- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 2, 2013

The sequester deadline came and went with neither side blinking while the White House jumped in to the California Prop 8 fight against the ban on gay marriage. 

On the world stage, Pope Benedict XVI became the first Bishop of Rome to vacate the papacy in 600 years while NBA legend Dennis Rodman wormed his way into North Korea.

Here’s a recap, or wrap, on the week that was from The Washington Times:

After failing to reach a deal with congressional leaders to avoid $85 billion in automatic “sequester” budget cuts, President Obama on Friday blamed the crisis squarely on Republican lawmakers.

“They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit,” Mr. Obama said. But neither side showed any signs of yielding.

Completing what President Obama called his “evolution” on the question of gay marriage, the administration late Thursday called on the Supreme Court to strike down California’s voter-passed initiative invalidating same-sex marriages.

Supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage will be poring over the administration’s brief in the coming days as the high court plans two days of oral arguments starting March 26 on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and woman.

The pope has left the building. With much pomp and ceremony, Pope Benedict XVI left Vatican City on Thursday. An honor guard of his personal protection force, the Swiss Guards, lined the steps to his apartment to see him off.

Bells chimed, and applause from the gathered thousands filled the air, as he climbed into a car for transport to a helicopter that took him to Castel Gandolfo, his summer papal residence.

The Maryland Senate voted Thursday to approve Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gun-control legislation, clearing the bill’s biggest hurdle and sending it to the House where its passage would make Maryland’s gun laws among the strictest in the nation.

The Senate voted 28-19 in favor of the Democratic governor’s proposal, which would ban assault weapons, require residents to obtain a license before buying handguns and strengthen protections against purchases by the mentally ill. A pair of House committees were scheduled to take up their version of the bill Friday after three days of debate in the Senate.

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