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Congress ending 2011 with worst approval rating ever

In his biography of American iconoclast Mark Twain, Albert Bigelow Paine quotes the noted author referring to the U.S. Congress in a less-than-congenial manner: “Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself,” he famously said. No matter how much times have…

Ron Paul: People call me racist because my ‘policies are winning’

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul became visibly irritated during a CNN interview on Tuesday after he was asked to explain 20-year-old racist newsletters that were written in his name, and have recently resurfaced. “His newsletter, which he wrote and edited for years, was a constant organ of vile racism and…

Gingrich accused of illegally profiting off campaign

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich became the target on Monday of a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint filed by the non-profit watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which accused the Georgia Republican of illegally profiting off his campaign. The complaint is based on a revelation by…

Deadly blizzard strands motorists in Southwest, Plains

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – A blizzard shut down highways in New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas on Monday, stranding motorists and causing dozens of wrecks including a prison van in which two people died, authorities said. The storm moved into southwest Kansas on Monday evening,…

Teen gets 21 years in prison for slaying of gay student

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A California teen was sentenced to 21 years in jail on Monday for shooting to death a 15-year-old gay middle school classmate who he said made unwanted sexual advances. The sentencing of Brandon McInerney, the result of a plea deal with Ventura County prosecutors, brings to…

Judge to rule by end-year on tough South Carolina immigration law

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) – A federal judge said on Monday he would decide by the end of 2011 whether to block enforcement of South Carolina’s new law curbing immigration, as judges have done with several other state laws. Judge Richard Gergel heard arguments from attorneys for a coalition of…

Gingrich’s popularity fades in Iowa and nationally

DAVENPORT, Iowa (Reuters) – Former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich’s status as the front runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is fading after weeks of attacks by rivals and intense media scrutiny of his political record and personality. Gingrich acknowledged that negative advertisements by political opponents had dented…

Cincinnati’s Underground Railroad museum struggles

CINCINNATI (Reuters) – Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which opened with great fanfare along the banks of the Ohio River in 2004, is struggling with a $1.5 million revenue shortfall this year. The Center’s exhibits memorialize the escape of slaves from the American South. Just across the river from…

U.S. lawmakers to vote on holiday tax Tuesday

Republican lawmakers escalated a year-end showdown with the White House, putting off a vote on extending a payroll tax holiday demanded by President Barack Obama until Tuesday. Party leaders in the House of Representatives rejected a compromise hammered out by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and promised to hold…

Nevada judge rewrites ‘misleading’ personhood ballot initiative

A Nevada state judge on Monday rewrote a fetal personhood ballot measure after ruling it was misleading because the measure did not explain the full extent it would have on Nevada law. The ballot measure, proposed by the Nevada Prolife Coalition, seeks to add an amendment to Nevada’s constitution that…

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