Dems try new tact for unemployment bennies

Dems try new tact for unemployment bennies

Senate Democrats are working on a new way to jump-start their stalled election-year jobs agenda while saving unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of laid-off workers. The plan is to create one bill that combines the unemployment benefits with an extension of a popular tax credit for people who buy new homes. Under current law, […]

Kagan takes cautious road in confirmation hearings

Kagan takes cautious road in confirmation hearings

Elena Kagan is following the path of every recent Supreme Court nominee in pledging “a fair shake for every American” who comes before the court and stressing her ordinary roots. The 50-year-old solicitor general is promising “evenhandedness and impartiality” and insisting she will be properly deferential to Congress while safeguarding individuals’ rights. But as senators […]

Bob Byrd: Passion, poetry, pork

Bob Byrd: Passion, poetry, pork

How that man loved to speak. Robert C. Byrd once talked in the Senate for 14 hours and 13 minutes straight. In his half century in that chamber he spoke of the Roman Empire, the West Virginia coal fields, the Peloponnesian War and the West Virginia mountains. He recited poetry, quoted the Bible like the […]

Supremes hand major victory to gun owners

Supremes hand major victory to gun owners

The Supreme Court held Monday that the Constitution’s Second Amendment restrains government’s ability to significantly limit “the right to keep and bear arms,” advancing a recent trend by the John Roberts-led bench to embrace gun rights. By a narrow, 5-4 vote, the justices also signaled, however, that some limitations on the right could survive legal […]

Overtreated to death

Overtreated to death

The doctors finally let Rosaria Vandenberg go home. For the first time in months, she was able to touch her 2-year-old daughter who had been afraid of the tubes and machines in the hospital. The little girl climbed up onto her mother’s bed, surrounded by family photos, toys and the comfort of home. They shared […]

Panetta claims progress against al-Qaida

Panetta claims progress against al-Qaida

The U.S. has driven al-Qaida into hiding and undermined its leadership, but is struggling to oust its primary sympathizer, the Taliban, from Afghanistan, the nation’s spymaster said Sunday. CIA Director Leon Panetta’s assessment comes as President Barack Obama advances a risky new war plan that relies on 98,000 U.S. troops to prop up the Afghan […]

GOP group plans multi-million dollar election effort

GOP group plans multi-million dollar election effort

In a campaign season of anti-establishment ferment, some of the Republican Party’s best-known insiders are building an ambitious fundraising machine for the fall elections and beyond. They started with a bang in April, cashing a $1 million check from a Texas oil magnate. After a quiet May, friends and foes are watching to see if […]

Oil spill taking a psychological toll

Oil spill taking a psychological toll

BMWUD2CYBUQM The Gulf of Mexico oil disaster feels far worse to shrimper Ricky Robin than Katrina, even though he’s still haunted by memories of riding out the hurricane on his trawler and of his father’s suicide in the storm’s aftermath. The relentless spill is bringing back feelings that are far too familiar to Robin and […]

Tropical storms could add to oil spill problems

Tropical storms could add to oil spill problems

Tropical weather gathering strength in the Caribbean could be the latest bad news for BP crews trying to contain and clean up the massive oil spill in the Gulf, an effort that has been plagued with setbacks for more than two months. It is still too early to tell exactly where tropical storm Alex might […]

Dick Cheney hospitalized

Dick Cheney hospitalized

Former Vice President Dick Cheney was admitted to the hospital Friday after experiencing discomfort, the latest health scare for the 69-year-old Republican leader who has a long history of heart disease. Cheney was expected to remain at George Washington University Hospital over the weekend, said spokesman Peter Long. It was not immediately clear whether Cheney’s […]