Both sides exchange blame on budget crisis

Both sides exchange blame on budget crisis

President Barack Obama is arguing that looming government-wide spending cuts could idle military resources like naval aircraft carriers, while Republicans are criticizing the president for taking his arguments outside Washington instead of staying to work out a plan before Friday’s deadline. The president planned to appear Tuesday at Virginia’s largest industrial employer, Newport News Shipbuilding, […]

Senate to start concentrating on gun control bills next week

Senate to start concentrating on gun control bills next week

The Senate Judiciary Committee seems all but certain to start voting on an assault weapons ban and other gun curbs next week, Congress’ first roll calls in response to the Newtown, Conn., slayings of 26 students and staff at an elementary school in December. The Democratic-written bills largely follow President Barack Obama’s proposals for limiting […]

Governors join Obama in fighting budget cuts

Governors join Obama in fighting budget cuts

Governors from both parties are warning of the damaging economic impact if the White House and Congress fail to reach a deal to stave off across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect Friday. “It’s senseless and it doesn’t need to happen,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., during the annual meeting of the National Governors Association […]

Why doesn’t Washington work? Our leaders are just too human

Why doesn’t Washington work? Our leaders are just too human

Turns out politicians are people, too, only worse. Just ask pros who make their living in the trenches of everyday human drama such as divorce, family feuds or schoolyard scraps. They recognize in Washington’s bitter budget standoff a hint of human nature as they know it, but with the crazy pumped up to absurd levels. […]

Obama to Hill: Make the right choices on budget problems

Obama to Hill: Make the right choices on budget problems

President Barack Obama, intensifying pressure on congressional Republicans, said Friday that lawmakers still have “the opportunity to make the right decisions” and avert a series of mandatory budget cuts by March 1. Despite little sign of a deal emerging with Republicans, Obama said he does not believe it is inevitable that the $85 billion in […]

New governors, new chance to grab the limelight

New governors, new chance to grab the limelight

For governors with national ambitions, this is pad — and promote — your record time. Republicans Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is trying to ditch his state’s income tax while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is working to shift people off his state’s Medicaid rolls and onto private insurance. They are among the Republicans trying to claim […]

GOP threats of cuts lead to voluntary downsizing by governments

GOP threats of cuts lead to voluntary downsizing by governments

Republicans and other fiscal conservatives keep insisting on more federal austerity and a smaller government. Without much fanfare or acknowledgement, they’ve already gotten much of both. Spending by federal, state and local governments on payrolls, equipment, buildings, teachers, emergency workers, defense programs and other core governmental functions has been shrinking steadily since the deep 2007-2009 […]

Oregon gov. will brief other state leaders on health overhaul plan

Oregon gov. will brief other state leaders on health overhaul plan

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber will brief other state leaders this weekend on his plan to lower Medicaid costs, touting an overhaul that President Barack Obama highlighted in his State of the Union address for its potential to lower the deficit even as health care expenses climb. The Oregon Democrat leaves for Washington, D.C., on Friday […]

Older folks not protected by this year’s flu shots

Older folks not protected by this year’s flu shots

It turns out this year’s flu shot is doing a startlingly dismal job of protecting older people, the most vulnerable age group. The vaccine is proving only 9 percent effective in those 65 and older against the harsh strain of the flu that is predominant this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said […]

Obama may step up support of gay marriage through Supreme Court

Obama may step up support of gay marriage through Supreme Court

Facing heightened expectations from gay rights supporters, the Obama administration is considering urging the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on gay marriage — a move that could have a far-reaching impact on same-sex couples across the country. The administration has one week to file a friend-of-the-court brief with the justices outlining its opinion on […]