Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 5:18 am
U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan are set to end after next year. So if the fighting stops, does the war on terror end? What does the end of the war mean for the detention center in Cuba and on drone strikes in Afghanistan?
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 12:57 pm
In Washington this week, calls to fix the problem of people getting insurance cancellation notices are getting louder and coming from all sides. But turning back the clock on health insurance cancellations turns out to be a lot harder than it sounds.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., prepare to meet reporters on Capitol Hill on Oct. 17, after a breakfast meeting when the leaders of the bipartisan budget conference say they pledged to seek "common ground."
Twenty-nine lawmakers are supposed to come up with a long-term budget deal by mid-December. They meet again Wednesday around a conference table, led by two people who couldn't be more different: Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Discouraged by the Republican candidate for governor's showing in the polls, GOP donors begin pouring money into the Virginia attorney general race. Now, that contest is showing a 117 vote margin with Democrat Mark Herring ahead, though there have been several lead changes as provisional ballots have been tallied.
Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 6:11 pm
If at first you don't succeed, try again.
That's the message from the White House on Tuesday, with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) asking more than 275,000 people who tried and failed to sign up for health plans on the stalled HealthCare.gov website to give it another shot.
Secretary of State John Kerry is back in Washington to defend the proposed nuclear deal with Iran to skeptical members of Congress. He and his colleagues from other major powers failed to reach a deal with Iran during talks over the weekend in Geneva. Iran blames France's hard line for blowing up the deal, though Kerry has tried to downplay that.
Timothy Massad is nominated to head the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. He would replace Gary Gensler, whose four-year tenure was marred by questions of his professional ties to Jon Corzine and the downfall of MF Global.
Democrat Al Franken, with his wife, Frannie, meets reporters and a small gathering of supporters at their house in Minneapolis on June 30, 2009, after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Democrat in the Senate race against Republican Norm Coleman.
Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 3:36 pm
The Virginia attorney general's race, which cut a relatively low profile heading into Election Day, now has a chance to end up as part of history.
With more than 2.2 million ballots cast and Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring leading Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain by a mere 117 votes, the election is shaping up as one of the closest statewide contests in decades.
With a recount looming, the winner isn't expected to be officially declared until December. But in the meantime, here's a look back at some of the closest statewide elections of the past five decades:
Even taken together, the charges didn't seem to amount to that big a deal — just a matter of quoting a few factual statements and a Wikipedia passage without attributing them. But as Rand Paul discovered, the word "plagiarism" can still rouse people to steaming indignation. Samuel Johnson called plagiarism the most reproachful of literary crimes, and the word itself began as the name of a real crime. In Roman law, a plagiarius was someone who abducted a child or a slave — it's from "plaga," the Latin word for a net or a snare.
Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 2:06 pm
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he can teach national Republicans an important lesson: If they want to appeal to voters beyond their traditional conservative base, they need to go to where those voters are.
As he made the rounds of Sunday's Washington talk shows, Christie explained his rationale to Fox News' Chris Wallace:
Lobbyists for Citigroup, one of the country's largest banks, offered lawmakers draft language for a bill that was obtained by New York Times and Mother Jones reporters. And 70 of the 85 lines in the final House bill reflected Citigroup's recommendations.
State Sen. Mark Obenshain speaks at the Virginia Republican convention in Richmond on May 18. He currently holds a 17-vote lead over Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring in the state's attorney general election.
Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 2:06 pm
There's still one election yet to be decided from last Tuesday: the Virginia attorney general's race.
The latest figures released Sunday night show it's about as close as it gets: Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain leads Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring by just 17 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast.
Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 7:44 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies.
It's Veteran's Day 2013. Our deepest thanks to those who've worn the nation's uniform both home and abroad and made countless sacrifices to serve it with courage and integrity.
The House returns this week from a recess. Its Republican leaders will waste little time placing Democrats on the defensive and positioning the GOP as coming to the rescue of those beleaguered individuals who have received notices that their health plans were cancelled. The GOP-controlled House plans to vote this week on the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013.
President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney left office on Jan. 20, 2009, ending a consequential — and controversial — administration. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina were just some of the major events that challenged the administration.
Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, covered those events in real time. But he's now taken a second look at the administration and the relationship at its heart.
President Obama apologized this week for the fact that some Americans are losing their health plans despite his promises they wouldn't. The President spoke with NBC News.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "NBC NEWS")
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I am sorry that they are, you know, finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and that we're going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.
Election results this week painted a mixed picture for the GOP as the party wrestles with its political strategy for the 2014 midterms and beyond. A more moderate Republican, Chris Christie, won his re-election in the very blue state of New Jersey with a landslide victory. Yet conservative Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost the Virginia governor's race to his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe.
The outcome in Virginia's governor's race this week seemed to illustrate anew the Democratic Party's grip on the women's vote, and the power of the abortion issue.
Even some Republicans argued that social conservative Ken Cuccinelli's defeat at the hands of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who won women by a 9-point margin, was another sign that the GOP's anti-abortion stance would continue to doom the party at the polls.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 5:42 pm
This week's hot rumor in Virginia: Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis was a spoiler, bankrolled by an Obama bundler from Texas, to undercut Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli.
On Election Day, Sarvis captured nearly 7 percent of the vote in a race Cuccinelli lost by less than 3 percentage points to Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
It's time for our regular Friday conversation with our political commentators and we begin by talking about this apology last night. President Obama apologizing to Americans who are losing their current health insurance despite his repeated promises that if people like their healthcare plan, they can keep it, period. Here he is on NBC News.
Robert "Heshy" Bucholz is seen in an undated photo provided by Bucholz. A member of the Modern Whig party, Bucholz campaigned door to door and beat his Democratic opponent 36-24 to earn a four-year term as an election judge in Philadelphia's Rhawnhurst section.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 2:46 pm
After winning an election on a platform of pragmatism and compromise, Robert "Heshy" Bucholz, 39, is set to become what many believe will be the first Whig to hold elected office in Philadelphia since before the Civil War. A member of the upstart Modern Whig Party, Bucholz won the post of judge of elections in one of the city's wards.
Graphic designer Tom Sadowski, 65, works from home in Sterling, Va., in October. Many experts believe the economy is becoming too complicated for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to measure accurately using current methods.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 12:31 pm
Now that President Obama has apologized to those who've seen their health care plans canceled due to the Affordable Care Act, losses he pledged beforehand wouldn't happen, he joins the line of modern presidents who have had to look the American people in the eye and give their regrets.