The Wrap: From Sen. Feinstein calling guns ‘personal pleasures’ to budget blame, the week that was

  • **FILE** Sen. Dianne Feinstein seeks to reimpose weapons bans that expired in 2004. The California Democrat’s current bill would go further than her 1994 law, which was sunsetted. (Associated Press)
  • President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio attended the ceremony to dedicate a statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Wednesday before a brief meeting about budget cuts. (Associated Press)
  • President Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington on March 1, 2013, following after meeting with congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts. (Associated Press)President Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington on March 1, 2013, following after meeting with congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts. (Associated Press)
  • House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, speaks to reporters outside the White House on March 1, 2013, following a meeting with President Obama and Congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts. (Associated Press)House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, speaks to reporters outside the White House on March 1, 2013, following a meeting with President Obama and Congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts. (Associated Press)
  • ** File ** Natalie Warrens, right, of Portland, Ore., is seen with others as they blow a kiss in the direction the of the Oregon Supreme Court during a rally at the Capitol in Salem, Ore. in support of same-sex marriage, 2004. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)** File ** Natalie Warrens, right, of Portland, Ore., is seen with others as they blow a kiss in the direction the of the Oregon Supreme Court during a rally at the Capitol in Salem, Ore. in support of same-sex marriage, 2004. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)
  • Pope Benedict XVI greets well-wishers in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Wednesday. Benedict on Thursday will become the first pope in six centuries to step aside. Some 150,000 people attended his farewell address. (Associated Press)
  • Flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman is surrounded by journalists upon his arrival in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)Flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman is surrounded by journalists upon his arrival in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
  • Pope Benedict XVI walks past a Swiss guard as he leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Wednesday Feb. 13, 2013. The 85-year-old Benedict basked in more than a minute-long standing ovation when he entered the packed audience hall for his traditional Wednesday general audience. He was interrupted by applause by the thousands of people, many of whom had tears in their eyes. (Associated Press)Pope Benedict XVI walks past a Swiss guard as he leaves at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, Wednesday Feb. 13, 2013. The 85-year-old Benedict basked in more than a minute-long standing ovation when he entered the packed audience hall for his traditional Wednesday general audience. He was interrupted by applause by the thousands of people, many of whom had tears in their eyes. (Associated Press)
  • ** FILE ** Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, shades his eyes as he looks at the helicopter taking Pope Benedict XVI to Castel Gandolfo, in Rome on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Angelo Carconi)

** FILE ** Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, shades his eyes as he looks at the helicopter taking Pope Benedict XVI to Castel Gandolfo, in Rome on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Angelo Carconi)
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry adjusts his translation earphones while listening to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, not pictured, at a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Berlin is the second stop in Kerry’s first trip overseas as secretary. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)
  • ** FILE ** A helicopter with Pope Benedict XVI onboard leaves the Vatican in Rome, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)** FILE ** A helicopter with Pope Benedict XVI onboard leaves the Vatican in Rome, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (right) meets with with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Berlin on Feb. 26, 2013. Berlin is the second stop in Kerry’s first trip overseas as Secretary of State. (Associated Press/dpa, Maurizio Gambarini)
  • Flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman (fifth from right) poses with three members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team (in red jerseys) and a media production crew upon their arrival at the Pyongyang airport in North Korea on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Rodman, known as "The Worm," is an unlikely ambassador for sports diplomacy at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)Flamboyant former NBA star Dennis Rodman (fifth from right) poses with three members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team (in red jerseys) and a media production crew upon their arrival at the Pyongyang airport in North Korea on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Rodman, known as "The Worm," is an unlikely ambassador for sports diplomacy at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)
  • ** FILE ** U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to a reporter's question during a joint news conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague, not seen, following their meeting in central London, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. This is the first overseas trip for the U.S. Secretary of State in his new role. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, pool)

** FILE ** U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to a reporter's question during a joint news conference with Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague, not seen, following their meeting in central London, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. This is the first overseas trip for the U.S. Secretary of State in his new role. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, pool)
  • Alex Ovechkin (Associated Press)Alex Ovechkin (Associated Press)
  • **FILE** "All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder" (DC Comics)**FILE** "All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder" (DC Comics)
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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.

  • Benedict XVI leaves Vatican in pope helicopter, uses Twitter to say goodbye

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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