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The Congressional Budget Office announced that a proposed plan to control health-care spending would save only $2 billion over ten years, compared to a proposed $1 trillion in spending, although the agency also pointed out that the legislation could increase the proportion of people receiving insurance through their employers, despite Republican claims to the contrary. Democrats, with control of both the House and Senate, fought among themselves. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman threatened to move the bill to the floor without a committee vote if the Blue Dogs, seven conservative Democrats, refused to cooperate; Nancy Pelosi vowed that the bill would pass without them. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid simply caved to Republican pressure and announced that there would be no vote on a new health-care bill until after the August recess.PoliticoThe New York TimesTalking Points MemoCBS NewsTalking Points MemoG.O.P. Chairman Michael Steele gave a speech at the National Press Club, reciting a Republican memo verbatim. “Slow down, Mr. President,” said the memo and Steele, even though health-care reform has been a national issue since 1912. “We can’t afford to get health care wrong.” BnetWashington PostA two-year federal corruption investigation resulted in the arrest of 44 New Jerseyites including three mayors, two state assemblymen, and five rabbis. “This is so massive,” said political scientist Joseph Marbach, “It’s going to just reinforce the stereotype of New Jersey politics and corruption.”New York TimesNew York TimesNew York TimesThree Ohio adults were charged with child endangerment for allowing rats in their mobile home to chew off the toes of a six-week-old baby girl. New York Post
It was National Poker Week.NewsweekHenry Louis Gates Jr., an African-American professor at Harvard, was arrested by Jim Crowley, a white police sergeant, in his Cambridge, Massachusetts home after a passerby saw Gates forcing open his own front door. President Barack Obama said the police had “acted stupidly,” and Sergeant Crowley announced that he had once tried to save the life of (black) Celtics star Reggie Lewis. Neither Obama nor Crowley would apologize, though Obama said that he, Gates, and Crowley may get together at the White House for a beer. Obama did apologize for wearing “dad jeans.” “For people who want a president to look great in tight jeans,” he said, “I’m sorry.”Washington PostNew York PostChoreographer Merce Cunningham died. “It gives you nothing back,” Cunningham said of dancing. “No manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold. Nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.”New York TimesAdam Yauch of the Beastie Boys announced that he has cancer. “It’s a pain in the ass,” he said.Sky NewsBoise’s ombudsman issued a report concluding that the city officer who tasered a man’s buttocks used excessive force,Idaho Statesmanand an Albany, New York, man who received an unwanted colonoscopy was awarded $125,000 in compensation for an incident in which doctors, at the request of police, forcibly sedated him, searched his rectum for drugs, then sent him a bill for $6,792 and a diagnosis of hemorrhoids.Times UnionNASA said that something had probably smashed into Jupiter and left an Earth-sized hole, confirming the discovery that an Australian amateur made with a telescope in his backyard. New York TimesAn earthquake shifted New Zealand one foot closer to Australia.Ananova
Large areas of India and China were plunged into darkness for nearly 7 minutes during the century’s longest total eclipse of the sun. Pregnant women were advised to stay home for fear that the eclipse would harm their unborn babies; tens of thousands waded into the Ganges, because it is auspicious to watch an eclipse while immersed in sacred waters.Boston GlobeNew York TimesNew York TimesBBCJohn Berry, the businessman who popularized WD-40, died,Los Angeles Timesand more than seven 55-gallon drums of gooey oil blobs were removed from Texas beaches.New York TimesThe Taco Bell chihuahua died of a stroke.PeopleRescuers searching a Michigan home found 110 live dogs (and 150 in freezers),WFTVand officials in South Korea deployed the world’s first cloned sniffer labrador retrievers.BBCA five-legged puppy was rescued from a Coney Island freak show after a woman paid $4,000 to outbid sideshow owner John Strong, who had intended to include the puppy in his “Freaks of Nature” show. “Sometimes,” said a rueful Strong, “you just gotta say, ‘OK, I still have nine live two-headed animals’, and move on.”NBC New York NewsA Chinese couple got married wearing a coat of 1,000 living honeybees. Ananova
More from Claire Gutierrez:
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature