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Biden Opts Out Of Putting Last Few Felonies On Job Application

WASHINGTON—Saying he would be “sitting pretty” if he landed such a primo gig, Vice President Joe Biden reportedly decided Tuesday to leave off several of his most recent felonies while filling out a job application for a blackjack dealer position at the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore.

Departing Bo Obama Lands K Street Lobbyist Position

WASHINGTON—Touting his lengthy tenure in the White House and close personal relationships with the president of the United States and first lady, executives at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck announced Monday that once the current administration steps down later this week, the departing Bo Obama will officially join their high-powered K Street lobbying firm.

A Timeline Of Trump’s Relationship With The Press

President-elect Donald Trump routinely insists that he is treated unfairly by the press, while many in the news industry have openly expressed how difficult it can be to report on him in today’s chaotic media environment. Here is a timeline of the major events that have shaped this relationship.

The Pros And Cons Of Universal Basic Income

As Finland tests a program to give a universal basic income to unemployed citizens, many wonder if a similar initiative could work in the United States. Here are some pros and cons of such a program:

What Compromising Information Does Russia Have On Donald Trump?

On Tuesday, it was reported that leaders of American intelligence agencies had given Donald Trump a memo advising that Russia had gathered compromising personal information about him as part of a wider effort to disrupt the election, though these claims remain unsubstantiated and both the president-elect and the Kremlin deny these reports. Here’s a look at what damaging information Russia may have in its possession.

How Confirmation Hearings Work

On Tuesday, Congress began holding confirmation hearings to evaluate the fitness of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees for their offices. Here is a step-by-step guide to the confirmation hearing process.

Trump Gives Intelligence Agencies Their Daily Briefing

NEW YORK—Sitting down with top officials from the CIA, FBI, and Defense Intelligence Agency in a Trump Tower conference room, President-elect Donald Trump reportedly gave U.S. intelligence agencies their daily briefing Tuesday morning.
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45 More Legislators Lose Jobs To Increased Congressional Automation

WASHINGTON, DC—Continuing a trend that began in the Senate last November, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) announced Monday that 45 members of the House of Representatives would be laid off and replaced by cost-efficient heavy legislating machinery.

A legislating machine does the work of 10 members of the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.

"I feel awful for my colleagues who are now out of work," DeLay told reporters at a press conference. "I've known some of these people for years, but the fact remains that these new machines can pass bills up to 10 times faster than their human counterparts. Like it or not, this is the future."

In spite of denials from congressional leaders, the rash of job cuts has some legislators worried that Congress will be fully mechanized within 10 years.

"The House and Senate will always need people," Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert said. "These machines are a valuable tool, but there's still no substitute for the wisdom and experience of an actual human congressman. Everything that happens in Congress requires, to some extent, the human touch. Except maybe drafting legislation. That can pretty much be done by machine."

Though both Hastert and DeLay insist that increased congressional automation would be a boon for the overworked legislators, the alarming rate of layoffs is causing anxiety on Capitol Hill.

"Our bosses say nothing is ever going to replace old-fashioned, hands-on legislation, but I have my doubts," said a Michigan representative speaking on condition of anonymity. "As it stands, we only have a few seconds to look over the bill before putting it in the machine to vote or amend. If we try to take a closer look, DeLay gets on our ass about holding up the line. I don't want to pass shoddy legislation, but I don't want to lose my job, either."

Robert Barnes, managing editor of Congressional Quarterly, predicted that the legislative body's workforce will be cut in half by the end of 2005.

"The fact is, there's little a human legislator does that a machine can't handle," Barnes said. "All you have to do is program the machine as either Democrat or Republican, and it'll vote along the exact same party lines as a real lawmaker. We know exactly how Ted Kennedy or Orrin Hatch will vote on, say, banning flag-burning, so there's really no reason to keep them around when a machine can do it for a fraction of the cost."

"Frankly," Barnes continued, "I wouldn't be surprised if, in 20 years, the machines get phased out in favor of computer simulations that can carry out an entire legislative session—from introduction of a bill to debate to vote—in a fraction of a second."

On top of feeling unappreciated and expendable, many representatives expressed displeasure about a decline in working conditions, including the addition of shifts to facilitate round-the-clock legislation. Tensions have been so high that Beltway insiders don't rule out the possibility of a congressional walkout, which would grind the U.S. lawmaking industry to a halt. DeLay, however, said he is confident the representatives will stay on the job.

"These are good men and, sure, they like to run their mouth off, but they're not going to strike," DeLay said. "Once they get used to the machines and the new regulations, things will normalize. Besides, where else are these legislators going to go if they quit? I mean, their skills aren't exactly what I'd call transferrable."

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