News Items

Democrats are being advised not to talk about an "economic recovery" in their election campaigns.

In an election year memo, Stan Greenberg and James Carville, the party's leading political strategists, call the topic a political loser.

They pointed out that in head-to-head polling, Republicans win the issue by simply pointing out the Obama administration has failed to get the economy moving in its six years in office.

The memo also advises the Democratic groups, Democracy Corps and Women's Voices Women...

President Obama and other officials like to point to projections by the Congressional Budget Office to show that ObamaCare "is working," as the president put it.

He said 8 million have enrolled in the federal exchanges, but the CBO said in a recent report only 6 million are newly insured and some say even fewer than that did not have prior insurance.

"Twenty to 33 percent are actually newly insured and out of 8 million, that would be no more than 2 to 3 million people," said David Hogberg of National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington.

That is why the CBO showed that at...

WASHINGTON -- So far this year, every cent Americans have earned has gone to pay for the costs of government and social programs.
    
As Americans mark April 21, Tax Freedom Day, many say it's a crime that citizens spend so much of their year working to pay Washington's bills.
 
"This year it's going to take Americans 111 days to pay their total tax bill for the year," Kyle Pomerleau, an economist with the Tax Foundation, said.

For the first four months of 2014, American labor has strictly gone to pay...

The White House allegedly was involved in seeking financial support for a pro-ObamaCare group, according to a new report issued in response to Republican concerns about the administration's fundraising efforts. 

Until now, outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was the only official known to have solicited financial support for Enroll America, a nonprofit that promoted enrollment for the Affordable Care Act. But a Government Accountability Office report released Monday detailed not only the secretary's involvement but that of a White House...

Christian radio broadcaster James Dobson won a temporary injunction against Obamacare on Thursday.

The decision prevents the federal government from requiring his ministry to include certain contraceptive or abortion-inducing drugs, including the morning-after pill, in its health insurance package.

In December, Dobson sued over the mandate, saying providing the drugs violates the religious beliefs of Family Talk, a nationally syndicated radio show with close to 30 employees.

The U.S. Supreme...

Most voters think the White House is trying to cover-up what happened in Benghazi and want Congress to continue to investigate the administration’s handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate there that killed four Americans. 

That’s according to a Fox News poll released Thursday.

Sixty percent of voters want lawmakers to keep investigating what happened in Benghazi. That’s down from 65 percent who felt that way in November, and a high of 73 percent in early June 2013. 

...

JERUSALEM, Israel -- After cancelling Wednesday's meeting, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are meeting again Thursday.

Wednesday's meeting would have taken place at the same time that slain Police Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, shot dead by an Arab terrorist on the eve of Passover, was being laid to rest.  P.A. officials said the U.S. requested the postponement.

Mizrahi was buried Wednesday afternoon in Jerusalem's Mt. Herzl cemetery. His widow, Hadas, appealed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to...

Sen. Marco Rubio is questioning why a key State Department position that promotes religious freedom around the world has been left vacant for months, calling the delay a “concern.”

In a letter to President Obama Tuesday, Rubio, R-Fla., said he finds it troubling that no new ambassador-at-large has been appointed for the Office of International Religious Freedom since Suzan Johnson Cook’s resignation six months ago.

The office within the State Department develops policies regarding religious freedom and monitors religious discrimination and persecution worldwide. The department also releases an annual...

Not even the nation's official head-counter will be able to keep track of the comprehensive impact of ObamaCare, critics warn. 

The Census Bureau is in the midst of significantly changing its survey questions on health care, which some fear will make it difficult to give an accurate reading of how many people have gained insurance under the law. 

The change was first reported by The New York Times. Republicans are now accusing the...

Attorneys general from 19 states have joined forces with the Justice Department and Mount Soledad Memorial Association to save a four-story cross memorial honoring veterans in San Diego.

They've asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the 60-year-old memorial atop Mt. Soledad doesn't violate the First Amendment. The cross was built in 1954 to honor of Korean War veterans.

They're also asking the high court to provide a clearer First Amendment test for lower federal courts to use in similar cases.

...

A recent survey of 148 insurance brokers shows that ObamaCare is sending premiums rising at the fastest clip in decades.

"For the last, about, five years they've been doing this survey, so this was the largest percentage increase in any quarter since they've been doing (it)," said Scott Gottlieb of the American Enterprise Institute.

"But at 12 percent, 11 percent increase on average across all the states -- that puts it at the upper end of any increase we've seen for decades."

That is the national average in a survey done by Morgan Stanley. But in some states, it found...

A Senate Republican said Sunday that party members will use the upcoming confirmation hearing for a new Health and Human Services secretary to get more information about ObamaCare, but dismissed the notion GOP lawmakers intend to turn the proceeding into a political witch hunt.

“The question is will the next secretary put the interests of Americans first, or the policies of the president,” Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, told “Fox News Sunday.”

Scott made clear the hearings in his committee and Senate Finance Committee will be an opportunity to discuss yet-to-be-disclosed final ObamaCare enrollment figures and related issues, but said, “We’re going to keep the focus on the American people, not politics.”...

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the woman in charge of overseeing the president's health care law, is resigning only six months after its botched rollout.

White House Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell is set to take her place. The Obama administration is hoping a new face will signify a fresh start for Obamacare.

Sebelius' term at HHS was plagued by the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act, including the crippling glitches on HealthCare.gov that persisted up to the final enrollment deadline...

The U.S. Supreme Court won't hear a case involving a photography company's refusal to shoot a gay commitment ceremony. 

The owners of New Mexico-based Elane Photography, owned by Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, declined the job due to their religious beliefs.

The Huguenins said they would "gladly serve gays and lesbians" by taking portraits. But photographing same-sex marriages or commitment ceremonies would "require them to create expression conveying messages that conflict with their religious beliefs," according to their petition to...

New data released by one of the nation's largest insurers says 15 to 20 percent of customers signed up under Obamacare aren't paying their first premium, which means they're not actually covered.

According to the National Journal, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association says roughly 80 to 85 percent of its new enrollees have paid their premium.

Those figures are in line with estimates from other insurance executives.
    
So while the Obama administration says it has exceeded its 7 million...

A major new Gallup survey suggests the ObamaCare sign-up numbers are not as soaring as the White House claims. 

The massive survey, released on Monday, shows the number of uninsured indeed has fallen to its lowest level in years, likely thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index measured the share of adults without health insurance. That shrank from 17.1 percent at the end of last year to 15.6 percent for the first three months of 2014. 

The decline of 1.5...

Here's more fallout from the health care law: Until now, customers could walk into an insurance office or go online to buy standard health care coverage any time of year. Not anymore. 

Many people who didn't sign up during the government's open enrollment period that ended Monday will soon find it difficult or impossible to get insured this year, even if they go directly to a private company and money is no object. For some it's already too late. 

With limited exceptions, insurers are refusing to sell to individuals after the enrollment period for HealthCare.gov and the state marketplaces...

Dozens of faith groups and churches that meet in New York City public schools might have no where to celebrate Easter after a federal appeals court upheld the state's ban on religious services in public schools.

"The First Amendment prohibits New York City from singling out worship services and excluding them from empty school buildings," Jordan Lorence, with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said of the ruling.

"Churches and religious groups pay the same uniform rates that everyone else does to use the schools," he added.

...

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has taken the challenge to stand up for First Amendment freedom to college students at Liberty University.

Speaking at the Virginia school's Wednesday convocation, the potential presidential candidate said religious liberty has never been more under attack.

Cruz specifically challenged students to push back against Obamacare's contraception mandate. He said the law requires owners of businesses like Hobby Lobby to provide birth control coverage regardless of their religious...

President Obama contended that the government did not "make a hard sell" for Obamacare, despite his administration spending nearly $700 million to promote the law. 

"We didn't make a hard sell," Obama said in the Rose Garden on Tuesday, praising the 7.1 million sign ups for the Affordable Care Act. "We didn't have billions of dollars of commercials like some critics did." 

However, last July the Associated Press reported that Obamacare's marketing campaign would cost at least $684 million. 

Taxpayer funding went to all 50 states in efforts to encourage people to enroll,...