Early Friday, the House approved a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running, setting up a confrontation with the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has pledged to block the measure because Republicans did not include enough money for disaster relief. Boehner managed to get conservatives on board by offering a symbolic $100 million offset for Solyndra.
Longshot presidential hopeful former Gov. Gary Johnson (R-NM) got the biggest laugh line of last night’s debate but may have stolen his material from Rush Limbaugh. Johnson’s joke about a neighbor’s dog creating more “shovel-ready” jobs than Obama echoed an almost identical quip the radio host made earlier that day. Johnson acknowledged the overlap, tweeting, “Credit to Rush for a great and very true line.”
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said Obama is “wrong” to oppose the U.N. vote for Palestinian statehood, saying “statehood is something that we can do now, that we should do now.” The co-chairman of the Progressive Caucus and one of two Muslims in Congress, Ellison said no recognition “puts [Palestinians] at a considerable disadvantage when they try to bargain with Israel.”
President Obama will announce today that he is going to offer waivers to certain parts of the No Child Left Behind law for states that meet certain requirements. “This is the beginning of the end of the No Child era,” responded Jack Jennings, who leads the Center on Education Policy.
A petition seeking to legalize marijuana is the first proposal on the White House’s new online petition site to reach the 5,000 signature threshold needed for official response. “Isn’t it time to legalize and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol?” the petition asks. The fourth- and sixth-ranked proposals also sought marijuana legalization.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen yesterday accused Pakistan’s spy agency of playing “a direct role” in supporting insurgents who carried out the deadly attack on the American Embassy in Kabul last week. “It was the most serious charge that the United States has leveled against Pakistan in the decade that America has been at war in Afghanistan.”
Yemen’s autocratic leader Ali Abdullah Saleh unexpectedly returned from Saudi Arabia today, after spending months abroad following an injury he received since a bomb attack. Saleh’s return comes at a time when the country’s military has been pummeling both nonviolent dissidents and rebel fighters.
A new report based on thousands of interviews with undocumented immigrants who were deported back to Mexico alleges that Border Patrol agents withheld food, water, and medical care from many waiting for deportation. And the report says some immigrants had their lives threatened among other abuses. “Many of (the abuses) plainly meet the definition of torture under international law,” said the report, published by the nonprofit No More Deaths.
Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R) ended his bid for the GOP nomination yesterday, deciding instead to seek re-election to Congress and to implement “a platform of principled conservatism.” The five-term Congressman is the second to pull out of the race behind former Gov Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), and, like Pawlenty, threw his support behind Mitt Romney.
And finally: At one point during President Obama’s speech yesterday pumping up his jobs plan in Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) home state, Obama mentioned that the bridge behind him was “functionally obsolete,” prompting someone in the crowd to shout: “Like Boehner!”