The 5 most surprising provisions in the debt deal

This Just In

So much for a “clean” bill. The measure passed by Congress to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling also contains some goodies and gifts tucked into the 35-page bill.

There’s more money — a lot more — for a dam project on the Ohio River and millions of cash for Colorado flooding repair projects. And the wealthy widow of a late U.S. senator will receive a year’s pay as a death benefit.

You have to hand it to a Congress that finds no bill is off limits for pork.

“These people are like alcoholics. They can’t resist taking a drink. It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous,” said Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona to the Daily Beast, referring to the dam project. “It shows that there are people in this body who are willing to use any occasion to get an outrageous pork-barrel project done at the cost of…

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Key points of the new debt deal

This Just In

OK, so Congress passed a bill, the President signed it into law and the government’s finally back in business.

But with all the last-minute press conferencing, speechifying, and endless partisan tweeting, the one thing that wasn’t extensively discussed was the actual details of the bill. Since it evolved constantly and was pushed through at the 11th hour, things got a tad confusing.

Here’s are the key points you need to know about the bill that saved the government:

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What’s the Secret to China’s Success?


The “How Leaders Are Made” video, which has been viewed more than 1 million times since it was uploaded on Oct. 15, presents cartoon characters representing China’s President Xi Jinping and the six other men who make up the country’s ruling Standing Committee.

As a bouncy Xi bobs across the screen, a bright, cheery voice intones that every provincial or ministerial level leader in China is chosen from among 140,000 officials—a process that takes at least 20 years. The men who rule the world’s second-largest economy, clearly, are very special men whose selection involves “meritocratic screening that requires years of hard work like the making of a kung fu master.”

And what effort does reaching the level of U.S. President involve, according to the video? Only one year and “an unending flow of greenbacks.” (Becoming Britain’s PM is compared to Susan Boyle winning “Britain’s Got Talent.”)

Who exactly produced the…

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David Cameron to Guardian: Snowden Leaks Put Britain in Danger


British Prime Minister David Cameron said in Parliament on Wednesday that The Guardian had undermined national security by publishing materials leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. The Guardian, said Cameron, admitted it knew the data was “dangerous” by complying with requests to destroy the files.

The Guardian rejected Cameron’s accusations, the newspaper’s editor Alan Rusbridger told The New York Times. “We went along with the destruction of the computers in the knowledge that we could carry on reporting from New York,” he said.

It would be up to parliamentary committees to decide whether to further investigate The Guardian’s actions, Cameron said in response to a question by former Defense Secretary Liam Fox. On Wednesday evening, The Guardian reported that Parliament’s home affairs committee plans to review the newspaper’s involvement in the Snowden leaks as part of a wider counterterrorism probe.

The Prime Minister’s comments are seen as an escalation…

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Etta James – “All I Can Do Was Cry”


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