The nation´s health care spending will jump by 6.1 percent next year as the big coverage expansion in President Barack Obama´s overhaul kicks in, government experts predicted Wednesday. That´s more than 2 percentage points higher than the growth rate forecast for this year, and compares with a growth rate that has hovered under 4 percent, historically low, for the past four years. Much of the increase projected for next year is attributed to the new health care program, which is expected to provide insurance coverage to millions of currently uninsured Americans beginning Jan. 1.
A group of House conservatives introduced legislation Wednesday that members say will replace ObamaCare and its “unworkable” taxes and mandates with a plan that expands tax breaks for Americans who buy their own insurance. Under the proposal endorsed by the 175-member Republican Study Committee, Americans who purchase coverage through state-run exchanges can claim a $7,500 deduction against their income and payroll taxes, regardless of the cost of the insurance. Families could deduct $20,000. The plan -- which appears to be congressional Republicans´
The Washington Post’s anti-tea party coverage inspired IRS officials to improperly target conservative groups, according to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee memo. “The IRS first identified and elevated the Tea Party applications due to media attention surrounding the Tea Party…Media attention caused the IRS to treat conservative-oriented tax-exempt applications differently,” according to a September 17 House Oversight memo entitled “Interim update on the Committee’s investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s inappropriate treatment of tax-exempt applications.”
At Tuesday’s briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney ended up “turning the tables” on ABC News’ Jonathan Karl during at heated exchange over the potential for a government shutdown. Carney suddenly realized he was the one asking the questions when he repeated, over and over again, “Who has the power to raise the debt ceiling?” Carney began by referencing the “all-out civil war within the Republican Party” that so many outlets have been reporting on, in which a minority faction of the party is forcing the leadership into threats of a government shutdown, or of a default on the
SPOTTED: He’ll take a steak with that government auction. An ITK spy eyed former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.) lounging on the outside patio at Morton’s Steakhouse in downtown Washington on Monday, the eve of an auction to sell off some high-priced items once belonging to the ex-lawmaker. Jackson pleaded guilty earlier this year to using campaign funds for personal expenses. He was sentenced last month to more than two years in prison and will begin serving time in November. Money raised from the sale of the group of largely flashy and wacky items — which include a guitar signed
The French Senate voted early Wednesday to ban beauty pageants for children under 16 – and to impose up to two years in prison and steep fines for adults who try to enter children into such a contest. It looks like the French won’t be getting their version of “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” anytime soon. France’s Senate voted early Wednesday to ban beauty pageants for children under 16, and to punish any adult who tries to enter a child into such a contest with up to two years in prison and a steep 30,000-euro fine.
A senior Muslim Brotherhood official who, until recently, had been employed by the William J. Clinton Foundation was arrested in Cairo on Tuesday and charged with inciting violence. Gehad el-Haddad served as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s top communications officials until Egyptian security forces seized him as part of a wider crackdown on officials loyal to ousted former President Mohamed Morsi. Before emerging as a top Brotherhood official and adviser to Morsi, el-Haddad served for five years as a top official at the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit group founded by former President Bill Clinton.
Dear Mr. President, It didn’t seem possible, but you shocked me. After lowering my expectations for you, from very high five years ago to bottom-of-the-barrel now, I figured you could never again disappoint me. But you did it. And if your aim was to further diminish respect for the office you hold, mission accomplished. The content of Monday’s hyperpartisan speech was par for your hyperpartisan presidency, but the timing marked a new low. Let me be clear: Have you neither decency nor shame?
I normally wouldn’t highlight the writings of uber-liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, but her scathing attack on President Obama’s response to the tragic Navy Yard shootings on Monday makes for powerful reading. Dowd reminds us that in the immediate aftermath of the brutal killing of 12 people just three miles from the White House and blocks from Capitol Hill, Barack Obama was in full campaign mode, bashing his political opponents, while families were grieving the loss of their loved ones. Instead of speaking to the nation as the president of all Americans, he decided to proceed with a
With gridlock and partisanship having all but paralyzed Washington, governors are at the forefront of our country’s policy divide. On the No. 1 issue facing our nation — how to ensure that Americans are winners, not losers, in the 21st-century economy — two divergent approaches frame the debate. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is highlighting this debate with his trip to Maryland on Wednesday. The contrast is clear: Should we slash taxes on the wealthiest Americans — crippling our ability to invest in schools, job training, infrastructure and health care — because we believe that even lower taxes for our wealthiest will
How did a man with a history of run-ins with military and civilian police, including admitting to “hearing voices,” get clearance to access a military facility? A new report from the Pentagon’s Inspector General — based on an audit completed before the Navy Yard shooting — suggests that this is not an isolated incident. The IG audit found 52 felons who had access to military installations, including drug dealers and accused child molesters, in an indictment of the Department of Defense’s background-check operations:(Snip for video)A new report released by the Pentagon inspector general finds that felons have routine access to
Hollywood’s top divorce lawyer Laura Wasser was careful not to give up any secrets about her celebrity clients in her book, “It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way: How To Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself.” The rock star who showed up at court four hours late with his disheveled ex-wife-to-be — and explained, “We were shagging in the back of her car” — was a bass player for a minor band, Wasser said, not Slash of Guns N’ Roses. “I couldn’t use the best stories for obvious reasons,” Wasser told The Post’s Richard Johnson. “The unnamed people I mention
And so another September 11th anniversary has come and gone without much notice, except for a few maudlin mentions on the nightly news and the perfunctory remembrances in which the names of the dead are read out publicly at the sites where they died. We are only a dozen years from that date in time, but otherwise miles away from where we were on that crisp, clear morning. On that day, we were a happy, prosperous nation going about the business of being Americans, more or less as had generations before us. So, where are we now? Well the truth
MSNBC´s Richard Wolffe raised two important points about media bias during a debate with conservative radio host Steve Malzberg on Wednesday: One, Fox News is the number-one cable news channel in the country; two, The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, is the number-one-selling newspaper in the country. To this, I would add the Rush Limbaugh is the number-one most listened to talk radio host in the country and Drudge Report, the conservative online news aggregator, is the number-one traffic driver for political news sites. So, let´s cycle back through that: The dominant players across all news
With Washington hurtling toward the brink of another fiscal crisis, House Speaker John Boehner set up a major showdown with the Democratic-led Senate when he announced today that the House of Representatives will vote as soon as Friday to send a continuing resolution to the Senate that permanently defunds the Affordable Care Act. “We’re going to continue do everything we can to repeal the president’s failed health care law,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said during a news conference today at the Capitol. “The law is a train wreck. The president has protected American big business. It’s time to protect American families from this
Apparently, being pro-Second Amendment in Congress is equivalent to supporting mass shootings in America. At least, that´s the interpretation of Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) during an appearance on MSNBC today. Congressman Cohen, who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, commented that the congressional reaction to the Navy Yard shooting on Monday September 16 wasn´t that surprising given the inaction on gun-control legislation after the shootings in Newtown. "On the Judiciary Committee, which I sit on, that´s Murderers´ Row; that´s Foxx, Gehrig and Ruth. They all like their guns," Rep. Cohen said of the Republicans of the Judiciary Committee.
A Tennessee high school has decided to revise its field trip policy after a group of freshmen were taken to an Islamic mosque where they were given copies of the Koran and while a student who opted out of the trip was given a worksheet that alleged Muslims treated their conquered people better than the United States treated minorities. The students were in an honors world studies class at Hendersonville High School and the field trips to the mosque as well as a Hindu temple were part of a three-week course on world religions.
A record 23,116,928 American households were enrolled in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—AKA food stamps—during the month of June, according to data released this month by the Department of Agriculture. That outnumbers the 20,618,000 households that the Census Bureau estimated were in the entire Northeastern United States as of the second quarter of 2013. According to the Census Bureau, the Northeast region includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Thus, in June, the households receiving food stamps exceeded the total combined households in all of these states.
Gun rights advocates and schoolbook-banning rabble rousers, two of the nation´s most hysterical breeds of right-wing fire-breathers, have combined in a case over a U.S. history textbook in use at a Texas high school. It seems the offending text, the otherwise innocuous-seeming United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination, is guilty of misrepresenting the Second Amendment in a Bill of Rights summary that´s "worded weirded." Here, for comparison, is the amendment as it appears in the Constitution: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and
DALLAS — President Obama´s first two defense secretaries on Tuesday night questioned his Syria strategy and said they would have told him not to seek Congress´ approval for a strike on President Bashar Assad´s forces. Speaking at a forum in Dallas, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta disagreed on whether the United States should ultimately carry out a military strike in retaliation for a chemical attack that the U.S. says killed 1,400 people. But both men said Obama shouldn´t have asked Congress to approve a strike, and both were skeptical and sometimes sarcastic about the current Russia-backed negotiations to have Syria turn
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain hotly disputed a study claiming that at least half of Syria’s rebels are radical jihadis, repeatedly exclaiming “Not true, not true!” “Frankly, I just disagree,” McCain told the Council on Foreign Relations audience, challenging the contention by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s that “the insurgency is now dominated by groups with at least an Islamist viewpoint of the conflict.” “There’s about 70 percent still who are Free Syrian Army,” McCain said, flipping on its head the consulting firm’s research showing that just 30 percent are fighting for secular values. McCain has frequently called for an increase
The 14-year-old Georgia girl who was abducted from her home early Tuesday by two gunmen has been found alive in Clayton County, WXIA-TV reports. Ayvani Hope Perez was abducted by two armed intruders who demanded $10,000 ransom demanded by the gunmen, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday. NBC News reports that the kidnapperAyvani Hope Perez was snatched from her home in Ellenwood, Ga., about 2:15 a.m. Tuesday by two masked men looking for money or jewelry.s have since raised their ransom demand to $100,000.
A Colorado Democrat who was booted from office for supporting gun control said the Navy Yard shooter “probably would not have passed a background check” for a weapons purchase. Former Colorado state Sen. Angela Giron, who was recalled last week, made this claim about Aaron Alexis, even though he passed several, including one in which he bought the shotgun used in the attack. Giron and former Colorado Senate President John Morse discussed their historic recalls on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes” Tuesday in light of the mass shooting that left 13 dead, including Alexis. Morse and Giron were targeted
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), appearing with other Republican leaders on Wednesday, said the House will pass a continuing resolution (CR) that defunds Obamacare and lets the Senate deal with it. He also indicated that Republicans will use debt limit legislation as leverage in an attempt to cut spending. Two other Republicans said their conference has agreed to "delay" Obamacare. "This week, the House will pass a CR that locks the sequester savings in and defunds Obamacare," Boehner said. "The president has signed seven bills over the last year to make changes to Obamacare, and I sincerely hope our
The Congressional Budget Office released its 2013 long-term budget outlook on Tuesday, stating that "a large and continually growing federal debt ...would increase the probability of a fiscal crisis for the United States." The report says under current laws and policies, the federal debt could reach 100 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2038. It also projects that the federal government´s health care spending "will grow considerably in 2014 because of changes made by the Affordable Care Act." CBO says federal debt held by the public is now about 73 percent of the economy’s annual output, or gross domestic product. "That percentage is
Forget gun control. America needs government control. Have you noticed the common thread among several mass killings and homeland security incidents lately? Time and again, it´s the control freaks in Washington who have fallen down on their jobs, allowing crazies, creeps and criminals to roam free and wreak havoc while ignoring rampant red flags. Let´s review: Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis: Despite gun-grabbing Democrats´ best efforts to blame a nonexistent "AR-15" for this week´s horrific Navy Yard massacre, the truth is seeping out about shooter Aaron Alexis. The 34-year-old Navy veteran had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for