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What We Read Today 14 December 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill (Ed O'Keefe and Sean Sullivan, The Washington Post) The Senate approved the omnibus appropriations bill already passed by the House which will fund most of the government until the end of September when fiscal 2015 closes.  The Saturday night vote was taken after attempts by a group of Conservatives led by Ted Cruz (R,TX) to delay voting failed.  The group had wanted to tie passage of the bill to imposition of limitations on President Obama's recent executive order on immigration.  The final vote was 56-40 (Yea = 31 D, 1 I, 21 R and Nay = 21 D, 1 I, 18 R).

What the $1.1 trillion spending bill contains (Rebecca Shabad, The Hill)  The appropriiation bill just passed reverses key provisions of the Dodd-Frank act pertaining to restrictions on banks investing in derivatives.  It also removes restrictions that limited what donors can give to political candidates and parties.  So banksters have more freedom to gamble and to bribe politicians.  Great!  There are several other riders attached to the legislation which are described in the article.

Lawmakers unhappy with Cruz's strategy (Scott Wong, The Hill)  One thing that Republicans are unhappy about is that, because Ted Cruz managed to keep the Senate open over half of the weekend, the Democrats were able to put through a number of President Obama's nominees that would otherwise have waited for votes until the new Congress with a Republican majority in the Senate was installed.  It had been the Republican strategy to do just that.

Clouds fill Grand Canyon in rare weather event (Associated Press, MSN News)  How much fog do you need before you call the event a cloud?  How about a mile high fog.  Does it ever rain in the bottom of the canyon when there is such a fog/cloud event?  We have heard it said that the Grand Canyon can make its own weather.  Since vinyardists arrange water features near hillsides to create microclimates optimal for their vines, we guess that the "weather" in the Grand Canyon, which is far too big to be called a microclimate, should we call it a "miniclimate"?  We suggest that, since the canyon is grand, it be called at least a "midiclimate".  Would "maxiclimate" would sound too pretentious?

Click for three view slide show at MSN.

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