The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — considered the glitziest and most buzzworthy event of Washington’s party season — appears to be a bit more low-key this year. Between the guest list absences of some of Hollywood’s brightest stars and a more subdued party scene, many folks working behind the scenes agree this year’s dinner will be decidedly more subdued. One shindig noticeably void from the soiree circuit this year is Funny or Die’s annual First Amendment Party. Last year’s high-caliber bash on the eve of the dinner had partygoers bumping and grinding at the event’s huge
President Obama is expected to attend at least eight fundraising events around the country over the next five weeks for House and Senate Democrats, sources say. The aggressive cross-country trip comes after a government shutdown battered Republican approval ratings and raised Democratic hopes of keeping control of the Senate and winning back the House for Obama’s final two years in office. Obama enjoyed having his party wield power during his first two years in office, and seeing Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) return to the House Speakership would dramatically increase his sway while limiting his days as a lame-duck president.
The White House and insurance companies are creating “alpha teams” that will work to address the corrupted enrollment data that is being produced by the ObamaCare website. Senior administration officials, including White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, met with 14 executives from the nation´s largest insurance companies on Wednesday to discuss how the geek squads would be deployed. The White House meeting gave insurance companies a chance to vent about the ObamaCare site, which has come nowhere close to the user-friendly shopping experience that was promised. The meeting featured a
Danvers, Massachusetts -A Massachusetts high school student has been charged today with beating his teacher to death then allegedly dragging her body from a blood-splatted bathroom in the school to the woods nearby. Authorities say surveillance camera footage shows Philip Chism, 14, pulling Colleen Ritzer´s body in a recycling bin through the halls of Danvers High School Tuesday night, ABC News reports.The beloved 24-year-old teacher had been reported missing when she didn´t come home after classes ended. When police went to her school, they found a second-floor bathroom covered in her blood. Ritzer´s students flooded social media with an outpouring
The University of Colorado at Boulder is asking students not to wear Halloween costumes that might be offensive to others, including cowboys, Indians and outfits involving a sombrero. Dean of Students Christian Gonzales said in a message to students that dressing up as someone from another culture can lead to inaccurate and hurtful portrayals of other cultures. "If you are planning to celebrate Halloween by dressing up in a costume, consider the impact your costume decision may have on others in the CU community," Gonzales said. KMGH-TV reported that students are being asked to avoid wearing blackface, sombreros, and dressing up
A near South Side alderman wants to look at charging bike owners a $25 annual registration fee to help raise revenue for the cash-strapped city. Making Chicago more "bike friendly" has been a main push by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and it remains to be seen whether he will give any support to a measure that could be seen as anti-cyclist. But following Emanuel´s budget address, Ald. Pat Dowell, 3rd, said she would suggest the city consider a $25 yearly license for bike owners, who would also be required to take a one hour safety course. "I have suggested some other
WASHINGTON -As technical issues continue to plague the sign-up for Obamacare, several major health insurer CEOs headed to Washington to talk to White House officials Wednesday. Aetna (AET, Fortune 500) CEO Mark Bertolini, Wellpoint (WLP, Fortune 500) CEO Joseph R. Swedish and Humana Inc. (HUM, Fortune 500) CEO Bruce Broussard attended the meeting, White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also met with the CEOs, CNN confirmed. On Oct. 1, the Affordable Care Act started allowing consumers to shop and sign up for subsidized health insurance coverage. But the President´s signature healthcare sign-up Web
BERLIN- German Chancellor Angela Merkel complained to U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday about reports U.S. intelligence monitored her phone calls, a spokesman said. Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said the German chancellor, in a telephone call with Obama, said such surveillance would be "completely unacceptable," Der Spiegel reported. "This would be a serious breach of trust," Seibert said Merkel told Obama. "Such practices should be stopped immediately." Der Spiegel reported the surveillance, based on a review by the Federal Intelligence Service and the Federal Office for Security in Information Technology. Siebert said Merkel told Obama Germany expects U.S. authorities will brief Germany "about
The administration is trying to get out in front of the Obamacare rollout disaster story, attempting to shift the narrative to 1) blame Republicans for the fiasco, and 2) absolve the president of any responsibility for the rollout. Their latest effort involved making HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius available for an interview with that bulldog of a reporter at CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Dr. Gupta is a very nice fellow, a gentle soul, who just happens to be a big supporter of Obamacare. Let´s just say if I were a PR hack at the White House and needed a friendly reporter
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she is “disappointed in the use of that imagery” with regards to a controversial fundraising email sent by Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson that compared the tea party to the Ku Klux Klan. “Obviously I am disappointed in the use of that imagery. Both sides need to dial back that kind of rhetoric and look to bring more civility into politics,” Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. However, Wasserman Schultz stopped short of calling upon Grayson (D-Fla.) to discontinue to use the email, which was sent Monday to supporters and included a burning cross depticting the
Fresh from his gooey front-pager on how "everyone seems to be honoring" Hillary Clinton on the way to 2016, Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker is now seeing dark clouds for the re-election of Tea Party Sen. Mike Lee. "In Utah GOP, some seek to shut down tea party hero" is the Page One headline. "Lee´s approval ratings in Utah have cratered," Rucker wrote, citing a less-reliable online poll, and talking up a primary challenge from more "pragmatic" Republicans....in 2016. Lined up to denounce Lee as an "ideological wack-job," the Post-friendly Jon Huntsman: Former Republican governor Jon Huntsman Jr., a 2012
Moments ago, conservatism’s darling Ann Coulter appeared on ABC’s The View and used the radically leftist daytime show as a pulpit from which to comment on the current state of the Republican Party. Discussing her most recent book, Never Trust a Liberal Over Three – Especially a Republican, the author held her own in typical Coulter fashion, responding handily to questions posed by the liberal ladies. Asked what her thoughts were on the GOP’s being blamed for the recent government shutdown, Coulter responded that her main gripe is with “Republicans doing too much of a circular firing squad.” She remarked
A fisherman at Prineville Reservoir in Oregon was startled last Friday to spot a large, prehistoric-looking creature cruising along the surface. Wildlife experts were notified and the next day the creature, an exotic alligator snapping turtle, was captured and promptly euthanized. This week there’s concern about the possibility that others of its kind are in Prineville—or elsewhere in Oregon. This is the first known find of what’s sometimes referred to as “the dinosaur of the turtle world” in Oregon, and hopefully the last. Why? Because alligator snapping turtles, with their scaly tails, spiked shells, and powerful beaked jaws, do not
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that he is considering running for another term in 2016, when he would be 80 years old. "I´m seriously thinking about maybe giving another opportunity for you to vote for or against me in a few years from now," McCain said on KFYI-AM in Phoenix. "I´m seriously giving that a lot of thought." [1-minute sound bite] Asked by host Barry Young to clarify if he was saying he might run again, McCain said: "That would not be wrong." The New York Times´s Mark Leibovich, who is in Arizona following McCain, first tweeted the news.
While the president of the United States pitched his crumbling healthcare program like a late-night infomercial barker, the Army´s chief of staff made a shocking admission about national defense. Gen. Ray Odierno told a Washington conference Monday that the U.S. Army had not conducted any training in the last six months of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. And, he said, there currently are only two Army brigades rated combat-ready. That´s less than one-third what ‘s regarded as necessary for national security. [Snip] All this to comply with Obama administration orders to drastically shrink the Army and military spending.
On Sunday night, I wrote a short post soliciting stories from my readers about how Obamacare has already immediately impacted their lives. I asked that all of these emails be directed to ObamacareMakesMeSick@Yahoo.com. I expected a response; I didn’t expect it to be quite so overwhelming. Over the last 24 hours, my inbox has been flooded with hundreds of emails. What you’ll read in this post represents a portion of them. I’m only one guy (with a fulltime job and twins) — I wasn’t able to go through every single message just yet. Some, I left out because the information
That was America standing behind President Obama in the Rose Garden this week as he stammered, and droned on and on, trying to explain away the epic disaster that Obamacare has become even before it has begun “About three weeks ago, as the federal government shut down,” he began.Expectant and hopeful, America stood tall on the steps behind him for as long as she could. She was proud and gazed at the nation’s new top health care provider proudly. But as the excuses and mistruths mounted and the barrage of words rolled on and on and on, she could not
A federal judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss a case that could fatally cripple the Obamacare health insurance law. The Affordable Care Act forbids the federal government from enforcing the law in any state that opted out of setting up its own health care exchange, according to a group of small businesses whose lawsuit got a key hearing Monday in federal court. The Obama administration, according to their lawsuit, has ignored that language in the law, enforcing all of its provisions even in states where the federal government is operating the insurance marketplaces on the error-plagued Healthcare.gov website. Thirty-six states chose not to
In addition to the damage done to the GOP by his penchant for right-wing antics, of which the shutdown fiasco was only the latest, Jim DeMint, the president of Heritage Foundation, has ushered in a new era in the once-proud conservative think tank’s history. Under DeMint, Heritage Foundation has been subsumed to the interests of its sister organization, Heritage Action. As a result, Heritage Foundation is suffering a grievous slide in intellectual integrity and influence. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is the latest of many conservatives openly to express concern about the think tank. He told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd this week, “Right
On Wednesday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) revealed that he was working on a bill to delay the Obamacare individual mandate. He said in late September that he would support efforts to delay the individual mandate, but this is the first time that Manchin has signified that he will lead a legislative effort toward such a delay. Manchin’s spokesperson, Jonathan Kott, said Manchin will not back Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) proposal for an indefinite delay to work out insurance exchange glitches, but that he would instead work on a bill “to delay the pena
Juan Williams has a clear grip on responsibility for the failure of a program that got passed in Congress with no Republican votes, and implemented with no Republican management in a Democratic administration. Williams claims that the White House would have delayed the rollout of ObamaCare’s exchanges except for the opposition of the GOP to the program as a whole. As a result, Williams argues, Barack Obama and Kathleen Sebelius had no choice but to lie about the exchanges and let it unfold. Come on — you knew the media would eventually get around to this argument. You just didn’t
A top Senate Democrat said that a leading House Republican told President Obama that they could not ´even stand to look at you´ during negotiations over the government shutdown. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a Facebook post that the alleged confrontation happened during a meeting between Republicans and the president. "Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn´t try hard enough to communicate with Republicans," Durbin said. "But in a ´negotiation´ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: ´I cannot even stand to
After a shutdown fight that had Republicans in Congress taking sides against one another, the Senate minority whip put out a plea for unity today in the form of a Fox News op-ed. “In recent weeks, the national media have been obsessed with highlighting divisions and disagreements among Republicans on Capitol Hill. It’s time for GOP lawmakers to remind the American people of what unites us,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wrote. “Republicans are united in our desire to dismantle President Obama’s health care law and replace it with patient-centered alternatives that reduce costs, expand quality insurance coverage, and improve access to
President Barack Obama didn´t know of problems with the Affordable Care Act´s website -- despite insurance companies´ complaints and the site´s crashing during a test run -- until after its now well-documented abysmal launch, the nation´s health chief told CNN on Tuesday. In an exclusive interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CNN´s Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked when the President first learned about the considerable issues with the Obamacare website. Sebelius responded that it was in "the first couple of days" after the site went live October 1. "But not before that?" Gupta followed up. To which Sebelius replied,
Obama does many things. He prevaricates, manipulates, defrauds, abuses and usurps. But one thing that he does not do is compromise. Any strategy built on forcing Obama to compromise is inherently flawed. He may occasionally throw Republicans a tiny bone to make them feel better about giving in, but only as long as his is the only plate with meat on it. Obama never compromises because he has never really lost. He has been insulated from defeat by his fanaticism, his arrogance and his media… and by Republican incompetence.