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:
all 50 states to take a hit
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):
30. New Hampshire
31. New Jersey
32. New Mexico
33. New York
34. North Carolina
35. North Dakota
40. Rhode Island
41. South Carolina
42. South Dakota
49. West Virginia
the best part: David Niven's response
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?
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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