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Archive for October 30th, 2011

Congress’s fiscal to-do list has some must-do items

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 30th, 2011 4:35 am by HL

Congress’s fiscal to-do list has some must-do items

Congress heads into a 24-day stretch Monday with a final chance to reach several bipartisan compromises that could steady the government’s shaky fiscal foundation and provide a slight boost to a sagging economy.

With both houses of Congress in session together for the first time in nearly three weeks, lawmakers must dig into the final details of the annual spending bills for 2012 and consider more of President Obama’s jobs legislation, while a dozen other lawmakers on a special deficit committee face a Nov. 23 deadline to craft a debt-reduction package.

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Insurer profits at issue in Anthem Health Plans of Maine suit

A lawsuit challenging Maine’s authority over health insurers’ profit margins is drawing national attention from state regulators worried about the impact on their power to hold down rate increases.

The state’s highest court has scheduled oral arguments Nov. 10 on a case brought by a Maine unit of WellPoint, one of the nation’s largest health plans. Anthem Health Plans of Maine argues that regulators violated state law and the U.S. Constitution when they reduced requested premium increases in each of the past three years, depriving the company of “a fair and reasonable return.”

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Newt Gingrich: GOP’s consummate survivor is back on his feet

GREENVILLE, S.C. — In an election season that already has taken more than its share of unlikely turns, few moments have seemed more improbable than the crowd scene Friday afternoon at a Chick-fil-A along a busy suburban thoroughfare here. At least 400 people jammed the restaurant, leaving those in the back straining to get even a glimpse of a man whose presidential candidacy had been left for dead not five months ago.

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Foreign students say visa program abused

For years, it has been touted as a form of vacation diplomacy: a U.S. government program that selects college students from across the globe to come work at beach resorts, amusement parks and other seasonal jobs. In the process, the visitors are expected to imbibe American culture, practice English and take home fond memories.

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Comeback Cardinals Never Quit

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on October 30th, 2011 4:31 am by HL

Comeback Cardinals Never Quit
Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The St. Louis Cardinals have won the World Series with Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith. They've won it with speed. They've won with power. They've won it with pitching, defense and mastermind managers.Until now, the Cardinals had never won a World Series with a team like this. A team that was lost, left behind and stranded in the standings. A team too stubborn and proud to accept the hopelessness of the situation. A team that fought back like no other has in franchise history.

Washington Insiders See Romney as Nominee
West & Bell, Nat’l Journal
The large Republican presidential field, along with the dramatic surges and collapses of several of its candidates, may ultimately be much ado about nothing. That, at least, is the conclusion of the Republican strategists surveyed in this week's National Journal Political Insiders Poll, who almost unanimously identified Mitt Romney as the most likely candidate to win the nomination. In the five times the GOP Insiders have been asked that question in 2011, Romney has never surrendered the top spot.Democratic Insiders, meanwhile, largely believe Republicans are on the right track, with…

Why Does Bill Daley Still Have a Job?
Joan Walsh, Salon
Politico’s Roger Simon has an “exclusive” interview with White House chief of staff Bill Daley, and you really have to read it to believe it. It’s a portrait of arrogant self-promotion. The piece is headlined, “Bill Daley, Unplugged.” I hope that President Obama reads it, and decides to unplug Daley, for good. Yes, I know he has announced he’s leaving after the 2012 election. That’s not nearly soon enough.Former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was no slouch when it came to arrogant self-promotion, either. Remember…

GOP Sees Cain as ‘Black Man Who Knows His Place’
Karen Finney, MSNBC



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