Rep. Allen West (R-FL) wrote a scathing personal email to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) calling her “vile” and “not a lady.” The email, obtained by Politico, appears to be in response to criticisms of the congressman made by Wasserman Schultz. “The gentleman from Florida,” Wasserman Schultz said of West recently, “who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries.”
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch’s refusal to take responsibility for the company’s hacking scandal may undermine his credibility as its CEO, according to governance experts who saw his testimony in front of Parliament yesterday. Said one expert: “If he didn’t know what was going on, he’s doing a lousy job as CEO and the board should replace him. [...] The buck stops with him.”
Murdoch’s News International British newspaper group “has been found by a parliamentary committee to have ‘deliberately’ tried to block a Scotland Yard criminal investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World.” The report, released today from the all-party home affairs committee, charges that News Corp intentionally tried to “thwart” the 2005-2006 investigation.
The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine suggested yesterday that virtually all health insurance plans should offer women free birth control coverage and other preventive services without deductibles or co-payments. While the Department of Health and Human Services is not required to adopt the suggestions, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised the work as “historic.”
Minnesota is nearing the end of its 19-day shutdown as Gov. Mark Dayton (D) prepares to sign a budget deal that was hashed out late last night. The shutdown was the longest in state history, and the deal to end it includes budget cuts, no tax increases, and accounting gimmicks.
Yesterday, the White House publicly supported a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which the Obama administration has previously opposed. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) bill currently has 27 Democratic co-sponsors. It would extend over 1,000 federal laws and protections to same-sex couples.
New-home construction grew to a five-month high in June, as all regions in the country saw increases in new housing starts for both single- and multi-family homes. Construction began on 629,000 new sites, a 15 percent increase from May and a 17 percent increase from June 2010. Economists had projected only 575,000 housing starts for the month.
Marking the first anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act in an Wall Street Journal op-ed, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is recommending “that the president veto any legislation” that undermines the consumer protections and Wall Street reforms the law puts in place. Those who fought the law are now trying to “weaken rules, starve regulatory agencies of resources, and block nominations so that they can ultimately kill reform,” he wrote.
And finally: Perhaps the most tragic consequence of the ongoing debt ceiling impasse: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) had to skip dinner in the Hamptons at Goldman Sachs head Lloyd Blankfein’s house. Cantor was supposed to hold a fundraiser at the banker’s luxury abode, but had to cancel to stay in Washington.