As the 90 degree sun beat down on a thousand or two activists on the west front of the Capitol Wednesday, a carnival of varied speakers lined up to cheer up the faithful. Initially, there were supposed to be about 25 speakers. The real total was much closer to 50.
And, despite what the tea leaves read on the Iran deal's fate in Congress, the faithful were still ... faithful.Read more
Many Brits are known to enjoy a pint a day. Winston Churchill certainly did—though his daily ration was a pint of champagne, not ale. So it was fitting that the wartime prime minister was toasted last week in Washington with clinking glasses of bubbly. House speaker John Boehner invited a small group—of which The Scrapbook was happily part—to celebrate two birthdays: that of the great man himself, and that of the bust in the Capitol that honors him. One was the 140th, the other just the first.Read more
The new dawn didn’t. There was to be no more sturm und drang, no more brinkmanship, no more government shutdowns, no more threats of default on America’s debt. Just routine passage of a $1,100,000,000,000 spending bill to keep the government running until next September when the current fiscal year ends. In the event, it was only hours before midnight on Thursday, when funding of most government activities was scheduled to end, that the House of Representatives, by a vote of 219-to-206 passed the so-called continuing resolution that will keep all of the functions of government, both the necessary and the wasteful, in operation. No, it was not a split in the Republican party that brought us once again to the brink of shutdown, although some Republicans, eager to show their distaste for the president’s unilateral action in freeing millions of illegal immigrants from the threat of deportation did cause, did defect. It was the Democrats who almost succeeded in shutting down the government and President Obama, not House speaker John Boehner, who had to struggle to get this resolution passed. The battle will have important consequences for the shape of American political life during the two years remaining of his term, and perhaps far into the future. Here’s why.Read more
One of the many things that The Scrapbook doesn’t like about life in modern Washington—aside from the politics, of course—is the extent to which the nation’s capital, especially its downtown core, has become a high-pitch security zone. Access to public spaces and buildings is severely restricted; there are several competing police jurisdictions, all eager to respond to perceived emergencies.Read more
To meteorologists, an inversion is a deviation from the normal change of an atmospheric property. It can lead to pollution and adverse health effects. To Wall Street dealmakers, and now to most boards of directors, an inversion is a cross-border merger that allows the buyer to reincorporate in a more tax-friendly jurisdiction.Read more
The Senate has sent out a message to staff: A "suspicious package" is being investigated by Capitol Police in one of the Senate office buildings.Read more
Lines to get into the Capitol today are “ridiculous” and a “disaster,” according to staffers who work in members’ offices on Capitol Hill.Read more
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