John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Beat since 1999.
Following in uneasy but steady lockstep behind the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives, the Democrat-controlled US Senate voted 74-26 Tuesday to endorse the deal between President Obama and Congressional Republicans that will impose massive cuts in federal programs in return for a temporary hike in the debt ceiling.
Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.
For House speaker John Boehner, Tea Party Republicans weren't the problem as he sought support for a package of spending cuts attached to an increase in the debt limit. The biggest impediment to a House majority was Republicans fearful a primary opponent would use a vote to boost the debt limit against them.
A partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration, prompted by a political dispute, is adding to the country's debt. This month alone, that shutdown will cost the Treasury $1 billion in uncollected airline ticket taxes.
The shutdown is happening because of a labor dispute, a long-standing rivalry and a disagreement over subsidizing small airports. It's not clear when it will all be resolved now that members of Congress are leaving Washington, D.C., for their summer recess.
NPR's Renee Montagne talks to NPR's Brian Naylor about what's behind the standoff.
There are two apartment buildings in my Manhattan neighborhood that share a block. They sit very close. One is about nine inches from the other. In the small vertical space between them, a horde of finches have built themselves nest upon nest upon nest rising for nine human floors. It's a finch skyscraper. In March and April you can see finches busily flying in and out of this vertical crack, bearing twigs, grasses and nest-building material.
Seventy-seven people have gotten sick and one has died in a salmonella outbreak that's appears to be caused by tainted ground turkey, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
And the bacterial strain investigators are closing in on — Salmonella Heidelberg — is potentially quite bad because it's resistant to a lot of common antibiotics. That complicates treatment for people who get sick from it.
So why hasn't the government issued any turkey recalls?