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Congress ‘playing with fire’ on debt ceiling

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned Sunday that Congress was “playing with fire” as Republicans raised the threat of a US default if President Barack Obama refuses to negotiate on spending. Speaker John Boehner said the Republican-controlled House would not raise the US debt ceiling without concessions from the White…

CBS host grills Cornyn: It’s like shutting down government and demanding a ‘cure for cancer’

CBS News host Bob Schieffer on Sunday told Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) that his party’s strategy of trying to defund President Barack Obama’s health care reform law was like shutting down the government and demanding a “cure for cancer.” “This all started because Ted Cruz, your colleague from Texas in…

Dear President Obama: Don’t cave to the GOP’s extortion politics

To a casual observer of American politics the ongoing government shutdown and prospect of a cataclysmic debt default in the next two weeks may look like just another round of “DC dysfunction” between two parties hopelessly polarized and ideologically divided. It’s not. While the government shutdown is nominally about the…

GOP’s Terry Lee: ‘Dang straight’ I’ll collect my paycheck during shutdown

Although some of his congressional colleagues have said they’ll donate or forgo their paychecks during the government shutdown, a Nebraska Republican told his local paper that he’d continue to accept his salary. “Dang straight,” said Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE), adding that the question was irrelevant because the shutdown would soon…

Top Harvard doctors: Supporting Obamacare ‘makes moral and medical sense’

Leading physicians at Harvard University appealed Friday for US health care professionals to speak out against the government shutdown by contacting their elected leaders. The shutdown began October 1 and has sent some 800,000 federal workers home without pay. It was driven by a resurgence of Republican opposition to President…

Republicans insist on piecemeal approach to government funding

Republicans will stage piecemeal budget votes over the weekend offering symbolic funding to additional public services, as Republicans and Democrats accused the other of deliberately dragging out the wider government shutdown into a second week. The GOP-dominated House of Representatives will attempt to re-open the National Weather Service, the Federal…

Tropical Storm Karen targets U.S. Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Karen churned toward the US Gulf Coast Friday, with forecasters warning of weekend flooding and heavy rainfall in several states, including Louisiana and Florida. As the system swirled about 250 miles (405 kilometers) south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, authorities urged residents to stock up on…

Government shutdown halts FDA food inspections. Should you worry?

Government shutdown halts FDA food inspections. Should you worry? (via The Christian Science Monitor) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington last year. The government shutdown means 45 percent of FDA’s workers are furloughed, putting most of the agency’s routine food safety…

Colbert offers Republicans ‘secret mystery box’ to end shutdown

Thursday night on “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert provided a novel solution to the government shutdown crisis. “Now, Nation,” began Colbert, “it is now Day Three of the government shutdown and it is a critical moment in our nation’s history, and not just because yogurt left by furloughed federal…

Jon Stewart destroys Fox News’ ‘Bull*hit Mountain’ coverage of the government shutdown

Jon Stewart attacked Republicans who want nothing more than a smaller, more limited government for complaining about the smaller, more limited government their shutdown has created. After a montage of Republican congresspeople declaring their opposition to anything resembling an adequately-sized government, Stewart said “You know who you are? You’re the…

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