Romney's Rebuttal: Mitt Romney on Tuesday fully embraced the substance of his secretly recorded comments that 47 percent of Americans are too dependent on government, The New York Times reports.
Joining Forces: Google Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and 11 other Internet companies have joined to form a lobbyist group, The Internet Association, as issues such as online privacy and security become a growing focus for lawmakers in Washington, Bloomberg reports.
Feeling Weak: One of the most powerful lobbies in town, the defense industry, is feeling a bit powerless. It is trying to head off automatic across-the-board cuts in the Pentagon budget of $54 billion next year alone, produced by a 2011 bipartisan budget deal. But it has made little apparent progress in blocking or tempering the so-called "sequestration" of funds set for January, Reuters reports.
Secret Weapon: John Berry, the head of the Office of Personnel Management, is the highest-ranking openly gay federal official in history. He's become a campaign asset for President Obama, the White House’s secret weapon in the fight to make being gay as acceptable as being straight, the Washington Post reports.
Playing with Fire: After a week of deadly, international protests against an anti-Islam film, a French satirical magazine is fueling the debate between freedom of expression and offensive provocation. The magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the Prophet Mohammed in an issue that hit newsstands Wednesday, CNN reports.