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Obama uses recess appointment for Medicare chief

Obama uses recess appointment for Medicare chief

President Barack Obama appointed health expert Donald Berwick on Wednesday to run the Medicare  and Medicaid programs that provide care to seniors and the poor, bypassing the Senate  to fill a key job over Republican  objections. Obama had nominated Berwick in April to run the vast federal medical programs but his Senate confirmation was held […]

Feds sue to stop AZ immigration law

Feds sue to stop AZ immigration law

The federal lawsuit against Arizona’s tough new immigration law focuses heavily on a question that has been in the spotlight repeatedly the past decade and dates back to the Founding Fathers: The right of the government to keep states from enacting laws that usurp federal authority. The lawsuit filed in Phoenix federal court on Tuesday […]

Oil spill strikes Lake Pontchartrain

Oil spill strikes Lake Pontchartrain

Oil from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico is seeping into Lake Pontchartrain north of New Orleans, threatening another environmental disaster for the huge body of water that was rescued from pollution in 1990s. The lake rebounded to once again become a bountiful fishing ground and a popular spot for boating and swimming. […]

Abandoned oil wells a continuing threat

Abandoned oil wells a continuing threat

More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one — not industry, not government — is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows. The oldest of these wells were abandoned […]

Problem for GOP: Where’s the passion?

Problem for GOP: Where’s the passion?

Republican senators have already blamed the breezy confirmation process for Elena Kagan on simple math, saying Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is already ensured with 58 Democrats in the Senate. But the GOP has more than just a math problem with Kagan. It has a passion problem — the party, which has used judicial […]

Wall Street pulling plug on donations to Democrats

Wall Street pulling plug on donations to Democrats

A revolt among big donors on Wall Street is hurting fundraising for the Democrats’ two congressional campaign committees, with contributions from the world’s financial capital down 65 percent from two years ago. The drop in support comes from many of the same bankers, hedge fund executives and financial services chief executives who are most upset […]

Tough times for Charlie Rangel

Tough times for Charlie Rangel

Just about everyone likes Charlie Rangel. Republicans pump his hand, Democrats put their arms around his shoulders and women of all political persuasions give him pecks on the cheek. Spend some time with the 80-year-old congressman from New York City who’s been striding the Capitol’s halls for four decades on behalf of residents of Harlem, […]

Life in the burbs ain’t what it used to be

Life in the burbs ain’t what it used to be

The numbingly similar tract homes, endless strip malls and multiple minivans filled with youth soccer players indelibly mark this former Indian mission territory as a Kansas City suburb. Look deeper, and a more nuanced portrait of Johnson County, Kansas emerges: an economic powerhouse that has eclipsed its big-city neighbor in political influence. An educated community […]

Possible Reid endorsement puts NRA under the gun

Possible Reid endorsement puts NRA under the gun

The National Rifle Association  is in unfamiliar terrain on the conservative firing range this election year: It’s the target. The conservative Netroots are abuzz over the possibility that the NRA may endorse Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). This would be the second major slight by the NRA for political conservatives — the gun group […]