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Jan 06, 2014
The President's Hump YearBy Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times
The sixth year of a two-term presidency is rarely kind.
The public's initial romance with the president has faded. The brief momentum he thought he earned by winning reelection has faded too. The White House doesn't set the agenda any more; events are in charge now.Read more
NJ Daily For Congress, A New Year But Same ProblemsBy Faye Johnson, National Journal
Obamacare. Immigration. Unemployment benefits. These were some of the biggest issues to occupy Congress last year—and they will again this year, with new fights already brewing as lawmakers return to Washington.
With almost every politician eyeing the midterm elections in November, these and a handful of other issues will define many congressional campaigns.
Here are five top issues to watch in Congress this year.Read more
Did John Boehner Win the Shutdown in the End?By Molly Ball, The Atlantic
The government shutdown was supposed to doom Republicans forever. But less than three months later, things look very different.Read more
US spy court: NSA to keep collecting phone recordsBy Stephen Braun and Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press
A secretive U.S. spy court has ruled again that the National Security Agency can keep collecting every American's telephone records every day, in the midst of dueling decisions in two other federal courts about whether the surveillance program is constitutional.Read more
Liz Cheney Ends Wyoming Senate Bid, Citing Family Health ConcernsBy Jeff Zeleny and Rick Klein, ABC News
Liz Cheney, the 47-year-old daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is dropping out of the Senate race in Wyoming because of serious health issues in her family.Read more
Jan 03, 2014
When a 2nd-Term President and a Divided Congress Made MagicBy John Harwood, The New York Times
The modesty of last month’s federal budget deal, and the difficulty of achieving even that, make Washington’s more ambitious 2014 goals appear out of reach.
Could a divided government possibly overhaul the tax code and immigration system in a single year, not to mention with a lame-duck president facing midterm elections?Read more
What's Ahead in Politics in 2014By Molly Ball, The Atlantic
And lo, another year dawns on the barren landscape of the American polity, that vast, frigid tundra full of people yelling at each other. The year begins on an interesting note: Congress will soon return to Washington for the first time since passing a bipartisan budget agreement last month; the new mayor of New York spent his recent inauguration forcefully reiterating his commitment to a progressive crusade against inequality; and Americans finally began getting health insurance under the reform law passed in contentious circumstances in 2010.Read more
Is GOP Momentum Entering 2014 a Mirage?By Beth Reinhard, National Journal
The 2014 elections should be the Republican Party's to lose.
There's simply not much reason for Democratic optimism. Presidents almost always shed congressional seats in their second term, and with polls showing approval of Barack Obama at record lows, there's little reason to expect a departure from trend. Plus, Democrats need to pick up 17 seats to recover the House, an unquestionably heavy lift, while several of the party's incumbent senators are vulnerable, thanks largely to their support for Obamacare.Read more
Kerry Quietly Makes Priority of Climate PactBy Coral Davenport, The New York Times
As a young naval officer in Vietnam, John Kerry commanded a Swift boat up the dangerous rivers of the Mekong Delta. But when he returned there last month as secretary of state for the first time since 1969, he spoke not of past firefights but of climate change.Read more
Calif. grants law license to undocumented immigrantBy Alan Gomez, USA Today
The California Supreme Court granted a law license Thursday to an undocumented immigrant, a first-of-its-kind ruling that allows Sergio Garcia to practice law in his adopted state.Read more
Jan 02, 2014
Poll: Americans have little faith in governmentBy Charles Babington, Associated Press
Americans enter 2014 with a profoundly negative view of their government, expressing little hope that elected officials can or will solve the nation's biggest problems, a new poll finds.Read more
Justice Sotomayor Blocks Part Of Birth Control MandateBy Carrie Johnson and Renee Montagne, NPR
The Supreme Court justice issued a decision Tuesday night that's putting part of President Obama's health insurance law in doubt. Groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged are suing to block the law, saying it violates their religious freedom.Listen here
Untroubled in Paradise: Obama's Vacation Winds DownBy Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics
On his calendar, President Obama has four days left in paradise. And let's just say that when it comes to filling up the hours in the lovely state where he was born, gym workouts and golf have outpaced beachcombing and hiking.Read more
Is U.S. Ready Rethink Sept. 11 Security Policies?With Tom Gjelten, NPR
President Obama will announce this year how he wants to overhaul operations at the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies. The NSA surveillance activities disclosed by Edward Snowden have been criticized by Congress and others. In the past, reports of intelligence abuses or failures have prompted significant changes.Listen here
Is New York’s de Blasio prompting a repositioning by the Clintons?By Dan Balz, The Washington Post
It isn’t often that the swearing-in of a new mayor of New York draws national television attention, but then, it isn’t every day that you see a mayor sworn in by a former president of the United States with a prospective presidential candidate also on the stage.Read more
Dec 31, 2013
Obamacare enrollments surpass 2 million markWith John Harwood, CNBC Watch more
Management experts knock ObamaBy John F. Harris and Elizabeth Titus, Politico
After the HealthCare.gov debacle first exploded three months ago, President Barack Obama pleaded for people to cut him a little slack: “I wanted to go in and fix it myself, but I don’t write code.”
At his year-end news conference recently, he struck a different tone: “Since I’m in charge, obviously, we screwed it up.”Read more
Egypt arrests Al Jazeera journalists, alleges ties to Muslim BrotherhoodBy Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
The Egyptian government has broadened its campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood with the arrest of the entire Al Jazeera news team here, prompting fears that reporting anything other than the government’s views could trigger reprisals.Read more
U.S. Capitol to get $59 million faceliftBy Susan Davis, USA Today
Congress is falling apart. Literally.
A two-year restoration project will find the iconic U.S. Capitol dome covered in scaffolding by spring 2014 for a laborious project to repair more than 1,300 cracks in the structure.Read more
Dec 30, 2013
Health-insurance sign-ups on U.S. exchange top 1.1 million in initial enrollment periodBy Juliet Eilperin and Sarah Kliff, Washington Post
More than 1.1 million Americans signed up for an insurance plan through the federal health-care marketplace during its initial enrollment period, with more than 975,000 enrolling in December alone, the Obama administration announced Sunday.Read more