Morning Briefing: May 1, 2012

British lawmakers ruled Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation, unfit to lead his own company in a report from Parliament today. Murdoch, founder of News Corp’s vast media empire, claimed he was unaware of any phone hacking happening at his news properties. NPR reports, “The legislators said if that was true, ‘he turned a blind eye and exhibited willful blindness to what was going on in his companies.'”

The agency that oversees Medicare reports that reforms in the Affordable Care Act saved seniors a total of $3.4 billion in prescription drug costs in the two years since the law’s passage, with savings resulting from a combination of discounts on Medicare prescription drugs and rebates for seniors who fell under a coverage gap.

Even after three years of campaigning against the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans remain divided about what replace the law with, if they successfully repeal it. They have only managed to agree about a few basic tenets, like requiring insurance companies to accept all applicants, but even that main idea has been ignored in a replacement plan put forward.

The federal court monitor tracking reforms in the Oakland Police Department issued a report yesterday criticizing the police force’s handling of Occupy protests last October. The report concludes that Oakland police inappropriately used “an overwhelming military-type response” against Occupy Oakland demonstrators.

Showing that they care more about tax cuts for the rich than balancing the budget, House Republicans say that they have no plans to offset an extension of the Bush tax cuts with spending cuts.

The Office of Congressional Ethics board voted 6-0 against recommending an Ethics Committee probe of Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Bachus had been accused of insider trading, but the board found no substantial reason to believe he violated House rules.

The rate at which Americans set up their own homes dropped by at least half during the recession, and the growth of new households has continued to lag through the recovery, slowing the rest of the economy as well. Now, there are an estimated 2 million fewer occupied homes than there would have been if household creation had continued at the pre-recession rate.

Mitt Romney’s advice to students was to borrow money from their parents, and that’s his own family’s way of doing things, it seems. The New York Times reports today that Tagg Romney launched a start up hedge fund with money from the donors to his father’s 2008 presidential campaign. Mitt Romney and his wife gave $10 million, and the start up raised a total of $244 million from 64 investors.

And finally: Former presidential candidate Rick Santorum was caught snapping a photo of, not with, Lindsay Lohan at the White House Correspondents Dinner this weekend.