Delaware Is Eleventh State to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

May 9, 2013, 11:48 am EDT
Delaware Is Eleventh State to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

On July 1, same-sex couples in Delaware will be able to get married.

On Tuesday, Governor Jack Markell — just minutes after the bill passed the legislature — signed the bill into law, the Associated Press reports.

Markell was on hand for the vote and told cheering supporters, “I do not intend to make any of you wait one moment longer.” The Delaware Senate passed the bill 12-9 following passage in the House 23-18. Read 

Senate Passes Internet Sales Tax Proposal

May 7, 2013, 12:17 pm EDT

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act that requires online retailers to collect state sales taxes.

The measure — which passed the Senate 69-27 — gives the individual states the authority to require online retailers to collect and pass along state sales taxes, Bloomberg reports.

Previously, online stores were only required to collect sales taxes in states where they had a physical location. Therefore, the majority of companies collected — and passed on to the states — only a small fraction of possible taxes. This has drawn protests for years from brick-and-mortar retailers who argue that it places them at a pricing disadvantage against their online rivals. Read 

Gov. Chris Christie Had Secret Weight-Loss Surgery

May 7, 2013, 11:43 am EDT
Gov. Chris Christie Had Secret Weight-Loss Surgery

New Jersey Governor Christ Christie had weight-loss surgery last February.

Christie had the surgery — in which a band was placed around his stomach to restrict the amount he could eat — at the urging of his family, the Associated Press is reporting.

Christie has long been the butt of jokes about his weight. While he’s never disclosed how much he actually weighs, he’s always held that the subject was fair game for comedians. However, he did take exception when a former White House physician, Dr. Connie Mariano, commented that she worried about him dying in office. Read 

Sen. Chambliss Hits Hole-in-One While Golfing With President

May 6, 2013, 7:32 pm EDT
Sen. Chambliss Hits Hole-in-One While Golfing With President

In a golf outing designed to ease tensions between Senate Republicans and President Barack Obama, one of the Republican Senators invited managed to steal the show.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., struck a hole-in-one on the par-3 11th hole on the golf course at Joint Base Andrews today.  Buoyed by the excellent shot, Chambliss and his partner, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., won their match against Obama and his partner, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.

Interestingly enough, Chambliss was not the best golfer present among the foursome playing. According to Golf Digest‘s ratings of political golfers, Udall is the best golfer in Congress with an estimated handicap of 2. Corker is right behind him with a handicap of 2.1. Chambliss was actually the third-best golfer present, with a handicap of 7.4. Read 

Will Subprime Mortgage Issues Sink Commerce Nominee?

May 2, 2013, 8:15 pm EDT
Will Subprime Mortgage Issues Sink Commerce Nominee?

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Penny Pritzker, a top campaign fundraiser and heir to the Hyatt (NYSE:H) hotel fortune, is widely seen as a prize for her efforts. For many, it might also be seen a slap in the face.

In a CBS News article, Pritzker was also noted as a frontrunner to the subprime mortgage crisis that helped drag the United States into recession in 2007-2008. In 1988, Pritzker’s family and a partner bought a failed bank for $42.5 million, receiving $645 million in tax credits in the process. After renaming the bank (from Lyons Savings Bank to Superior Bank), they bought Alliance Funding, which soon moved into subprime lending.

Superior Bank was one of the first banks to do such risky lending, one of the first banks to bundle off those risky loans and sell them as securities, and also one of the first banks to fail as a result. By 2001, Superior Bank had collapsed. Read 

Russia Charging NASA $70M Per Astronaut for Flight to Space

May 1, 2013, 12:36 pm EDT
Russia Charging NASA $70M Per Astronaut for Flight to Space

The price of getting Americans into space has gone up.

Russia has increased the amount of money it charges the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to ferry U.S. astronauts from Earth to the International Space Station by $8 million per person. That means each time the U.S. sends an astronaut to the space station in coming years it must pay the Russian Space Agency $70.6 million, the Associated Press notes.

The higher price is included in a contract signed by NASA covering transit to and from the space station in 2016 and 2017. Under the agreement’s terms, NASA will pay the Russians a total of $425 million for transportation via Russia’s Soyuz vehicle. Read 

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