Politics & Opinion
By David Lawder and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday were falling in line behind a bipartisan two-year budget deal, indicating that the normally rambunctious group of lawmakers is not spoiling for a year-end fiscal fight. Despite conservative groups' denunciation of the plan and public opposition from some members associated with the conservative Tea Party movement, the Republican-controlled House was planning to vote on Thursday to pass the deal, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the third-ranking Republican told Reuters. A key House panel, on a 9-3 vote, cleared the legislation for debate and votes in the full House. The Republican-controlled Rules Committee refused to allow Democrats to offer an amendment to extend federal unemployment benefits that expire later this month.
By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. senators will introduce legislation to impose new sanctions on Iran as soon as this week, Senate aides said on Wednesday, despite the Obama administration's insistence that such a measure would violate terms of an interim agreement to curb Tehran's nuclear program. Iran's foreign minister has also said a new sanctions law would kill the agreement. In the interim agreement, Tehran agreed to limit uranium enrichment in return for an easing of international sanctions. Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican Senator Mark Kirk are finishing legislation that would target Iran's remaining oil exports and foreign exchange and seek to limit President Barack Obama's ability to waive sanctions.
By Andy Sullivan ROGERS, Arkansas (Reuters) - In an unmarked building on the outskirts of this old railroad town, hundreds of workers are going about the unglamorous work of expanding the United States' social safety net. From morning until midnight, clerks here type up the names, Social Security numbers and other personal details of those who have filled out paper applications for health insurance under President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. From the outside, there's no indication that the workers in the three-story brick building are carrying out an increasingly crucial part of the healthcare overhaul known as Obamacare. But as the Obama administration tries to recover from the disastrous debut of the website that is supposed to enroll millions of Americans in health coverage, its call for frustrated Americans to enroll the old-fashioned way - on paper - have made this building in Rogers, Arkansas, one of the most important cogs in the president's signature domestic achievement.
A top aide of Republican Senator Lamar Alexander was arrested on Wednesday in connection with child pornography allegations, the U.S. Justice Department said. "Jesse Ryan Loskarn, 35, of Washington, D.C., was arrested this afternoon by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service based on probable cause for possession and distribution of child pornography charges," said Peter Carr, a Justice Department spokesman. The senator named longtime aide David Cleary to be his new chief of staff.
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As online enrollment accelerates for medical insurance under President Barack Obama's health law, the government is relying on manual back-up systems to correct computer errors that could leave some enrollees uninsured, the top U.S. health official said on Wednesday. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius described the manual procedure as a temporary measure for software applications that have not yet been built, tested and incorporated into the massive system behind the HealthCare.gov website. But in the meantime, the payment system will absolutely go forward." The admission appeared to weigh on Sebelius' attempts to tout improvements in the website that was established under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. The site provides access to new federal health insurance marketplaces in 36 states.
Congress will act, whether the White House likes it or not.
Republican House leaders push back against conservatives who refuse to compromise.
Several photos taken by White House photographer Pete Souza aboard the flight to Johannesburg and uploaded to Twitter show the president and his predecessor in a relaxed atmosphere.
The photographer who captured President Barack Obama participating in a selfie at Nelson Mandela's memorial service on Tuesday insists Michelle Obama's stern reaction seen in the photo was not directed at her husband.
House and Senate budget negotiators reached a compromise on the budget Tuesday.
The two sides fight over policy and strategy.
Senate Republicans balk at the budget deal.
The GOP senator says he is "stunned" by news about chief of staff Ryan Loskarn.
The divergent views expressed after Kerry's briefing indicate that action isn't imminent.
Conservative activists are hitting back.
It also indicates that the pilots felt uneasy about landing at San Francisco International.
The Obamacare tensions are as high as ever.
One of the largest drivers of deficit reduction will be an increase in aviation security fees.
Twenty-eight percent (28%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey for the week ending December 8. That's up three points from 25% the previous week and the highest level of confidence since late September. In early October during the federal government shutdown, confidence in the country?s course fell to 13%, the lowest finding in five years. A year ago, 38% said the country was heading in the right direction. (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on December 2-8, 2013. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and while mental health issues and gun control have gotten much of the attention since then, there is some support for limiting access to violent video games and movies. Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and while mental health issues and gun control have gotten much of the attention since then, there is some support for limiting access to violent video games and movies.
Despite school administrators? concerns nationwide, Americans strongly believe that Christmas should be a part of public schools. They feel just as strongly that religious symbols should be allowed on public property. Seventy-five percent (75%) of American Adults think Christmas should be celebrated in public schools, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 15% disagree, while 10% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.) (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on December 9-10, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Obama's job performance. Fifty-one percent (51%) disapprove (see trends). The latest figures include 24% who Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president and 41% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17. Results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update).
Americans remain very positive about the water they drink and the air they breathe, but a sizable number still believes the overall environment in this country is getting worse. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds 47% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the overall quality of the environment in the United States as good or excellent, down slightly from May. Just 13% think the environment is poor. (To see survey question wording, click here.) (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The national survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on December 8-9, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology.
I'm annoyed that so many Hollywood celebrities hate the system that made them rich. Actor/comedian Russell Brand told the BBC he wants "a socialist, egalitarian system based on the massive redistribution of wealth." Director George Lucas got rich not just from movies but also by selling Star Wars merchandise. Yet he says he believes in democracy but "not capitalist democracy." Actor Martin Sheen says, "That's where the problem lies ... It's corporate America."
The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures consumer confidence on a daily basis, dropped two points on Wednesday to 96.3. Consumer confidence is down two points from a week ago and a unchanged from a month ago, but is down six points from three months ago. The Rasmussen Investor Index dropped one point on Wednesday to 111.6. Investor confidence is down two points from a week ago, but is virtually unchanged from a month ago. The investor index is down five points from three months ago. Detailed supplemental information, including a daily history and month-by-month trend data, is available for Platinum Members. (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The Rasmussen Consumer Index and Investor Indexes are derived from nightly telephone surveys of 500 adults and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. The baseline for the Index was established at 100.0 in October 2001. Readings above 100.0 indicate that confidence is higher than in the baseline month. Detailed supplemental information is available for Platinum Members.
Most Americans, especially Catholics, have a favorable opinion of Pope Francis, and believe he?s improved public perceptions of the Catholic Church. But while many Catholics agree he shares their general views and values, those of other faiths are not so sure. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% of American Adults view Pope Francis at least somewhat favorably, including 29% who view him Very Favorably. Just 12% share an unfavorable opinion of the pope whose papacy began in March, including three percent (3%) who view him Very Unfavorably. Nine percent (9%) have never heard of Pope Francis, with another 17% undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on December 5-6, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Most Americans favor raising the minimum wage but are almost evenly divided over whether that will help or hurt the economy. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of American Adults are in favor of raising the minimum wage from its current level of $7.25. Thirty-three percent (33%) are opposed, while 11% remain undecided. This is comparable to findings in February when President Obama first proposed raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. (To see survey question wording, click here). (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on December 5-6, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology.
More than 20 House Democrats last week urged President Obama to halt the deportation of illegal immigrants until Congress passes a comprehensive immigration reform plan, but voters by a two-to-one margin oppose that idea. Most already think the federal government is not vigilant enough in deporting those who are in this country illegally. Only 29% of Likely U.S. Voters think the government should stop deporting illegal immigrants until Congress passes an immigration reform plan. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% oppose a halt to deportations. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) (Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook. The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 8-9, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Fox News Politics
The 43nd president reportedly sent Foster a personalized letter encouraging him to press on through life?s challenges.
The group announced Wednesday its chairman Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., fired executive director Paul Teller because he had told outside interest groups about intimate conversations between RSC members.
House Speaker John Boehner stepped into the ring with the conservative flank Wednesday, calling their complaints about the newly unveiled budget plan "ridiculous."
The Homeland Security Department has fired an employee who runs a website predicting and advocating a race war, about four months after he was put on paid administrative leave.
The Dec. 6 letter from CMS official Daniel Kane says though the department understands Congress? need for documents to continue their probe into the issues with Healthcare.gov, the agency is concerned about security risks from releasing testing information to third parties.
Congressional staffers were warned Wednesday not to rely on information provided by the ObamaCare exchange website, in an email alert informing them they might not be enrolled for coverage even if they technically signed up.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki would not say what types of punitive sanctions the U.S. was considering.
Gen. Keith Alexander said Wednesday that global threats are growing -- specifically in Iraq and Syria -- that pose what he called "an unacceptable risk" to America.
The Obama administration is cutting off aid to rebels in northern Syria amid concerns that it could fall into the hands of Al Qaeda-tied militants.
The chief of staff for Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., was arrested Wednesday on allegations involving child pornography.
White House Dossier
10:30 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing All times Eastern Live stream of White House briefing at 12:45 pm
Yeah, what’s taking so long? When the White House decided to delay a “decison” on the Keystone pipeline until after the election, I figured they meant 2012, not 2014. It’s awfully precious that the White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, responding to ABC’s Jonathan Karl, revives the White House claim that President Obama put […]
It’s like the guy who has a heart attack and a week after emerging from the hospital finds himself at Outback Steakhouse enjoying a prime rib and the fried onion loaf. It’s all just too good to pass up, near death experience be damned. With barely a pause, we’re headed back toward another housing crisis, […]
The briefing has concluded.
President Obama’s decision to haul John Podesta and Phil Schiliro into the White House is bad news for the Republic. Because Obama is clearly finished with the messiness of democracy, and he intends to rule as much as possible from the White House. Podesta will take over the job of presidential counselor Pete Rouse, while […]
I’ve never seen anything like this. The sign language interpreter for President Obama and other world leaders at the Mandela memorial in South Africa Tuesday was a fraud. Didn’t know a word a sign language. Check this out below. It’s all gibberish. Here he is along with an actual sign language interpreter who was provided […]
Deal struck on $85 billion budget . . . Washington Post Conservatives balk, but passage likely . . . Politico Reid casino buddies got fast track visas . . . Washington Times Obama disapproval at all-time high . . . NBC News Michelle broods as Obama takes selfie . . . Daily Mail Intel chair: […]
“Sweetheart, a safari just wouldn’t have been a good idea. Maybe next time.” - Barack Obama A note from our attorneys: This is not a real quote
It's the highest disapproval rating the McClatchy-Marist poll has registered for Obama.
Rubio says Obama should have asked Castro about basic freedoms in Cuba.
Cruz is one of a handful of likely 2016 presidential contenders to criticize the deal.
Senate Dems facing tough reelections say Obama has not done enough to fix botched rollout.
The big question is whether that package will be accepted in the House.
The president appeared to pose for a photo with Danish, British leaders.
Leaders are preparing to unveil a budget deal that could be quickly jammed through the House.
Hill staffers are being told to confirm their enrollments in person.
New York Times Columnists
The glass ceiling is definitely cracking. Just look at what Mary Barra and Patty Murray accomplished this week.
A meaningful way to honor Nelson Mandela?s spirit would be to speak out for human rights advocates and political prisoners worldwide.
We have gone from a war on poverty in this country to a war on the poor, and conservatives have led the charge.
The world seems to be saying goodbye not only to a great man, but to a unique leader, too.
John Boehner plots about how to make broads more broad-minded about the G.O.P.
A look at the elite California university raises broader questions about education and the middle class.
What modes of thought will be most valuable in a future economy defined by machine intelligence?
Technology at once validates and erases us, blurring the line between flesh and figment.
A prominent feminist journalist is hounded in the most talked-about rape case in India.
The Republican response to the unemployed is a mix of callousness and bad economics.
Wall Street Journal Opinion
HHS won't disclose the enrollment data that really matter.
A conventional-weapons attack is preferable to the nuclear war sure to come.
An attempt to alter Medicare may let Washington dictate how doctors treat patients.
Why Democrats rushed to confirm nominees with 51 votes.
How Congress can achieve something by doing nothing.
A police crackdown failed to oust the Ukrainians seeking closer ties to Europe.
Their votes for the law in 2010 are going to be very hard to defend in 2014.
In 1951, the CIA created a front group to promote an anti-Zionist view of the Middle East and weaken American support for Israel. Michael Doran reviews Hugh Wilford's "America's Great Game."
Second Opinions: WSJ contributor Jeffrey T. Leeds debates former Department of Education official Ben Miller on 'gainful employment' rules for student aid.
Parents of 70,000 charter students think their schools are in peril.
Special Report with Bret Baier
Per Pergram-Capitol Hill We expecting House Republicans to blend the budget agreement and the doc fix (which adjusts the payment system to physicians?s who accept Medicare) together in the Rules Committee meeting this afternoon to prep the measure for the floor tomorrow. Fox has learned that Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the top Democrat on the Budget Committee and Rep. Sandy Levin (D-MI), the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, will try to file an amendment to require at least a vote on an extension of unemployment insurance on the floor. This issue is near and dear to Democrats. The Rules Committee serves as the gateway to the floor and it would be signifciant if (and it?s a big if) the GOP allows the unemployment insurance extension to be an amendment in order to the budget plan on the floor tomorrow. The Rules Committee manages the amendment process (that?s why it?s so powerful). But we expect the GOP to block it?And the Democrats will raise cane about it in the committee and on the floor tomorrow.
Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) will join Bret tonight for another edition of Center Seat. Congressman Price will discuss Obamacare and his alternative health care plan, the Empowering Patients First Act (H.R. 2300). As a budget conferee, Price can also speak to the bi-partisan budget deal announced last night. Tonight?s panel includes: Steve Hayes, AB Stoddard and Charles Krauthammer.
Here is a photo from Chairman of the JSC Gen. Martin Dempsey?s Facebook page.. he is currently on a USO tour with some of the Duck Dynasty cast.
--The hearing is slotted for 3 hours and there should be votes on the House floor around 4 pm et. --House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the top Democrat on the panel, will have opening statements which each run five minutes. --Kerry will then have a five-minute opening statement...but could go longer. --Each member will get one round of 5 minutes with Kerry after that, starting with Royce and Engel and then alternating between the sides. --We also expect some comments and questions on uprisings in Ukraine. --Members from both sides of the aisle are not pleased with the Iran deal and Kerry is imploring Congress (especially the Senate) to not impose a new sanctions regime on Tehran for fear that would blow up the accord brokered in Geneva.
After 3 days, on and off, of browser glitches & frustration, I believe I'm enrolled in the DC healthcare exchange
By: Special Report Intern Gabriella Morrongiello Five Senate Democrats have proposed rewriting the Affordable Care Act to end insurance policy cancellations, former President Bill Clinton critiqued the President
for not delivering on his 'keep your insurance' promise, and Liberal policy-blogger Ezra Klein has been fairly critical of Obamacare's roll-out in his Washington Post column. Unfortunately for the President, faith in his competence has diminished among more groups than just pundits and politicians. A new Quinnipiac National Poll
published recently shows a shocking shift with regards to Obamacare in the attitudes among Millenials-- who voted for President Obama by an overwhelming 66-32 percent margin in 2008. The numbers include a 54 percent disapproval rating of President Obama's job performance by poll participants ages 18-29, and a 6 point spread favoring "Republicans in Congress" over the President in terms of who Millenials trust to do "a better job at handling health care." The latter results reflect how significantly the disastrous Obamacare rollout has impacted Millenials' perception of the President. When the same poll was published on October 1 - the day the health insurance marketplace launched ? Republicans in Congress trailed President Obama by 20 percent. "If Obamacare never gets fixed, it might just sour the single best relationship the Democratic Party has: its love affair with the young," wrote Peter Beinart, a Liberal political pundit and senior political writer for The Daily Beast. The recent poll also shows a downward spiral in the approval numbers for the President?s handling of the economy, immigration, foreign policy and the federal budget. 60 percent of poll participants ages 18-29 disapprove of how President Obama has handled the economy, 49 percent disapprove of his handling of immigration issues, 53 percent disapprove of his foreign policy, and 59 percent disapprove of how he has dealt with the federal budget. The President's response to terrorism was the only instance where Millenials awarded him an approval rating higher than the disapproval percentage. If Millenials? advocacy for big government continues to drop precipitously, Obamacare participation may be even less than anticipated. "Are you 30 years old or younger and in good health? If you answered yes, congratulations, the future of Obamacare depends on you," wrote Matthew O'Brien, senior associate editor at The Atlantic. What O'Brien and the Administration realize is that to prevent a "death spiral" and the skyrocketing premiums that would result, young healthy individuals need to enroll in the exchanges to shore up the subsidized system. However, according to Sally Pipes, President of the San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute, "the stats are showing that the young are not signing up." When poll participants expressed in large number that they do not see the President as ?honest and trustworthy? it spoke to a recent comment by Sean Sullivan of the Washington Post, ?Obama may have run his last campaign, but there is still a lot riding for his agenda on the way he is perceived. And right now, the way he is perceived isn?t good.?
Christian Science Monitor
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The Obama administration is bringing in the "Sexiest Man Alive" to help "boost" Obamacare enrollment numbers."The Sexiest Man Alive is being enlisted to spice up Obamacare," Bloomberg reports."Pop singer Adam Levine, who won the designation from People magazine last month, is among the celebrities who?ll be promoting enrollment in online health insurance exchanges as part of a social media campaign kicking off tomorrow.
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on the Ryan-Murray budget deal and "selfies" as a sign of perception over reality.
The Foreign Policy Initiative has released this statement from its board of directors in support of the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget deal:
Tough times in the lobbying industry and the news is sure to be greeted with an outpouring of sympathy from across the land. As Kevin Bogardus and Megan R. Wilson of the Hill report:
The Tower.org reports:
The Senate is set to spend Wednesday night debating executive nominees as Republicans protest Democratic attempts to force Obama administration nominations through in the wake of last month's change in the filibuster rules.An aide to Sen.
Budget fights in Washington are rarely simple or without rancor. Some conservative groups have already begun attacking the compromise deal announced Tuesday, lobbing complaints Republican House Speaker John Boehner dismissed as ?ridiculous.
Republican leaders defended a modest budget deal that would maintain government operations through 2015 amid conservative opposition that could scuttle the legislation in the House.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday pledged a ?relentless? push to continue improving the HealthCare.gov website and formally announced an inspector general review of the process that led to its botched rollout.?The initial launch of HealthCare.
Bipartisan congressional negotiators unveiled a long-awaited budget framework to fund the government past mid-January and stabilize the government's finances into the near future.Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
Bipartisan congressional negotiators have scheduled a 6 p.m. news conference to unveil a long-awaited budget framework to fund the government past mid-January and stabilize the government's finances into the near future.Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
As the one year anniversary of the Newtown school shooting approaches, Vice President Joe Biden announced $100 million towards improving access to mental health services and facilities.
Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday sought to reassure nervous members of Congress about the interim agreement with Iran that?s designed to stop its progress toward building nuclear weapons.
In the first confirmation vote since Democrats changed the Senate?s filibuster rules by invoking the ?nuclear option,? the upper chamber has approved Patricia Millett's nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
John Podesta, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, is returning to the White House to advise President Barack Obama as he struggles to regain his footing after the flawed healthcare law rollout.Podesta steered Obama's transition team in 2008 after he won the presidency.
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