Morning Briefing: November 23, 2011

A new Congressional Budget Office analysis estimates that the stimulus package created up to 2.4 million jobs through the third quarter of 2011. The analysis also concluded that 3.3 million jobs were added by the package in 2010.

Despite the fact that Tuesday’s GOP debate was held in Washington, D.C., a city with a large African-American population, the crowd was predominantly white. The audience was made up of guests of conservative think tanks the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute, which co-sponsored the debate with CNN.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh plans to sign a deal today in Saudi Arabia that could end his 33-year rule of Yemen. The country has faced a sustained protest movement against Saleh as part of the Arab Spring uprisings. The vice president will step in temporarily until an election can be held and transitional government formed.

Occupy marchers who started in New York two weeks ago arrived in D.C. yesterday after a 230-mile journey. The marchers set out from Zuccotti Park to arrive in D.C. by Nov. 23, the official deadline of the congressional super committee that failed to reach a deficit agreement on Monday.


Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) “said the congressional supercommittee’s failure Monday to come to an agreement on spending reforms was ‘good news’ because it will help to end the Bush-era tax cuts and give Democrats more bargaining power in budget negotiations.” Frank said the coming sequestration and expiration of the Bush tax cuts will force conservatives to agree to a better deal.

Efforts to repeal the automatic defense cuts triggered by the failure of the super committee are unlikely to succeed thanks to opposition from congressional leaders of both parties. “The sequester was designed to be painful, and it is,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

Senate Democrats plan to hold votes on extending unemployment benefits and a payroll tax cut after Congress returns from Thanksgiving. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to use a millionaires’ tax to offset the costs of the $240-billion payroll tax cut, forcing the GOP to choose between a tax cut for the middle class and protecting the wealthiest Americans.

The Texas Supreme Court suspended a judge yesterday whose beating of his then-teenage daughter in 2004 was viewed millions of times on the Internet. “Aransas County court-at-law Judge William Adams was suspended immediately with pay pending the outcome of the inquiry started earlier this month” after video of the brutal beating went viral and was covered in major news outlets.

And finally: When Richard Nixon performed the presidential tradition of pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving, the bird was apparently uninterested in participating and was so flustered that it had to be restrained in a most gruesome way — getting its feet nailed to a table. Nixon would go on to be pardoned himself by President Ford, though he was much more complacent than the turkey.

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