March 2012

Mar 30, 2012

On Health Care, are Republicans Ready for Victory?

By Dan Balz, Washington Post

Three days of oral arguments at the Supreme Court have given Republicans reason for optimism that President Obama’s health-care law could be heading for a legal defeat in a few months. But would such a victory for the GOP this summer mean political success for the party in November and beyond?
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Poll: Senate Democrats Lead in Florida, Ohio

By Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal

Propelled by strong support among women in two swing states, Senate Democrats in Ohio and Florida are sitting on wide leads over their Republican challengers, according to a pair of Quinnipiac University polls that bodes well for Democratic efforts to keep their Senate majority.
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Labor Pains

By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

Mitt Romney should be good to go, ready to pivot toward the general election—and there would be no better place to start than Tuesday’s primary in Wisconsin. The state hasn’t voted for a Republican nominee since Ronald Reagan, but close elections in 2000 and 2004 branded it a battleground. Two years after President Obama solidly won the state with 56 percent of the vote, Republicans staged a comeback by winning the Governor’s Mansion, a Senate seat, and two House seats. In Wisconsin, moderates—and cheese-heads—rule.
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House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., endorsed Mitt Romney this week (CNN, file photo)

Senate Thwarts Obama Bid to End Oil/Gas Subsidies

By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

President Obama and the Democratic majority in the Senate tried Thursday to use tax benefits enjoyed by oil and gas companies as a partisan weapon against the sting of rising gasoline prices. It didn’t quite work -- the Senate, with help from four Democrats, defeated a procedural measure aimed at ending the tax benefits -- but the president and his congressional allies argued with gusto that big oil companies and the Republicans who support them are hurting American consumers.
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Chief Justice Roberts May Cast Deciding Healthcare Vote

By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

During three days of historic healthcare arguments at the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts presided with a steady calm and folksy charm. From his center seat on the nine-member bench, Roberts gently mediated as colleagues interrupted one another's questions this week.
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Mar 29, 2012

Parties Brace for Fallout in Court’s Ruling on Health Care

By Jeff Zeleny, New York Times

The law professor side of President Obama is highly intrigued by the Supreme Court hearings over the constitutionality of his health care law. He studied a summary of the arguments aboard Air Force One as he flew back from a nuclear summit meeting in South Korea. The political side of the president may need to draw upon his judicial patience as he awaits a ruling that will help shape the final stages of the presidential race.
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Can Health Care Law Survive Without Insurance Mandate?

With Pete Williams, NBC News

Watch Video on NBC News

Clock Ticks on U.S.'s Fiscal Time Bomb

By David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

Pundits and pollsters speculate hourly on the outcome of the next Republican presidential primary. Business executives and investors increasingly focus on whether Congress and the president will defuse the fiscal time bomb they have built—or whether they will be so paralyzed that the bomb will go off at year-end.
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Obama Lawyer Asks Supreme Court to Save Healthcare Law

By Joan Biskupic and James Vicini, Reuters

The Obama administration's top courtroom lawyer made an impassioned plea on Wednesday for the Supreme Court to save President Barack Obama's healthcare law, capping three days of historic arguments that left it unclear how the nine justices would rule. Having peppered lawyers for and against the law with questions for more than six hours over the three days, the justices withdrew to their chambers to begin up to three months of deliberation expected to yield a decision by late June.
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Reeling White House Steps Into Health Care Breach

By Major Garrett, National Journal

The Obama White House, beset by a barrage of liberal criticism over an allegedly inept defense of its signature domestic policy achievement, on Wednesday defended the health care law's constitutionality not on legal grounds but on purely partisan ones. “The individual-responsibility provision was originally a Republican idea,” said White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest at the daily briefing, altering the common terminology “individual mandate” to the theoretically more politically palatable “individual responsibility.”
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Mar 28, 2012

Health Ruling Looms Small in Obama Race

By Charles Babington, Associated Press

The Supreme Court's much-anticipated ruling on health care, expected in late June, may have one surprising outcome: a modest impact on President Barack Obama's re-election bid, even though he is intimately associated with the challenged law. That wouldn't be the case if anyone other than Mitt Romney was Obama's likeliest Republican challenger this fall. Romney, however, is singularly ill-positioned to capitalize on the issue because he championed a similar health care law as Massachusetts governor in 2006.
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Re: No Friend to Women...

By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

Suzi Parker’s post about Arkansas reminds me of some stats I came across last week in researching my story about the dearth of women in politics. There are actually four states in the union that have never elected a woman to either house of Congress, and they seem to have almost nothing in common other than that. They are Iowa, Mississippi, Delaware and ... Vermont.
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