Let's hope the drafters of health-care reform have the political courage to stand up to the "death panel" crowd.
However, there is evidence that the strident mischaracterization of a useful provision in the bill is having an effect. Simply put, the provision says that if you choose to discuss end-of-life issues with your doctor, Medicare will pay for the visit. And it will pay for one such session every five years, more often for someone who is seriously ill.
The Obama administration has signaled that it might accept health care cooperatives instead of a government-run health insurance program to compete with private insurers.
Interest groups disagree on whether such co-ops would have enough negotiating clout to help consumers without threatening private insurance companies. Here, in question and answer form, is a look at the issue based on interviews with several authorities, including the chief proponent of health co-ops, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
South Carolina Republican Bob Inglis, frustrated by a restive crowd at a recent forum to discuss health care reform, suggested people turn off the TV when Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck came on.
Judging by the escalating boos and catcalls, squirting lighter fluid on burning coals would have been wiser. Beck is a hero to many people who are not buying the Age of Obama, and so is Fox. The network was already on pace for its best ratings year even before the health care debate sent viewership jumping during a traditionally slow month for news.
American consumer gloom deepened in early August as worry about scarce jobs and falling income overshadowed positive news that industrial output in July grew for the first time in nine months.
The latest data on Friday pointed to a sluggish recovery at best with little or no help to come from embattled consumers.
Former Democratic Senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards will finally admit he fathered the daughter of his admitted former mistress, unidentified sources tell a Raleigh TV station.
WRAL-TV cited sources Friday, reporting the man who won the Vice Presidential nomination in 2004 and ran briefly for President in 2008 before dropping out of the Democratic primary race will admit he is the fater of the 18-month-old daughter of former campaign videographer Rielle Hunter.
Americans at county fairs are friendly and nice. Americans at family reunions are fabulous. Americans at town-hall meetings? Not so great.
August being the month for all three, we are seeing a particularly dark side of ourselves this month.
The Fox News boys and other imitators of "fair and unbiased" media have had a field day with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's minor rhetorical misstep in the Congo earlier this week. I'm speaking of her angry response to a misinterpreted question from a student while visiting that war-torn land -- more on that part of her trip below.
But the unfortunate part of this headline-grabbing minute is that it obscured the vastly more important work she is doing to help the Congo and particularly Congolese women. I've covered women in international politics for some 20 years now, and I've never heard of atrocities as mendacious, perverted and quite frankly insane as those committed against the women of the Congo.
A close aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton dismissed as "psychobabble" the fuss over the secretary of state's barbed response to a questioner asking for her famous husband's opinion instead of her own. Clinton ignored questions about the episode as she wound down a marathon African trip Thursday.
Clinton had reacted strongly earlier this week when a Congolese student in Kinshasa asked her for the opinion of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, about an international economic issue.
"Wait. You want me to tell you what my husband thinks?" a wide-eyed Clinton asked Tuesday in response. "My husband is not the secretary of state; I am. So you ask my opinion, I will tell you my opinion. I'm not going to be channeling my husband."
Asked Thursday about the impact of the widely reported exchange, Clinton was silent, then quickly launched into a glowing assessment of her 10-day tour of seven African nations.
A former chief of staff for Bill Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas faces felony charges accusing her of trying to smuggle a knife and 48 tattoo needles onto the state's death row.
The charges against Betsey Wright come as The Associated Press obtained documents showing a death-row inmate allegedly passed love letters and contraband to a guard with whom he committed a sex act.
Combined, the events represent just the latest in a series of high-profile incidents at the state prison system, ranging from two convicted murderers escaping in guard uniforms to a man being shot to death at a contraband checkpoint.
Wright, a longtime visitor to death row at the state's Varner Unit, was detained May 22 after a guard noticed a small knife and a box cutter attached to her key chain, said prison spokeswoman Dina Tyler. A loose ink pen she had contained tweezers with sharpened edges, Tyler said. Inside a bag of Doritos, the guard found 48 tattoo needles.
Incensed by the election of the first black US president, right-wing militia groups in the United States are rising again after a decade of decline, according to new research on extremist groups.
Ideologically driven by racism and a virulent anti-government, anti-taxation and anti-immigrant agenda, the homegrown groups that thrived in the 1990s and spurred numerous deadly terrorist attacks are expanding, said the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).