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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Senate votes against proposal to strip bill of earmarks

WASHINGTON – The Senate voted overwhelmingly to preserve thousands of earmarks in a $410 billion spending bill yesterday, brushing aside Sen. John McCain’s claim that President Barack Obama and Congress are merely conducting business as usual in a time of economic hardship. McCain’s attempt to strip out an estimated 8,500 earmarks failed on a vote of 63-32. The Arizona senator’s proposal also would have cut roughly $32 billion from the measure and kept spending at last year’s levels in several federal agencies. Last year’s Republican presidential candidate said both he and Obama pledged during the campaign to ‘stop business as usual in Washington,’ and he quoted the president as having said he would go line by line to make sure money was spent wisely. The White House has said that Obama intends to sign the legislation, casting it as leftover business from 2008. Spokesman Robert Gibbs pledged on Monday the White House will issue new guidelines covering earmarks for future bills. McCain’s proposal drew the support of 32 Republicans and two Democrats, and the outcome reflected the enduring value of earmarks to lawmakers. While polls routinely show these pet projects to be unpopular, local governments and constituents often covet them. The maneuvering came on legislation to assure continued funding for several federal agencies past March 6. At $410 billion, the bill represents an 8 percent increase over last year’s spending levels, more than double the rate of inflation. Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said McCain’s call to hold spending level with a year ago ‘doesn’t account for inflation.’ As an example, he said some programs would have to be cut if federal workers were to receive a pay raise. The House passed the legislation last week, and Democratic leaders are working to clear it without changes so the president can sign it by Friday.

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