Health care bureaucracy: Another ‘reform’ mystery

Health care bureaucracy: Another ‘reform’ mystery

How many federal bureaucrats does it take to carry out President Barack Obama‘s health care overhaul? Don’t expect to find an easy answer in his new budget. It has no line item for health care implementation, a task delegated to agencies in several government departments, each with its own procedures — and quirks — to […]

Wisconsin standoff is a national battle

Wisconsin standoff is a national battle

Organized labor is trying to re-energize and take advantage of the growing backlash from the wave of anti-union sentiment in Wisconsin and more than a dozen other states. President Barack Obama and his political machine are offering tactical support, eager to repair strained relations with some union leaders upset over his recent overtures to business. […]

Wisconsin standoff continues

Wisconsin standoff continues

Republican backers of Gov. Scott Walker‘s plan to eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public employees are trying to move the explosive proposal closer to reality, even as Democrats remained on the run and protesters filled the halls of the Capitol for a second week. The Republican-controlled Assembly planned to debate and possibly vote on […]

Census shows 25 percent dying in U.S. communities

Census shows 25 percent dying in U.S. communities

Nestled within America’s once-thriving coal country, 87-year-old Ed Shepard laments a prosperous era gone by, when shoppers lined the streets and government lent a helping hand. Now, here as in one-fourth of all U.S. counties, West Virginia‘s graying residents are slowly dying off. Hit by an aging population and a poor economy, a near-record number […]

Just three Senators needed to end Wisconsin stalemate

Just three Senators needed to end Wisconsin stalemate

To end a high-stakes stalemate over union rights that has captured the nation’s attention, a handful of Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin might have to stand up to their new governor. Gov. Scott Walker made clear Sunday he won’t back off his proposal to effectively eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public employees. Senate Democrats who […]

Republicans step up the pressure in Wisconsin

Republicans step up the pressure in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Republicans on Sunday upped the pressure on Democrats who fled to Illinois to return home and vote on an anti-union bill, with the governor calling them obstructionists and a GOP lawmaker threatening to convene without them. Gov. Scott Walker said the 14 minority Democrats who left Madison on Thursday were failing to do their […]

Memories of last government shutdown haunt GOP

Memories of last government shutdown haunt GOP

Few memories haunt Republicans more deeply than the 1995-96 partial shutdown of the federal government, which helped President Bill Clinton reverse his falling fortunes and recast House Republicans as stubborn partisans, not savvy insurgents. Now, as Congress careens toward a budget impasse, government insiders wonder if another shutdown is imminent — and whether Republicans again […]

Big crowd, major event but still a stalemate in Madison

Big crowd, major event but still a stalemate in Madison

Sometimes they cursed each other, sometimes they shook hands, sometimes they walked away from each other in disgust. None of it — not the ear-splitting chants, the pounding drums or the back-and-forth debate between 70,000 protesters — changed the minds of Wisconsin lawmakers dug into a stalemate over Republican efforts to scrap union rights for […]