Morning Constitutional – Friday, 23 July 2010

Good morning, everybody. Joss Whedon is going to direct The Avengers. Now, your morning constitutional:

President Obama signed a bill yesterday finally extending benefits for those unemployed for longer than six months.

Finding a total lack of votes, the Senate has given up trying to pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill this term.

Long-time Representative Charles Rangel will face a public trial before the House ethics committee after a House investigative panel found substantial reason to believe that he violated House ethics rules. He will be the first member to face a public trial since the House expelled James Traficant.

The Senate passed an emergency supplemental spending bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and sent the package to the House for consideration.

President Obama talked by phone to Shirley Sherrod, the USDA official who was forced to resign after mistaken allegations of racism, and discussed how both of them have faced similar racial issues.

Venezuela has once again cut off diplomatic ties to Colombia, amidst Colombian accusations that Venezuela is protecting FARC and ELN rebels in its territory.

The International Court of Justice has ruled that Kosovo’s independence was indeed legal. Serbia is refusing to accept the ruling.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner wants tax cuts for the rich to expire.

Ford reported a record profit of $2.6 billion in the last quarter, its fifth consecutive quarterly profit, and expects to have more cash than debt by the end of 2011.

The Westboro Baptist Church, the church led by Fred Phelps, brought their protesting show to San Diego Comic-Con; the fans were hilariously ready for them.

A few thoughts on the mannered weirdness of Nicolas Cage.

How to pay for unfunded entitlements. It ain’t pretty.

Chart showing the crash in the housing market and its $4B hangover.

Finally, the world’s strongest beer, at 55% alcohol per volume, will be sold inside the bodies of dead animals.

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