Utah’s very interesting path to statehood

On this day in 1896, Utah became the 45th state, after numerous attempts over nearly 50 years to achieve statehood. Between 1847 and 1868, about 60,000 Mormon emigrants traveled across the country, most on foot in handcart companies. When the initial company arrived in what is now the Salt Lake Valley, their leader, Brigham Young, […]

Chris Christie hits nerve with anti-Congress rant

New Jersey’s outspoken governor, Chris Christie, shocked even long-time followers with his rant against Congress and House Speaker John Boehner. Did the presumptive presidential candidate put his foot in his mouth, or just say what a lot of Americans are thinking? Christie and other political leaders in New York and New Jersey went ballistic on […]

Clinton soars, Palin plummets in most-admired survey

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sets a record in Gallup’s annual most-admired survey, while Sarah Palin falls farther off the popularity radar. Gallup has run its most-admired man and woman survey since World War II, and in the 2012 edition, Clinton and President Barack Obama kept their top positions among those asked a simple question: […]

NCAA’s power at heart of Corbett’s lawsuit over Penn State

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is taking the National Collegiate Athletic Association to federal court in a case that could have far-reaching effects beyond the Penn State child-abuse scandal. Initially, there were reports that the state would challenge the NCAA directly on federal antitrust grounds, and while that may happen at some point, officials only said […]

Constitution Check: Do profit-making corporations have religious rights?

Lyle Denniston looks at one company’s claim it has religious rights that exempt it from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for free birth-control services. The statements at issue: “This Court has not previously addressed [religious freedom] or free exercise claims brought by closely held for-profit corporations and their controlling shareholders alleging that the mandatory provision […]

Fiscal cliff part 2 coming in late February

The Senate and the House have passed a compromise bill on the fiscal cliff, averting tax hikes for many Americans. But there’s more drama coming in February, since the bill dodged two big issues. The House passed the bill on Monday night, before a new set of lawmakers convenes the 113th Congress. The Senate version […]

America to jump off fiscal cliff, but not hit ground

Despite an apparent last-second fiscal cliff deal in the U.S. Senate, the House won’t vote on the budget package on New Year’s Eve. Also, President Obama’s comments on Monday upset some key GOP leaders. Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hammered out most of the details in an agreement on Monday […]

Is America being held in ‘constitutional bondage’?

Lyle Denniston comments on a Georgetown professor’s claim that the Constitution itself is a big reason that the American system of government can be seen as dysfunctional. The statements at issue: “Observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken.  But almost no one blames the culprit: our insistence on obedience […]

Why Americans will really, really hate Congress in 2013

The incoming 113th Congress is likely to face the wrath of an irate electorate in a few days, as the current Congress apparently has dropped the ball on New Year’s Eve fiscal cliff negotiations. There still might be a smaller budget deal on Monday, as reports from Washington indicate Democrats have eased up on tax […]