Illinois lawmakers approved a 66 percent increase in the state income tax in the early morning hours of January 12, part of a dramatic effort to address the state's critical budget crisis. The Democrat-controlled legislature passed the increase at the tail end of a lame duck session, with some lawmakers who supported the measure scheduled to leave office hours later when a new General Assembly was sworn in.

Today's scheduled healthcare repeal vote was postponed in the House of Representatives immediately following Saturday's shootings that killed six and left Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords hospitalized with critical injuries. Some are wondering, however, whether Saturday's shooting -- said to be inspired by anger over healthcare and illegal immigration -- will change the debate over the healthcare repeal.

It was only a matter of time before Saturday's shooting in Arizona prompted calls for gun regulations. Unfortunately, the calls go far beyond restrictions on guns. Democrats in Congress are now calling for a ban on "threatening language or symbols" as well.

John StewartThe question sounds like a joke, made up by one of the talented writers for Comedy Central’s Daily Show itself: Is the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart the journalistic reincarnation of Edward R. Murrow? But this was the serious question posed by New York Times writers Bill Carter and Brian Stelter on December 27, after Stewart rallied the media toward granting federal healthcare funding for September 11 first responders.

Though the GOP was predicted to give the position of the new chairman of the Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on immigration, citizenship, and other related issues to Representative Steve King of Iowa, they instead chose California Representative Elton Gallegly, believing him to be less of a liability in the 2012 elections. Though King was a top Republican on the immigration subcommittee, Republican Representative Steve King was likely rejected for the position as a result of his controversial proposal for the border fence. The Blaze reports, Republicans eliminated a potential liability with Latino voters Friday by refusing to give the top spot on an immigration subcommittee to a congressman who once proposed stopping illegal immigrants with an electrified fence.

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