Understanding the sequester — in 4 great infographics

The Republican digital divide — in 1 chart

Nebraska political upheaval shines spotlight on Heineman’s next move

Senate retirements mount quickly, could reach 40-year high

The sequester is inevitable. So why is President Obama still talking about it?

Can anything stop Chuck Hagel now?

Jay Leno on Jesse Jackson Jr.’s legal woes (VIDEO)

Mark Sanford and the politics of forgiveness


* A spokesman for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that there are “major differences” between the work of eight senators trying to craft a bipartisan immigration reform measure and the White House draft proposal that was leaked over the weekend. Facing criticism that he has not reached out enough to Republicans negotiating the immigration overhaul, President Obama on Tuesday called three Republicans in the bipartisan Senate group -- including Rubio. Meanwhile, the White House continued to underscore that it is Obama's preference that the bipartisan Senate group reach an agreement on a measure, so that he will not have to introduce his own plan.

* Here's something that could complicate Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch's campaign if she ends up in a one-on-one race against former governor Mark Sanford (R) in South Carolina's 1st District special election: Colbert Busch gave Sanford $500 in 2001, as he was just starting his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. A spokeswoman for the Democrat said she made the donation to support her then-employer, a shipping company called Orient Overseas Container Line. “Sanford appeared to be supportive of their goals,” the spokeswoman said. The Colbert Busch spokeswoman also noted that Colbert Busch did not vote for Sanford in 2002.

* Former Massachusetts Republican senator Scott Brown explained away some recent head scratching tweets as the result of pocket tweeting. “Anyone ever hear of pocket tweet, pocket dial? I mean it was pretty simple,” said Brown, who denied being drunk at the time of the tweets. Brown also said he is "thinking about" running for governor in 2014.

* Marine Gen. John Allen asked Obama to accept his retirement from the military because his wife is seriously ill. The move nullifies his nomination to be the supreme allied commander in Europe. Allen said his decision was not influenced by a Pentagon investigation into e-mails he exchanged with Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, who was involved in the scandal that prompted David Petraeus to resign as head of the CIA. Allen was cleared of wrongdoing last month.

* The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee in January, bringing in $6.1 million to the NRCC's $4.4 million. The DCCC ended the month with $4.6 million on hand while the NRCC ended with $2.8 million. Both committees have eight-figure debt totals.

* Bill Clinton will headline a March 13 fundraiser for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.


* Tiger Woods says that when he played golf with Obama over the weekend they were on the same team, and "we won."

* Former Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis will help Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) retire some of his campaign debt by attending a fundraiser for him this week. Sherman, who defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman last year in one of the most expensive House races in the country, ended last year with over $800,000 in debt.

* Former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod will join NBC News and MSNBC as a senior political analyst.

* USA Today has signed the Pew Research Center as its new pollster. The newspaper parted ways with Gallup last month after a long relationship.

* Massachusetts state Sen. Katherine Clark (D) intends to run for Democratic Rep. Ed Markey's 5th District seat, if it opens up. Markey is running in the special U.S. Senate election for Secretary of State John Kerry's old seat. Clark joins state Rep. Carl Sciortino (D) and  state Sen. William Brownsberger, who will also run if the seat is vacated.


Some not-so-happy Valentine's Day memories...

With Aaron Blake