Politics In 60 Seconds

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know today:

  • Senate leaders ended their stalemate over government spending yesterday, reaching an agreement to prevent a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends Friday. FEMA announced yesterday that it does not anticipate requiring extra money to fund disaster relief this week, effectively ending the debate over offsets. Now that the money is no longer needed, the Senate will pass a “clean” bill with $2.5 billion for FEMA and no offsets.
  • The CEO of American icon Coca-Cola, Muhtar Kent, let Washington have it in an FT interview, saying China’s now a better place to do business than the US. The problem? Political gridlock and over-burdensome regulations and taxes. China, Brazil, and other emerging countries, on the other hand, are falling over themselves to do business. 
  • Secretary Treasury Tim Geithner told ABC’s World News With Diane Sawyer that he has finally convinced Europe that the world will end if Europe doesn’t bail everyone out the way the US did. At the IMF meeting, Geithner apparently put the fear of God in Europe’s finance ministers, warning of “cascading default, bank runs and catastrophic risk” if Europe didn’t get the situation under control. A Treasury spokesperson yesterday categorically ruled out using U.S. dollars to help with any IMF bailout.
  • Republican frontrunner Rick Perry just can’t seem to catch a break this week. After days of relentless attacks from his main rival, Mitt Romney, Perry has come under fire from second-tier Republican opponents Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman for his debate response to a question about Pakistan losing control of a nuclear weapon. Huntsman has released a web ad that replays the cringe-worthy answer in full. Watch it here.
  • In honour of Perry’s meltdown, check out these epic presidential campaign implosions >
  • Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Ron Paul was in New York last night where he dropped by The Daily Show to explain why the media has totally ignored his campaign so far. Paul explained, among other things, his plans to end the war on drugs, abolish the Fed, and gut the federal government.
  • But Paul is getting some competition from upstart candidate Herman Cain, another Tea Party favourite, who has been raking in the dough since his Florida Straw Poll win Saturday. Here are 11 things you never knew about ‘The Hermanator’ >

BONUS: Watch this terrifying video from inside the Washington Monument during the East Coast earthquake > 

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