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Republicans fail to rattle Kagan

Republicans fail to rattle Kagan

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, who has displayed a cool demeanor and a sense of humor during her Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, was expected to move one step closer Wednesday to succeeding Justice John Paul Stevens, barring a major gaffe. Republicans who oppose her nomination will need to resort to a filibuster to block a […]

Feds bust Russian spy ring

Feds bust Russian spy ring

The FBI has arrested 10 people who allegedly spied for Russia for up to a decade — posing as innocent civilians while trying to infiltrate U.S. policymaking circles and learn about U.S. weapons, diplomatic strategy and political developments. An 11th defendant — a man accused of delivering money to the agents — remains at large. […]

Can Obama restore consumer confidence in economy?

Can Obama restore consumer confidence in economy?

A day after consumer concerns about the economy sent stocks sliding, President Barack Obama is trying to assure the American people that the economic recovery is headed in the right direction. Obama is visiting Wisconsin on Wednesday to speak about the economy in Racine before taking questions in a town hall meeting. The president is […]

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, […]

McChrystal will get full four-star pension

McChrystal will get full four-star pension

President Barack Obama will guarantee former Afghanistan commander General Stanley McChrystal  a four-star pension  despite firing him last week over comments disparaging civilian leaders. McChrystal was sacked about a year after receiving his fourth star — half the time normally necessary to qualify for a four-star general’s retirement income of $12,475 per month, before taxes, […]

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 […]