The U.S. Capitol is seen on November 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or super committee, which faces a Wednesday deadline to reach a deficit reduction agreement, planned to meet over the weekend.WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 19: The U.S. Capitol is seen on November 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or super committee, which faces a Wednesday deadline to reach a deficit reduction agreement, planned to meet over the weekend. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images2011 Getty Images
Finally, some good news for Congress: Though its job approval rating was only 13 percent last month, it just shot up to 21 percent, its highest rating since May 2011. Plus, since members of Congress have been home campaigning since late September, it seems more vacations are in order! (Gallup explains that this is likely a delayed reaction to September’s boost in government satisfaction and economic confidence, and historically the figure is actually extremely low for the weeks before an election — but let’s just let them havethis.)
Now that McConnell has caved on the filibuster, we should see a Senate power-sharing agreement later this week
Senator Mitch McConnell on Monday dropped his demand that the new Democratic Senate majority promise to preserve the filibuster — which Republicans could use to obstruct President Biden’s agenda — ending an impasse that had prevented Democrats from assuming full power even after their election wins.
In his negotiations with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the new majority leader, Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, had refused to agree to a plan for organizing the chamber without a pledge from Democrats to protect the filibuster, a condition that Mr. Schumer had rejected.
But late Monday, as the stalemate persisted, Mr. McConnell found a way out by pointing to statements by two centrist Democrats, Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, that said they opposed getting rid of the procedural tool — a position they had held for months — as enough of a guarantee to move forward without a formal promise from Mr. Schumer.
“With these assurances, I look forward to moving ahead with a power-sharing agreement modeled on that precedent,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement.
Democrats had been anticipating a capitulation by Mr. McConnell and said they believed he had overreached in the negotiation.
Merck is shutting down its COVID vaccine program after lackluster results
Merck said Monday that it is halting development of its two experimental Covid-19 vaccines, after early clinical-trial data showed the shots generated disappointing immune responses against the virus.
Early-stage studies of the vaccines indicated they produced inferior immune responses in subjects given the shots compared with people who survived Covid-19 or took authorized Covid-19 vaccines, the company said.
The exit removes a major vaccine player from the constellation of firms seeking shots to curb the spread of the virus, as the few companies that have been able to bring shots to market struggle to meet heavy demand.
It turns out spreading wild conspiracy theories about election fraud has consequences
Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit on Monday against Rudolph W. Giuliani, the lawyer for Donald J. Trump and former mayor of New York City who played a key role in the former president’s monthslong effort to subvert the 2020 election.
The 107-page lawsuit, filed in the Federal District Court in Washington, accuses Mr. Giuliani of carrying out “a viral disinformation campaign about Dominion” made up of “demonstrably false” allegations, in part to enrich himself through legal fees and his podcast.
The suit seeks damages of more than $1.3 billion and is based on more than 50 statements Mr. Giuliani made at legislative hearings, onTwitter, on his podcast and in the conservative news media, where he spun a fictitious narrative of a plot by one of the biggest voting machine manufacturers in the country to flip votes to President Biden.
Protesters took to the streets Saturday in nearly 70 cities and towns across Russia calling for the release of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny — a massive show of defiance against President Vladimir Putin and his widening crackdowns against challenges to his power. More than 1,900 people were detained, including Navalny’s wife, Yulia.
The rallies — from Russia’s Far East to central Moscow — came less than a week after Navalny returned from Germany, where he recovered from a nerve agent poisoning in August during a trip to Siberia. Navalny was arrested shortly after stepping off the plane. Some 40,000 people participated in the Moscow protest, Reuters reported, while police said 4,000 people took part. Tens of thousands of others joined protests across the country — sending a powerful message to the Kremlin on the reach and resolve of Navalny’s network. It also underscored the pressure facing Russian authorities who must decide whether to keep Navalny behind bars.