• A survey of economists finds that a majority believes sequestration is unavoidable. Americans may just have to bite the bullet and suffer a slightly smaller increase in federal spending than politicians wanted.
  • After reporters were ejected from a private meeting between governors and the president, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley emerged to immediately tear into both Obama and Congress for failing to develop a serious plan for cuts in federal spending.
  • Beretta's U.S. headquarters is in Maryland, but with the state legislature considering legislation that would make many of the firm's guns illegal for sale to civilians, the company may move its operations elsewhere. The last time Maryland passed gun restrictions, Beretta shifted its warehouse to Virginia.
  • A Justice Department official admited to congressional staffers that the Aaron Swartz prosecution was pursued with such fervor, at least in part, to justify targeting the activist.
  • Italy's latest election concluded in stalemate, as a center-left coalition took bare control of the lower house and conservatives gained the most seats in the Senate.
  • After stepping down, Benedict will be known as "Emeritus Pope," which means he'll probably hang around the place, nagging the new guy.
  • Atheists have it rough in many countries, says the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Atheism is illegal in many places and even subject to the death penalty. So, it apparently gets a bit worse than Christmas displays on the courthouse lawn.

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