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Politics

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.

John Kerry Throws Vine Over Pit Of Quicksand To Save Child Companion

PANGSAU, MYANMAR—Thinking quickly to thwart disaster as he ventured deep into the Myanmar rainforest to meet with State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi, Secretary of State John Kerry threw a vine over a pit of quicksand to save the life of his 12-year-old Moroccan companion, Drumstick, sources confirmed Monday.
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Congress Awards Itself Congressional Medal Of Honor

WASHINGTON, DC—In recognition of its "service above and beyond the call of duty in the legislative field," Congress awarded itself the Congressional Medal of Honor Monday.

Members of Congress applaud their decision to award themselves the Congressional Medals of Honor.

"We've done a very good job this past year," House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) said. "After passing H.R. 682 through the Senate, we realized the 109th U.S. Congress had done something that would benefit the entire country. We felt it was time we officially recognize our accomplishments."

Added DeLay: "I will treasure this medal as long I live."

The Congressional Medal of Honor, created in 1861 to recognize soldiers who distinguish themselves in battle, is the highest military decoration awarded by the U.S. government.

Although the medal is traditionally reserved for members of the U.S. Armed Forces, a bill signed into law last month allows Congress to award the medal to "national legislative bodies charged with the responsibility of making the laws that govern the nation," as well.

Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) was among the congressmen who approved the bill in an overwhelming majority.

"The Medal of Honor is a reward for extraordinary bravery and dedicated service on behalf of our great country," said Allard, his medal gleaming on his chest. "It is an honor reserved for that rarest of men: the hero."

Before Monday's ceremony, only 3,459 individuals had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Some Americans—including the family of Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith, who received a Congressional Medal of Honor last week—have suggested that awarding the medal to 535 people at once diminishes its prestige.

"How does honoring more people cheapen the medal?" DeLay asked. "I'm honored to be counted among so many other brave and patriotic Americans, past and present."

While officially awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for "exemplary service in the drafting of H.R. 682," Congress also recognized itself for "general excellence in the field of legislation in America," as well.

"Congress members may not put themselves into physical danger to take a crucial enemy outpost," Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said. "But Congress works very long hours every week to improve the lives of all Americans, and that's heroic in its own right. I'm proud to be a U.S. senator, and I'm honored that Congress has chosen to recognize my achievements on the congressional floor."

Many members of Congress reported it was difficult to choose between the Army, Navy, and Air Force medals of honor.

"It was a time of solemn reflection and careful choosing," DeLay said. "Personally, I would've loved to have a Marine medal of honor, because my favorite uncle was a Marine, but there's no such thing. Oh well."

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