“The average family with health insurance shells out an extra $1,000 a year in premiums to pay for health care for the uninsured,” a new report by Families USA finds. The group concludes that this “hidden tax” demonstrates the urgency of “extending coverage to all the 50 million Americans who are now uninsured.”
Tomorrow, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will “appear together in Toronto for what is being billed a ‘conversation.’” The former Presidents “will join in a 90-minute discussion moderated by Frank McKenna, a former Canadian ambassador to the United States, followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session.”
Judge Sotomayor “has never directly ruled on whether the Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion” in her eleven years on the federal bench. When she has “written opinions that touched tangentially on abortion disputes, she has reached outcomes in some cases that were favorable to abortion opponents.”
Public reaction to the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court has been “decidedly more positive than negative, with 47 percent rating the nomination as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’” and 20 percent rating it “only fair.” Though Gallup found that the public reacted more positively than negatively to the last four Supreme court nominees, Sotomayor had the second highest the net positive rating.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rebuffed Israel on a key Middle East peace negotiating issue yesterday, saying that “the Obama administration wants a complete halt in the growth of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory, with no exceptions.” President Obama “wants to see a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions,” Clinton said.
Yesterday, in what one minister called “a declaration of war” on gay marriage, a group of ministers and gay marriage opponents “formally requested a citywide referendum yesterday to block the District [of Columbia] from recognizing gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions.” The group, Stand 4 Marriage D.C., will need 21,000 signatures to overturn the D.C. Council bill recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.
A USA Today review found that, “with little exception,” the $4 billion in federal stimulus contracts already awarded “has not reached states where the unemployment rate is highest.” For example, “the first contracts have amounted to only about $7.42 per person on average in the eight states with unemployment rates higher than 10%.” By contrast, North Dakota — with the lowest unemployment — has received about $26 worth of contracts per person.
“President Obama directed his national security adviser and senior Cabinet officials yesterday to examine whether the government keeps too much information secret.” Acknowledging “that too many documents have been kept from the public eye for years,” Obama tasked Gen. Jim Jones with examining procedures for handling classified information making recommendations about better information sharing.
Senior Obama administration officials “are close to recommending that Congress create a single regulator to oversee the entire banking sector” which would be “a departure from the hodgepodge of federal agencies that failed to contain the financial crisis as it ballooned out of control last year.” Other components of the plan “are an agency to police financial products offered to consumers and a beefed-up investor protection regulator.”
And finally: Washington, D.C. is abuzz over the news that Bravo will be bringing its popular “Real Housewives” series to the capital. “We’re tapping personalities who are among Washington D.C.’s influential players, cultural connoisseurs, fashion sophisticates and philanthropic leaders — the people who rub elbows with the most prominent people in the country and easily move in the city’s diverse political and social circles,” said Bravo Media executive VP and GM Frances Berwick.
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