Low Popahirum, National Edition (2-5-14)

“At a GOP lunch last week, Sen. John McCain noted that ‘some crazy guy from Texas’ stormed out during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address. ‘Hey,’ Texas Sen. Ted Cruz chimed in, ‘I didn’t walk out of the State of the Union.‘” – POLITICO

“The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released its latest analysis of the country’s economic and budget outlook, and it’s a doozy. If you’re a Denver Broncos fan who watched in horror as your team disintegrated during the Super Bowl on Sunday, then you’ll have some idea of how Obamacare’s proponents will feel as they read this report.” – The Federalist

“The congressional number-crunchers, perhaps the capital’s closest thing to a neutral referee, came out with a new report Tuesday, and it wasn’t pretty for Obamacare. The CBO predicted the law would have a ‘substantially larger’ impact on the labor market than it had previously expected: The law would reduce the workforce in 2021 by the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers, well more than the 800,000 originally anticipated. This will inevitably be a drag on economic growth, as more people decide government handouts are more attractive than working more and paying higher taxes.” – Dana Milbank/Washington Post

“I was an admirer of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s, but I was not surprised to learn that he had died as the result of a heroin misadventure. Not that I was in any way privy to Mr. Hoffman’s private life, it is just that I am never surprised when somebody dies from heroin. At least three young men in the New York suburbs died of heroin overdoses just before Mr. Hoffman’s death, western Pennsylvania is full of the stuff, and Vermont claims to be in the midst of a full-on heroin epidemic. Every few years I read about how heroin is making a comeback or about how there’s a new surge of heroin addiction, but I am skeptical. Heroin never makes a comeback, because heroin never goes away.” – Kevin Williamson/National Review

“We all know how the old saying goes when you travel: ‘Don’t drink the water.’ Well in Sochi, Russia, you had better not TOUCH the water, either.” – CBS News

“The Democrats, their union supporters, and liberals in general are making a hard and concerted push for an increase in the minimum wage. President Obama mentioned the subject prominently in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night and even promised to take executive action to increase the minimum wage federal contractors must pay their workers starting in 2015. While Republicans and small business owners are sure to resist this push, it is important that everyone on both sides debates the issue with the correct facts. Much of what you hear about the minimum wage is completely untrue.” – Forbes

“New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he won’t be marching in the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. De Blasio says he won’t partake in the parade along Fifth Avenue because of organizers’ refusal to allow participants to carry gay-pride signs.” – CBS New York

“Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said Tuesday that he doesn’t see any way the Democratic-controlled Senate and GOP-led House will agree on immigration reform legislation in 2014. ‘I think we have sort of an irresolvable conflict here,’ he told reporters. ‘The Senate insists on comprehensive [legislation]. The House says it won’t go to conference with the Senate on comprehensive and wants to look at [it] step by step.'” – The Hill

“The Olympics officially kick off Friday. We imagine many a staffer and volunteer are scurrying around the Black Sea resort of Sochi, trying to prepare for the glamorous opening ceremony and making sure all security protocols are in place. But it turns out that Russia, despite spending a reported $51 million on the most expensive Olympics ever, neglected a few key details. It appears there aren’t enough pillows for the athletes in the Olympic Village. This news comes via the Instagram posts of Luiza Baybakova, a member of the catering staff for the games.” – Vocativ

“Trader Joe’s wanted to build a new store in Portland, Oregon. Instead of heading to a tony neighborhood downtown or towards the suburbs, the popular West Coast grocer chose a struggling area of Northeast Portland. The company selected two acres along Martin Luther King Blvd. that had been vacant for decades. It seemed like the perfect place to create jobs, improve customer options and beautify the neighborhood. City officials, the business community, and residents all seemed thrilled with the plan. Then some community organizers caught wind of it.” – Ricochet

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