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Monday, January 26, 2015

Zachary Taylor was scheduled to assume the presidency from James K. Polk on Sunday, March 4, 1849. Taylor had grown up honoring the Sabbath, however, and was still a devout man. He wasn't about to make any exceptions to the day of rest, not even to be inaugurated as the 12th president of the United States. So Polk was officially out, but no one was officially in. With no president and no vice president, the next in the line of succession was the president pro tempore -- which happened to be David Rice Atchison. (Presently, the Speaker of the House is the next in line after the vice president, and then the president pro tempore.) By default, some say, Atchison was the 12th president for about 24 hours. Then again, some Constitutional scholars say that it doesn't matter when the actual inauguration is -- when the previous president's term is up, the next president automatically assumes the office.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"It is a remarkable that the direction of our progress is going backwards, from a goal of building 700 miles of double-layer border fencing [in 2006] to only 27 miles [in 2015]," said a Hill staffer who opposes the leaders' bills.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is planning to sue Fox News for its inaccurate reports on Muslim "no go zones," she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.


Mockery is a national weapon in France, so when an American cable news channel raised false alarms about rampant lawlessness in some Paris neighborhoods -- proclaiming them "no-go zones" for non-Muslims, avoided even by the police -- a popular French television show rebutted the claims the way it best knew how: with satire, spoofs and a campaign of exaggeration and sarcasm. read more


Monday, January 19, 2015

Charles Blow, New York Times: Allow me to explain, as James Baldwin put it, a few illustrations of "how extremely expensive it is to be poor." First, many poor people work, but they just don't make enough to move out of poverty -- an estimated 11 million Americans fall into this category. ... In addition, many low-income people are "unbanked" (not served by a financial institution), and thus nearly eaten alive by exorbitant fees. ... And poor people can have a hard time getting credit. As the Washington Post put it, the excesses of the subprime boom have led conventional banks to stay away from the riskiest borrowers, leaving them "all but cut off from access to big loans, like mortgages." read more


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