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Obama agenda: Back to immigration

“It's an immigration day for President Obama,” USA Today writes. “The president meets separately Tuesday with labor and business leaders to push his immigration plan, one that includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the United States.”

“A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be ‘senior operational leaders’ of al-Qaida or ‘an associated force’ -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S., NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports. “The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the  September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes. The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week’s hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director.”

A filibuster of President Obama’s Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel is unlikely now that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has come out against one.  “I just do not believe a filibuster is appropriate, and I would oppose such a move,” he told Politico, adding, “I will try to make that argument to my colleagues.”

Later, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) joined McCain and Roy Blunt (R-MO) in opposing one. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, over the weekend left open the possibility of a filibuster. If he were to go through with one, it would be historic.

As one of us wrote yesterday, no presidential cabinet nominee in history has been required to attain the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster. Nine have been voted down, however, but not since John Tower’s nomination for Defense in 1989 amid accusations of womanizing and alcohol abuse. Twenty-one nominees have been withdrawn by presidents, most recently former Sen. Tom Daschle (taxes), who was President Obama’s pick to head Health and Human Services in 2009, and Bernard Kerik (undocumented housekeeper) before that in 2004 under George W. Bush.

Reuters goes to coal country. One coal exec sees the industry going away by 2035. "There are no coal-fired plants being built. Mr. Obama took care of that. I think we're totally eliminated by 2035," said Robert Murray, chief executive of Murray Energy Corp., who also raises money for the GOP. Murray blames Obama, who ironically was known as a “liquid coal” senator when her represented Illinois, for cracking down on emissions from coal-fired plants and promoting wind and solar.

More: Murray, who helped raise money for Mitt Romney “can be affable one moment and erupt with fury the next over what he called President Barack Obama's attempt to shut down the coal industry; the president's failure to understand business; his pandering to environmental radicals; and his promoting the ‘hoax’ of global warming. The president, he says, is ‘destroying America.’”

Joe Biden’s meeting with the British prime minister today.