A $26 billion Senate bill, which includes $16.1 billion to help states pay for Medicaid and $10 billion for school districts, cleared a procedural hurdle on August 5 and is expected to come up for a final vote on August 6. The procedural vote passed the Senate by a vote of 61 to 38, with Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe voting with all 59 Democrats to end debate on the measure.

"Maybe I'm breathing the same pixie dust, but there's real momentum for this," says Esther Dyson, in a June 25 online article for Foreign Policy magazine reporting on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to California's Silicon Valley. Dyson, a globally celebrated technology guru, is a major promoter of Skolkovo, the ambitious project near Moscow that Kremlin leaders intend to make into a high-tech research and production center. (See Obama's Russia Adviser Michael McFaul and the Russian Spies.)

On July 8, Vicky Pelaez disembarked from a charter jet flight in Vienna, Austria — accompanied by U.S. Marshals. Pelaez was the only non-Russian among the ten spies deported from the United States in a spy swap with Russia. A Peruvian journalist, Pelaez has been married to confessed Russian agent Mikhail Vasenkov for some thirty year.

Republicans are not inclined to run debutantes for President. No Obama, please. Republicans love retreads. I almost believe that if Adlai Stevenson, twice the Democratic nominee for President, had turned Republican before he died, he might have had a chance at being the GOP nominee. Republicans like them ripe and experienced.

Joseph HollandOn Saturday, July 3, 25-year-old Northwestern University graduate student Joseph Holland was arrested in downtown Chicago for praying the rosary outside a Planned Parenthood facility. The accusation was that he had violated the city's new "Bubble Zone" ordinance.