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     Issue No. 2(40)                                                                                             November  23, 2013
From Editor

This week, Senate majority Democrats took the 'nuclear option' to eliminate filibusters on executive branch nominations and federal judicial appointments except for those to the Supreme Court.  What does 'nuclear option' mean? It is a voting system that requires a simple majority 51 instead of the 'super-majority' that requires a 3/5th majority (usually 60) to end the debate on a bill, nomination, or other proposal. Super-majority rule provides room for a minority of Senators to block consideration of Presidential nominees for government positions. Taking the nuclear option is not the end of the filibuster. Senator Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky will still be able to filibuster over drone legislation and lawmakers will still be able to try to block or delay Supreme Court nominees. However, there are presently seventy-six presidential nominees who are waiting for confirmation in the Senate. Filibusters have contributed to a backlog of nominees, leaving high-level positions vacant for extended periods of time. The point is here: How many Americans care about who's in the government? If the nomination is unnecessarily delayed, it must be due to partisan politics. Should politics interfere with administrative operation that ended up the federal government shutdown last October? General public will care how the government should be carrying out its agenda based on the Constitution rather than who's who. 

The Senate approved a historic rules change on Thursday by eliminating the use of the filibuster on all presidential nominees except those to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Politico)
There is a pretty close relationship between health-care spending and life expectancy. Except for one very, very terrible country. (HP)
After fighting off cancer, capturing the hearts of a city was a cinch. Five-year-old Miles Scott - a.k.a. Batkid - lived out his wish of becoming a caped crusader Friday, quashing a crime spree in his pint-size superhero suit as San Francisco became Gotham City. (SFGate)
Elle reduces the country's fashion-conscious citizens to a monochromatic stereotype. Young people in North Korea are following in the stylish wakes of their South Korean counterparts -- apparently donning such fashion-forward items as hooded sweatshirts, one-piece dresses and even, on occasion, shorts. (FP)
More than 9,000 delegates from almost 200 countries are gathered in the Polish capital for November 11-22 United Nations-sponsored meetings aimed at forging by 2015 a new treaty to fight climate change.(Reuters)
On average, it takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their counterparts did 30 years ago. The report highlights growing concerns over obesity and lack of physical activity in youth across the globe. (Aljazeera)
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