Last week the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the stay granted by federal Judge Lee Yeakel to block sections of Texas House Bill 2, a sweeping abortion clinic reform bill, from being implemented. Not only did it overturn the stay, but the court ordered that the law be implemented immediately.
When the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan is completed next year, what will happen to Afghan women? Will a resurgent Taliban return them to wearing burqas, withdraw them from schools and force them to live behind painted glass in their homes, permitting them to leave the house only when accompanied by a blood relative?
The problem with food stamps isn’t that too many people have them. It’s that too many people need them.
Gov. Sam Brownback once made adoptions a public priority. Yet few major changes to Kansas’ broken adoption system have been enacted.
From the first moment of swearing in through the closing gavel, “oversight hearings” are the most rust-encrusted and misused gear in the seized-up wreck that is congressional governance.
For four years we’ve watched the public political spat over President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but the Washington Post has given us a view into what it looks like when a political fight gets into the twitch muscles of an administration.
“Frustrating.” A “debacle.” That is how President Obama’s own secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius, has described the rocky launch of HealthCare.gov. Americans were supposed to begin shopping for insurance coverage on Oct. 1, but millions have been unable to log into the federal online exchange. Congress, meanwhile, shut down the government for 16 days in a dispute over whether to fund the health care law. As the debate continues, let’s look at some of the most persistent myths about the law – and some new ones that have cropped up.
The film surprises you with vast silences.
Why on earth was the United States bugging German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal cellphone?
The numbers are staggering and heartbreaking. I won’t waste valuable space sharing a laundry list of stats. Just one: Nearly 2 of every 10 children in Kansas live in poverty.
Gov. Sam Brownback knows his New Testament, so he may be taking comfort right now in Jesus’ assertion that no prophet is accepted in his own country.
Every disaster has its moment of clarity. Physicist Richard Feynman dunks an O-ring into ice water and everyone understands instantly why the shuttle Challenger exploded. This week, the Obamacare O-ring froze for all the world to see: Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that “if you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan. Period.”
As a lifelong Republican, I am encouraged to see the progress that we are making in Kansas. This past legislative session, the Legislature passed important measures to make our state more competitive and protect basic constitutional rights.
During the public debate over health care in 2009 and 2010, no matter how tightly you may have shut your door, there was one piece of information it was impossible to avoid: the president’s promise that if you liked your doctor and your health care plan you would be able to keep it. So it was a surprise to many people to get a letter like the one Independence Blue Cross sent its customers weeks ago. It said that as a result of the Affordable Care Act, “your current plan will be discontinued effective Jan. 1, 2014, and you will need to select a new plan by the end of December to avoid any interruption in coverage.”
The HealthCare.gov debacle and the blame game that followed it have reinvigorated Obamacare’s critics, who argue anew that the law represents expensive government overreach. So it’s worth stepping back from the website mess to remember the deeper problems that made this law necessary in the first place.
One of these weeks, now that the Obama administration has recruited a SWAT team of computer whizzes, HealthCare.gov will recover from its shambolic debut and turn into, well, just another website. After all, it’s only a website, and websites can be fixed.
Much to the consternation of moderates in both parties, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his tea party band are gearing up for another showdown over President Obama’s health care law, guaranteeing that Congress will remain captive to their agenda.
“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – White Queen, Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”
The U.S. budget deficit is worse than ever. Taxes already have been raised, so efforts to narrow the shortfall should focus only on spending. The only fair deal is a straight trade: relief from the cuts under sequestration in return for reductions to entitlements. Yet there’s no incentive for Democrats to go along.
“One is forced to wonder whether disarmament or arms control issues, severed from economic and political issues, might be another instance of focusing on the symptoms of a problem instead of the disease itself.”
Let us now praise competence.
Now that we’ve ended the government shutdown and avoided the calamity of a default on our sovereign debt obligations, political pundits are debating who won and who lost. The better question is, what should Republicans do next?
It turns out that all my years covering Sunnis and Shiites, Israelis and Palestinians, tribal conflicts and “Parties of God” have been the best preparation for covering today’s Washington, D.C., and particularly the tea party. You’d get a much better feel for Washington politics today by reading “Lawrence of Arabia” than the Federalist Papers. This is not good news.
Few neighborhoods have a more storied, rough-and-tumble political history than Old Northeast, or “North End,” in Kansas City, Mo. One of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, this community of beautiful, historic homes remains a landing pad for immigrants: once from Italy, now from Mexico, Vietnam and Somalia. It was the home of early K.C.’s Rabbits and Goats factions, who battled like the toughs in Martin Scorsese’s film “Gangs of New York.” It was the center of local Mafia operations until the 1980s.