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.
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.
Conservatives’ fears that the lame-duck session may witness the passage of controversial legislations such as the DREAM Act were given wings when members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met with President Obama on Tuesday.
Once the United States Food and Drug Administration turned its attention toward energy drinks, energy drink companies like Four Loko feared that a regulatory ban was in the works. While the FDA had not yet declared how they plan to proceed — even though they have been undertaking a review of the products for almost a year — food safety lawyers who previously worked for the FDA warned that a likely option was for the Food and Drug Administration to issue warning letters that declared the drinks to be unsafe, which is often followed by a regulatory ban.
Love her or hate her, Americans seem to be intrigued by former Alaska governor and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. First indications of this appeared when her book Going Rogue topped national bestsellers' lists. Now, her fame is showcased in the success of her new reality show on the TLC network, "Sarah Palin’s Alaska." According to About.com, the series has quickly become the most watched debut in TLC history, having attracted 5 million viewers.
Prior to the midterm elections, the Alaska Senate race was predicted to be the one to watch, as it went from a two-way race between Tea Party favorite Joe Miller and Democrat Scott McAdams to a three-way race after Republican Lisa Murkowski announced her decision to mount a write-in campaign in order to remain a contender. Thus far, the race has not disappointed.
As reported for The New American on November 4, New Mexico's unelected Environment Improvement Board (EIB) decided on election day to impose a system of "cap and trade" on the 63 "large industrial sources." The EIB's action was adopted by a 4-3 vote and yet will affect the lives of every resident of the state, as power companies raise rates to offset increased expenses, and major industries may be forced to consider layoffs to compensate for the cost of carbon credits.
After Rahm Emanuel resigned his position as White House chief of staff and announced his intent to run for mayor of Chicago, it seemed his bid would be challenging as he would face a number of other contenders. The New York Times indicates, however, that the flood of people interested in succeeding Mayor Richard Daley has trickled, but that Emanuel continues to face a number of other challenges, most notably reacquainting himself with the ins and outs of Chicago politics.