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“President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon are meeting amid heightened tensions over violence at their shared border, though no major breakthroughs are expected.”
“Longtime proponents of a strict immigration enforcement law in Utah were fuming Wednesday as legislators continued to consider a guest worker program and soften the tone of a bill originally modeled after a controversial law in Arizona.”
Yesterday, an Alabama legislative committee delayed voting on legislation under which “an illegal immigrant would be guilty of trespassing, a crime punishable by as much as a year in jail, simply for being” in the state.
An 11 member group of Democratic senators plans “to introduce a series of bills in the next few weeks to jump-start the overhaul” of No Child Left Behind.
Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke said yesterday that “even as state and local governments take difficult steps to balance their budgets…they should not neglect the education and training programs that are the key to the nation’s competitiveness.”
Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) “is close to approving a bill that would permit participants in new alternative routes to teach on limited two-year licenses without going through traditional preparation programs.”
Support for the Affordable Care Act’s minimum coverage provision, which is the subject of the many meritless lawsuits challenging health reform, skyrockets once people receive a simple explanation of why it is in the law.
The New Hampshire legislature is considering a tenther bill that would enable a committee of just six people to kill Medicaid, federal highway funding, FEMA relief and hundreds of other programs in that state.
In happier news, Arizona’s senate voted by a 18-12 margin that yes, the state of Arizona is actually bound by the Constitution and the law.
“A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland appears to be back on track after two key lawmakers reaffirmed their support a day after missing a scheduled vote on the issue.”
“The announcement from President Obama last week that he believes Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and that he will no longer defend the law in court is raising questions about whether he can further help the LGBT community by discontinuing enforcement of the law.”
“Two years ago, a small and little-known civil rights group in Boston launched a legal attack on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a legal union between a man and woman. But it did not argue that gays and lesbians have a right to marry under the Constitution.”
Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, “and opposition members agreed to a deal late Wednesday that opponents said gives the president until year’s end to work out a framework for his eventual exit and that would rule out handing down power to his son.”
In the strategic oil city of Brega, Libya rebels “repelled an attack by hundreds of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s fighters on Wednesday, but air strikes were reported to have resumed on Thursday.”
“Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates warned Congress on Wednesday that even a more modest effort to establish a no-flight zone over Libya would have to begin with an attack on the country’s air defenses and would require ‘a big operation in a big country.’”
Ohio’s state senate yesterday approved by one vote a bill stripping collective bargaining rights from the state’s employees. The bill now moves to the state House, “where the Republicans have a 59-40 majority.”
“Global food prices rose to a record in February and grain costs may continue to rise in the next several months, with only rice keeping the world from a repeat of the crisis three years ago,” the United Nations said today.
The SEC yesterday “proposed a crackdown on hefty compensation awarded at big banks, brokerage firms and hedge funds — a move intended to rein in pay packages that encouraged excessive risk-taking before the financial crisis.”
“The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, facing a looming vote in the Senate to cut its federal funding, argues that the ferocious political battle waged over the past few weeks has actually been a positive.”
“House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is continuing to press the White House to take on entitlements, this time accusing President Obama of failing to follow a provision of a Medicare law.”
“Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are collaborating on legislation to require the federal government to make public how much it pays doctors who participate in Medicare, a Senate staffer said.”
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) will introduce a bill today to “permanently revoke EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources.”
“Global investment in clean energy and the carbon markets surged 30 percent last year from 2009 levels to a record $243 billion,” according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“Yes, Obama has utterly failed to offer a strong, coherent message on climate science and related energy policy,” Joe Romm writes. “But, in ‘fairness’ to the President, it must be pointed out that the White House sucks at messaging in general.”