The full Senate voted 63-37 on Thursday, August 5, to confirm Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. With the support of nearly all Democrats, as well as five Republicans, there was very little surprise over the final outcome.
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.
On 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.
The first time Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) offered his “Roadmap for America’s Future” to the House of Representatives, it failed by 137-293, with 38 Republicans voting against, including Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). With his own district safe in the fall elections, Ryan has been spending his time generating support for Roadmap II with presentations to conservative think tanks and coffee klatches.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Republican of Georgia, apparently believes the United States is not yet involved in enough wars. In a speech last week before the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute*, Gingrich said the United States did not take President George W. Bush's 2002 "Axis of Evil" speech seriously or we would have followed the invasion of Iraq with military attacks on both Iran and North Korea. In the speech to the AEI last Thursday Gingrich spoke of the "axis" as a formal alliance, such as the one the Allied forces defeated in World War II.
The United States Department of Agriculture is pondering changes in the regulation of “natural” chicken. The major poultry producers in the nation — Perdue, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Tyson Foods — have taken different sides in this argument. Perdue claims that its competitors, Pilgrim’s Pride and Tyson, are injecting water and salt into their poultry, increasing the weight of the chicken artificially.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told ABC's Christiane Amanpour he was “mortified” and “appalled” by?last month's?Wikileaks disclosures of U.S. Afghanistan campaign secret documents on Sunday's This Week program. The Wikileaks documents consisted of some 90,000 secret documents related to the U.S. prosecution of the U.S. war in Afghanistan from 2004–2010, and Gates claimed “there was no sense of responsibility or accountability associated with it” and that “it puts our soldiers at risk because they can learn a lot — our adversaries can learn a lot about our techniques, tactics and procedures from the body of these leaked documents.
Fridays on the Glenn Beck program have been dubbed “Founders’ Fridays,” as Beck has used those days to discuss the founding of America. Last Friday's episode, however, was unique in that it was about the “Refounding” of America, a movement that has gained momentum at the hands of the Tea Parties, according to Beck.