Congress Sort Of Has A Deal To Keep Government Open Maybe

  • With the clock ticking toward Thursday, when our U.S. of America government will be officially out of pocket change and out of business, the do-nothing layabouts in Congress have maybe cobbled together a deal to avoid that. Hooray, end-of-year bonuses for all of you, for doing such a good job at doing your jobs! Especially you, Speaker John Boehner, for agreeing to suck it up and beg the Democrats to take pity on you by giving you a hand.

    Congressional leaders reached a deal Tuesday on a more than $1 trillion spending package that would fund most of the federal government through the current fiscal year.

    Most. Most of the federal government. Still a few details to work out.

    The spending bill would fund nearly all of the federal government through September 2015, except for the Department of Homeland Security, which it would fund only through February, in retaliation for President Obama’s unilateral action to defer the deportation of as many as five million undocumented immigrants. Congressional Republicans plan to take up funding for the agency — which has primary responsibility for carrying out the president’s immigration directive — early next year, when they will control both chambers of Congress and believe they will have more leverage.

    Well, as long as the grown-ups in charge of running our government have a good reason. Like retaliating against the president because waaaaah boo hoo. But at least Very Serious Pundits will be happy that Republicans and Democrats compromised and bipartisanshipped, since that's what Americans really want. And now no one is happy, so everyone wins.

    The final deal amounted to what one Democratic aide called a “split decision” likely to leave both sides unhappy. For instance, the bill would nullify the District of Columbia’s referendum to legalize marijuana, but it would allow Washington to decriminalize the drug, meaning possession of small amounts will no longer be punished. Environmental regulations on some waterways were nullified for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but the Environmental Protection Agency would not be limited in its ability to regulate new bodies of water under the Clean Water Act.

    Democrats fought off Republican efforts to scuttle first lady Michelle Obama’s tough rules on nutritional content of school lunches, but Republicans secured some flexibility on sodium levels and the use of whole grains. Schools will be able to claim a hardship waiver if they can show procuring whole grains would be too expensive or difficult.

    At least this means just about everyone will vote to pass this massive thing and keep the government running before they all take off for their extra-long vacation, right? Hahaha, don't be A Idiot.

    Nonetheless, House Speaker John A. Boehner is expected to have to rely on Democratic votes to help pass the bill, as some of his more conservative members have balked, saying it does not go far enough in fighting the president’s immigration action.

  • Isn't it great how we we could prevent the spread of disease around the world with something as simple as vaccines? No, really:

  • So who did Rick Perry blow to get the Washington Post to write this?

    Rick Perry is trying to show that he’s not the Rick Perry you remember. Gone, it seems, is the blustery bravado, the empty rhetoric, the cowboy boots — and, yes, the “Oops” moments. This Perry comes across as studious, contemplative and humble. He said he is at peace with his 2012 presidential campaign, in which his shoot-first-aim-later approach proved catastrophic, but is hungry to redeem himself.

  • What's so racist about watermelons, huh?

    While mainstream-media figures deride these instances of racism, or at least racial insensitivity, another conversation takes place on Twitter feeds and comment boards: What, many ask, does a watermelon have to do with race? What’s so offensive about liking watermelon? Don’t white people like watermelon too? Since these conversations tend to focus on the individual intent of the cartoonist, coach, or emcee, it’s all too easy to exculpate them from blame, since the racial meaning of the watermelon is so ambiguous.

    But the stereotype that African Americans are excessively fond of watermelon emerged for a specific historical reason and served a specific political purpose. The trope came into full force when slaves won their emancipation during the Civil War. Free black people grew, ate, and sold watermelons, and in doing so made the fruit a symbol of their freedom. Southern whites, threatened by blacks’ newfound freedom, responded by making the fruit a symbol of black people’s perceived uncleanliness, laziness, childishness, and unwanted public presence. This racist trope then exploded in American popular culture, becoming so pervasive that its historical origin became obscure. Few Americans in 1900 would’ve guessed the stereotype was less than half a century old.

    It's a long and amazing history, and you should go read the whole thing. Then you can email it to that crazy rightwing uncle of yours so he understands it too.

  • You don't even need to know what this is about to have a good laugh at millennials:

    He tried to eliminate land-line phones, seeing no reason why reporters might need them.

  • Looking for the latest bewb tube shenanigans and snarky recaps of your favorite teevee shows? Go show some love to our gone-but-not-forgotten kid sister Happy Nice Time People. And be sure to follow Happy Nice Time People on Twitter.

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