The ad above has hit the airwaves in Alaska, where Sen. Mark Begich faces a tough re-election campaign in Alaska. It's well done. Millions of people have gained coverage because of the Affordable Care Act. The ad tells the story of one: Lisa Keller of Anchorage, a breast cancer survivor who was denied health insurance because of her pre-existing condition. "I now have health insurance again," Keller says, "because of Mark Begich."
"I am thinking about it."
The national media has been hyperventilating for months about when Mrs. Inevitable, Hillary Clinton, will announce a run for president, so yesterday's hedging was headline news. (Slate: "Hillary Clinton Says (Publicly) She’s Thinking About Another White House Run.") Here we go!
Paul Ryan's recently released budget was supposed to be a "comprehensive anti-poverty agenda" that would "speak directly to people who have fallen through the cracks." Lately, of course, Ryan has been aggressively trying to re-brand himself as an advocate for the poor. The Ayn Rand fan with no time for the 47 percent of takers? That was the old Ryan, and it doesn't sell politically with a public increasingly concerned about inequality. But what would his budget actually do? The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is releasing a report today and finds that a whopping 69 percent of the cuts target programs for low-income people — Medicaid, food stamps, grants for college, SSI, school lunch and child nutrition programs, and more.
Politico reports on the latest round in the intra-party squabble within the GOP, with groups like Heritage Action and Club for Growth lobbying against the budget deal brokered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan with Democratic counterpart Patty Murray.
Congress being Congress I wouldn't hold my breath, but the Washington Post reports that Democrat Patty Murray and Republican Paul Ryan are close on a possible budget deal to fund the government past Jan. 15.
Even worse than Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke reporting the death of Nelson Mandela as the subject of a new film with "awards buzz," former senator Rick Santorum yesterday linked Mandela with Republicans' fight against Obamacare on Fox News.
Jonathan Chait has an essay up this morning at New York magazine reflecting on differing ideas about racism in a time when the nation has elected a black president and blatant expressions of overt racism have (mostly) been relegated to the political margins.
Even as Congress teetered dangerously close to breaching the debt ceiling earlier this year, the Obama administration was adamant that none of the creative solutions economists had proposed as emergency measures — such as minting a large-denomination platinum coin using an obscure 1996 law — were on the table.
Remember when Rep. Tom Cotton ludicrously said that President Barack Obama was "court packing" by fulfilling his constitutional obligation to nominate judges to fill vacancies on the federal bench, in this case the three vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit?
A shutdown of the federal government is looming, with the end of the fiscal year coming at the end of this month and no hope for a deal in sight (it might seem like that's plenty of time, but you have to factor in the strict adherence to vacation schedules of the U.S. Congress — there's only five scheduled legislative days left before September 30).
The University of Texas opened classes in Austin this week with a bit of student protest. The "Cocks Not Glocks" campaign encourages students to carry dildos and sex toys to mock the beginning of a new state law that allows concealed weapons on campus.
We take a visit to the weekly hot check court in Sherwood District Court, the subject of a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by ACLU Arkansas and others, who say the system there results in a modern-day debtor's prison