Morning Constitutional – Friday, 20 August 2010

Good morning, everybody. Steven Tyler will be a judge on American Idol. Now, your morning constitutional:

Israelis and Palestinians are expected to resume direct negotiations for the first time in 20 months.

More donors are pledging money for Pakistan, which has suffered devastating flooding, after an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly.

The election season in Australia comes to an end today with the two rivals in a virtual tie. Conservative leader Tony Abbott is challenging Labor’s Julia Gillard, the first female prime minister. Labor lost its very close lead in polls in recent days.

Now that combat troops have left Iraq, what will the 50,000 remaining troops do?

Eugene Robinson on Obama’s winning streak of late.

The fight between Republicans and Democrats has business in the middle. A telling story: When 22 companies wrote to support a Democratic effort to extend small business tax breaks, Republican leader Mitch McConnell wrote them a nasty letter saying that the Democrats were not on their side.

As he becomes the administration’s point man on ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, many Americans still wrongly think Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner worked at Goldman Sacks.

Where smart people live.

According to the Census Bureau, 43 percent of Americans over the age of 18 are single; more than half are women—for every 88 single women, there are 100 single men.

Rod Blagojevich’s Elvis sculpture fetches $20,000 at auction.

Are children today really going through puberty earlier?

Peak…helium?

More Americans than ever are happy with their salaries.

Strippers who work near ground zero site have no problems with the Park51 community center plans.

Finally, Vanilla Ice’s new show in the DIY Network will focus on his passion for home renovation.

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