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Hats off to my friend, Vic Ratner

11:04 pm Dec. 22, 2013

One the great things about working in radio news for the last 30+ years has been to meet some of the biggest names in the business along the way, and this past week, one of them moved to hang up his journalistic cleats, as ABC Radio’s Vic Ratner decided to …

Details on the latest Obama health law change

12:08 am Dec. 20, 2013

In an unexpected shift, the Obama Administration on Thursday night said that millions of Americans who have had their health insurance plans canceled will be able to claim a “hardship” exemption, allowing them to buy a less comprehensive insurance plan in 2014, and that those same consumers will also be …

A grumpy end to 2013 in the Senate

10:17 pm Dec. 19, 2013

Over the years, I have found that when the Congress works late into December, it can often bring out the worst in lawmakers, as late nights, frayed nerves, longstanding personal or political disputes and legislative gridlock can result in feelings that are not exactly conducive to handshakes, hugs, smiles and …

Ten nuggets on the bipartisan budget deal

5:02 pm Dec. 18, 2013

Now that the U.S. Senate has given final Congressional approval to a bipartisan budget deal, that solves everything on the budget, right? Sorry, Virginia, in this case, there isn’t a legislative Santa Claus, as lawmakers will still have to do some work after the New Year to follow through on …

Senators chafe at military retirement plan in budget deal

7:53 pm Dec. 17, 2013

Tucked into a bipartisan budget deal that was unveiled last week, a provision dealing with yearly cost of living adjustments for military retirement pay has proven to be the most controversial part of a deal that’s ready for final Senate approval on Wednesday. “I’m told by Pentagon officials that this …

Sen. Coburn issues “Wastebook” on federal spending

10:22 am Dec. 17, 2013

Calling out Congress for refusing to make difficult choices on the federal spending, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) again issued a list of government programs that he says clearly demonstrates why the budget deficit keeps going up for Uncle Sam. “The truth is we would much rather borrow money than cut …

Federal Judge rules against NSA surveillance

2:41 pm Dec. 16, 2013

In a legal setback for the National Security Agency, a federal district judge in Washington, D.C. has ruled that the collection of bulk telephone records is basically a warrantless search, and that the controversial U.S. intelligence program runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches. In a 68 …

Senate moves to finish budget deal

9:38 pm Dec. 15, 2013

With a goal of wrapping up work for the year in coming days, the Senate will move to confirm President Obama’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security on Monday and next take the first steps on a bipartisan budget deal that was easily approved by the House last …

Boehner chalks up budget win

7:39 am Dec. 13, 2013

In a year that began with a failed coup attempt against House Speaker John Boehner, and then saw him pushed around by outside conservative groups that demanded a government shutdown in the fight against the Obama health law, the Speaker had the last laugh as the House easily approved a …

House easily approves budget deal

7:11 pm Dec. 12, 2013

The final vote wasn’t close as the House on Thursday evening wrapped up its work for 2013 by approving a bipartisan budget plan that would restore $62 billion in spending lost to sequestration cuts, while finding $85 billion in future savings to offset that cost. The vote was 332-94, as …