It's not yet clear if the U.S. Treasury has the ability to pick and chose who gets paid and who gets stiffed if it the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling isn't raised and it runs out of credit.
The government doesn't have flexibility like the average household might, says Jay Powell, a former Treasury undersecretary under President George H.W. Bush and a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
A federal judge sided with a historian, today, ordering that secret grand jury testimony by Richard Nixon be released publicly. Nixon testified before a grand jury, after he resigned and after he was pardoned by President Gerald Ford.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth granted a request by historian Stanley Kutler, who has written several books about Nixon and Watergate, and others to unseal the testimony given on June 23 and 24 in 1975.
In these days of downright citified, even glamorous, country music singers, Ashton Shepherd lives the life other country stars just sing about. Her new album, Where Country Grows, is her second, but Shepherd hasn't moved to a big spread outside Nashville. She still lives in Coffeeville, Ala. She sells vegetables out of the back of her pickup truck when she's not on tour.
In Egypt, survival and the number 7 are inextricably linked. It's on the seventh day that a child's existence is first formally acknowledged to the world in a ritual that dates back to Pharaonic times.
But the ancient tradition — called the Sebou — has taken on new and not always happy turns since a revolution earlier this year ousted longtime President Hosni Mubarak.
Rupert and James Murdoch appear to have won important corporate backing for their continued leadership of News Corp. amid the voice-mail hacking and police corruption scandal besetting the company in the U.K.
James Murdoch oversees the company's British, European and Asian operations, and it owns 39 percent of shares of the giant British broadcaster BSkyB. He is also that company's chairman. On Thursday, BSkyB's board delivered a vote of confidence in him while moving to mollify investors with a major stock buyback.
If you've ever looked at a stack of bills and realized you owe more money than you have in the bank, you can understand the position the U.S. government will soon be in, if lawmakers don't agree to raise the debt ceiling.
The Obama administration would then face the same decision as any cash-strapped consumer: Who gets paid? And who doesn't?
House Republicans huddle behind closed doors seeking votes for Speaker John Boehner's debt ceiling bill, while Senate Democrats move ahead on their own plan, which faces lumbering procedural hurdles. The irony, says President Obama, is that "the two parties are not miles apart." He adds that "the time for putting party first is over."
Hospitals, nursing homes, doctors and state health programs could survive a brief pinch if the Washington debt ceiling deadlock leads the government to stop paying Medicare and Medicaid bills. But if an impasse were to drag on for more than a few weeks, health care providers could be unable to pay their staffs or even face insolvency, according to health care experts and former government officials.
As sagas go, it rivals the Star Wars epics: "Yucca Mountain: The Quest for a Nuclear Waste Dump" premiered in 1978, when the U.S. government added the Nevada site to its list of potential "permanent repositories." Since then, it's been a story of political intrigue, desert outposts, giant machines and doctored science.
Chosen in 1987 as the "winner" of the competition, the Yucca Mountain site was already half-built when President Barack Obama canceled the long-controversial project last year.