Ten Things to Know Today

Frances Catanio/The Week

1. NASCAR CRASH INJURES 28: NASCAR driver Kyle Larson's car hit a fence at the Drive4COPD 300 race at Daytona Speedway in Florida on Saturday after he was involved in a 12-car wreck, injuring 28 spectators, including two critically. Daytona Speedway president Joie Chitwood said Daytona would conduct a safety review of its fencing and is replacing the section that was hit by Larson's car. A mesh crossover gate in the fencing won't be replaced for Sunday's Daytona 500. "We don't anticipate moving any fans," Chitwood said. "We had our safety protocols in place. Our security maintained a buffer that separates the fans from the fencing area." [USA Today]

2. ITALIANS VOTE IN CRUCIAL ELECTION: Italy voted on Sunday in one of the most closely watched and unpredictable elections in years. The vote is being followed closely by investors, whose memories are "still fresh of the potentially catastrophic debt crisis that saw Mario Monti, an economics professor and former bureaucrat, summoned to serve as prime minister in place of Silvio Berlusconi 15 months ago." Opinion polls give the center-left a narrow lead but the prospect of a huge protest vote against the austerity measures imposed by Monti's government could shift the result of the election. Berlusconi's center-right has also revived. [Reuters]

3. PISTORIUS' BROTHER FACES CULPABLE HOMICIDE CHARGE: Carl Pistorius, the brother of Olympic double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius is facing a culpable homicide charge stemming from a 2008 car crash that left a female motorcyclist dead. Carl was in court last Thursday as his brother Oscar was facing a bail hearing for the charge of premeditated murder he faces for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp to death on Feb. 14. Oscar says that he shot Steenkamp because he believed her to be an intruder who was locked inside the bathroom of his home. Prosecutors allege that the Olympian had been arguing with Steenkamp before he intentionally shot her. Oscar Pistorius was released on bail on Friday.  [Associated Press] 

What else is on the list? Visit our friends at The Week: 

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How YOUR State Will Suffer Under Sequestration

all 50 states to take a hit

Paul Brandus (Feb. 24, 2013)

The White House is out tonight with a detailed look at what it says will be the damage done to each state when sequestration - big, indiscriminate budget cuts - begin later this week. Administration officials laid out the details in a conference call Sunday. Not to be outdone, Michael Steel, the spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, released this statement: 

"Republicans in the House have voted - twice - to replace President Obama's sequester with smarter spending cuts. The White House needs to spend less time explaining to the press how bad the sequester will be and more time actually working to stop it." 

Here's the "sequester damage" report for your state (according to White House analysis): 

1.      Alabama        

2.      Alaska        

3.      Arizona        

4.      Arkansas        

5.      California        

6.      Colorado        

7.      Connecticut        

8.      Delaware        

9.      District of Columbia

10.  Florida        

11.  Georgia        

12.  Hawaii        

13.  Idaho        

14.  Illinois        

15.  Indiana        

16.  Iowa        

17.  Kansas        

18.  Kentucky        

19.  Louisiana        

20.  Maine        

21.  Maryland        

22.  Massachusetts        

23.  Michigan        

24.  Minnesota        

25.  Mississippi        

26.  Missouri        

27.  Montana        

28.  Nebraska        

29.  Nevada        

30.  New Hampshire        

31.  New Jersey        

32.  New Mexico        

33.  New York        

34.  North Carolina        

35.  North Dakota        

36.  Ohio        

37.  Oklahoma        

38.  Oregon        

39.  Pennsylvania

40.  Rhode Island

41.  South Carolina

42.  South Dakota

43.  Tennessee

44.  Texas

45.  Utah

46.  Vermont

47.  Virginia

48.  Washington

49.  West Virginia

50.  Wisconsin

51.  Wyoming

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Best Oscars Moment EVER: The Streaker

the best part: David Niven's response

Paul Brandus (Feb. 24, 2013)

In 1974, David Niven, cool as a cucumber, after a man somehow got through security and streaked a worldwide TV audience. Niven's response is a classic. 

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Michelle Obama Gettin' Jiggy With Jimmy Fallon

Paul Brandus (Feb. 23, 2013)

It's hard to see a more sedate First Lady - say Mamie Eisenhower or Lady Bird Johnson - doing this, but Michelle Obama, in the name of a good cause, showed no hesitation about this dance routine on NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." The First Lady is promoting her "Let's Move" campaign to get kids to eat right and exercise - and as you can see, dancing burns a lot of calories. What do you think? 


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Analysis: GOP's Economic Narrative Falls Short

Rothenberg: Republicans

The President at a recent news conference (Photo / West Wing Reports)
Stuart Rothenberg / Roll Call

Congressional Republicans figured that after the fiscal cliff, they’d have the advantage talking about the sequester and, down the road, the continued funding of the government.

Clearly, they were wrong.

One of the reasons Republicans are faring so badly these days is that the Democratic narrative, presented most persuasively and effectively by the White House, plays more easily into the national media’s preference for dramatic stories that evoke emotional responses.

In the lead-up to the fiscal cliff, the debt limit and most recently the sequester, Democrats have simply done a better job than Republicans talking about the allegedly disastrous effects of higher taxes, expiring unemployment benefits and potential chaos in the financial markets.

During the past few weeks, Democrats have raised the specter of key personnel from teachers to meat inspectors being thrown out of work if the sequester isn’t delayed, to say nothing of the surge in unemployment nationally and the possibility of a recession.

The Republican message? Taxes are too high. We just raised taxes. We won’t compromise.

And the party of Lincoln and Reagan wonders why it is losing.

...for more please visit our friends at Roll Call. 

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1898: McKinley asks for war...