The Wrap: From toppled Ten Commandments to Lois Lerner’s IRS retirement, the week that was

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Ted Cruz’s filibuster had the nation talking about Obamacare, but the Senate ultimately passed the spending bill in a 54-44 party line vote.

On the international stage, the leading cardinal of the highest court at the Vatican said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi should not be given Communion.


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Here’s a recap, or wrap, of the week that was from The Washington Times.

Senate defeats Cruz filibuster, clears way for Obamacare funding

Senators from both parties linked arms to defy Sen. Ted Cruz, defeating his attempt to filibuster the stopgap spending bill and clearing the way for it to pass — including full funding for Obamacare — later Friday afternoon.

The 79-19 vote saw 25 Republicans join with all Democrats to advance, easily overcoming Mr. Cruz and his allies who had argued this was the key vote in trying to defund President Obama’s health care law.

Lois Lerner, IRS official in tea party scandal, forced out for ‘neglect of duties’

Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the IRS tea party targeting scandal, retired from the agency Monday morning after an internal investigation found she was guilty of “neglect of duties” and was going to call for her ouster, according to congressional staff.


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Her departure marks the first government official to pay a significant price in the scandal, though Republicans were quick to say her decision doesn’t put the matter to rest and pointed out that she still can be called before Congress to testify.

Vandals torch Ronald Reagan statue at California park

Vandals set fire to a life-size statue of Ronald Reagan at a Southern California sports park that bears the name of the 40th president, authorities reported Monday.

The bronze statue stands at the Ronald Reagan Sports Park in Temecula, Calif., the very same site praised by Reagan in the 1980s as a solid example of what volunteerism and fundraising can accomplish — rather than government regulation and taxpayer dollars.

No communion for Nancy Pelosi: Vatican court head

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has no Catholic right to be granted Communion, said the leading cardinal of the highest court at the Vatican.

Mrs. Pelosi should be denied Communion until she changes her advocacy views on abortion, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke said, in an interview with The Wanderer reported by the Western Center for Journalism.

That’s canon law, not opinion, he said. Canon 915 states that Catholics who are stubbornly contrary “in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

And Cardinal Burke said Mrs. Pelosi fits the definition.

U.S. command in Afghanistan gives Army 60 days to fix or replace intel network

The Pentagon’s main battlefield intelligence network in Afghanistan is vulnerable to hackers — both the enemy or a leaker — and the U.S. command in Kabul will cut it off from the military’s classified data files unless the Army fixes the defects within 60 days, according to an official memo obtained by The Washington Times.

The confidential memo says the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) flunked a readiness test and does not confirm the sources of outside Internet addresses entering the classified database.

Vandals topple Ten Commandments statue near Supreme Court building

A stone monument of the Ten Commandments that sits across the street from the U.S. Supreme Court was toppled by vandals over the weekend.

The 3-by-3-foot monument, which weighs 850 pounds, sits in front of the headquarters of the evangelical Christian group Faith and Action.

“We’re confounded, absolutely mystified, how a collection of people could get away with this kind of damage,” said the Rev. Rob Schenck, who leads the Christian group. “The Ten Commandments is something that unites people. It’s disappointing to say the least. Heartbreaking — that’s the word I used with my staff.”

SIMMONS: Cantor turns up heat in debate for school choice

If you want to know where school choice stands today, the No. 2 leader in the U.S. House of Representations gave a pretty clear indication Monday by opening a new battlefront and throwing an obvious lifeline to Republicans, moderates and conservatives.

Ted Cruz now leads GOP presidential pack: poll

Fresh off his 21-hour filibuster against Obamacare funding, a new poll shows that Sen. Ted Cruz has leapfrogged past his potential rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and that GOP primary voters trust him more than their party leaders on Capitol Hill.

The Public Policy Polling survey found that 20 percent of those surveyed supported Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican, while 17 percent supposed Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, 14 percent supported New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and 11 percent supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

‘Star Wars’ no longer science fiction: Harvard, MIT scientists create lightsaber

“Star Wars, Episode VII” isn’t scheduled to come out until 2015, but researchers have made real lightsaber technology available — today.

A Boston television station reports that researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have “discovered a new kind of matter” that would prevent traditional laser beams from passing through each other. The matter, called “photonic molecules,” solidifies laser beams in ways reminiscent of the famous science-fiction weapons imagined by George Lucas.

As Sen. Ted Cruz gives a long speech, Treasury gets short on funding

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that it has less than a month’s worth of room to maneuver before it hits the debt limit, dropping yet another major fiscal deadline in the lap of a Congress already stymied over the annual spending bills.

The spending fight took a step forward when the Senate moved past Sen. Ted Cruz’s 21-hour filibuster Wednesday afternoon, pushing toward a major vote at the end of the week on a stopgap spending measure that would shift pressure back to House Republicans.

 

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