December 22, 2009 |
Senate Democrats took another step toward passing the sweeping healthcare overhaul before Christmas, adopting a package of modifications to their legislation and defeating another Republican-led filibuster early today. The package includes a series of compromises worked out by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) with other Democrats. Senators approved it, 60 to 39. Then they voted to limit debate, also 60 to 39. Republican Sen. James M. Inhofe, of Oklahoma, was absent.
December 20, 2009 |
Last June, a long time ago in politics, Democrats in the Senate were briefly jubilant. For the first time in a generation, they held 60 seats, the "supermajority" required to control the Senate's proceedings. The road to enacting President Obama's center-left agenda looked, for a moment, almost smooth. But that's not how the Senate works. It's an assembly of 100 independent egos, not a parliament of two disciplined parties. The word "control" doesn't apply. Last week, as Majority Leader Harry Reid struggled to corral 60 votes to move a healthcare bill forward, the jubilation of summer gave way to desperation on cold winter nights -- with occasional flashes of recrimination.
January 16, 2010 |
"Avatar" won a record-breaking six Critics' Choice Movie Awards on Friday night, but it was the independent Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker" took home the best picture honors from the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. Kathryn Bigelow also won as director of the harrowing ensemble war film. "The Hurt Locker," which is nominated for best picture and director at Sunday's Golden Globes, has received the lion's share of critics' awards, including honors from the L.A. Film Critics Assn.
January 26, 2010 |
Shoppers spent more than they planned during the Christmas season, giving retailers a much-needed sales spurt that industry watchers are hoping will continue this year. Consumers spent an average of $811 on holiday gifts, significantly more than the $699 they initially planned to spend, according to a Consumer Reports survey expected to be released today. About 4 in 5 consumers bought gifts, and in a good sign for discretionary spending, many shoppers bought for themselves, the poll found.
February 11, 2010 |
A total of 315,716 U.S. homes were mired in the foreclosure process in January, a 10% decline from foreclosure activity measured in December, a real estate firm will report Thursday. That number is still 15% above the level of foreclosure activity reported by RealtyTrac in January 2009. The report by the company, which sells foreclosure information to consumers online, shows that 1 in 409 U.S. homes last month was listed in a foreclosure filing -- default notices, scheduled auctions or bank repossessions.
March 22, 2010 |
A stranger wandering into the scene that overtakes downtown Austin, Texas, every year during the music portion of the South by Southwest festival could be forgiven for thinking it was some kind of apocalypse. The din, the trash, the packs of stumblers forming strange clumps of humanity in the middle of each block and then dispersing across the intersections -- the total environment emanates disaster. It's really a party, of course, a packed gathering of fans jumping from club to club in search of the perfect set from the thousand-plus artists playing dozens of showcases in dozens of venues around Austin's core.