Friday, April 8, 2011

Morning Brief: Jon Stewart says his goodbyes to Glenn Beck; budget talks stalled on social issues, not money

The news, whether financial, domestic or international, is hardly the kind you'd like to wake up to this morning.

So let's start with something a bit different this morning.

Here is The Daily Show's Jon Stewart riffing on the news that Glenn Beck, with Fox News for the past couple of years, is moving on:

Staring at a deadline less than 24 hours away, negotiators for House Republicans and Democrats admitted they were close, though still deadlocked as Republicans insisted that any deal included provisions that would end funding for Planned Parenthood, a prohibition on the use of federal or local funds to pay for most abortions in the District of Columbia, and restricting the regulatory powers of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Complicating the negotiations is the thought that the Republican leading in the house, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is not empowered by his caucus to compromise with the minority. When asked about whether he was in sync with the demands of Tea Party members in the House, Boehner argued that he was.

"Listen, there's no daylight between the Tea Party and me," Boehner said. "What they want is, they want us to cut spending. They want us to deal with this crushing debt that's going to crush the future for our kids and grandkids. There's no daylight there."

Another war well managed. NATO today admitted that it destroyed rebel tanks in another incident of "friendly fire".

"It would appear that two of our strikes yesterday may have resulted in the deaths of a number of [rebel] forces who were operating main battle tanks," the BBC reported Rear Adm Harding stating Friday.

The State Supreme Court election took another bizarre turn yesterday when Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus reported that she had failed to report 14,315 votes in the city of Brookfield. The city leans heavily Republican and the suddenly discovered votes meant that the incumbent, Justice David Prosser, an ally of the Republicans, gained 7,582 votes over the challenger, JoAnne Kloppenburg.

The county clerk, Nickolaus, is a Republican who has a history of being caught up in controversy. In 2001 she was granted immunity in an investigation involving illegal political activity during state employment, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In 2002 Nickolaus was accused of developing a computer software program to track campaign donations while a state employee.

Nickolaus appeared to get some support yesterday from Ramona Kitzinger, the Democratic Party representative on the Waukesha County Board of Canvassers. "We went over everything and made sure all the numbers jibed up and they did. Those numbers jibed up, and we're satisfied they're correct," the Journal Sentinel reported Kitzinger as saying.