On this day in 1997, Madeline Albright was sworn in as first woman to serve as Secretary of State. Wonder if Hillary Clinton realized that as she endured her farewell savaging from Senate Republicans today.

In any event, here are some news remainders of a fractious day:

* Defense secretary Leon Panetta reportedly about to kill ban on women serving in combat roles, as recommended by Joint Chiefs of Staff.

* Matt Yglesias says it’s crazy to talk about reducing health care spending without looking at Canada’s example.

* Dave Weigel reports Virginia legislature moving on bill to eliminate winner-take-all electorate votes.

* At Ten Miles Square, Don Taylor notes that “normal” congressional action on budget stopped the day the Bowles-Simpson Report was released in 2010.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer reports that Latinos outnumber whites in Fall 2013 applications for admission to the University of California system. Wow.

And in non-political news:

* Group of Utah doctors declares health emergency over Salt Lake City pollution.

To end the day, here’s more Desmond Dekker with “Perseverance.”

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.