CapitolThe United States Senate voted today to approve the legislation that will temporarily extend the Bush-era tax cuts to all Americans. The 81-19 vote took place two days after Monday’s Senate cloture vote of 83-15, which ultimately ended the Republican filibuster and moved the bill to a final vote. The cloture vote allowed for an additional 30 hours of debate on the legislation, ultimately delaying the final vote on the legislation until today at approximately 1 p.m.

According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Senate vote on the tax deal legislation may come “sometime before midnight” tonight if he reaches an agreement with Senate Republicans to act before the 30 hours of debate time runs out at 12:30 a.m. If passed, the legislation moves to the House of Representatives, on whose floor it could be voted as early as Wednesday.

The court martial proceeding of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin of Greeley, Colorado began today at Ford Meade, Maryland. Lakin is an army doctor who disobeyed orders to deploy to Afghanistan, alleging that his objection to follow the deployment orders results from questions over President Barack Obama’s citizenship.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has announced his intent to run for a second term. His news came on the same day that Fox News predicted that Steele would declare that in fact he would not be seeking re-election.

Government rules by command and not consent. The marketplace represents the rational valuation of things based upon mutual consent. Because the power of the state is a “jealous god,” when ordinary people try to create some sort of private protection against the caprice of politicians, government usually comes back with a lash. We see this in a number of ways these days.