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Mike Enzi: GOP Gang Of Six Senator's Ties To Insurance Industry

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Max Baucus isn't the only senator who may be taking his health care cues from insurance companies. WellPoint Inc., recently revealed to have influenced Baucus's health care framework, also has notable ties to Gang of Six Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.). Enzi's former health policy director between 2003 to...

Only 4% Of Israelis Say Obama Is "Pro-Israel"

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Only 4 percent of Israelis believe President Barack Obama's Mideast policies are "pro-Israel," according to a Smith Research poll this week. The number was 6 percent two months ago. Thirty-five percent believe Obama's policies are balanced, while 51 percent say they are more pro-Palestine, according to the study....

Jeremy Scahill Slams Chuck Todd, Media, Congress Over Blackwater On "Real Time With Bill Maher" (VIDEO)

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Jeremy Scahill sparred with NBC political director Chuck Todd on Friday, forcefully criticizing journalists and lawmakers for treading lightly on Blackwater's recently-revealed misdeeds. Newly declassified memos this week showed that the CIA hired Blackwater, a private military security company, years ago as part of an effort to kill senior...

New MoveOn Ad Blasts Insurance Companies: "They Kill People Each Year" (VIDEO)

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
As the health care battle moves to the airwaves during the August recess, the progressive advocacy group MoveOn.org has likened insurance companies to sharks, labeling them "the real predators" who "kill people each year." The organization views the fierce ad, released in preparation for the Discovery Channel's Shark Week,...

Transparency Groups Urge Obama To Involve Public In Executive Order Revisions

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
As President Obama prepares to modify the rules of executive power, 21 public advocacy groups and individuals are fighting to make sure he fulfills his promise to "restore the American people's trust in their government by making government more open and transparent." In a

RNC Refuses To Accept Calls About New DNC Ad

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
The Republican National Committee has taken note of the DNC's new town hall "mob" ad, which hit the airwaves last night. They don't want to hear your thoughts about it. The automated voice at the RNC number featured in the ad says: "If you're calling in regards to the...

DNC Blasts "Sham" Town Hall Protests

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
In an email sent Wednesday morning, the Democratic National Committee labels recent town hall disruptions as "a sham," describing them as an orchestrated effort by the health care industry to "break the President and his agenda for change." Jen O'Malley Dillon, Executive Director of the DNC, says the protests "are...

Pennsylvania Senate Battle Heats Up: Top Candidates Hammer Away At Each Other

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) and his two major senate challengers in 2010, Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) and Rep Joe Sestak (D-Penn.), all hammered away at each other on Tuesday while speaking to Chris Matthews, a Pennsylvania native. Toomey, the Republican challenger, repeatedly blasted Specter as a political opportunist with no...

Dem Advantage Over GOP Has Expanded Since Election: Gallup

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
After seven months of controlling the White House and Congress, Democrats have slightly expanded their electoral advantage over the GOP, a new Gallup poll finds. The survey, conducted between January and June of 2009, finds that 30 states prefer the Democratic party by ten points or more, while...

Conservative Democrats Most Vulnerable If Health Reform Fails

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
The influential conservative Democrats who are combating their own party's efforts to overhaul health care could ironically wind up being among the biggest losers if the effort to pass comprehensive legislation founders too badly. Health care reform is so central to the Democratic agenda that its collapse could gravely damage...

Despite Dip In Job Approval, 67 Percent View Obama As "A Strong, Decisive Leader": Gallup Poll

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
President Obama's job approval ratings may have dipped recently in the wake of tough legislative battles, but a significant majority of the public continues to believe in his leadership qualities. A new Gallup poll finds that two thirds of the public consider Obama "a strong, decisive leader" and...

Military-Industrial Complex Loses F-22 Battle, But Still Reigns Strong

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
The military-industrial complex may have lost the battle over funding for F-22s, but defense contractors continue to prevail in the fight to finance programs that administration officials say are unnecessary. Earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee passed an appropriations bill for the 2010 defense budget, which included...

"Nonpartisan" Front For Insurers Has Been Widely Cited

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
The Lewin Group, exposed by the Washington Post as a subsidiary of an insurance company, has been widely cited as an objective, nonpartisan source of information by those opposed to the creation of a public health insurance option. In particular, after an April 2009 report by the Lewin...

Howard Dean Dismisses Criticism Of Work For Biotech, Accuses Media Of Devouring GOP Talking Points On Health Care

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Speaking about health care on Tuesday, Gov. Howard Dean said the media "hate that they can't take down Obama, so they're using every Republican talking point to try." According to Dean, health reform is "doing very well." Dean, a physician who is closely involved with the issue politically, emphasized the...

Health Insurance Lobby Supports "Bipartisan Reforms," Attacks Public Option (VIDEO)

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
The lobbying group America's Health Insurance Plans, has launched a seven-figure advertising campaign claiming to support "bipartisan reforms" for health care. In a testament to the strength of the health care reform movement, even insurance companies now admit the system is broken. In an ad called Illness, AHIP declares:...

Defense Contractors Lobby For More F-22s, Obama Threatens Veto

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
The F-22 stealth fighter jets may no longer be needed, but its manufacturers, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, are lobbying aggressively to keep them in the defense budget. So far, they are succeeding. Defense Secretary Robert Gates strongly opposes the program, saying that "the F-22 is, in effect, a niche, silver-bullet...

Most Favor Health Care Reform In New Poll

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds wide public support for overhauling health care this year. There is, however, concern about its high costs and the implications for the country. The study says that 56 percent favor a bill, 33 percent oppose it, and 12 percent do not feel strongly...

John Oliver Rips Beck, Limbaugh: "Kind Of A Joke In Themselves"

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Comedy
The Daily Show's John Oliver is unhappy with mainstream journalism, and even drearier on the notion that he's something of a journalist. "I watch cable news more than any human being should," he said at Wednesday's Campus Progress National Conference. "And it's not good." At various points during the evening,...

Pelosi Promises Passage of Health Reform Bill With Public Option

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Speaker Nancy Pelosi affirmed on Wednesday that the House would pass a health care bill before the August recess, and she said in no equivocal terms that it would include a public insurance option. "I promised the president that we'd have a health care bill out of the House by...

Inhofe: Nothing Could Make Me Vote For Climate Bill

Sahil Kapur | May 25, 2011 | Politics
Senate Democrats are hoping to complete the task that their colleagues in the House began two weeks ago -- passing the most ambitious climate bill ever. But they face huge obstacles from both Republicans and members of their own caucus. The bill would, for the first time, impose limits...
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