1. Looks like we’re heading off the cliff. Two Senate proposals to avoid the sequester appear unlikely to pass before tomorrow’s deadline. One would allow Obama to select alternative spending cuts, and Majority Leader Harry Reid is pushing another proposal to raise $110 billion in taxes and “alternative savings.” Neither bill is popular enough to receive the required 60 votes. Brace yourself for $85 billion in across-the-board spending slashes.
7. The pope’s last day. Meeting with cardinals for the final time as pope, Benedict XVI swore obedience to his unnamed successor. Benedict will formally retire at 8 p.m. Rome time, and a helicopter will fly him to a hilltop town outside of Rome earlier in the day. Look out for the Pope’s final tweet later today.
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