The Obama administration has stopped using the term “exchanges” to describe part of the healthcare law because the word doesn’t translate into Spanish, an official said Thursday. Anton Gunn, director of External Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said the rebranding of the insurance exchanges as "marketplaces" was geared toward Spanish speakers who will use the system. "We´re going to use the word ´marketplace´ because it actually makes sense to people," Gunn said at a conference in Washington, D.C. " ´Exchange´ doesn´t translate to anything in Spanish, but ´marketplace´ does."
The Senate rejected an amendment to the House debt-ceiling suspension bill that would have required a dollar in spending cuts for every dollar increase in future the debt ceiling extensions. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced the amendments, which was tabled on a 54-44 vote. He said the amendment “assures that every time we raise the debt limit we cut spending by the same amount over a 10 year period.” Portman said his amendment would have saved the country $3 trillion.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday said the American economy is "in a recovery" despite the decline in the nation´s gross domestic product (GDP). Reid made the remark after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blamed the White House for the unexpected contraction in the economy. “[McConnell] continues bad mouthing the recovery,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “We are in a recovery.” On Wednesday, the Commerce Department announced that the nation´s economy unexpectedly shrank by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. Echoing the White House,
The Equifax credit reporting agency, with the aid of thousands of human resource departments around the country, has assembled what may be the most powerful and thorough private database of Americans’ personal information ever created, containing 190 million employment and salary records covering more than one-third of U.S. adults. Some of the information in the little-known database, created through an Equifax-owned company called The Work Number, is sold to debt collectors, financial service companies and other entities. "It´s the biggest privacy breach in our time,
One of the more lamentable traits of neoconservatism has been steadily to try and lower the bar of who—or what—is deemed anti-Semitic. Elliott Abrams, for example, recently denounced former Senator and Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel as an anti-Semite, a grave accusation that boomeranged on him as even Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass, nominally Abrams´ boss, felt constrained to observe that it was a preposterous statement. Now a web site called the Washington Free Beacon, which is edited by Matthew Continetti, a son-in-law of William Kristol, who is the editor of the Weekly Standard,
Washington - The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (ABI.BR) from buying the half of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo (GMODELOC.MX) that it does not already own, saying the $20.1 billion deal would lessen competition in the U.S. beer market. (Snip) InBev said in a statement that the Justice Department´s decision to sue to stop the deal was "inconsistent with the law, the facts and the reality of the market place." "We remain confident in our position, and we intend to vigorously contest the DOJ´s action in federal court," the statement said.
The high-profile federal raid on a South Florida ophthalmologist’s office was more about potential Medicare fraud than about U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, a longtime friend of Dr. Salomon Melgen. Joining FBI agents on the two-day raid at the doctor’s West Palm Beach eye center: a team of investigators from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which investigates Medicare wrongdoing. (Snip)FBI agents are investigating the allegations of a shadowy tipster who claimed the doctor flew Menendez on his plane to the Dominican Republic. Earlier this month, Menendez quietly sent a $58,500 personal check to Melgen’s company to reimburse
Federal Election Commission records show that Dr. Salomon Melgen, the Miami ophthalmologist connected to New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s alleged prostitution scandal, has financed several high-ranking politicians from both political parties. Over the years, Melgen and his wife Flor donated $2,000 to former President Bill Clinton and another $4,700 to outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s various campaigns. Melgen donated $3,000 to Hugh Rodham, Hillary’s brother, for his unsuccessful 1994 Senate campaign, and $1,000 to Al Gore’s failed 2000 bid for president. Melgen and his wife together donated $9,600 to former
Nine current and former Philadelphia Traffic Court judges and three others were charged by the U.S. Attorney in a corruption indictment and other documents unsealed by the the U.S. Attorney Thursday morning. Charged were current Judges Michael Sullivan and Michael Lowry; former Judges Robert Mulgrew, Fortunato Perri Sr., Willie Singletary and Thomasine Tynes; and three suburban district court judges who sometimes filled in for Philadelphia Traffic Court judges. Those suburban district judges are Mark A. Bruno of Chester County, Warren Hogeland of Bucks County and Kenneth Miller of Delaware County. Those judges were scheduled to appear before
A trio of Republican senators today introduced a bill to block NLRB actions in the wake of a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that President Obama’s recess appointments to the labor authority were unconstitutional. The Restoring the Constitutional Balance of Power Act of 2013 would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from enforcing or implementing decisions and regulations without a constitutionally confirmed board or director.
In the post immediately below this one, John notes how immigrants from Eastern Europe have taken advantage of the combination of EU immigration rules and the British welfare system to live “high off the hog” at the expense of the taxpayers of Great Britain. As John suggests, this phenomenon has relevance to the debate over immigration reform in the U.S. In 2007, welfare expert Robert Rector estimated that the McCain-Kennedy amnesty proposal would cost roughly $2.6 trillion due to the eligibility of illegal aliens turned citizens for transfer payments.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating is down by double digits weeks after the Democrat signed sweeping new gun control legislation, a new poll Wednesday says. Those numbers come after Cuomo scored a broad gun control package that included a strengthened version of the state’s assault weapons ban, a step he took in the wake of the December shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn. “With approval ratings that consistently topped 70 percent, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had the political capital to spend when he set out to pass the toughest gun control laws in the nation,” said
Liberal economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Wednesday that the U.S. is not in danger of a collapse, and the U.S. won’t run out of cash because “we can print the money.” “The United States is a country that has its own currency – can’t run out of cash, cause we print the money. If you even try to think what would happen – suppose that investors get down on the United States. Even so, that would weaken the dollar, not send interest rates soaring, and that would be good. That would
Iran has informed the United Nations nuclear watchdog that it plans to expand its nuclear refinement capability despite international opposition. In a defiant move that may further complicate diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute over the country´s atomic activities, Tehran says it plans to deploy more modern machines to refine uranium. Enriched uranium can fuel nuclear power plants - Iran´s stated aim - or provide material for bombs if processed much further, which the West suspects is Tehran´s ultimate goal. (Snip) This is increasingly hurting Iran´s economy, but the clerical
Rep. Bob Menendez once gave an impassioned speech on the house floor condemning human trafficking and forced prostitution in arguing for the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005,” an anti-sex slave law he co-sponsored. “All of us know the shocking statistics: somewhere between 600 and 800 people per year are forced across borders to become slaves and prostitutes,” Menendez said on December 14, 2005. “If we include those who are trafficked within their own countries, the numbers are even worse, somewhere between 2 and 4 million people. The vast majority of these are women and girls.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will let his jobs council expire this week without renewing its charter, winding down one source of input from the business community even as unemployment remains stubbornly high. When Obama in January 2011 formed his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, unemployment was hovering above 9 percent. Two years later, more than 12 million people in the U.S. are out of work. The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.8 percent, but both parties agree that´s still too high. A provision in Obama´s executive order establishing the council says it sunsets on Thursday.
If Democrats are serious about trying to turn Texas blue, they should get a gander at a just-released poll of Lone Star State voters that found 67 percent of Republican respondents support the impeachment of President Obama. Of greater concern for liberals: the poll was conducted by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling. As a whole, Texans opposed impeachment 50 percent to 39 percent. But in the crosstabs, PPP broke this down by party affiliation with Democrats opposed 83 percent to 12 percent, Republicans in favor 67 percent to 18 percent, and Independents opposed 54 percent to 32 percent.
If God is a Republican — which, given the results of the 2012 election, is highly unlikely — the almighty will ensure that progressives take their cues about public policy from MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner. On Wednesday, MSNBC’s midday panel program invited influential liberals and progressive policy makers on to debate the merits of regulating the game of football at all levels – from the NFL to secondary school. The object is to prevent violent injury and protect those too foolish to make what the MSNBC panel felt was
Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s pick for the next secretary of defense, has begun his Senate confirmation hearings. Reports indicate the nominee believes he has some explaining to do regarding his position on the U.S. nuclear force. Small wonder: Mr. Hagel is one of six co-authors of the radical Global Zero Commission Report, which advocates for cuts so deep to the force it would bring the U.S. far below Russian levels and could tempt China to sprint to parity or superiority.
Word to the wise: If you’re going to strike a deal that you’re maybe not entirely proud of, wait until after your book tour to announce it. Al Gore did things the other way around and all this week he’s been paying the price for it, in the form of having to answer awkward questions about the $500 million sale of his Current TV network to Al Jazeera. As the former Vice President makes the rounds of talk shows to promote his new book “The Future,” he’s been under pressure to explain
On 60 Minutes, the news-magazine show that prides itself on "hard-hitting" investigations and interviews, correspondent Steve Kroft, who has won most of the highest awards in his industry, has just broadcast another softball interview with the most powerful man in the world, a performance that ought to earn him a rebuke from his peers in the news business but almost certainly won´t. His CBS bio page proudly touts his unparalleled access to President Obama: He scored the first post-election sit down after Election 2008, another exclusive following the killing of Osama bin Laden,
A suburban New York City newspaper known for its support of the Second Amendment, has been banned from purchasing Facebook ads, the paper’s editor charged. (Snip) Dylan Skriloff, the editor of the Rockland County Times, told Fox News that Facebook will no longer allow them to purchase advertisements to promote their stories. “We’ve been giving them a good amount of business,” Skriloff said. “I don’t really appreciate getting cut off by someone I’m doing business with without an explanation.” The weekly newspaper, published since 1888, makes no bones about being a conservative voice in the northern New York City suburbs.
A group of conservatives is launching their own social networking site after enduring what they call years of censorship and liberal bullying on Facebook. The Tea Party Community is expected to officially launch on Saturday – but the social networking site for conservatives has already drawn nearly 50,000 members. (Snip) “It’s a new home for conservatives and the Tea Party movement in America,” said co-founder Ken Crow. “It’s a social community just for them.” Crow partnered with Tim Selaty Sr. and Jr. to launch the new site last November – a “safe haven for the conservative movement where we