Politics In 60 Seconds: What You Need To Know Right Now

Sarah Palin

1.  A provincial court in Pakistan gave the Pakistani government three weeks to decide whether or not it will grant diplomatic immunity to Raymond Davis, a former US Special Forces operator who stands accused of “murdering” two Pakistani nationals.  The Davis case has led to a remarkable deterioration in diplomatic relations between the US and Pakistan.

2.  Ties between US and Pakistani intelligence agencies have deteriorated as rapidly as US-Pakistan diplomatic relations.  Cooperation and coordination on important anti-terrorist efforts has been compromised as a result.

3.  President Obama, after a protracted Afghanistan policy review, finally committed to a “surge” there, while promising an orderly (and substantial) withdrawal of US forces beginning in 2011.  Forget that last part.

4.  Sarah Palin campaigned on Long Island at an industry event.  She called on the GOP Congress to vote against a debt ceiling increase

5.  Likely Iowa Republican caucus attenders are divided over whether Sarah Palin “has what it takes” to be President of the United States.  This is her greatest liability as a presidential candidate.

6.  Illinois is providing more information about its finances than it ever has before.  The information being released is disturbing, to say the least, and a $3.7 billion bond offering hangs in the balance as a result. 

7.  The battle over collective bargaining rights for public employees rages on in Wisconsin.  President Obama characterised the newly-elected GOP governor’s proposed legislation as anti-union. 

8.  Hispanics now make up 38 per cent of the population of Texas, according to US Census figures.  Whites comprise 45%.  Some day soon, the lines will cross.

9. GOP House freshmen (and women) are shaking up the Republican majority on Capitol Hill.  House Speaker John Boehner has had to adjust. 

10.  New York City’s tax revenues are projected to be $2 billion higher than previously thought.  Revenue from business taxes is expected to grow by 19 per cent.  Thank you Wall Street.

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