The answer’s still no. After meeting with President Barack Obama and other congressional leaders for about an hour this morning, House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans would stick to their guns on spending cuts. The president had hoped to persuade Boehner and others to avoid the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, which technically went into effect at midnight. During a news conference after the meeting, President Obama called the spending cuts “dumb” and “arbitrary.”
Target neutralized. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty yesterday in a military court to 10 charges of leaking classified material. Those charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years. The Army private intends to fight another 12 charges during his court-martial, including claims his actions aided the enemy. During a hearing at Fort Meade, Md., Manning told the judge he wanted everyone to know the U.S. Military viewed everyone in Iraq as “targets to be neutralized.”
Free and clear. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, often mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, has been cleared of accusations of illegal campaign activity. The claims, which stemmed from his time as Milwaukee County chief executive, followed Walker to the statehouse and dogged him during his first two years in office. But investigators announced today they found no evidence Walker knew his staffers were campaigning on his behalf during work time.
Pain in my pocket. American’s personal income dropped 3.6 percent in January, the biggest one-month decline in 20 years, according to the Commerce Department. Although consumer spending rose 0.2 percent during the same time, most analysts say the extra cash went to paying heating bills and filling up the gas tank. The drop in income likely can be blamed on the 2 percent federal payroll tax cut, which expired Dec. 31.
Reassuring radiation news. A World Health Organization report released almost two years after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant failed following an earthquake and tsunami says the threat of widespread health effects was overblown. According the models of radiation leaks at the plant, the potential for a cancer outbreak is small and limited to those living closest to the facility.