Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer Recess

I will be going on vacation now that Jade Helm has been outed.

"Congress faces big workload during summer; Funding fight to avert shutdown is on agenda" by Erica Werner Associated Press  July 06, 2015

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress return from July Fourth fireworks and parades Tuesday facing a daunting summer workload and an impending deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown in the fall.

The funding fight is shaping up as a major partisan brawl against the backdrop of an intensifying campaign season, with Republicans eager to avoid another Capitol Hill mess as they struggle to hang on to control of Congress and take back the White House next year.

Already they are deep into the blame game with Democrats over who would be responsible if a shutdown does happen....

They are called ‘‘manufactured crises,’’ and they are meant to consume your attention while the important things and loot are being doled out.

The funding deadline does not even arrive until Sept. 30, but lawmakers face more immediate tests, too. Near the top of the list is renewing highway funding before the government loses authority July 31 to send much-needed transportation money to the states right in the middle of summer driving season.


"Proposal for business tax would fund road repairs.... The framework would require US-based corporations to pay a one-time tax on up to $2 trillion in foreign profits that US firms have overseas. The tax rate has not been determined, but it would be considerably less than the 35 percent corporate income tax rate currently in effect, according to the plan. Going forward, the plan would allow American corporations to exempt more of their foreign profits from US taxes. If the plan moves forward, these details would be the subject of intense lobbying and debate in Washington, but if successful, it would be the kind of bipartisan compromise on taxes that has long eluded Republicans and Democrats."

Really hitting the bottom of the barrel, aren't they? 

So who stole all the money, and what is with the endless excuses and lies?

Legislative maneuvering over the highway bill may also create an opening to renew the disputed federal Export-Import Bank, which makes and underwrites loans to help foreign companies buy US products.

We shall see if they can get the corporate welfare back on track.

RelatedNevada GOP representative to run for Reid’s US Senate seat

You know why Reid is being brushed aside after being beaten, right?

The bank’s charter expired June 30 because of congressional inaction, a defeat for business and a victory for conservative activists who turned killing the obscure agency into an antigovernment cause celebrate. 

I reject the labeling when it's a common theme amongst the body politic of the people.

RelatedSenate resurrection of agency goes to divided House

Where they killed it again.

Depending on the progress of the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, lawmakers could face debate on that issue, too. Leading Republicans have made clear that they are prepared to reject any deal the administration comes up with.... 

Yeah, there is going to be a massive lobbying effort for the next two months to turn enough Democrats to kill the deal outright. I am preparing a post about it and will publish shortly if successful.


On a less partisan note, the Senate opens its legislative session this week with consideration of a major bipartisan education overhaul bill that rewrites the much-maligned No Child Left Behind law by shifting responsibility from the federal government to the states for public school standards.

‘‘We’re seven years overdue’’ for a rewrite, said Senator Lamar Alexander, also a Tennessee Republican and the bill’s chief sponsor.

Guy gives me the creeps.

The House is also moving forward with its own, Republican-written education overhaul bill, revived after leadership had to pull it this year when conservatives revolted.


"The House narrowly passed a Republican-led rewrite of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind education law on Wednesday, voting to dramatically lessen the federal role in education policy for the nation’s public schools. The 218-to-213 vote came five months after conservatives forced GOP leaders to pull a similar bill just before a scheduled vote. This time around, conservatives had indicated they would support the legislation if they had the chance to offer amendments. The House passed its legislation as the Senate rejected a proposal to turn federal aid for poor students over to the states, which could then let parents choose to spend the money in the public or private school they deem best for their child. The vote was 45-to-52, short of a majority and 15 shy of the 60 required. Under current law, the money goes to school districts and generally stays in schools in the neighborhoods where the children live." 

Also seeSenate OK’s sweeping education bill

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee called the bipartisan vote remarkable.

Even if both bills pass, though, it is uncertain whether Congress will be able to agree on a combined version to send to President Obama. Indeed, the prospects for any major legislative accomplishments arriving on Obama’s desk in the remainder of the year look slim, though there’s talk of the Senate following the House and moving forward on cybersecurity legislation.

That means that even though Obama was so buoyed when Congress sent him a major trade bill last month that he declared ‘‘This is so much fun, we should do it again,’’ he may not get his wish.

But all issues are likely to be overshadowed by the government funding fight and suspense over how — or if — a shutdown can be avoided....

That isn’t the only consequential deadline this fall. The government’s borrowing limit will also need to be raised sometime before the end of the year, another issue that is ripe for brinkmanship.

The important i$$ues are saved for the end.

Some popular expiring tax breaks will need to be extended, and the Federal Aviation Administration must be renewed. An industry-friendly FAA bill was delayed in the House recently although aides said that was unrelated to the Justice Department’s newly disclosed investigation of airline pricing.

Is it really something they are going to fight over?


Okay, what did they get done?

"House bill cracks down on immigrant ‘sanctuary cities’" by Erica Werner Associated Press  July 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — House Republicans approved legislation Thursday cracking down on ‘‘sanctuary cities’’ that shield residents from federal immigration authorities. Angry Democrats accused Republicans of aligning themselves with Donald Trump and his anti-immigrant views, and the White House threatened a veto.

‘‘The Donald Trump wing of the Republican Party is clearly ascendant here today,’’ Representative Lloyd Doggett, a Democrat of Texas, said in heated floor debate ahead of the largely party-line vote of 241-179. ‘‘This bill is not about grabbing criminals; it’s about grabbing headlines.’’

Not for long.

Republicans countered that action was desperately needed after the July 1 shooting of Kathryn Steinle, allegedly by an immigrant in the country illegally despite a long criminal record and multiple prior deportations.

The man, Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, had been released by San Francisco authorities despite a request from federal immigration authorities to keep him detained. 

Yes, the ma$$ media and propaganda pre$$ did not cover that so much.

‘‘There are criminals motivated by malice and a conscious disregard for the lives of others, and there are cities more interested in providing a sanctuary for those criminals than they are in providing a sanctuary for their law-abiding citizens,’’ said Representative Trey Gowdy, a Republican of South Carolina. ‘‘This is more than an academic discussion. . . . It is quite literally life and death.’’

San Francisco and hundreds of other jurisdictions nationally have adopted policies of disregarding federal immigration requests, or ‘‘detainers,’’ which have been found invalid in court and which advocates say can unfairly target innocent immigrants and hurt relations between immigrant communities and law enforcement.

RelatedJudge says migrant children, mothers illegally detained

What is next, making them part of government?


In its veto threat, the White House said the bill would threaten the civil rights of all Americans by allowing law enforcement officials to gather immigration status information from any person at any time. The White House statement said such an approach would lead to mistrust between local communities and law enforcement agencies....

Okay. First of all, there is no more trust after the over 2 a day murders by police across the country, and secondly, our civil rights have been and are being violated by loads of data collection from all corners. 

Is it just me, or have you noticed all these divisive side issues being presented to me by the propaganda pre$$, while not unimportant, are doing just that and taking people away from what we all agree are problems, namely the wealth inequality and the wars?

The comments echoed the years-long national debate over immigration, but this latest chapter comes at a moment when immigration has become a hot-button issue on the presidential campaign trail, thanks to Trump’s provocative claims about Mexican immigrants being ‘‘rapists’’ and ‘‘criminals.’’

I read a blog this morning that said he met with the Clintons months ago and is actually a plant to destroy Republican chances (not that it matters), and it would fit with the kind of "rough-and-tumble" politics of the Clintons.

Trump traveled to the US-Mexico border on Thursday to continue his focus on the issue, to the dismay of many Republicans who fear his campaign risks further alienating Latino voters from the Republican Party. House Republicans rejected Democratic attempts to connect their legislation with Trump’s incendiary campaign.


"Congress urged to act on immigrant felons"  Associated Press  July 21, 2015

WASHINGTON — Urged on by testimony from the father of a murder victim, Congress plunged into a heated debate over immigration on Tuesday as GOP lawmakers vowed to shut down funding for so-called sanctuary cities like San Francisco that shield immigrants from deportation by federal authorities.

Immigrant advocates denounced the approach, accusing Republicans of following presidential candidate Donald Trump in demonizing Latinos.

But after 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was shot this month, allegedly by an immigrant with a criminal record and without legal status, even some Democrats were calling for action to address the ineffective tangle of federal and local laws and policies that left the man on the street. 

Excuse me?

‘‘We feel strongly that some legislation should be discussed, enacted, or changed to take these undocumented immigrant felons off our streets for good,’’ said Steinle’s father, Jim Steinle, who was with his daughter when she was killed in San Francisco.

The alleged killer, Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, had multiple felony convictions and had been deported five times, but San Francisco authorities released him, rejecting a request from federal authorities to hold him.

San Francisco is among hundreds of jurisdictions nationally that decline to honor federal immigration requests, or ‘‘detainers,’’ which have been successfully challenged in court and which advocates say can unfairly target immigrants who have done nothing wrong.

Other than being here illegally?


Look, I don't have the answers to this unsolvable problem that benefits only businesses and elites. I'm not the one who devised the thing or profits from it. Those that do, oddly, cast themselves as the immigrants friend. 

What I do know is I was taught in school something about a nation of laws, and my government constantly chastises others who behave unlawfully (well, with a few exceptions). 

Time to move on to other i$$ues:

"Health law repeal attached to highway bill fails; Senators rebuke Cruz for speech about McConnell" by Erica Werner Associated Press  July 27, 2015

WASHINGTON — In a rare Sunday session, the Republican-led Senate defeated a measure to repeal President Obama’s health care law, which was introduced as an amendment on a must-pass federal highway bill.

The repeal effort failed on a vote of 49 to 43, with 60 votes needed to advance over a procedural hurdle. But senators approved, on a vote of 67 to 26, another amendment that seeks to revive the federal Export-Import Bank, which helps foreign customers buy US goods.

Yeah, get that tax loot flowing to multinational corporations again.

The actions came as the Senate moves to complete work on the highway bill ahead of a July 31 deadline. If Congress doesn’t act by then, states will lose money for highway and transit projects in the middle of the summer construction season.

The Senate’s version of the highway bill, which is on track to pass this week, sets policy and authorizes transportation programs for six years.

With the Export-Import Bank about to be added, the highway legislation faces an uncertain future in the House. The House has passed a five-month extension of transportation programs without the Export-Import Bank included, and House leaders of both parties are reluctant to take up the Senate’s version.

Let's hope it doesn't crash and burn.

Complicating matters, Congress is entering its final days of legislative work before its annual August vacation, raising the prospect of unpredictable last-minute maneuvers to resolve the disputes.

Obama has promised to veto any effort to repeal the law, and Democrats can provide enough votes to sustain the veto. Republicans last month acknowledged their options were limited after the Supreme Court upheld the law’s federal subsidies.

Senior Senate Republicans lined up Sunday to rebuke Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, for harshly criticizing majority leader Mitch McConnell, an extraordinary display of intraparty division that played out live on the Senate floor.

Senators Orrin Hatch of Utah, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, and John Cornyn of Texas each rose to counter a stunning floor speech Cruz gave on Friday accusing McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, of lying.

SeeCruz criticizes McConnell

None of them mentioned Cruz by name but the target of their remarks could not have been clearer.

‘‘Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues and perhaps on the campaign trail, but they have no place among colleagues in the United States Senate,’’ said Hatch, the Senate’s president pro tempore. Cruz is running for president.

‘‘The Senate floor has even become a place where senators have singled out colleagues by name to attack them in personal terms, to impugn their character, in blatant disregard for Senate rules,’’ Hatch said. ‘‘Such misuses of the Senate floor must not be tolerated.’’ The delusional outrage and

After Hatch spoke, Cruz rose to defend himself for making the accusation that McConnell had lied when he denied striking a deal to allow the vote to revive the Export-Import Bank.

He said he agreed with Hatch’s calls for civility but declared, ‘‘Speaking the truth about actions is entirely consistent with civility.’’

And far from backing down, Cruz reiterated his complaint about McConnell. ‘‘My saying so may be uncomfortable but it is a simple fact, entirely consistent with decorum, and no member of this body has disputed that promise was made and that promise was broken.’’

Cruz’s floor speech Friday had brought nearly unheard-of drama and discord to the Senate floor. But the responses to it were just as remarkable, as senior Republicans united to defend an institution they revere and take down a junior colleague of their own party who has gone from being an occasional nuisance, to a threat to the Senate’s very ability to function with order.

No senator rose to Cruz’s defense. And by voice vote, the Senate defeated an attempt by Cruz to overturn a ruling made Friday that blocked him from offering an amendment related to Iran.

Cruz’s behavior was the latest example of a Republican presidential candidate causing problems for McConnell. In May, Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, infuriated fellow Republicans when he forced the temporary expiration of the Patriot Act when it was up for renewal. Some of Hatch’s remarks seemed to apply to him as well.

In opening the Sunday session, McConnell said that “when there is overwhelming bipartisan support for an idea, even if I oppose it, it doesn’t require some ‘special deal’ to see a vote occur on that measure.”

“This is the United States Senate, after all, where we debate and vote on all kinds of different issues,” McConnell said. McConnell never mentioned Cruz’s name during his floor speech.

McConnell added that the health care law is “filled with higher costs, fewer choices, and broken promises” and “continues to hammer hard-working middle-class families.”

The House has voted about 60 times to repeal or delay all or part of the Obama program. The Senate was under Democratic control until January.


You can blame Trump for the outburst, and how long before Ted starts hearing from the IRS?


NIH chief sees rally in basic research funding

Elizabeth Warren, Newt Gingrich team up for NIH

Elizabeth Warren plan would bolster NIH funding

US funding on research could surge

Liz is a captive of the pharmaceuticals. No wonder she was allowed to win. 

Back on the road:

"House set to vote on stopgap highway funding extension; Bill sets up fight with Senate over banking agency" by Erica Werner Associated Press  July 29, 2015

WASHINGTON — House Republicans announced plans to hold a quick vote Wednesday on a three-month highway spending extension, as Congress stared down a deadline to act or see states lose money for road projects during the summer driving season.

The leadership-driven plan would have the House vote on the legislation Wednesday, and then leave town for a five-week summer recess. The Senate would be forced to follow suit or face a lapse in highway programs.

The approach amounts to an admission of failure to come up with a longer-term bill despite claims from all sides that that is the goal. And it kicks the issue down the road to what is shaping up as a messy fall on Capitol Hill, with deadlines on President Obama’s Iran deal and funding to keep the government open, among other thorny issues.


Authority for federal highway aid payments to states will expire Friday at midnight without action. At the same time, if Congress doesn’t act before then, the balance in the federal Highway Trust Fund is forecast to drop below a minimum cushion of $4 billion that’s necessary to keep aid flowing smoothly to states.

The House’s three-month bill also includes $3.4 billion to fill a budget hole that the Department of Veterans Affairs says would force it to close hospitals and clinics nationwide. Republicans agreed to it as a necessity, while complaining about the VA’s failure to anticipate the problem.

Blame Trump.

It does not include the Senate’s language reviving the Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that underwrites loans to help foreign customers buy US goods. The bank expired June 30 amid conservative opposition. The House’s approach ensures that the bank will stay dead at least into the fall, with prospects for reviving it uncertain at that point.

They are like vampires, they really are.

Lawmakers in both chambers expressed hope of using the extra time to work on a longer-term highway bill.

‘‘It’s frustrating, but the only thing worse than a short-term extension would be to allow funding to run out, so it’s the best we can do right now,’’ said Representative Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican.

Said Representative Matt Salmon, Republican of Arizona, ‘‘It’s going to be a very vigorous fall.’’

Despite the House’s announcement, the Senate continued work Tuesday on its longer-term bill even as Republicans expressed resignation they would end up having to swallow the House’s short-term patch. It would be the 34th short-term transportation extension passed by Congress since 2009.

‘‘They may jam us on that, I wouldn’t be surprised,’’ said Senator Dean Heller, a Nevada Republican. ‘‘I’d love to see a six-year highway bill; I think that’s good for everybody. But if it takes a three-month to get a six-year, I’ll take it.’’

Work on the Senate’s version of the bill has been slowed by intraparty GOP squabbles over issues including the Export-Import Bank, which the Senate voted Monday to add to the highway bill, over heated objections from conservatives. Supporters in the business community say the bank is necessary for US competitiveness, but conservatives say it amounts to corporate welfare.

Where are the "liberals" in this?


"House backs funds for highway aid, veterans health care; But long-term solution awaits action in fall" by Joan Lowy Associated Press  July 30, 2015

WASHINGTON — The House voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to shore up federal highway aid and veterans’ health care before heading out of town for its August recess, leaving unresolved an array of sticky issues sure to complicate a large autumn agenda.

Sometimes I wish they would never come back, but that would leave us with only a dictator, I mean, an executive.

In one of its last decisions before adjourning for a month, the House backed a bill that would extend spending authority for transportation programs through Oct. 29, and replenish the federal Highway Trust Fund with $8 billion.

That’s enough money to keep highway and transit aid flowing to states through mid-December. The vote was 385 to 34.

The Senate plans to take up the House bill before a midnight Friday deadline, when authority for the Transportation Department to process aid payments to states will expire.

Lawmakers said they were loath to take up yet another short-term transportation funding extension — this will be the 34th extension since 2009. But Republicans and Democrats don’t want to see transportation aid cut off, and they are eager to pass an amendment attached to the extension bill that fills a $3.4 billion hole in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ budget.

The money gap threatens to force the closure of hospitals and clinics nationwide.

The three-month patch puts off House action on a long-term transportation bill, adding one more messy fight to a fall agenda already crammed with difficult, must-pass legislation.

Twelve annual spending bills face a Sept. 30 deadline but are being held up by a clash over the Confederate flag.

I don't know the next time I will be able to wave that.

Congress must also decide whether to approve or disapprove President Obama’s Iran deal, and whether to pass a contentious defense policy bill that faces a veto threat from the White House. Another fight is certain over raising the nation’s borrowing authority.

The really important i$$ues.

Spending authority for the Federal Aviation Administration expires Sept. 30. Because long-term bills to set aviation policy have yet to be introduced in either the House or the Senate, lawmakers acknowledge they will have to pass a short-term extension there as well.

Better not be any terror incidents in the interim.

‘‘I think it will be an extremely active fall with the potential for either terrific accomplishment or a train wreck,’’ said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a member of House Republican leadership.

A $350 billion, long-term Senate transportation bill cleared a procedural hurdle Wednesday by a vote of 65 to 35. Senate passage is likely Thursday.

The bill would make changes to highway, transit, railroad, and auto safety programs, but only provides enough funds for the first three years of the six years covered by the bill.

The bill also renews the Export-Import Bank, which makes low-interest loans to help US companies sell their products overseas. The bank’s charter expired June 30 in the face of opposition from conservatives, who call it corporate welfare.

House Republicans have made it clear they won’t be hurried into accepting the Senate measure.

As they hurry out of town.

I wonder how many are vacationing in Israel this year.


"Congress OK’s short-term patch for highway projects" by Joan Lowy Associated Press  July 31, 2015

WASHINGTON — Congress sent President Obama a three-month bill Thursday to keep highway and transit money flowing to the states, one day before the deadline for a cutoff of the funds.

Earlier in the day, the Senate passed a sweeping, long-term transportation bill, setting up discussions with the House this fall on what the future course of transportation policy should be and how to pay for programs.

The Senate approved the short-term bill by vote of 91 to 4. The House passed the same bill a day earlier, and then left for its August recess.


The Senate’s $350 billion long-term bill, approved by a vote of 65 to 34, would make changes to highway, transit, railroad, and auto safety programs. However, its sponsors were only able to find enough money to pay for the first three years of the six-year bill.

That passed a bill they couldn't even pay for?

That’s not as long as many lawmakers and the White House wanted, nor as much money, but it was enough to win the support of many state and local officials, transportation-related industries, and labor unions that have been imploring Congress for years to provide states with some certainty on federal aid as they plan major construction projects.

The bill’s passage is ‘‘a win for our country,’’ said the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky. ‘‘Many thought we’d never get here, but we have.’’

Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, negotiated compromises with McConnell that helped pick up enough support on her side of the aisle for the bill to clear procedural hurdles and pass.

‘‘We had to give some ground, but we found common ground,’’ Boxer said. ‘‘And we all believe this bill is so important for our nation.”

She is retiring from the Senate.

McConnell had tried to persuade the House to delay its recess in order to take up the Senate’s long-term bill, but its GOP leaders opted for the short-term patch in order to give themselves time to craft a long-term bill that reflects their priorities.

The Senate’s long-term transportation bill also renews the Export-Import Bank, which makes low-interest loans to help US companies sell their products overseas. The bank’s charter expired June 30 in the face of opposition from conservatives, who call it corporate welfare. A fight in the House over the renewal of the bank is also expected.


RelatedBus forces car off I-95 in N.C., killing one

See what happens when you don't take care of the roads?

"Congressional break pushes divisive policy issues to fall; Votes on Iran, debt limit ahead; prospects of shutdown loom" by Erica Werner Associated Press  July 31, 2015

WASHINGTON — Congress is heading out for a five-week summer recess in anything but a cheerful vacation mood, leaving behind a pile of unfinished business that all but guarantees a painful fall.

Not long after they return in September, lawmakers must vote on President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, a brutally divisive issue that many lawmakers expect will dominate town hall meetings during their annual August break.

As of now, Obama only has 14 Senators and 34 House members in favor, far from enough to hold a veto -- and now there will be weeks worth of pressure from AIPAC. 

I think the deal is going to go down, and the U.S. Congre$$ will be exposed as nothing more than a tool of the Israeli government.

And, as more videos emerge showing controversial fetal tissue collection practices, Republicans are increasingly focused on cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood, raising the prospect that Congress will spend September tied in knots over how to avoid shutting down the government over that issue.


Cardinal wants funding to Planned Parenthood cut
Senate blocks GOP bill to halt Planned Parenthood funds
Attacks on Planned Parenthood persist

The problem, as I see it, is that abortion has become an indu$try.

Glad I'm not a father.

Later in the fall or winter, Congress will have to raise the federal debt limit, another issue ripe for brinkmanship, especially given the presence in the Senate of several presidential candidates adamantly opposed to an increase.

The House wrapped up its summer session Wednesday by approving only a three-month extension of highway and transit spending and authority, kicking negotiations on that into the fall, as well.

Add in deadlines to renew authorities for the Federal Aviation Administration, child nutrition payments, and pipeline safety, and it’s shaping up as a monster of a fall.

Look, they are letting kids go hungry. 

At least we got roads to drive....


While the House has left town, the Senate plans one more week before leaving, with a largely symbolic vote on defunding Planned Parenthood.

That's another one of those vague if covered at all stories that really gives me the creeps.

Along with Iran, the government spending issue tops a long list of thorny disputes that threaten to have Republicans and Democrats at loggerheads for months.

That's the political theater and show that will be presented to you as the Ex-Im Bank, war funding, and debt limit are quietly passed.

The 12 annual spending bills that fund the government are hung up on a variety of disagreements, including a dust-up in the House over the Confederate battle flag and Democrats’ demands to increase domestic spending.

That leaves Congress facing the likelihood of temporarily extending current spending levels, which gets lawmakers back to the prospect of a shutdown showdown over Planned Parenthood.

Another one. Last time I was for it, but all the retroactive pay and costs of restarting we allegedly more than if they left it on autopilot. Only a permanent shutdown will do the trick, and now you find the genesis of my opposition to new government anything. You never get rid of it.

On Iran, Republicans are largely united against the nuclear deal, while those Democrats who’ve not yet declared their position are under enormous pressure from both sides.

Because they will be no one else to blame if a veto is overridden. It will be all on them. Can't be done otherwise.

The White House is imploring them to back the president, while groups allied with the Israeli government are warning against the deal in apocalyptic terms.

Congress is widely expected to vote down the deal, at which point attention would turn to whether opponents could muster the two-thirds vote in each chamber to override Obama’s certain veto. 

I did the math above. Doesn't look good for Obummer.

Republicans are entering their recess after a nasty spate of intraparty brawls laid bare the ongoing conflict between Tea Party-backed conservatives and party leaders on Capitol Hill.

Lawmakers of both parties point to a need for high-level budget negotiations to come up with a deal that could resolve some of the major issues — and perhaps even include a tax code rewrite and an answer to Democratic demands for domestic spending increases to match those on the military side pushed by Republicans....

What, and "Grand Bargain" developed in secret and fast-tracked through Congre$$?


There was one last shot before they all headed for the airport:

"The long wait times to clear passport control that travelers endured at Logan Airport have been sharply reduced since the state’s congressional delegation and business leaders pressured federal authorities to increase staffing at the international terminal. The delays threatened to undermine the progress that the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan, has made in wooing more international flights to the airport. The airport offers nonstop flights to 46 foreign destinations, including recently added service to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Istanbul, and Tel Aviv. It appears the congressional scolding produced results."

See? Things can get done in D.C., despite what the Globe says.

It is now time to toss this post to you.

UPDATE: ‘Sanctuary cities’ defy immigration law

Also see:

Flight from Logan makes emergency landing in Denver

Logan flights snared by technical, weather issues