 a.m.)
- First Lady Michelle Obama is in Alexandria, Va., where schools are open Wednesday, to deliver remarks about federal student aid. (T.C. Williams High School, 11:15 a.m.)
- The Wizards hope to stay over the .500 mark at home against the Spurs. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
- GW could be shorthanded once again when they host Duquesne. (Smith Center, 7 p.m.)
- George Mason is still looking for its first A-10 win at home against Dayton. (Patriot Center, 7 p.m)
- No. 20 Virginia tries to make it six in a row when the Hoos host Boston College. (ESPN2, 7 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Richard Nixon got a ticket for his daughter Julie to see the Beatles perform live on the "The Ed Sullivan Show."
- The winner is Joe Luchok, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Name the current member of the House whose family includes several U.S. senators, a secretary of state, a vice-presidential candidate, and whose father represented the same district from 1953 to 1975." The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Americans for Prosperity's Ad Blitz Isn't Risk-Free For GOP
- California's Democratic Drought
- Waxman's Departure Marks the End of an Era
- The White House Is Still Terrible at Explaining Obamacare
- Anti-NSA Crusader Outraises Susan Collins in Fourth Quarter of 2013
"The digital wizards behind Obama's tech-heavy re-election strategy" (The Guardian, Feb. 17, 2012)
Adam Wollner, Editor
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard contributed to this article.