Senator Richard Durbin's "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act" (S. 510) passed a cloture vote hurdle Nov. 17 by a 75-25 margin, and appears headed for final Senate passage in the next few days. The bill would increase funding to the Food and Drug Administration and give it greater regulatory power over foods and medicines. It would require all food producers to register with the FDA and pay new taxes (which the bill calls "fees") that recoup all the inspection costs for the new army of regulators the bill would create.

Ron PaulCongressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced the "American Traveler Dignity Act" on November 17 to rein in the intrusive and invasive airport searches by the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Rather than wait for the new Congress to be installed in January, President Obama decided to press forward for the Senate confirmation of Andrew Traver for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

In a five-page resignation letter submitted on Tuesday morning, Republican National Committee (RNC) political director Gentry Collins delivered a harsh indictment of RNC chairman Michael Steele. Politico reports that the letter condemns the “disorganization that plagues the Republican party.”

On Sunday night, comedian and actress Tina Fey won the Mark Twain Prize for Humor on PBS’ annual broadcast of the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. As a popular Sarah Palin impersonator on Saturday Night Live, Fey did not miss the opportunity to make a few jokes about Palin during her acceptance speech. However, some of Fey’s more controversial jokes were conveniently removed by Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in the final cut of the awards show, though PBS claimed the editing was not politically motivated.

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