The U.S. Capitol is seen Tuesday, three days before the government sequester is scheduled to begin. It would require $85 billion in across-the-board government spending cuts over the next seven months, but would not target specific programs.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Credit Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 11:28 am
If it seems odd that so many members of Congress have such trouble coming up with specific things to cut from the budget (apart from the usual favorites, "waste" and "fraud), perhaps they're simply taking their cues from their bosses, their constituents.
The Pew Research Center studied this in a recent poll, and found that of 19 different budget categories, there is majority support for cutting spending in exactly none of them.
Has anyone figured out how the sequester would affect ScuttleButton?
I didn't think so.
ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday (or, as they call today, "Wednesday") I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)
New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, as he was sworn in Wednesday morning at the Pentagon. His wife, Lilibet, held the Bible. Michael L. Rhodes, the Pentagon's director of administration and management, administered the oath.
Credit MC1 Chad J. McNeeley / Office of the Secretary of Defense
The Alabama Senate has approved a proposed constitutional amendment to protect the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings.
The Senate voted 23-1 Tuesday for the legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville. The bill still must be approved by the House and by voters in a statewide referendum before it can take effect.
The long-term unemployed in Alabama will be among the first to feel automatic federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect Friday.
A spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Labor says federal officials have advised the department to prepare for a cut of 9 percent to 10 percent in unemployment benefits for Alabamians who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits and are now getting the extended 37 weeks of federal benefits.
Former Illinois legislator Robin Kelly has captured the Democratic nomination in the race to replace disgraced former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. She is all but assured a win in April's general election because the Chicago-area district is overwhelmingly Democratic.
Once again, race is front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. And once again, the bull's eye is the 1965 Voting Rights Act, widely viewed as the most effective and successful civil rights legislation in American history. Upheld five times by the court, the law now appears to be on life support.
A nutrition specialist prepares a Meals on Wheels delivery in upstate New York. The national organization says the sequester could mean significant cuts in the number of meals they serve to homebound seniors.
Alabama officials are trying to cut down on competition from Mississippi and Florida for Airbus suppliers by limiting lawsuits against commercial aircraft manufacturers and companies that supply them with parts.
The Senate and House committees voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a bill that would limit lawsuits to 12 years after a large plane is delivered. The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster, says there is no limit now. His bill is narrowly tailored for planes exceeding 100 seats.
Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:37 pm
The U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) says it released several hundred detainees in an effort to prepare for the across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to go into effect March 1. More people may be released in the coming days.
The current U.S. Embassy in central London was designed by Finnish-born American architect Eero Saarinen in 1960. Saarinen also designed the St. Louis Gateway Arch.
Credit Shaun Curry / AFP/Getty Images
An Italian security policeman checks the main entrance of the U.S. Embassy in downtown Rome in 2008, ahead of a visit by President George W. Bush. The embassy building is over 300 years old and was once the home to the first queen of Italy, Margherita.
Credit Angelo Carconi / AP
View of the entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Berlin in 2009. The new building opened in 2008 and exemplifies the new design standard to maintain security without sacrificing beauty.
Credit Joh MacDougall / AFP/Getty Images
A policeman stands in front of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City in 2008. This embassy was built in 1961 and is more in line with the fortress-style embassies.
Credit Marco Ugarte / AP
The U.S. Embassy in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, was evacuated on Dec. 28, 2012, because of security concerns as the CAR government continues to combat rebels.
Credit Sia Kambou / AFP/Getty Images
An Egyptian protester stands above the entry of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012, during a demonstration against a film deemed offensive to Islam.
Credit Khaled Desouki / AFP/Getty Images
A rendering of the new U.S. Embassy in London that is expected to open in 2017. Susan Johnson describes it as a fortress that has been softened and feels more open.
Credit Kieran Timberlake / U.S. Embassy
The embassy in Baghdad features a more fortresslike design.
Credit U.S. Department Of State
Local and foreign journalists visit the new U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Aug. 5, 2008. This massive embassy is the second-largest in the world after the heavily fortified compound in Baghdad.
There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.
Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."
A school flexibility bill recently passed by the Alabama House won't come up in the Senate until at least Thursday.
The Senate's Republican leadership had planned to ask the Senate to pass the bill Tuesday. But Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, says they decided to wait because three Republican senators were either absent or late Tuesday. He says he hopes to bring up the bill Thursday.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Tick-tock goes the sequester clock. Three more days until automatic across-the-board spending cuts kick in. And today, President Obama was once again on the road trying to build public pressure on Congress to delay or replace the cuts. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson begins our coverage.