A newly published memoir by Rep. Luis Gutierrez takes President Barack Obama to task on immigration, saying the White House tried to stifle the congressman´s reform campaign, broke a promise to press the issue and took action only after being "outflanked by Marco Rubio." In "Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill," Gutierrez complains that deportations increased after his fellow Chicago Democrat took over the White House. And Gutierrez, who endorsed Obama twice for president, describes his frustration over what he viewed as Obama´s unmet pledge to push for
This amazing CNN news story by reporter Zain Asher should be required viewing for the GOP House caucus. It’s about efforts to educated uninsured families in New Jersey about Obamacare, and it illustrates how little the Affordable Care Act’s biggest beneficiaries know about the new program. To put it another way, folks aren’t exactly jumping up and down at the prospect of access to health care. Watch Jose Menendez, as he asks, ”I have a question. Who created this affordable health care plan that you’re speaking about?” Asher tells him Congress passed the measure. Menendez says,
The White House never though the government would actually shut down and as a result West Wing officials hardly spent any time over the past week planning for it, an administration aide said. It was only at the weekend after House Republicans decided to prolong their fight on health care and send a budget bill back to the Senate with a one-year delay in Obamacare, that the reality of the situation became apparent. [Snip] The Democratic Senate on Monday twice rejected GOP demands to delay key portions of what has become to known as Obamacare as a condition for keeping
Many Democrats are genuinely puzzled about Republicans’ continuing opposition to Obamacare. It is the law of the land, these Democrats say. Critics should accept it, as critics accepted Medicare. They should work constructively and across the aisle with Democrats to repair any flaws and make the law work to help people. Historical analogies are often useful, but they can be misleading. The Medicare analogy is certainly misleading: Republicans, like it or not, are behaving differently from the way they behaved after the passage of Medicare in 1965.
With the government having lurched into its first shutdown since the 1990s, many commentators are focusing on the potential ill effects that it might have for Republicans. Almost all of these analyses use the shutdowns of 1995-1996 as their starting point. While I don´t think this development will be great for Republicans, many of the concerns are likely overwrought. Here are four points to ponder: 1. While the GOP’s tactics are similar to those employed in the mid-’90s, the goals are different. The earlier budget debates were broad in nature and dealt with the scope of government. The 104th Congress,
Despite the Government shutdown, one of Obamacare´s most important functions has gone live today, but the launch has been far from smooth. While the shutdown could dampen the rollout as insurance markets open around the country, it has not stopped the healthcare scheme´s online marketplace from opening as scheduled. [Snip] Federal officials are aware of the website problems and say they are working to address it as quickly as possible. U.S. Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters says officials "have built a dynamic system and are prepared to make adjustments as needed and improve the consumer experience."
The contrast between the two headlines couldn’t have been more stark. [Snip] Royal Mail turned a $650 million profit last year while the Postal Service was racking up a $15.9 billion loss. [Snip] British governments [Snip] ended the agency’s monopoly on first-class mail in 2006 and passed a privatization law in 2011. [Snip] Twenty-five of the European Union’s 27 nations have repealed their postal monopolies and set up corporate entities to deliver the mail. Private investors own 100 percent of the Netherlands’ post office, and substantial stakes in its German, Belgian and Austrian counterparts.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to the world community not to be fooled by the new Iranian president´s conciliatory words, using a U.N. address to decry him as a "wolf in sheep´s clothing." Netanyahu, speaking to the U.N. General Assembly session on Tuesday in New York, sought to counter the positive reviews Iranian President Hassan Rouhani got over his debut at the international gathering. (Snip) "Rouhani didn´t sound like Ahmadinejad, but when it comes to Iran´s nuclear weapons program, the only difference between them is this: Ahmadinejad was the wolf in wolf´s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep´s
A mechanical pump that was invented as a temporary life support for patients with advanced heart failure is emerging as a potential tool to help hearts heal and function for the long term on their own. The device, called an LVAD, takes over most of the heart´s main pumping function and was designed initially to enable patients to survive until a donor heart became available for transplant. But doctors have discovered to their surprise that the heart can get better on the pump. When they remove it later to perform a transplant, the heart is sometimes dramatically improved. "An LVAD is like
Not too far in the future Venezuelans will look back on these days with nostalgia. If Venezuela was an airplane, impending crash signals would be lighting up like a Christmas tree in the cockpit, while back in the cabin, passengers might be ordering a second cocktail to blank out the worrisome bumps they feel. But when the plane crashes, it takes everyone aboard on a trip to hell that they didn´t know they paid for. Here´s a look at the cockpit signals: Oil production has been falling while the much-touted natural gas resources are not being produced at all. Agricultural and
Residents in South Carolina and around the country can shop for health insurance for the first time today on www.healthcare.gov, the federal government’s new health insurance marketplace, but the website is running slowly at the start. A message on the website explains, “We have a lot of visitors on our site right now and we’re working to make your experience here better. Please wait here until we send you to the login page. Thanks for your patience!” Another error message indicated the website is struggling to create accounts for those who need to sign up for insurance. Creating a secure
Three Venezuelan ex-diplomats issued a paper warning that "Guyana has granted concessions for oil and gas development in areas located in front of the coast of Delta Amacuro, invading our areas that belong to the delta platform and preventing its access to the free Atlantic." The paper, signed by Luis Herrera Marcano, Ph.D. in law, retired ambassador and ex-member of the taskforce established apropos the Geneva Agreement; Rosario Orellana Yépez, attorney at law and ex-vice minister of Foreign Affairs, and Sadio Garavini di Turno, Ph.D. in Political Sciences and former Venezuelan ambassador to Guyana, is intended to answer this question: Why
So the federal government is “shut down” – at least temporarily, as of this Tuesday morning writing – and several folks have inquired about what, if any, impact this will have on the continuity of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. The short answer is, not much. (Snip) Environmental Protection Agency: EPA would keep 1,069 (of 16,205) employees on the job, including those involved in law enforcement, employees whose funding comes from other sources and others performing exempted activities. Lab scientists may need to ensure research is ongoing. Emergency responders may also be at
To those good country fan boys and girls, Christmas is coming a little bit early this year. The colorful Robertson clan from A&E´s Duck Dynasty is showing off its country roots with the new holiday album Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas, which hits stores Oct. 29. Wille, Jase, Phil, Si and the rest of the gang show off their singing talents on standards like "I´ll Be Home for Christmas" as well as originals like "Ragin´ Cajun Redneck Christmas," which Willie wrote with Dallas Davidson. Produced by Buddy Cannon (Kenny Chesney), Duck the Halls also includes vocal contributions from
For a country that is supposed to be the most powerful in the world, the fact that Americans have today woken up to find large swathes of their nation closed for business is humiliating. Thanks to President Barack Obama obduracy over his flagship healthcare policy, Democrats and Republicans have failed to reach agreement in Congress on the federal budget, forcing the US Government to close down for the first time in 17 years, with around 700,000 federal workers being placed on indefinite leave. [Snip] There was a time not so long ago when the world looked to America for both
A group of World War II veterans in an Honor Flight group Tuesday knocked over barriers imposed during the government shutdown at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., to get inside. As part of the federal government shutdown, national parks are closed. But the group of veterans continued to the monument Tuesday, as reported by Stars and Stripes.
Peter Suderman speaks for me: What Republicans have right now is a lot of talk. What they don’t have is a workable legislative strategy. Not on Obamacare. Not on the debt. Not on tax reform, the unsustainable entitlement state, or on any of the big domestic policy issues that Republicans say they care about, or that actually confront the nation today. Part of coming up with a plausible strategy is going to be recognizing that right now, the GOP is the minority party in Congress, and that there are limits to what it can meaningfully accomplish until that changes. They
The Obama administration is launching a full court press campaign to convince a skeptical country that Obamacare is a great thing and several glossy magazines aimed at America´s women, like Cosmopolitan and Glamour, are lending their pages to that effort. This month Cosmo published a long piece entitled, "Top Eight Ways Young Women Benefit from Obamacare." Not to be outdone, Glamour gives its readers the "Five Things You Need to Know" about the insurance exchanges that were supposed to open this week. Several other women´s magazines are joining in and adding their own Obamacare sales pitches. Such magazines as Woman´s Day, Cosmo
President Obama determined that it is once again in the national interest of the United States to waive a provision of a law against aiding regimes that use child soldiers to provide non-lethal assistance and peace-keeping support to several African countries. By law, the president has to notify Congress that he is waiving the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 within 45 days of making the decision. Obama´s press team published the presidential determination on Monday afternoon, with Congress on the eve of a government shutdown. The Child Soldiers Prevention Act waiver applies fully to Chad, South Sudan and Yemen.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says Democrats are willing to include ObamaCare’s medical device tax in a spending bill that would keep the government funded. “We can work out something, I believe, on the medical device tax. That was one of the proposals from the Republicans,” Durbin said on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning. “As long as we replace the revenue so that we don’t put a hole in our deficit and respond to this in a responsible fashion. That’s one thing the Republicans want to talk about it. Let’s sit down, and put that on the table.”
Senate Democrats on Tuesday rejected negotiating with the House on government funding, leaving no clear path for ending the federal shutdown that began overnight. The Senate voted 54-46 to table a House request for a conference committee on a continuing resolution (CR), marking the third time that Democrats have voted down legislation from the lower chamber since Monday. "The government is closed," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said. "All over America federal employees are getting furloughs this morning … because of the irrationality that is going on in the other side of the Capitol." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
NEW YORK — A new survey of U.S. Jews has confirmed some of the community’s worst fears: One in five American Jews say they have no religion, and their ranks appear to be growing. Jews in this category feel pride in being Jewish and a strong sense of belonging to the greater Jewish community. But they say their connection is based mostly on culture and ancestry, not necessarily on belief in God or observance of religious law. A large majority said remembering the Holocaust, being ethical and advocating for social justice formed the core of their Jewish identity.
New York City — US pharmaceutical giant Merck said Tuesday it would eliminate an additional 8,500 jobs worldwide as it seeks to cut costs by $2.5 billion by the end of 2015. The new job cuts, combined with previously announced cuts of about 7,500, will slash 20 percent of the current global workforce of 81,000 by end-2015, Merck said in a statement. The company, which has been under pressure after the expiration of patents on some key drugs, said that most of the savings will come from marketing and administrative expenses, and research and development (R&D). Merck said it expected
Sheriff´s deputies will try as soon as Tuesday to recover the bodies of five people who died in a rockslide near a scenic Colorado waterfall. The lone survivor of the rockslide, 13-year-old Gracie Johnson, was taken to Children´s Hospital Colorado near Denver. Her condition is unknown. Chaffee County sheriff´s deputies rescued her from the debris Monday after tons of rock careered down on a vantage point looking up on Agnes Vaille Falls in Nathrop, Colorado, sometime before 11 a.m. Monday. The site is about 120 miles southwest of Denver. While authorities have not released the identities of the dead, the
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in a fiery and dramatic television speech broadcast Monday, accused U.S. diplomats of “acts of sabotage” and ordered them to leave the country. The socialist leader said government officials had tailed three U.S. diplomats for months, and authorities had witnessed them tampering with the country’s electric system, NBC reported. They now have 48 hours to get out of Venezuela, he said. “We detected a group of U.S. Embassy officials dedicated to meeting the far-right and to financing and encouraging acts of sabotage against the electrical system and Venezuela’s economy,” Mr. Maduro said in his speech.
Stocks rebounded from yesterday’s slide, while commodities and Treasuries retreated, as investors assessed the potential economic impact from the shutdown of the American government. The dollar pared earlier losses. (Snip) The standoff that may be a buying opportunity for stock investors, if history is any guide. The S&P 500 has risen 11 percent on average in the 12 months following past government shutdowns, according to data compiled by Bloomberg on instances since 1976. That compares with an average return of 9 percent over 12 months. In all the cases, the U.S. equity benchmark was higher by the end of the