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Democrat leaders have failed to do their basic job of passing a budget and spending/appropriations bills via Regular Order or for that matter even as a Continuing Resolution once again. It is quite apparent that Democrats are just too busy with other pressing matters like producing the “Trump Reality Show.” Read more

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In his successful 1980 campaign for the presidency, Ronald Reagan prominently featured the prospect of welfare fraud, citing the case of a Chicago “welfare queen” who had defrauded the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Since then, policing and preventing welfare cheats has been a standard plank on the right, a reliable go-to for conservative politicians portraying themselves as upright stewards of the public purse. Read more

Thousands of Americans in Puerto Rico are without power after Hurricane Fiona roared through last week. Idling off the island’s coast is a ship that reportedly carries 300,000 barrels of diesel fuel from Texas. Yet unloading that fuel is illegal without a Jones Act waiver, which the Biden Administration hasn’t granted. Read more

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State AP Stories

President Joe Biden is working to create a manufacturing revival. He's even helping to put factory jobs in Republican territory under the belief it can help restore faith in U.S. democracy. The latest development came Tuesday, when chipmaker Micron announced an investment of up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a plant in upstate New York that could create 9,000 factory jobs. It’s a commitment made in a GOP congressional district that Biden and the company credited to the recently enacted $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act. Biden's goal is to keep opening new factories in states where Democrats’ footholds are shaky at best.

In Georgia’s pivotal U.S. Senate race, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, have each sought to cast the other as an abortion extremist. At the same time, they deflect questions about the details of their own positions on the issue. The sidestepping reflects the sensitivity of abortion politics in a post-Roe v. Wade America, where the procedure is open to regulation by state governments and, potentially, by Congress. But Walker’s strategy may not work much longer after The Daily Beast reported Monday that he paid for a girlfriend’s 2009 abortion — a blatant contradiction of his claims that there’s “no excuse” for a procedure he characterizes as “killing.” Walker called the report a lie.

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Advocates say schools increasingly are removing children with disabilities from the classroom because of behavior issues related to their disability but not recording the actions as suspension. The practice is known as informal removal, which advocates say amounts to a form of off-the-books, de facto denial of education that evades accountability. Because the removals aren’t recorded, there’s no way to quantify how often they happen. But the assistant secretary for the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, Catherine E. Lhamon, says the practice has "taken hold in a way that is dangerous for students and needs to be addressed.”

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A Delaware judge says cigarette manufacturer ITG Brands assumed liability for tobacco settlement payments to the state of Florida when it acquired four brands from Reynolds American in 2015. Vice Chancellor Lori Will also said in Friday's ruling that ITG must compensate Reynolds American for losses due to that assumed liability. Reynolds sold the Kool, Winston, Salem and Maverick brands to ITG in 2014 to gain federal regulators' approval of Reynolds’ acquisition of Lorillard Inc. Before the sale closed, Reynolds American affiliate R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was making payments under a preexisting settlement agreement with Florida for reimbursement of smoking-related health care costs.

National & World AP Stories

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The family of a cinematographer who was shot and killed by Alec Baldwin on the set of the film “Rust” has agreed to settle a lawsuit against Baldwin and the movie's producers. Filming could resume in January. The husband of deceased cinematographer Halyna Hutchins said Wednesday in a statement that he will act as executive producer of “Rust” under terms of the settlement. Widower Matthew Hutchins says filming will resume on “Rust” in January. New Mexico workplace regulators say the production company is disputing a fine for safety violations. Baldwin, Halyna Hutchins and others were rehearsing inside a chapel in October 2021 when the gun Baldwin held went off.

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Stocks ended slightly lower on Wall Street as a gangbuster two-day rally ran out of gas. The S&P 500 ended 0.2% lower Wednesday after briefly heading into the green late in the day. Its rally early this week was the biggest since the spring of 2020, spurred in part by hopes a softening economy may convince central banks to take it easier on interest rate hikes. Analysts have said such hopes may be premature. Other major U.S. indexes including the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also lost ground. Oil prices rose after the OPEC+ cartel ordered production cuts.

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This year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to Americans Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless, and Danish scientist Morten Meldal for developing a way of “snapping molecules together" that can be used to design better medicines. They were cited for their work on click chemistry and bioorthogonal reactions, which are used to make cancer drugs, map DNA and create materials that are tailored to a specific purpose. Hans Ellegren, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, announced the winners Wednesday at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

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A Democratic congressman who has made his opponent’s questionable record fighting the opioid epidemic a central theme of his campaign for Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat has accepted campaign donations over the years from drug distributors blamed for key roles in the crisis. An Associated Press review found U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan received $27,000 in combined contributions from the nation's three largest drug distributors between 2007 and this August. The giving represents a fraction of the $50 million Ryan has raised over his career. It's notable because he's hammered Republican opponent JD Vance over the spotty record of his anti-opioid nonprofit.