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POSTED November 21, 2013 10:00 p.m.

DEMOCRATS VOTE TO CURB FILIBUSTERS ON APPOINTEES: WASHINGTON (AP) — Sweeping aside a century of precedent, Democrats took a chunk out of the Senate's hallowed filibuster tradition on Thursday and cleared the way for speedy confirmation of controversial appointments made by President Barack Obama and chief executives in the future.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who orchestrated the change, called the 52-48 vote a blow against gridlock. Republicans warned Democrats will eventually regret their actions once political fortunes are reversed and they can no longer block appointments made by a GOP president.

At the White House, Obama welcomed the shift. "The gears of government have got to work," he said, and he declared that Republicans had increasingly used existing rules "as a reckless and relentless tool to grind all business to a halt."

But Republicans warned of a power grab by Democrats, some predicting that worse was yet to come. "This drastic move sets a dangerous precedent that could later be expanded to speed passage of expansive and controversial legislation," said Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.

The day's change involved presidential appointees, not legislation — and not Supreme Court nominees.

OOPS: PRO-BOEING AD IN SEATTLE USES AIRBUS PLANE: SEATTLE (AP) — There was one thing wrong in a full-page ad in The Seattle Times urging state lawmakers to pass a transportation package aimed at persuading Boeing to build the new 777X in Washington.

The headline Wednesday read "The Future of Washington," but the photo was of an Airbus jetliner, not a Boeing.

The ad was placed by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, which is part of the Aerospace Partnership of business, labor and economic development groups. A Chamber spokeswoman, Terri Hiroshima, told The Seattle Times, "It's an embarrassing, cringe-worthy error."

DETROIT-AREA MAN FOUND WITH CORPSE GIVEN PROBATION: REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A man who police say lived for several months in a Detroit-area trailer home with a woman's corpse has been sentenced to probation in the case.

Dennis McCauley was arrested this past spring after a court officer serving an eviction notice at the home in Redford Township stumbled upon the body of 72-year-old Ann Marquis sitting on a sofa. Autopsy results indicate she died of natural causes.

McCauley faced a number of charges, including mutilation of a corpse, larceny, uttering and publishing, identity theft and concealing a person's death.

The 64-year-old pleaded no contest last month to uttering and publishing, and mutilation of a corpse

 

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