Congress finally passes aid program for first responders

Congress finally passes aid program for first responders

Congress has passed a $4.2 billion aid package for survivors of the September 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and responders who develop illnesses because of breathing dust from the ruins. The House passed the bill on a 206-60 vote Wednesday about two hours after the Senate cleared it. President Barack Obama has […]

Arlen Specter’s farewell: A stinging rebuke to the system

Arlen Specter’s farewell: A stinging rebuke to the system

Departing Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter on Tuesday said conservative Republicans who backed tea party challengers against establishment candidates in the recent elections engaged in political cannibalism. In his final floor speech, Specter complained there’s scant room for centrists like himself in a polarized Senate where civility is in short supply. “In some quarters, compromise has […]

FCC gets a victory…sort of

FCC gets a victory…sort of

A divided Federal Communications Commission has approved new rules meant to prohibit broadband companies from interfering with Internet traffic flowing to their customers. The 3-2 vote Tuesday marks a major victory for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who has spent more than a year trying to craft a compromise. The FCC’s three Democrats voted to pass […]

Obama gets the votes he needs for new arms treaty

Obama gets the votes he needs for new arms treaty

President Barack Obama locked up enough Senate Republican votes Tuesday to ratify a new arms control treaty with Russia that would cap nuclear warheads for both former Cold War foes and restart on-site weapons inspections. Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in a 67-28 proxy vote to wind up the debate and hold a final tally on […]

The Army: Be all that you can’t know

The Army: Be all that you can’t know

Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday. The report by The Education Trust bolsters a growing worry among military […]

Toyoto nailed for another recall

Toyoto nailed for another recall

Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to pay the government a record $32.4 million in additional fines to settle an investigation into its handling of two recalls at the heart of its safety crisis. The Transportation Department said late Monday the civil penalties will settle investigations into how Toyota dealt with recalls over accelerator pedals that […]

In this economy, even Santa has it tough

In this economy, even Santa has it tough

Craig McTavish — a.k.a. Santa — has the beard. He has the belly. He even has a few tricks up his sleeve, like pulling up to parties on his Harley-Davidson in full Kris Kringle garb. But there’s one thing he doesn’t have: work. For freelance Santas, this holiday season has been more “no, no, no,” […]

Betty White named AP Entertainer of the Year

Betty White named AP Entertainer of the Year

What Betty White did in 2010 doesn’t usually happen: an 88-year-old actress with more than six decades in Hollywood suddenly became the object of adulation of the Facebook-connected masses, which campaigned for her to host “Saturday Night Live,” boosting the show’s ratings and helping her set ratings records for her own show. After a year […]

Eric Cantor, other Republicans: Major hypocrites when it comes to spending

Eric Cantor, other Republicans: Major hypocrites when it comes to spending

For a guy who insists that federal bureaucrats make too much money, incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sure doesn’t mind handing out handsome government raises of his own. Cantor, the Virginia Republican who has led the GOP charge this year to freeze federal salaries, has boosted his congressional office’s payroll by 81 percent since […]

Senate passes food safety bill…again

Senate passes food safety bill…again

The Senate on Sunday passed a sweeping bill to make food safer, sending it to the House in the waning days of Congress. It was the second time the Senate passed the bill, which would give the government broad new powers to increase inspections of food processing facilities and force companies to recall tainted food. […]