Why Don't Americans Like Their Congress?
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The lame-duck session of Congress has gotten some things done, but it's not likely to go out of business with a burst of bipartisanship. We review what's happened and what to expect, and ask why just 13 percent of Americans like what they see. Also, an about Face by North Korea on the South’s military drills,and this week, President Obama plans to sign the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell: passed by the lame-duck Congress. Integrating open gays and lesbians into the military might not be so easy.
Banner image: Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) (3rd L) talks with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) (C), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) (4th L) and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (3rd R) after a closed session about the new START Treaty on December 20, 2010. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
About Face by North Korea on South's Military Drills ()
If South Korean conducted live-fire drills on an island in the Yellow Sea, North Korea threatened "brutal consequences beyond imagination." But after drills began today, the North said it was "not worth reacting." New Mexico Governor and former diplomat Bill Richardson, who just spent five days in Pyongyang, was hopeful. "Maybe we had a little impact with them." Selig Harrison, director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy, is a frequent visitor to the North and author of Korean Endgame.
- Selig Harrison: Director of the Asia Program, Center for International Policy
Analysis of an Unpopular Congress ()
Last week the tax package was signed into law, and some called it a bipartisan moment in the lame-duck session of Congress. Over the weekend, repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" passed and was sent to the White House. But the DREAM Act, which passed in the House, failed in the Senate, and ratification of the New START treaty with Russia could be in big trouble. As Congress limps toward a close, public approval is at an all-time low: 13 percent in the Gallup Poll, comparable to used car salesmen. The House and Senate have been much in the news and media coverage has shone a bright light on the sausage-making process by reporting on earmarks, filibusters and partisan gridlock. Has familiarity bred public contempt? Is it the state of the economy, or does mistrust of government go all the way back to the Founding Fathers?
- Glenn Thrush: Senior Congressional Reporter, Politico, @GlennThrush
- Major Garrett: Congressional Correspondent, National Journal, @MajoratNJ
- Frank Newport: President, American Association for Public Opinion Research, @galluppoll
- Larry Sabato: Director of the Center for Politics, University of Virginia, @larrysabato
Pentagon Plans for Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ()
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be a thing of the past when President Obama signs the repeal passed by the lame-duck Congress. But it's not clear how long it will take to integrate openly gay and lesbian soldiers into the military. The Pentagon has been briefing reporters on implementation of the s;lakfj;ajkf ;of DADT, drawing on the conclusions of a study on what kinds of scenarios might emerge. Craig Whitlock reports for the Washington Post.
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