Wake Up To Politics - February 13, 2015
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Friday, February 13, 2015
635 Days Until Election Day 2016It's Friday, February 13, 2015, I'm Gabe Fleisher for this Friday the 13th edition (beware paraskevidekatriaphobics) of Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
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Capitol Hill News
- Senate: Status Update The Senate is not in session today, nor will it be until February 23. This is because the chamber will take its annual weeklong Presidents Day vacation. Because for the rest of the country, it’s Presidents Day, but for Congress – it’s Presidents Week. Or perhaps more like Go Home to Our Districts and Pander to Constituents and Try to Get Money and Votes…Week.
- When the Senate returns a week from Monday, it will hold a procedural vote on the bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This same bill has failed this same vote three times, over a provision that will defund President Obama’s immigration executive order. The vote on the 23rd will likely fail as well, placing Congress four days away from when the DHS runs out money (which, I suppose, is when Congress works best: under pressure of a close deadline).
- A short-term solution, therefore, is most likely, that would fund the department for a short period of time and punt the debate to sometime in the future.
- House: Status Update The House votes today on a package, the America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015, to extend tax breaks for small businesses.
- Ashton Carter Confirmed as Defense Secretary Ash Carter was easily confirmed by the Senate Thursday as U.S. Secretary of Defense.
- Carter, a former deputy defense secretary, was approved 93-5; just Republican Sens. Mark Kirk (IL), Roy Blunt (MO), John Boozman (AR), Mike Crapo (ID), and Jim Risch (ID) voted no.
- Rand Paul (KY), Ted Cruz (TX), Lindsey Graham (SC), and Marco Rubio (FL) – potential Republican presidential candidates all – voted yes. This is a testament to Carter’s broad, bipartisan support: all four were willing to risk being tied to an Obama nominee to vote for him.
- As Carter transitions into his new job as Pentagon chief, it is a pivotal time for the department – with the country on the verge of war, just one day after Obama requested Congress authorize military force against the Islamic State terrorist group.
- Carter will be sworn in as President Obama’s fourth defense secretary next week. 2016 Central
- Democratic Convention to be Held in Philadelphia Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, announced Thursday that the 2016 Democratic National Convention will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- On the week of July 25, 2016, this is where the party will choose their next presidential nominee; the city beat out finalists Columbus, Ohio and Brooklyn, New York.
- Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1992, but is consistently a tossup state – and parties are thought to have an advantage in the state that hosts their nominating convention. Republicans are holding their convention a week earlier in Cleveland, in neighboring Ohio, also a swing state.
- Philadelphia, the site of both the Constitution’s and Declaration of Independence’s signings, as well as the Liberty Bell, has hosted two Democratic conventions and six Republican conventions. This includes the Republican Party’s first presidential nominating convention, in 1856, and most recently, the 2000 Republican National Convention. Democrats picked their nomine in the “City of Brotherly Love” last in 1948.
- ---LINK: Watch the Facebook video announcement of the DNC’s location…featuring Debbie Wasserman Schutlz and, of course, cheesesteak: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152733742296943&set=vb.12301006942&type=2&theater
- 2016 Travel Watch: Rubio in IA Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) kicks off his book tour today…in Des Moines, the capital of the key presidential caucus state of Iowa.
- Rubio will be at a Barnes&Noble in the city, signing copies of his latest book, American Dreams, which came out last month.
- In the next week, the Floridian will visit all the early primary states: Nevada, South Carolina, and New Hampshire, a shadow campaign tour to take the temperature of voters’ thoughts towards him in the key states.
- The President’s Schedule At 11:20 AM, President Obama will speak at the Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University in Pal Alto, California. The summit, hosted by the White House and Stanford’s major Cyber Initiative, will include remarks from White House aides; government officials; CEOs, including those of American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Apple, and Walgreens, and other “stakeholder” companies in the fields of financial services, technology, or communications CEOs; representatives of computer security companies; law enforcement officials; consumer advocates; students; and others.
- The summit will aim to “help shape public and private sector efforts to protect American consumers and companies from growing threats to consumers and commercial networks,” according to the White House.
- After the summit, at 12:20 PM, he will participate in a roundtable with business leaders at Stanford.
- And…a presidential trip to California wouldn’t be complete without fundraising: at 4:40 PM, Obama will speak at a DNC fundraiser in San Francisco, at the home of venture capitalist Sandy Robinson. There will be about 60 attendees, each paying either $10,000 for dinner and a photo, or $32,400 to co-chair.
- Obama will remain in California, spending Presidents Day weekend in Palm Springs.
Question of the Day
- Yesterday’s Question Two trivia questions yesterday:
- 1) Which president (besides FDR, who had the advantage of serving four terms) vetoed the most bills?
- Answer: Grover Cleveland, who vetoed 584 vetoes over two terms in office. By comparison – since the beginning of the 20th century, the average number of vetoes per president has been 94. Obama has vetoed just two bills in the past six years. Thomas Jefferson vetoed zero bills in two complete terms.
- GREAT JOB…@BeyondKenny, Rebecca Boester, Marilyn Schapiro, Steve Gitnik, Jack Molho, and Tobias Gibson.
- 2) Abraham Lincoln (whose birthday was yesterday) was the only U.S. President to receive a patent. What was it for?
- The answer was a tool to lift riverboats that were stuck on sandbars.
- GREAT JOB…@JoshuaMZeitz, Norman Gordon, Linda Randall, Rebecca Boester, and Steve Gitnik!
- Honorable mention to…Marilyn Schapiro, who answered, “Don’t know Abe's patent--maybe filing system for putting memoranda into lining of a tall hat??”
- Brad Chotiner, who answered “I’m not sure what his patent was for [but] our history would have turned out much better if he had invented a bullet proof hat.”
- Of course in Ford’s Theatre, Lincoln’s hat was unfortunately an unsuccessful shield from John Wilkes Booth, but on a separate occasion, when Lincoln was riding a horse, he was actually shot at, and the bullets pierced a hole in his signature hot.
- Brad and Marilyn, neither correct, but both very funny tries! Thank you all for answering! Great job!