A new Labor Department report released this morning shows the nation’s unemployment rate has fallen to 10 percent. Employers cut 11,000 jobs in November, the smallest decline since the recession began. Experts had predicted the unemployment rate would “hold steady at 10.2 percent.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is remaining burrowed in his office this week as the Senate debates health care on the floor. Reid is “looking past the daily political drama playing out and, as he said recently, ‘getting my deals done.’”
“Breaking a three-day stalemate,” the Senate voted 61 to 39 to approve “an amendment to its health care legislation that would require insurance companies to offer free mammograms and other preventive services to women.”
A new USA Today/Gallup poll found that 51 percent support President Obama’s new strategy in Afghanistan. However, the poll also found “broad concerns that the costs of the war will sap the government’s ability to address problems at home.”
To coincide with President Obama’s troop increase plan in Afghanistan, the White House has authorized an expansion of the CIA’s drone program into Pakistan’s tribal regions. Pakistani and U.S. officials are discussing “the possibility of striking in Baluchistan for the first time — a controversial move since it is outside the tribal areas — because that is where Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to hide.”
A key United Nations panel has decided to examine the evidence in the case of hacked emails related to climate science at the University of East Anglia. “We will certainly go into the whole lot and then we will take a position on it,” said Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has reportedly come around to the idea of a global transaction tax. The congresswoman discussed the tax with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner yesterday. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced bills that would impose a .25 percent tax on securities transactions the same day.
The “national battle over abortion” has “erupted” in suburban Omaha, NE, where the late Dr. George Tiller’s long-time colleague, Dr. LeRoy H. Carhart, has taken up his cause of providing late-term abortions to women in need of the service. Anti-choice activists, such as Operation Rescue founder Randall Tiller, are now “turning their efforts to stopping Dr. Carhart.”
And finally: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s (R) office has been sending people interested in children’s health insurance to a sex chat line. “In a message callers hear when they get put on hold after calling Gov. Charlie Crist, Crist transposes a couple of numbers and turns the phone number for Florida KidCare into the number you’d call for ‘hot, horny girls.’” The governor’s office has since fixed the error.
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