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Congress: Bern, Baby, Bern?

"The outlook for Ben S. Bernanke's confirmation to a second term as Federal Reserve chairman brightened over the weekend, as the Obama administration and key senators expressed confidence in his prospects," the Washington Post reports. "The Fed chairman's confirmation for another four-year term seemed all but assured a few days ago. But late last week, it was thrown into doubt as key Democratic senators said they would vote against him, and as others wavered. It was part of a populist backlash after a surprising Republican Senate victory in Massachusetts on Tuesday."  

Not giving up on climate change… "Seeking to resuscitate stalled global warming legislation in Washington's suddenly changed political climate, a bipartisan group of senators including John Kerry of Massachusetts has been conducting private talks this week with the White House and a key business group over an array of concessions sought by Republicans," the Boston Globe says. "The election of Scott Brown as Kerry's colleague has added urgency to the negotiations for a compromise, which would include the Democrats' goal of limiting carbon emissions while encouraging development of nuclear power, subsidizing coal mining, and drilling for off-shore oil. Trying to win Brown's support for a deal is part of the effort. As a Massachusetts state senator, he supported a regional program to cap emissions. But during his US Senate campaign he said the regional program did not work and expressed doubts about the science of global warming."