Shutdown Averted But December Clash Looms  – Newsmax … “Congress steered the US government clear of a shutdown Wednesday hours before a midnight deadline, approving temporary federal spending that does not defund women’s health care provider Planned Parenthood as Republicans had hoped. The Senate and House, both controlled by Republicans, acted pragmatically to fund the government at current levels beyond Thursday’s start of the new fiscal year. The legislation heads to President Barack Obama who was expected to sign it before midnight. The stopgap measure only runs until December 11, setting up a new potential fiscal clash just 10 weeks from now.”
“Efforts to pass a spending measure that blocked money to Planned Parenthood failed last week. Wednesday’s clean bill passed 78 votes to 20 in the Senate with more than half the chamber’s Republicans voting in favor. No Democrats voted against it. With the threat of shutdown defused, Republican leaders in Congress are turning toward talks with Obama over a long-term budget agreement for the remainder of fiscal year 2016, and potentially beyond. ‘The president and Speaker Boehner and I spoke about getting started in the discussions last week, and I would expect them to start very soon,’ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters.”
Muslim Civil Rights Group May Have Violated Federal Law by Criticizing Ben Carson  – Daily Caller … “The largest Muslim civil rights group in the U.S. may have violated the federal tax code when its executive director last week called on retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson to drop out of the presidential race because of his comments about Muslims. During an interview on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ earlier this month, Carson said that he would not support a Muslim president. ‘I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,’ Carson said. The comment led to backlash from Democrats and many Muslims. Nihad Awad, the executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), responded in a press conference last Monday, calling on Carson to end his bid for the White House.”
“In calling for Carson to end his White House bid, Awad argued that Carson’s comments were in violation of the Constitution which states that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust of the United States.’ But Fox News’ Megyn Kelly reported on Tuesday that Awad’s statement may put CAIR in violation of federal tax law. As Kelly noted, the section of the Internal Revenue Code which sets rules for non-profit — section 501(c)(3) — states that such organizations ‘are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.'”
COMMENT: I’m going to guess that, since Awad and many other Muslim political leaders are good buddies with President Obama, and are “frequent’ visitors to the White House, that NOT much will come of this!
Arctic Sea Ice Still TOO THICK For Ships To Regularly Traverse The Northwest Passage  – Daily Caller … “For years, scientists and activists have predicted the Arctic would be ice-free during the summers and winter sea ice levels would continue to decline. But what they didn’t count on was sea ice remaining too thick for ships to regularly travel through. The first-ever study measuring sea ice thickness in the Northwest Passage has found Arctic sea ice is still too thick for ships to safely travel through it year-round. Scientists found that “even in today’s climate, ice conditions must still be considered severe.”
“While the study was conducted in late winter, researchers say their results have major implications for potential shipping lanes during the summertime. Winter ice conditions influence spring ice melt, especially for thick sea ice, and change how scientists model Arctic summer ice breakup. But as Haas’ study shows, sea ice extent is only part of the story. What also matters in terms of Arctic navigability is sea ice thickness. Haas notes in his study that “[a]part from ice coverage and ice type, ice thickness is the most important sea ice property required to assess hazard potential and to initialize predictions of ice breakup, deformation, and melt.”