Debbie Wasserman Schultz: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the<strong> </strong>Fourth Circuit compared the health care law to buying a pepperoni and ham pizza from Domino's or Pizza Hut.
What does cheap pizza have to do with health care — other than if you eat too much, you might need to see a doctor? Apparently, it’s the perfect metaphor to explain why a key provision in the Affordable Care Act is legal. That’s what we heard from Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. During a July 22 Las Vegas TV appearance, the Florida congresswoman discussed two new dueling court decisions on the health care law. She said the court that sided with President Barack Obama’s administration made a compelling, albeit cheesy, argument. "The language in the ...>> More
Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "There were 36 states where Republicans who were in charge refused to implement a state (health insurance) exchange."
Two recent federal court cases, both about federal subsidies for health insurance, came within hours of each other this week, putting the future of the Affordable Care Act into question. In Halbig vs. Burwell, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a 2-1 ruling that said people in states that don't operate their own marketplaces can't get subsidies. But a few hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reached the opposite conclusion in King vs. Burwell. Their unanimous decision upheld the legality of the subsidies for all states, even ...>> More
Barack Obama: "We've recovered (from the recession) faster and come farther than almost any other advanced country on Earth." <div> </div>
While his critics decry his economic policies, President Barack Obama keeps insisting that he’s had economic success. In a speech in Wilmington, Del., last week, Obama offered several pieces of evidence that, in his view, suggests that the country is rebounding from the recession. Unemployment is at its lowest rate since 2008, he noted; the auto industry is "booming," America is making more oil than it imports, and the deficit has been cut in half, he added. All told, Obama said, "we’ve recovered faster and come farther than almost any other advanced country on Earth." That final claim ...>> More
Mitch McConnell: Says a new report shows the "devastating tax hikes (in the health care law) will have on middle-class Kentuckians."
Coal and health care are the two dominant themes in Kentucky’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign saw an opportunity to attack his Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, on the second issue after a new report came out on the country’s long-term fiscal health. "Alison Lundergan Grimes fully supports the implementation of Obamacare and the devastating tax hikes it will have on middle-class Kentuckians," McConnell spokeswoman Allison Moore said in a press release on July 17. The press release included several links to and excerpts from a July 16 ...>> More
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, remains one of the most vulnerable incumbent governors running this year. Elected to his first term in 2010, Corbett now trails Democratic challenger Tom Wolf by more than 20 points in most recent polls. Despite Wolf’s lead, pro-Democratic groups are leaving nothing to chance. One of these is Fresh Start PA, a political action committee running parallel to the state Democratic Party. It’s headed by Katie McGinty, one of the Democratic primary challengers Wolf defeated, and its senior strategist is veteran Pennsylvania Democratic consultant Mike Mikus. Here’s the text of ...>> More
Hillary Clinton: The number of jobs created and people lifted out of poverty during Bill Clinton’s presidency was "a hundred times" what it was under President Ronald Reagan.
With the nation mired in a long, slow recovery from the Great Recession, the past tends to have a rosy glow. Republicans like to tout the halcyon days of President Ronald Reagan, while Democrats fondly remember the era of President Bill Clinton. During a recent interview on the Charlie Rose show on PBS, Hillary Clinton -- who had a front-row seat for the Bill Clinton era as first lady -- made clear her economic role model as she continues to weigh a 2016 presidential run. "If I just were to compare Reagan’s eight years with Bill’s eight years, it’s like ...>> More
Facebook posts: Says former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said that "if the workers are more insecure, that's very healthy for the society" because "they'll serve the masters gladly and passively."
Amid a stubbornly slow economic recovery, a reader recently forwarded us a social media post taking aim at former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan for using callous language about worker insecurity. The post features images of Greenspan and says: I am Alan And, I used to run the Federal Reserve. And, I actually said this: If the workers are more insecure, that's very healthy for the society, because if workers are insecure they won't ask for wages, they won't go on strike, they won't call for benefits; they'll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that's optimal for corporations. The ...>> More
John Kerry: In Syria, "we struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out."
There’s no other way to say it: The world events of the past week have been crazy. We saw the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine and Israel launching a military ground campaign in Gaza. Add in the ongoing flood of Central American children on the U.S. southern border and the extension of a temporary nuclear deal with Iran, and Secretary of State John Kerry had his hands full as he navigated the Sunday talk show circuit. Kerry appeared on every network, a feat that’s been dubbed the "Full Ginsberg." On NBC’s Meet the Press, Kerry ...>> More
John Kerry: "The so-called defense minister of the People's Republic of Donetsk ... actually posted a bragging social media posting of having shot down a military transport. And then when it became apparent it was civilian, they pulled it down fr
John Kerry made a strong case Sunday tying Ukrainian separatists to the missile that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Kerry spoke on all the major networks about what he knows so far about MH 17, the Boeing 777 carrying nearly 300 people that was shot down over eastern Ukraine July 17. The evidence clearly points to Ukraine’s Russian separatists, who have already shot down 12 Ukrainian military planes, he said. Kerry’s cache of evidence included a flow of major weapons (including tanks and rocket launchers) from Russia to the rebels over the past month. And he says the Russians ...>> More
The Senate race between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, is turning out to be one of the most closely watched and expensive in recent years. Given that his opponent is portraying him as anti-woman, McConnell’s recent comments on women’s issues to a group of Kentucky voters were bound to attract media attention. McConnell was speaking at Fastline Publications, which produces catalogs for farm equipment. When an audience member asked him about "the most important issues facing Kentucky women," McConnell said, "We’ve come a long way" and added that "most of ...>> More
Phil Gingrey: Amid the "crisis at our southern border," there are "reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as … Ebola virus."
As a surge of unaccompanied children from Central America was arriving on the United States’ southern border this month, Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., expressed concern about the impact they could have on public health. On July 7, 2014, Gingrey wrote a letter expressing these concerns to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are excerpts: "As you know, the United States is currently experiencing a crisis at our southern border. The influx of families and unaccompanied children at the border poses many risks, including grave public health threats. "As a physician for over 30 years, I am ...>> More
Mark Begich: Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich "vote as much as 80 percent of the time together."
Sen. Mark Begich says he and Sen. Lisa Murkowski are on the same team. But she doesn’t see it that way. Murkowski, a Republican, has said that she hopes Begich, a Democrat, loses his seat to a Republican challenger in November. Both senators currently represent Alaska. Despite Murkowski’s feelings, Begich is touting their teamwork in the Senate in a new radio ad. "Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich vote as much as 80 percent of the time together — that’s healthy for Alaska. I have a great dislike for partisan politics," the ad says, narrated by a ...>> More
Facebook posts: Former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney are "unable to visit Europe due to outstanding warrants."
Former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney have been out of office for more than five years, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world has forgotten about them. In many countries, policies that Bush and Cheney spearheaded to fight terrorism continue to color views of the former United States leaders -- most notably the opening of the detainee center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the use of waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation" methods that many consider torture. A reader recently sent us a social media meme that captured this sentiment. It shows a photograph ...>> More
Luis Gutierrez: "We spend $18 billion a year on making sure that the federal government has immigrant enforcement agents. That's more than DEA and the ATF and the FBI and all the other enforcement (agencies) combined."
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. -- a leader in the effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform -- says the United States is spending plenty of money on border enforcement. "We spend $18 billion a year on making sure that the federal government has immigrant enforcement agents," Gutierrez said. "That's more than DEA (the Drug Enforcement Administration) and the ATF (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and the FBI and all the other enforcements combined. But we still have a problem, right? So you can keep throwing money and talk about enforcement, enforcement, enforcement, but you've got to put ...>> More
From the day it was passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote, President Barack Obama’s health care law has polarized Americans by party affiliation: Most Democrats support it, most Republicans oppose it. So we were curious when we heard Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., cited strong Republican approval for the law on the July 13, 2014, edition of CNN’s State of the Union. It came during a roundtable discussion of frayed partisan relations in Congress, including House Speaker John Boehner’s effort to sue Obama over his administration’s alleged overreach on implementation of the health care law. Edwards >> More
Steve King: Says "nothing" in Obama’s $3.7 billion request to address the child immigrant situation "actually secures the border."
With more than 52,000 undocumented immigrant children from Central America arriving at the southern border of the United States, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans have sparred over exactly how to proceed. Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to address the problem, but leading Republicans have expressed skepticism about the budget request and what it would be put toward. How much will be spent taking care of children now on U.S. soil, and how much will go to securing the border from future illegal crossings? On July 10, 2014, Fox news host Bill ...>> More
Beto O'Rourke: "This president has offered fewer executive actions than almost any other president preceding his presidency in recent history."
Lately, President Barack Obama has emphasized his willingness to take as much action as he can without congressional approval, much to Republicans’ chagrin. For example, at the end of June, Obama announced that he would do as much as he could by himself to address immigration reform -- an issue magnified by the recent influx of an estimated 52,000 undocumented child immigrants from Central America. He painted House Republicans as unwilling to move forward with critical legislation. "I take executive action only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing," he ...>> More
Nancy Pelosi: The U.S. Supreme Court is "five guys who start determining what contraceptions are legal."
More than 10 days after the Supreme Court decided Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, the landmark case was still sending shockwaves through Washington and the political world. In the decision, a 5-4 majority ruled that a closely held, private corporation, such as the craft retailer Hobby Lobby, could decline on religious grounds to pay for four kinds of contraceptives otherwise mandated in employee health coverage by the Affordable Care Act, the law proposed and signed by President Barack Obama. At her weekly press conference on July 10, 2014, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., referenced the decision ...>> More
Jeff Flake: When undocumented children are picked up at the border and "told to appear later in court ... 90 percent do not then show up."
The surge of unaccompanied children at the U.S. border, primarily coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, has overwhelmed the ability of the United States to handle their legal cases. A law passed under President George W. Bush and aimed at curbing human trafficking requires that minors from Central America who reach the border must have their cases heard in court before they can be deported. Currently, children wait an average of 578 days before a hearing -- delays that are sure to lengthen if the flow of children continues unabated. A substantial chunk of the $3.7 billion ...>> More
Henry Cuellar: "If you're a Mexican, you get sent back. ... But if you're from a noncontiguous country like the Central American countries" then you can stay in the United States.
Why are so many children pouring across the southwest U.S. border? The answer is partly U.S. law, said a Texas congressman on CNN’s State of the Union on July 6, 2014. Candy Crowley, CNN’s host, asked Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, "Why are they coming in such numbers? What do you think prompts these numbers right now?" Cuellar answered, "If you're a Mexican, you get sent back. Mother, kids, adults, you're sent back, but if you're from a noncontiguous country like the Central American countries, then the law says that you are going to be held, (and) Health and Human Services, ...>> More