There will be girls. There will be beer. There will be cornhole. And someone will be dressed in the creepiest Uncle Sam costume you’ve ever seen. Welcome to the strange new front in the war over Obamacare. As the Republican dream of repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law in Congress crumbles, the fight over the law’s future shifts from Washington to college campuses, where the new challenge for Obamacare proponents lies in convincing young people to sign up for coverage mandated by the law. The period to enroll in health insurance exchanges established under the 2010 law begins Oct. 1, which will
Republican divisions over the party´s strategy in budget battles exploded into the public sphere Wednesday evening. In feelings that have been brewing privately for some time, House Republicans let their anger out at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). And they accused him of surrendering on the plan to defund the Affordable Care Act (AKA: Obamacare). Earlier Wednesday, Cruz made a statement that applauded House Republicans for proposing a spending bill that strips funding for Obamacare, a crusade that Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) have led over the past few months. But Cruz also conceded that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "has the votes"
Earlier this week SI´s Peter King reported that some NFL teams have deemed Johnny Manziel "undraftable" because of off-field concerns involving his drinking and partying. But when you take away the non-football issues, NFL people are starting to come around on Johnny Football as a player. Scouts and commentators who were skeptical on Manziel last year now think he can make it in the pros. The consensus on Manziel is that his instincts are so good that his weaknesses don´t matter as much. He is calm and elusive against the pass rush, he´s as fast as Colin Kaepernick, and he
Richard Breeden, the Department of Justice “special master” responsible for doling out some $2.3 billion to burned Madoff investors, is finally answering victims’ questions about when they might get paid — thanks to The Post. In response to a story earlier this week about his failure to answer investors’ questions about his timeline for distributing investors’ money, Breeden on Thursday came clean about his plans. Here’s a sampling of the “clarifications” Breeden released today. THEN: “It would be simpler if we could give a date when the claims process will begin … We can’t do that.” NOW: “While final signoffs still have to occur, we expect that plan decisions will be made in a matter of several weeks or less.”
An extraordinary moment in journalism. That’s the only way to describe the September 30 issue of America Magazine, completely given over to an interview with Pope Francis. It can be accessed online here. How the Jesuits sat on this interview, done over three days in August, is amazing in the nothing’s-a-secret-world of Wikileaks. As I read the interview, I kept saying, “Wow! This is incredible.” I wanted to call someone to tell them what I was reading. I saw an ad for the National Religious Retirement Collection in the pages and thought, “Lucky them. Here’s an issue to advertise in!”
SACRAMENTO -- California regulators have approved the nation´s and state´s first rules for fast-growing ride-sharing companies that connect passengers to drivers via smartphones. The Public Utilities Commission voted 5 to 0 to let the services -- such as Lyft Inc., Sidecar and Uber Technologies Inc. -- continue to operate, if they comply with basic safety and insurance requirements. The three companies provide transportation for a fee or donation, connecting paying passengers with drivers who use their own vehicles.
Former Rep. Tom DeLay said not much changed after a Texas appeals court overturned his conviction Thursday and acquitted him of charges he violated campaign finance laws — except that he will have a key constitutional right restored. “I can get my concealed weapon license back,” he told reporters at the Capitol. Mr. DeLay had been convicted by a Texas jury of laundering money through several political groups in order to help federal candidates win elections in Texas, but an appeals court said the money-shifting was legal and tossed the conviction and officially acquitted him of the charges.
The Justice Department´s internal ethics watchdog says it never investigated repeated complaints by federal judges that the government had misled them about the NSA´s secret surveillance of Americans´ phone calls and Internet communications. Two judges on the court that oversees the spying programs separately rebuked federal officials in top-secret court orders for misrepresenting how the NSA was harvesting and analyzing communication records. In a sharply worded 2009 order, one of the judges, Reggie Walton, went so far as to suggest that he could hold national security officials in contempt or refer their conduct to outside investigators.
As charm offensives go, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s carefully orchestrated effort to convince sceptical Western leaders that his country has no intention of posing a threat to world peace is proving to be a roaring success. Having become a regular pen pal of President Obama, Mr Rouhani’s declaration on American television this week that Iran would “never” develop nuclear weapons has raised expectations that three decades of hostility between Washington and Tehran could be drawing to an close. As if to reinforce the message that a new spirit of reconciliation has taken root in Iran, Mr Rouhani ordered the release
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told House Republicans to stop acting like “squealing political pigs.” “We need to act like adults not like squealing political pigs,” Durbin said on the Senate floor Wednesday. Durbin’s remarks were in reaction to a House Republican announcement that they would advance a government spending bill that defunds ObamaCare — something Democrats have said would lead to a government shut down. “If that is what the Tea Party Republicans think is leadership, God save the United States of America,” Durbin said. Unless Congress agrees on continued spending resolution (CR) by Oct. 1, the government
Aaron Sorkin´s HBO drama The Newsroom has often made sport of portraying the Republicans as almost monolithically fringe (lead character Will McAvoy is written as a nominal Republican in order to bash the Party at every turn), and utterly devoid of policy nuance. This is doubtless interesting to actual Republicans, or former Republicans (like this writer), who can´t seem to agree on most anything. In Sorkin´s defense, he made very apparent strides in Season Two to balance the writing at least somewhat, and then if he´s looking for a storyline for next season to balance the show even more, he need
Displaying an increasingly hostile tone, Republicans Thursday sought to discredit the findings of a report on last year’s deadly assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and criticize former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s response. Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Adm. Mike Mullen, who led the Accountability Review Board’s report on the attacks, appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to answer GOP criticism that their findings were watered down and protected Clinton.The GOP pressed Mullen and Pickering on why they didn’t interview Clinton or criticize other top State Department officials, making the case that the former secretary
The White House on Thursday accused "extreme" Republican House members of holding their leadership "hostage" with demands to tie defunding ObamaCare to a government funding bill, as the administration looked to highlight discord within the GOP ranks. "Reasonable Republicans in Congress are being held hostage by a few extreme members of their own party who are holding the economy and middle class families hostage to an ideological agenda that has no chance of becoming law," White House assistant press secretary Amy Brundage said in a blog post.
Hillary Clinton quietly slipped into Miami on Thursday to address a travel agents convention in a speech where the former secretary of state said little about troubles abroad or the future ambitions of the likely presidential-race frontrunner. Clinton slipped a question about what it would take for the United States to elect its first female leader, Clinton was quick with a joke. “Well, it’ll take a crazy person,” she said, drawing laughs from the crowd at the American Society of Travel Agents’ global convention Though ostensibly not political, Clinton’s address had the makings of an introductory campaign speech. Campaigns are often highly controlled events, but the ASTA conference at Hyatt Regency Miami kicked it up a notch.
Speaking with radio host Tom Joyner this morning on BlackAmericaWeb.com, CNN anchor Don Lemon admitted that a recent study about mass shootings in America has made him rethink his positions on gun control. “Let’s remove the politics and truthfully talk about gun laws, about gun violence,” Lemon began. Citing a recently-completed Centers for Disease Control study on gun violence, the CNN anchor asserted, “Mass shootings are not the problem. They account for a very small fraction of firearm related deaths.” According to the study, since 1983 there have been nearly 80 single-perpetrator shootings with four or more deaths. “That’s about 560
Organizing for Action, the non-profit group that branched off the Obama campaign, used this week’s Navy Yard shooting to ask supporters for donations in an e-mail. The e-mail asks supporters to “chip in today” after supporters? sign an online petition to push for more gun-control measures. “If you’re like me, you heard the news about the 12 Americans who died in D.C.’s Navy Yard shooting — and you had those familiar feelings of grief and frustration,” OFA executive director Jon Carson begins. “As President Obama said, these events are too common. We all stand numb, trying to wrap our minds
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma authorities said on Wednesday they were working to identify six human skeletons found in cars pulled from a lake in the western part of the state to determine if the skeletons are linked to decades-old missing persons cases. An anthropologist for the Oklahoma Medical Examiner´s office was analyzing the skeletons on Wednesday, but Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner´s office, said the identification could take a matter of days - or far longer. Last week, Oklahoma Highway Patrol divers stumbled upon two mud and rust-covered vehicles on the bottom of Foss Lake during tests
STOCKHOLM — Scientists working on a landmark U.N. report on climate change are struggling to explain why global warming appears to have slowed down in the past 15 years even though greenhouse gas emissions keep rising. (Snip) In a leaked June draft of the report´s summary from policy-makers, the IPCC said the rate of warming in 1998-2012 was about half the average rate since 1951. It cited natural variability in the climate system, as well as cooling effects from volcanic eruptions and a downward phase in solar activity. But several governments that reviewed the draft objected to how the issue
Geopolitics: President Obama put all the U.S.´ foreign policy eggs on Latin America in a Brazilian basket, lavishing attention on the giant in a big "reset." Now that Brazil has walked out on a state visit, the U.S. has egg on its face. It´s believed to be the first time ever that a world leader has canceled a state visit to the U.S., a visit so special, so elaborate, and so intent on showing the esteem in which the U.S. holds its guest of honor that it was the only one planned for 2013. Brazil´s President Dilma Rousseff Tuesday told
Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis had sought treatment for insomnia in the emergency rooms of two Veterans Affairs hospitals in the past month, but he told doctors he was not depressed and was not thinking of harming others, federal officials said Wednesday. Those walk-in visits came just two weeks after Alexis had called police in Rhode Island to report hearing voices and feeling vibrations sent through his hotel-room walls. On Aug. 23, he went to a VA hospital in Providence. Five days later, he went to another one in Washington, seeking a refill of the medication he had been prescribed in
Can we talk about something else, already? Pope Francis said today that the Roman Catholic church has become “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he is done talking about it. In remarkably blunt language, the man with the world’s biggest bully pulpit appeared to be setting a new tone, telling followers that the church should be a “home for all” and not a “small chapel” focused on doctrine and moral castigation. The Catholic Church’s moral edifice might “fall like a house of cards” if it doesn’t balance its divisive rules with the greater need to make the church a merciful,
When two freshman sisters at UCLA were told their mandatory orientation on sexual harassment would include a section on sex education, they respectfully requested exemption from that part of the program. As conservative Catholics, Angelica and Bella Ayala did not want to participate in the sex-ed presentation — which discussed, among other topics, how to put on a condom and how to ask someone to have sex with you — because contraception and premarital sex violate their moral code. But the two girls were swiftly reprimanded for their small protest and told they were required to attend the session, even
It´s hard not to admire how Senator Ted Cruz spent his summer. Months of touring the country and TV appearances telling conservatives that he wanted an (unwinnable) fight with the White House on Obamacare, getting the fight, and now sitting ringside cheering half-heartedly as the House throws punches. Cruz, a freshman from Texas, wasn´t the first guy to suggest that the party use a budget fight as leverage to rollback the Affordable Care Act, the president´s signature legislation. That idea dates back to 2011, as Chris Hayes noted on All In Wednesday night. In his segment, Hayes probably gave Cruz more
JONESBORO, Ga. – The mother of a kidnapped 14-year-old Georgia girl found alive Wednesday was arrested in February 2012 on drug charges with one of the men accused of abducting her daughter, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. Police found Ayvani Hope Perez in a home in Conyers, Ga., about 36 hours after police said she was taken at gunpoint from her family´s home early Tuesday. Two suspects were arrested but police are still looking for two others. In a strange twist, ICE sources confirmed with local affiliate FOX News 5, Perez´s mother, Maria Corral, was busted in a marijuana sting with
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has warned that the Catholic Church´s moral structure might "fall like a house of cards" if it doesn´t balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make the church a merciful, more welcoming place for all. Six months into his papacy, Francis set out his vision for the church and his priorities as pope in a remarkably lengthy and self-critical interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit magazine. It was published simultaneously Thursday in Jesuit journals in 16 countries, including America magazine in the U.S. In the
New clean-energy rules pushed through by the Obama administration are raising concerns that they could cripple the coal industry -- and may require power plants to use technology so risky that even the president´s former top energy official once warned it could "kill." The EPA, by Friday, is expected to release a new proposal to set the first-ever carbon dioxide limits for new power plants. To meet those emissions caps, power plants would likely have to use what is known as "carbon-capture technology," which involves burying the carbon underground. The technology, which is still under development, remains expensive and not commercially available. But