The right-wing website World Net Daily (WND) has been the source of a variety of smears, particularly a campaign to question the legitimacy of President Obama’s citizenship. While WND exists at the fringes of the conservative movement, top Republican legislators frequent the WND radio program and the Republican National Committee, among other GOP organizations, fund WND through e-mail list rentals. The website, which files regular articles about the role of Christianity during the holiday season, has a new Christmas-themed poll which asks, “What would you like to give Obama for Christmas?” Readers have responded by voting for: “a court ruling booting his ineligible self from office, “a one-way ticket back to Kenya,” and “an arrest warrant”:
Fox reporter jokes about deadly volcano ash in the Philippines: ‘In a way, they’re having a white Christmas.’
This morning, Fox News reported on the Mayon Volcano in the Philippines, which is continuing to emit clouds of soot and ash over the surrounding area. The tiny particles of sulfuric ash “could cause respiratory problems or skin diseases, and could affect the thousands of people crammed into evacuation centers beyond the eight-kilometer danger zone.” Officials expect a major eruption in the next few days. In reporting the events, Fox News correspondent Mike Cohen described the deadly ash as a “white Christmas”:
COHEN: It can be very dangerous, Patti Ann. You know it already has brought ashfall to several towns in the area. So in a way they’re having a white Christmas — except this is sulfur ash, so it is something that can be deadly to the people if inhaled.
As Al Jazeera has reported, volcanic ash from Mayon has proved extremely deadly in the past. Shortly after a similar eruption in 2006, a powerful typoohn dislodged tons of volcanic ash, creating an avalanche of mud and boulders that crushed entire villages, leaving more than 1,000 people dead. (HT: Gawker)
Republicans Deciding Whether To Stop Filibustering Health Care Bill, Head Home For Christmas
This morning, the Senate cleared a series of procedural votes on the health care bill, paving the way to passing reform on Christmas Eve. All 60 members of the Democratic caucus voted in favor of the three motions, suggesting that Republicans are waging a losing battle to delay the passage of reform.
In fact, given the inevitability of passage, a divide appears to be forming between Republicans who want to head home for the holidays, and those who wish to drag out the debate. Following today’s vote, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suggested that he is ready to leave. McConnell announced that he is “working on an agreement that would give certainty to the way to end this session.” “Hopefully the two of us together can be recommending something that makes sense for both sides in the not too distant future,” he said. Watch it:
Since reaching 60 votes, Democrats have argued that the chamber waive the 30 hours of debate between each cloture vote, offering unanimous consent agreements to expedite the Senate schedule. But at least some Republicans are intent on running out the clock and staying until Christmas. “The flight I have is Christmas morning,” Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN) told reporters, “I don’t plan on changing that.” This morning on Washington Journal, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) also said, “I’m committed to stay here all the way through the final vote.”
Republicans will attend a 1pm caucus lunch today where they’ll decide whether or not to delay the vote until Christmas eve.