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SOTU Scoop: Valentine's Edition
February 14th, 2014
03:40 PM ET

SOTU Scoop: Valentine's Edition

By Tracey Webb

Obama shows House Dems some love.  Biden shows GOP no love.  No love lost between the U.S. and Afghanistan.  Will Virginia finally let you marry who you love? Where’s the love between the 1% and the 99%?

Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, February 14, 2014.

1. Obama rallies Dems. President Obama told House Democrats he's "very proud" of them and thanked them for sticking with him through some tough legislative fights, like health care reform. "I just want to say think you all for hanging in there on an issue that I think 10 years from now, five years from now, we're going to look and say this was a monumental achievement that could not have happened had it not been for this caucus," said the President.  He made his comments at a party retreat, where House Democrats are mapping there midterm election strategy. They face an uphill, if not next to impossible task of winning the 17 seats needed to regain their majority in Congress.

2. Biden slams GOP. Meanwhile Vice President Joe Biden took the opportunity to take a swipe at what he described as a divided Republican Party.  "There isn't a Republican Party," Biden told House Democrats "I wish there was a Republican Party.  I wish there was one person you could sit across the table from, make a deal, make a compromise, and you know when you got up from the table it was done."

3. Unraveling U.S.-Afghan relations. Does Afghanistan's decision to free 65 Taliban prisoners signal a permanent break between the U.S. and President Hamid Karzai?  The U.S. says the prisoners represent a threat to security forces and civilians and breaches an agreement regarding detainee transfers between the two countries.  Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R) SC, wants to suspend all aid to Karzai's government.  "President Karzai, in my view, is single-handedly destroying this relationship," Graham said.  What does the prisoner release mean for the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan?  We get Republican Senator John McCain's take Sunday on State of the Union.

4. Virginia's same-sex marriage ban.  A federal judge has struck down the law, saying it violates the constitution's guarantee of equal protection.  "Such relationships are created through the exercise of sacred, personal choices - choices, like the choices made by every other citizen, that must be free from unwarranted government interference," U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen wrote in her decision. With Democrats now holding Virginia's top three offices, the state now officially supports same-sex marriage , but because Judge Allen stayed her ruling so that it can be appealed, those unions are on hold until there is a final legal resolution.  We'll discuss what this latest ruling means for the same-sex marriage fight with our political panel on State of the Union.

5. Is he serious? Billionaire venture capitalist Tom Perkins is offering up an unorthodox idea for how American democracy should work. "You don't get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes," Perkins told financial forum. "But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How's that?"  Although the audience reacted to his comments with laughter, it wasn't clear that Perkins was joking. Perkins, who co-founded the firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, caused a stir last month when compared what he considered recent verbal attacks against the wealthy to Nazi attacks on Jews just before the Holocaust.  He later backed away from that comparison.  We'll delve into the divide between the wealthy and the rest of Americans and how to bridge that gap with Forbes Media Chairman and former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes and former Obama White House economic adviser Austin Goolsbee on State of the Union this Sunday.

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