National Journal Online

Tracy Morgan's Apology Tour Is Getting Mixed Reviews

All this week, 30 Rock star and standup comic Tracy Morgan has been making the rounds on cable TV apologizing for his June 4 performance in Nashville where he went on an anti-gay screed. The results of this apology tour, though, have been decidedly mixed.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 7:40pm

House Passes Sweeping Patent-Reform Legislation

After a week of frantic legislative wrangling, the House of Representatives approved historic patent-reform legislation on Thursday, overcoming opposition from some original supporters who opposed 11th hour changes to the bill.

The bill’s sponsor, House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, was able to appease House appropriators and win passage, 304-117, a week after it was originally scheduled for a vote. If the bill becomes law, it would be the first major overhaul of the patent system in more than 50 years.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 7:40pm

Romney, Pawlenty, and Huntsman Guilty of GOP Heresy

Pity Tim Pawlenty. The former Minnesota governor is running for the Republican presidential nomination as the roughest, toughest budget-cutter in the pack. But then there’s his record as a crusader against global warming. It was bad enough, in many GOP circles, that he said the problem was real. It was even worse that he made the issue one of his signature causes and pushed for what Republicans now denounce as “cap-and-tax” rules to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. These days, Pawlenty abjectly apologizes for his “mistake.” He has said it was “wrong,” a “clunker,” a “flirtation.”

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 7:40pm

PICTURES: GOP Heretics? How Candidates' Positions Change

The rise of the tea party movement has pushed the range of acceptable policy positions in the Republican presidential primaries decidedly rightward. To stay competitive within the party, candidates have had to change their positions. The most notable example is Mitt Romney, who pushed through a universal health care plan as governor of Massachusetts. Now Romney argues that his  health law was right for his state while President Obama's health law was wrong for the country.

Here's a look at a few notable instances of GOP candidates' political deviations.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 6:40pm

Appropriations Amendment Aims To Protect GPS

The House Appropriations Committee has waded into the controversy surrounding LightSquared's efforts to deploy its wireless broadband network and concerns that it will interfere with the use of global positioning systems used by both the government and private sector.

The committee Thursday adopted an amendment to the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill for the Federal Communications Commission that would bar the agency from allowing LightSquared or any other broadband provider to move forward with a service that would interfere with GPS services.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 6:40pm

Bolton: Administration Needs Military Option in Iran

In a week in which debate over U.S. involvement in Afghanistan swung between accusations of isolationism and calls for interventionism, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton added his voice to those campaigning for an aggressive foreign policy, this time in Iran. At a congressional hearing today, Bolton advocated military intervention to prevent Iran from gaining full-fledged nuclear capabilities.

Now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Bolton said that alternatives to military action won’t prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons “in a timely way.”

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 5:40pm

Critics Cheer Possible Google Antitrust Probe

Google's critics Thursday were cheering a report that the Federal Trade Commission is poised to issue subpoenas against the Internet search giant as part of a possible antitrust probe.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the FTC is expected to seek more information from Google signaling the possible launch of a formal investigation into allegations the company has used its dominance of Internet search to favor its own products and services over rivals.

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 5:40pm

At Fort Drum, Obama Tells Troops Still Work to be Done in Afghanistan

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Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 4:40pm

Confirmed: Obama to Address Same-Sex Marriage Debate Tonight

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney expects President Obama to break his recent silence on same-sex marriage at an LGBT fundraiser tonight. But he doesn't anticipate any surprises, "I'm sure he will mention it," said Carney to the White House press pool. "And I think [he'll] make the point that he always has that he believes that this is something that states should be able to decide."

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 4:40pm

Petraeus Acknowledges Differences With Obama Over Afghan Drawdown

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, acknowledged on Thursday that President Obama had ordered a faster military withdrawal from the country than Petraeus had wanted, but he said he would nevertheless “salute smartly and do everything humanly possible to execute it.”

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, acknowledged on Thursday that President Obama had ordered a faster military withdrawal from the country than Petraeus had wanted, but he said he would nevertheless “salute smartly and do everything humanly possible to execute it.”

Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 4:40pm