Despite dedicating five minutes of his recent 20-minute presentation at the Media Access Project forum to decrying the “right-wing smear campaign” he claims to be the target of, FCC Chief Diversity Office and Associate Counsel at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Mark Lloyd assured attendees that he was not carrying out “a secret plot funded by George Soros” to eliminate conservative talk-show voices such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, one of the architects of the Republican victory in 1994, has urged his fellow Republicans to pay closer attention to the Constitution. In an interview with CBS News, Armey said that Republicans did not need to worry as much as ideology as they did to be dutiful. Congressman Armey noted that every member of Congress takes an oath to uphold the Constitution. Duty, Armey reiterated, is different from ideology or philosophy of government. He did not leave out free spending by Republican controlled congresses from his scolding.

In what has been described as a last-ditch effort to save the healthcare overhaul that is first on his Christmas wish list, President Barack Obama has summoned all 60 members of the Senate’s Democratic caucus to the White House on Tuesday for an 11th-hour pep talk in anticipation of an impending vote on the Senate’s version of a bill that would alter the healthcare industry by changing Medicare, offering long-term care to retirees and the disabled, and creating a government-subsidized and administered panoply of health insurance policies.

meet on hookA Nebraska Court of Appeals ruled on December 8 that an illegal immigrant who was injured on the job at Cargill Meat Solutions in Schuyler, Nebraska, is entitled to worker compensation.

money pileThe Senate on December 13 passed a mammoth omnibus spending bill variously described as costing $447 billion or $1.1 trillion, depending on whether "mandatory" spending for programs such as Medicare and Social Security were included in the tabulation. The Senate vote completed congressional action, sending the legislation to the President for his signature. Dozens of federal agencies received average budget increases of 10 percent.