Keep those fir trees, ornaments, the city blanketed in white \u2014 though of course the U.S. capital has all of those this year too. What real Washingtonians are looking for is a getaway by December 25. And with an early morning vote \ue000today to cut off Senate debate onh e a l t h c a r e
It\u2019s all aboutc l o t u r e. And don\u2019t feel bad if you\u2019ve never seen that word before. It\u2019s an inside-the- Beltway term that means agreeing to limit legislative debate. Cloture requires a 60- vote majority of the 100-member Senate, rather than a simple majority. It\u2019s going to take three cloture votes to get to the final vote on the bill, expected late on Christmas Eve.
Veteran Washington-watchers recall the days when U.S. lawmakers came back for a week or two after Thanksgiving and then headed home to their districts for a long holiday break. That tradition was broken, definitively, in 1998, when they stayed in session until December 19 to impeach President Bill Clinton. This year, the House of Representatives has already left
The first cloture vote was early on Monday, the second was this morning and a third one is expected on Wednesday.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (A snowy Capitol Hill during the Senate healthcare debate, December 19, 2009)
(World news and comment
from the Guardian |
Survey finds state is the least happy place in America, with hurricane-ravaged Louisiana coming in as happiest
Now New Yorkers have something real to complain about. A study of statistical information about the 50 US states (or in this case 51 \u2014 the survey includes Washington DC) has concluded that New York is the least happy place in America.
To add insult to injury, one of the two economics professors who pulled together the study is a Brit, Andrew Oswald from Warwick University.
Oswald and his New York colleague Stephen Wu pooled information from public sources to estimate the happiness levels across the states.
Top of the list comes Louisiana, which is in itself an eyecatching finding given that it was only
Then come Hawaii and Florida \u2013 no surprises there \u2013 and the sun- rich states of Tennessee, Arizona and Mississippi.
And there, right at the bottom, even beneath Connecticut and that much-maligned state New Jersey, comes New York.
Asked whether he was surprised by New York's apparently deeply miserable condition, Oswald said only a little.
"Many people think these states would be marvellous places to live in," he said. "The problem is that if too many individuals think that way, they move into those states, and the resulting congestion and house prices make it a non-fulfilling prophecy."
A Senate healthcare vote in the wee hours Monday morning got Senator John McCain riled up and quoting Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones.
The 60-40 procedural vote let Democrats limit debate on the healthcare bill and quashed any Republican hopes for a filibuster,
where they could grab control of the floor and talk the measure to death.
The move prompted Republicans to cry foul. War hero McCain gave notice that he wasn\u2019t letting go. He invoked war hero and naval Captain John Paul Jones, who famously rejected suggestions of surrender and told his British opponent, \u201cI have not yet begun to fight.\u201d
He vowed to travel the country, visiting town halls, senior centers and Rotary Clubs to rally opposition to the healthcare reform bill.
The battle lines of McCain\u2019s fight were taking shape by Monday morning talk show time.
He told ABC\u2019s \u201cGood Morning America\u201d program that 60 percent of the public opposed the
healthcare reform bill and more would balk at the measure once \u201cthey find out about this unsavory process.\u201d
McCain cited \u201cthe Cornhusker kickback, the Louisiana purchase, the Florida flim-flam\u201d \u2014 Republican names for various deals the Democratic leadership made with senators to win their backing.
won a deal providing extra Medicaid funds for his state and ensuring federal funds would not be used for abortions.
Senator Mary Landrieu got a $300 million increase in Medicaid for her state of Louisiana in exchange for her backing.
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine was surprised on his \u201cAsk the Governor\u201d monthly radio show on Tuesday when caller \u201cBarry from DC\u201d turned out to be a particularly well-known \u201cBarry\u201d from Washington, D.C. \u2014 U.S. President Barack Obama, not a listener he was told was telephoning to complain about traffic, a laughable suggestion given the president cuts through Washington\u2019s notorious gridlock with the assistance of a multi- vehicle motorcade and heavily armed security detail.
surprise to the governor, who is also chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to mark his last time on the\ue000show, which airs\ue000on Washington radio station WTOP. \ue000Virginia\u2019s constitution limits its governors to one four-
year term in office and Kaine will be succeeded next month by Republican Bob McDonnell. \u201cGovernor Kaine, this is actually the president of the United States calling,\u201d Obama said and congratulated Kaine on his
service as governor.\ue000With Kaine\u2019s help, Obama won the state of Virginia in the 2008 presidential election, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to take the state since 1964.
\u201cOK, get back to your calls,\u201d Obama instructed Kaine as their chat ended, delaying by two minutes the station\u2019s trademark
\u201ctraffic and weather on the eights,\u201d which promises listeners those reports at 8, 18, 28, 38, 48 and 58 minutes after each hour. Then-Senator Barack Obama\ue000(R) applauds on stage with Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (L) during an election rally in Bristol, Virginia, on June 5, 2008.\ue000 REUTERS/Jason Reed
It wasn\u2019t just the wheeling and dealing that had McCain upset. \u201cIf the bill were signed by the president on the first of January, the taxes would kick in and the Medicare cuts and other cuts kick in, and it wouldn\u2019t be (until) four years later that any of the benefits begin to accrue,\u201d McCain told \u201cGood Morning America. \u201d
Photo credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts (McCain in his office during interview)
reports that the FBI is looking into a potential computer-security breach that resulted in the theft of tens of millions of dollars from Citibank by computer hackers.
who targeted Citigroup's (C) Citibank subsidiary, including its North American retail bank and other businesses. This attack was detected over the summer, but there is a chance that it could
Continue reading Citibank Loses Millions Thanks to a Cyber Security Breach
The Galactic Empire
Has Taken Over Wall
Street [Star Wars]
It seems that Wall Street is finally an official part of a dark empire. Or at least that's the impression I'm getting from seeing Darth Vader himself ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange earlier.
Wonder if that long awkward silence is because everyone's trying to think of a non-obvious joke about this whole thing. [ Thanks, OMG! Ponies!]
roundup of the tech industry's most promised, hyped and anticipated products that never actually shipped.
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