The Wider World

Raising debt limit advances

SENATE wing of the U.S Capitol building (Wikipedia).

In a rare case of bipartisan cooperation, more than a dozen Republicans joined all Democrats in the U.S. Senate on Thursday to allow a decision on raising the federal debt ceiling on a simple majority vote.

Following that, the action was approved and the matter now goes to President Joe Biden for a signature.

According to The New York Times, 14 Republicans joined the Democrats in the first vote, and then 10 joined all the Democrats for final passage. The next step would be to vote on raising the debt limit by a specific amount before the deadline of Dec. 15.

Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), the Senate minority leader, made a deal with Democrats to head off a default in the government’s ability to pay its bills, but it was denounced by some members of his party as a “betrayal.”

Smollett “guilty” of lying to police


Actor Jussie Smollett was convicted on Thursday of lying to police about a claimed hate crime which he allegedly staged in order to gain publicity.

Smollett, best known for his role in the “Empire” television series, told police that he was attacked in Chicago in January 2019, according to the Associated Press. His attackers, he said, shouted racial and anti-gay insults and placed a noose around his neck.

Two brothers testified that Smollett paid them $3500 to fake an attack so it could be videotaped by a surveillance camera, the images from which made it into social media. Smollett was convicted of five counts of disorderly conduct for make false statements to police. His attorney said the conviction would be appealed and his client would eventually exonerated.

Sports: Bryce Young is top college player


The Associated Press College Football of the Year is Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. Finishing second were Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinston with Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett in third.

He is also considered a strong contender for the Heisman Trophy, to be presented on Saturday. Young is a sophomore and passed for 4,322 yards and 43 touchdowns. His Alabama team is ranked first in the nation and will open play in College Football Playoffs on Dec. 31 vs. Cincinnati.

He played his junior and senior years of high school football at Mater Dei in Santa Ana. A native of Philadelphia, his family moved to Pasadena where he played football at Cathedral High School.

Weather: Rain goes away

We only got a modest amount of rainfall on Thursday, and probably won’t get any in the West Orange County area until at least Monday. The forecast calls for a daytime high of 63 in Friday and an overnight low of 45. The skies will be mostly cloudy with a 5 percent chance of rain. Saturday should warm slightly to 66 (44) with more sun. On Sunday it should be slightly cooler at 63 (47) with mostly sunny skies.

Finance: Four days of gains

The bulls posted their fourth consecutive day of gains on Wall Street on Thursday. All three major exchanges showed advances. The S&P 500 rose by 5.75 points to 4,672.75 and the Dow was up a modest four points to 35,757. Nasdaq did best, rising 29.50 to 16,178.25.

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