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 Congress Today
House - meets at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, December 1, 2014.
Senate - meets at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, December 1, 2014.
 Breaking News
From washingtonpost.com:
WashingtonPost.com  
After a night of violence in Ferguson, Nixon moves to prevent more destruction
FERGUSON, Mo. - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vowed to crack down Tuesday on "criminals" he said had unleashed a night of violence here on Monday, pouring in more than 2,200 National Guard troops amid criticism that he had not done enough to quell the rioting.
U-Va.'s governing board votes for zero tolerance of sexual assault
The University of Virginia's governing board unanimously approved a statement of "zero tolerance" for sexual assault on Tuesday, less than a week after a magazine story detailed an alleged gang rape in 2012 at a university fraternity.
GovBeat: Court denies Arizona request to block driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants
A federal appeals court denied Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's (R) request to rehear a case involving driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants in an order filed Monday.
Two powerful explosions rock Kabul
KABUL, Afghanistan - Two powerful explosions hit Kabul early Tuesday, one wounding six Afghan army soldiers, the latest in a series of insurgent attacks on high-profile targets. A roadside bomb targeted an Afghan National Army minibus, causing the soldiers' wounds, police said. The second blast in the center of Kabul did not cause casualties, they said.
WorldViews: The Mediterranean town where houses are on sale for less than $2
With nearly 50 million visitors last year, Italy is among the world's top tourist destinations. Those interested in staying longer than just a few days could be interested in the special offer of a town on the island of Sicily: The town's council is selling about 20 houses for less than $2.
Obamacare's lingering myths and misconceptions for small businesses
Considering the magnitude of the health-care law, it's no surprise small-business owners aren't familiar with all the nuances in the legislation. Some of the lawmakers who wrote and voted for the bill have themselves expressed confusion about the rules.
Life as an African American in Ferguson
One of the Ferguson grand jury witnesses, whose previous accounts of the shooting were discredited by prosecutors, used his time in front of the grand jury to deliver an emboldened glimpse into life as an African American in Ferguson. The witness, who admitted he had changed his story, had been asked if there was anything else the grand jury needed to know.
Open enrollment? Time to watch what's happening to your health plan at work.
Even if you're not shopping in an Affordable Care Act marketplace, you may need to make big health insurance decisions this year. Employer-sponsored plans - where most working-age folks get coverage - are changing, too.
Federal Eye: Health plans open season for feds until Dec. 8
The holiday season also means Open Season for federal workers, retirees and their families. This open season does not refer to the potshots critics often aim at the workforce. It is the time when federal employees can pick health insurance coverage.
GovBeat: Utah must pay attorney's fees in same-sex marriage case, judge says
A U.S. District Court judge has ordered the state of Utah to pay for attorney's fees for the plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against the state over marriage benefits for same-sex couples earlier this year.
Rebuilding and coping on South Florissant
First thing Tuesday morning, residents and business owners turned out with brooms, power drills, table saws and plywood to clean up the normally picturesque strip of brick sidewalks and old-fashioned light poles - Ferguson's little downtown - where police headquarters is located. This was the equivalent of a community barn-raising, only rather than focus on one structure, these volunteers did a bit of work at about a dozen commercial addresses that had suffered mainly smashed windows by protesters the night before.
Rebuilding and coping on South Florissant
First thing Tuesday morning, residents and business owners turned out with brooms, power drills, table saws and plywood to clean up the normally picturesque strip of brick sidewalks and old-fashioned light poles - Ferguson's little downtown - where police headquarters is located. This was the equivalent of a community barn-raising, only rather than focus on one structure, these volunteers did a bit of work at about a dozen commercial addresses that had suffered mainly smashed windows by protesters the night before.
Rand Paul on Ferguson: 'I mostly blame politicians'
GOP Sen. Rand Paul is renewing his calls for criminal justice reform in the wake of riots in Ferguson - stoked by the announcement that Officer Darren Wilson would not be charged in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown - blaming the War on Drugs for creating a "culture of violence" in many communities.
Rep. Peter King suggests Obama invite Darren Wilson to the White House
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) suggested Tuesday that President Obama should invite Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson to the White House for a chat. "I think it would be very helpful if President Obama went and met with the police officer or invited him to the White House and said, 'You've gone through four months of smear and slander and the least we can do is tell you that it's unfortunate that it happened and thank you for doing your job.' And then try to bring the communities together," King said in an interview with Fox Business News.
GovBeat: Court denies Arizona request to block driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants
A federal appeals court denied Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's (R) request to rehear a case involving driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants in an order filed Monday.
GovBeat: Court denies Arizona request to block driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants
A federal appeals court denied Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's (R) request to rehear a case involving driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants in an order filed Monday.
Why trouble with the law marks the end for some politicians, but not others
11/25 Update: We originally posted this item on Aug. 20. We've updated it with the recent news that scandal-tarred Larry Craig joined the Idaho Republican Party as the financial chair of its executive committee.
The Fix: The 27 worst headline puns made about presidential turkey pardons
On Wednesday, two obese birds will be sent into retirement in an opulent ceremony at the White House. The beneficent ritual happens in anticipation of the annual mass consumption of their unlucky brethren, as political precedent mandates.
In the Loop: Would the timing of the Ferguson decision have made a difference? Probably not.
There's been much chatter that the timing of the release of the Ferguson grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown - close to 10 p.m. - contributed to the rioting that quickly followed.
The Fix: Why speaking on Ferguson was a lose-lose proposition for President Obama
It was a night of split screens. Even as St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch was wrapping up a nearly hour-long recitation of the events surrounding the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. -- and the decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson -- the White House briefing room was being made ready for President Obama to deliver a statement about exactly what McCulloch was announcing.
The Fix: Our rude and subjective assessment of the best place for the 2016 Democratic convention
The Democratic National Committee has narrowed its choice of possible 2016 convention cities to three: Philadelphia; Columbus, Ohio; and New York. As someone who has lived in two of those cities and has frequently traveled through the third, I feel as though I am well-positioned to offer an analysis of these choices.
The Fix: Our rude and subjective assessment of the best place for the 2016 Democratic convention
The Democratic National Committee has narrowed its choice of possible 2016 convention cities to three: Philadelphia; Columbus, Ohio; and New York. As someone who has lived in two of those cities and has frequently traveled through the third, I feel as though I am well-positioned to offer an analysis of these choices.
WorldViews: Russia fascinated by Ferguson riots ... again
MOSCOW - The resumption of riots over a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson this summer is giving the Russian media an excuse to return to one of its favorite pastimes: Crowing about America's hypocrisy and coming social demise.
On Venezuela's communes, idyllic future is just over the rainbow
CUA, Venezuela - With an Iranian tractor, and two big subwoofers blasting salsa music across his onion patch, Ivan Lora says he is turning his weedy hillside into a building block of Venezuelan socialism.
WorldViews: An Israeli argument for the E.U. to recognize Palestine
On Thursday, the European Parliament will convene in Strasbourg, France, and hold a vote on whether to recognize Palestine as an independent state. The deliberation comes with a considerable amount of momentum: In recent weeks, a number of European governments have taken steps on their own to recognize Palestine as an independent state. Sweden formally recognized Palestine in October, becoming the most prominent European country to do so. Symbolic votes in the main legislatures of Britain, Spain and Ireland have followed since. France's parliament is set to vote on the issue on Dec. 2.
WorldViews: INTERVIEW: The gay Latvian foreign minister whose coming out stunned Eastern Europe
Earlier this month, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics announced that he was gay, breaking a major barrier in eastern Europe's socially conservative political scene, where openly gay public figures of any sort are extremely rare. The announcement provoked strong reaction in Latvia and its neighbors. Western European leaders congratulated Rinkevics on his courage. Some of Rinkevics's political allies in Latvia said they would start a public discussion about granting more legal rights to domestic partners, same-sex or otherwise. Other lawmakers said they would try to block any efforts to liberalize those rules.
WorldViews: The Mediterranean town where houses are on sale for less than $2
With nearly 50 million visitors last year, Italy is among the world's top tourist destinations. Those interested in staying longer than just a few days could be interested in the special offer of a town on the island of Sicily: The town's council is selling about 20 houses for less than $2.
WorldViews: The Mediterranean town where houses are on sale for less than $2
With nearly 50 million visitors last year, Italy is among the world's top tourist destinations. Those interested in staying longer than just a few days could be interested in the special offer of a town on the island of Sicily: The town's council is selling about 20 houses for less than $2.
City of Ferguson bulks up its security online, too
While preparing to announce the results of a grand jury investigation into the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the city of Ferguson did more than just build barricades and increase the number of cops on the street. The city of 21,000 upped its security on the Internet, too.
As D.C. embraces its industrial past, New York's High Line Park shows the way
NEW YORK - Julian Hunt went to see the High Line Park in New York City's West Side before it was even open.
Former Intelligent Decisions CEO pleads guilty to charge of providing gratuities to a federal contracting official
The former chief executive of a Northern Virginia defense contractor pleaded guilty to a federal charge of providing gratuities to a federal contracting official, and the company agreed to pay a $300,000 fine for its involvement in the bid-rigging scheme, the Justice Department said Tuesday.
Ledbury clothing company in Richmond gets funds from Pete Snyder's Disruptor Capital
Pete Snyder's Disruptor Capital, an Alexandria-based angel investment firm, has joined an estimated $5 million funding round aimed at boosting production for a Richmond-based clothing company co-founded by the son of former U.S. Sen. Paul Trible.
The FTC says Sony lied about how innovative the PS Vita is.
The Federal Trade Commission had some harsh words for Sony on Tuesday, announcing a settlement that says the gaming giant was not truthful in marketing its PS Vita. The FTC's claim? That Sony promised "game-changing" features would be available on the Vita, and they weren't.
Ferguson prosecutor slams "non-stop" social media while calling for increased attention to race
St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch delivered a sometimes combative 25-minute address Monday night to announce a grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson, M.o, police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown. During the announcement, McCulloch focused particular attention on the role of social media in covering the story, which he blamed for misleading the public and making the investigation of Brown's death fraught from the start.
 stateline.org - State and Local Issues

Latest state and local issue stories and analyses from stateline.org and the Pew Center on the States.

States move slowly toward digital textbooks
Despite enthusiasm for digital textbooks at the national level, states have been slow to get on board. But the movement is gaining strength.
Indiana gov squashes vp speculation
TODAY'S TAKE: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is the latest GOP governor who says he's not interested in becoming Mitt Romney's running mate.
Note to readers: A new Stateline is coming soon
Stateline and the Pew Center on the States are launching a new website at Pewstates.org
AZ: Arizona's immigration law gets its day in U.S. Supreme Court
When Paul Clement walks into the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday he's going to try to convince at least five justices that Arizona has an inherent right to enforce federal immigration laws.
NC: North Carolina judge vacates death penalty under racial justice law
In a landmark ruling, a North Carolina judge on Friday vacated the death penalty of a black man convicted of murder, saying prosecutors across the state had engaged in deliberate and systematic racial discrimination when striking black potential jurors in death penalty cases.
NJ: New Jersey drops out of lawsuit against EPA over ozone
New Jersey has dropped out of a lawsuit challenging the White House decision to bypass strict ozone standards that the EPA had recommended as necessary to protect human health.
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  •  Governing.com - State and Local News
    Governing.com
    The Way We Tax: A 50-State Report
    The vast majority of state tax systems are inadequate for the task of funding a 21st-century government. Most of those tax systems are also unfair. They break the golden rule of tax equity: collect the lowest possible rates on the widest possible base of taxpayers.
    Governing February Issue
    Articles:
  • Assessments: Alan Ehrenhalt on living with "lifestyle centers"
  • Potomac Chronicle: Donald F. Kettl on the states as beggars
  • Technology: Thomas R. Davies on outside resources for new IT leaders
  • Tax Talk: David Brunori on the principles of sound tax policy
  • Economic Development: William Fulton on how a city's size affects its competitiveness
  • Environment: Tom Arrandale on the risks of weakening longstanding laws


  •  White House Update
    White House schedule information and recent statements and news releases.

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