Which famous broadcaster makes a cameo appearance during a Ghostbusters montage?
Tea Partier Matt Bevin is back, and he has a fresh face beside him.
The Ghostbusters are fired early on in the film from what prestigious university?
Top leaders of the Mormon Church announced on Tuesday that they supported the passage of statewide nondiscrimination protections for gay and lesbian Utahns.
Today's edition of quick hits.
The character of Winston Zeddmore was originally conceived for who?
The #1 hit Ghostbusters theme song was sung by which R&B artist?
Republicans steer clear of Hillary Clinton during a panel on Benghazi, but partisan sparks fly nonetheless, despite early high hopes.
His lawyers are waiting to hear if the Supreme Court will stop his Tuesday night execution, challenging the state's strict standard for intellectual disability.
Watch drone footage that shows snowfall in part of Harlem in New York City. Video by Jonathan Harper/@JBH1126.
When news broke Monday that conservative billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch (pictured) planned to spend almost $1 billion in the 2016 campaign cycle, Democrats fretted. Not only would that hefty sum be spent against them, but there's no comparable billionaire on the left, Democrats noted to TPM, to counter that. The new funding means that even in a cycle more favorable to Democrats than the last, they will face extreme fundraising pressures. The significance goes beyond just the amount of money the Kochs are spending, said Rick Hasen, an election law expert at University of California at Irvine."They also have a ground operation and can rival political parties in what they can do, both in influencing the [Republican] primary and in get out the vote and registration efforts in the general election," Hasen wrote in an email to TPM.The Kochs' plan to spend $889 million through their network of 17 allied groups in the 2016 cycle would more than double the $407 million they spent in 2012. By comparison, the Republican National Committee and its Senate and House counterparts spent a total of $657 million in 2012. "That amount of money can create all kinds of things," said Nick Rathod, a former staffer in the Obama White House's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and founder of the State Innovation Exchange, which aims to be a liberal alternative to the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council. Through their network of organizations, the Kochs can shape "an issue environment" and frame debates around issues they want to focus on. Rathod said "to have a billion dollars to spend on any kind of debate or frame around issues I think is very scary because you can just drown out any other voice." The problem is hard to remedy for Democrats. The spending advantage among the wealthiest Americans is with Republicans. "There’s nothing on our side that can come close to matching that," Rathod said, adding that even though people cite George Soros or other wealthy Democratic donors "we don't have anything like that." "I don't think we're as strategic as the Kochs have been, particularly at the state and local level," Rathod said.Rathod's sentiment is shared by Ben Ray, the communications director at the American Bridge 21st Century PAC. "Nobody is going to show up with a billion dollars on the Democratic side of the aisle," Ray told TPM. "And I think that's okay because I think our donors understand why that would be and our donors in the Democratic Party understand why that sort of injection of money is bad for the people we want to help."Democrats expect the $1 billion to also affect the Republican candidates for president as well. "They can essentially define an agenda for someone like a Scott Walker or a Chris Christie," Rathod said. After news broke about the spending, Democrats quickly warned of the effect that the $1 billion spending push could ultimately have on policy. "The Koch brothers have one powerful fundraising advantage -- what investors call Return on Investment. A Republican President would likely roll back environmental protections, worker protections and consumer protections which could benefit the Kochs and their corporations," Peter Kauffman, a spokesman for the pro-Hillary Clinton Priorities USA Action super PAC said in a statement to TPM. At this point, the Kochs have essentially "superseded" a political party, former top Obama adviser David Axelrod said to The New York Times. "It's no wonder the candidates show up when the Koch brothers call," Axelrod said. "That's exponentially more money than any party organization will spend. In many ways, they have superseded the party."
The Republican-led House is planning to vote next week to fully repeal Obamacare, a GOP leadership said on Wednesday. It will be the fourth House vote to repeal the law in its entirety, and the latest in more than 50 votes aimed at dismantling President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.The House last voted to wipe out Obamacare in May 2013, after GOP freshmen complained that they had not had the chance to vote to repeal the law yet.The upcoming vote is likely to succeed in the House and face a filibuster in the Senate and a veto threat from Obama. It appears to be an attempt to help more than three-dozen newly elected House Republicans win points with their base.
Potential GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) criticized women who curse in the workplace as being "just trashy" during a recent radio interview, ThinkProgress reported Tuesday. Huckabee was discussing his trouble adapting to the "hotbed of the New York culture" on Friday during an interview on the Des Moines-based "Mickelson in the Morning" show.Until January, Huckabee had commuted to Manhattan to host a weekly Fox News talk show, and he said that working in New York City was like visiting "a different planet."“In the South, in the Midwest, here in Iowa, you would not have people who would just throw the f-bomb and use gratuitous profanity in a professional setting,” Huckabee said. “In New York, not only do the men do it, but the women do it!"“This would be considered totally inappropriate to say these things in front of a woman," he added. "And for a woman to say them in a professional setting — we would only assume that this is a very — as we would say in the South, that’s just trashy!”Listen to the interview here. h/t Huffington Post
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Tuesday lamented that female members of the House Republican caucus "sent the entirely wrong message" by rebelling against language about rape in the GOP abortion bill.The House last week dropped a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks after numerous Republican women and swing-district congressmen objected to the exception for rape, which required women to report the assault. "Most of the conference was 100 percent in favor of the bill that was going to be brought to the floor. Some of us were wishing that there would not be any exceptions because it was going to be 20 weeks — no abortions after 20 weeks — when the evidence is clear those babies feel," Gohmert said on a conference call that included pastor E.W. Jackson, according to a recording published by Raw Story.Gohmert then said that Republican women split the caucus by opposing the language on the rape exception. He said that opposition to the bill should have been voiced before the legislation made it to the House floor."I’m told that they’re still going to bring it back, but because there was such division among our Republican females, they pulled the bill that day,” he said. "And that was extremely unfortunate, and it sent the entirely wrong message."Listen to the audio via Raw Story:
A man who caused a brief stir outside the White House early Monday morning by crashing a drone on the grounds was reportedly drinking when he lost control of the device. Citing anonymous law enforcement officials, the New York Times reported that a man who works for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency told investigators he was flying a drone that belonged to a friend while drinking at a nearby apartment.The man said he contacted authorities after friends told him about news reports on the drone Monday morning, according to the Times. He also told investigators that he'd gone to sleep that night fearing that the drone had flown over the White House.Obama addressed the latest White House security breach Tuesday in an interview with CNN, comparing the drone that landed on the grounds to one that could be bought at Radio Shack."I've assigned some of the relevant agencies to start talking to stakeholders and figure out how we're going to put an architecture in place that makes sure that these things aren't dangerous and that they're not violating people's privacy," the President said.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's (R) plans to launch a state-run "news" site that will offer pre-written stories to local outlets around the state has sparked some serious mockery by both Democrats and conservatives. National Review's Twitter account tied the odd sounding news venture with Pence's decision to expand Medicare in the state. Perhaps @GovPenceIN is launching his own news site -> http://t.co/lLH1ZDuB45To spin his expansion of Medicaid -> http://t.co/dGFnuQc19i— National Review (@NRO) January 27, 2015Democrats couldn't resist weighing in, either. The Democratic Governor's Association emailed out a "faux" list of headlines for Just IN (the name of the Pence's venture). Yesterday, the Indianapolis Star (a real news outlet) reported that Gov. Mike Pence has launched a state-run news outlet called “Just IN” to tell you what to report as he contemplates a run for the presidency – it even includes an “Editorial Board” overseen by the Governor’s communications staff (seriously). The DGA has obtained a series of not-yet-published Just IN headlines and we’ll be releasing them on Twitter throughout the day:Gov Mike Pence: Great Governor or Greatest Governor? #JustInHeadlinesMike Pence scores record 18 straight hole-in ones #JustInHeadlinesMike Pence tells Seth Rogan he’s not funny #JustInHeadlinesDoes Gov Mike Pence look better in a blue or black suit? #JustInHeadlinesMike Pence could be President #JustInHeadlinesDennis Rodman visiting South Bend next week #JustInHeadlines Mike Pence scores record 18 straight hole-in ones #JustInHeadlines A publisher for one of the small newspapers that Just IN aims to provide content called the idea "ludicrous.""I have no problem with public information services —the Purdue University agriculture extension service does a great job," Portland, Indiana Commercial Review publisher Jack Ronald told the Indianapolis Star. "But the notion of elected officials presenting material that will inevitably have a pro-administration point of view is antithetical to the idea of an independent press."
There is a need these days for a strong liberal argument against the tendency of some on the left to lean on silencing and censorship instead of vigorous argumentation. Sadly, Jonathan Chait’s recent piece for New York, titled “Not A Very P.C. Thing To Say,” was not it. While the article purports to be a lambasting of “the culture of taking offense” and censorious attitudes, it quickly becomes clear that the only speech Chait is interested in protecting is conservative or contrarian. When it comes to people saying uncomfortable or provocative things from the left, Chait comes across as just as censorious and silencing as any of the leftist prigs he attempts to criticize. To be clear, Chait has plenty of examples of what has become a genuinely serious problem of liberals who react to uncomfortable ideas by turning to censorship: Harassment campaigns against conservatives, canceling plays or art shows because of political incorrectness, tearing down anti-choice posters. But outside of those few examples, most of Chait’s article is not a defense of rowdy public discourse at all, but the opposite: Most of the piece is little more than demands that liberals silence certain forms of discourse that make Chait uncomfortable. For a piece that mocks the use of “trigger warnings” to alert people about disturbing content, it sure seems Chait has no problem trying to silence anyone who says something that might hurt his feelings. The list of ideas and articles Chait thinks should disappear is dizzying. “A year ago, for instance, a photographer compiled images of Fordham students displaying signs recounting ‘an instance of racial microaggression they have faced,’” he writes contemptuously. “BuzzFeed published part of her project, and it has since received more than 2 million views. This is not an anomaly.” Chait doesn’t explain why we should be offended that Buzzfeed gave voice to people explaining their experiences. Perhaps Buzzfeed should put a trigger warning on the next article they run about subtle racism, so that easily offended people like Chait know to steer clear. Chait is also furious about people who took to Twitter to mock Hanna Rosin, who recently wrote a book called The End of Men, because they “found her message of long-term female empowerment complacent.” Chait can barely conceal his outrage: “One Twitter hashtag, ‘#RIPpatriarchy,’ became a label for critics to lampoon her thesis. Every new continuing demonstration of gender discrimination — a survey showing Americans still prefer male bosses; a person noticing a man on the subway occupying a seat and a half — would be tweeted out along with a mocking #RIPpatriarchy.” Odd for someone who considers himself a full-throated defender of rowdy free speech to get so bent out of shape over what is really some harmless mockery. The irony begins to collapse in on itself and form a black hole from which no self-awareness can escape with this sentence: “It is likewise taboo to request that the accusation be rendered in a less hostile manner. This is called ‘tone policing.’” Got it. Demanding that someone adopt more P.C. language to step around the sensitivities of liberals is unconscionable, but demanding that lefties on Twitter adopt a softened tone to step around the sensitivities of Jonathan Chait is just good sense. Forget “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” It seems we need a remedial course in “Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.” Commitment to free-wheeling public discourse is an admirable position, of course. But it has to go both ways. “I am white and male, a fact that is certainly worth bearing in mind,” Chait writes. I will take him on his advice and suggest that’s why he doesn’t seem to realize it’s two-faced to scold lefties for being hypersensitive while demanding that they tip-toe around his own hypersensitivities. But the rest of us should not be fooled.Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist who writes frequently about liberal politics, the religious right and reproductive health care. She's a prolific Twitter villain who can be followed @amandamarcotte.
Rupert Murdoch, the man who runs the media conglomerate that includes Fox News, came out on Tuesday against a potential 2016 presidential bid by onetime GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Romney has said he is considering running for President for a third time, having come up short in 2008 and 2012.Murdoch tweeted that Romney "had his chance."Let's be clear. Know and like Mitt Romney as a very nice person. But he had his chance and seemed to lack big vision for this country.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) January 27, 2015
British actor Benedict Cumberbatch apologized Monday for using the term "colored" on the "Tavis Smiley" show last week during a discussion about diversity in the film industry, CNN reported. The star of "The Imitation Game" and "Sherlock" was discussing the barriers that black actors face when seeking roles in the United Kingdom versus the United States when he used the term. “I think as far as colored actors go, it gets really different in the UK," he said, adding: "A lot of my friends have had more opportunities here [in America] than in the UK, and that’s something that needs to change.” The British anti-racist organization Show Racism the Red Card criticized Cumberbatch for using the "outdated" term while applauding his overall comments on diversity, according to CNN.The actor offered a contrite statement to People Monday:I'm devastated to have caused offense by using this outmoded terminology. I offer my sincere apologies. I make no excuse for my being an idiot and know the damage is done. I can only hope this incident will highlight the need for correct usage of terminology that is accurate and inoffensive. The most shaming aspect of this for me is that I was talking about racial inequality in the performing arts in the U.K. and the need for rapid improvements in our industry when I used the term. ... I feel the complete fool I am and while I am sorry to have offended people and to learn from my mistakes in such a public manner please be assured I have. I apologize again to anyone who I offended for this thoughtless use of inappropriate language about an issue which affects friends of mine and which I care about deeply.Smiley was quick to stand up for Cumberbatch:Those who saw Benedict Cumberbatch on @PBS, know he feels persons of color are underrepresented in #Hollywood. http://t.co/EcmciKpvgF— Tavis Smiley (@tavissmiley) January 27, 2015Watch the segment below. The conversation about race starts at 22:31:h/t Mediaite
Police officers in Denver reportedly opened fire Monday morning on a car full of teenagers and killed a 17-year-old girl. Police alleged the girl, identified as Jessica Hernandez, was driving a stolen car and had hit one of the officers who opened fire, according to the Denver Post. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The officers have been put on leave while the investigation takes place.The Post reported there were four other teenagers in the car at the time. The AP reported that none of them was injured.Denver Police Chief Robert White said two officers fired multiple shots into the vehicle after the car hit one of them in the leg. The officer was taken to the hospital for his injuries, according to the Post.Police did not say whether anyone in the car had guns or other weapons, the Post reported.The shooting will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau, the Office of the Independent Monitor and the District Attorney, according to the paper.The Post noted that this was the third time in recent months that the police force has shot a suspect who was allegedly using cars as weapons. Update: A previous version of this post said the girl's age was 16, based on the AP's reporting of the shooting. It has been updated to reflect that authorities said the girl's age was 17.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has formed a new committee and set up a website set to go live on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported. The tax-exempt 527 committee will be called Our American Revival, the Post said. Rick Wiley, a former political director for the Republican National Committee, will be the committee's executive director."Our American Revival encompasses the shared values that make our country great; limiting the powers of the federal government to those defined in the Constitution while creating a leaner, more efficient, more effective and more accountable government to the American people," Walker said in a statement announcing the committee. Walker now joins former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the group of potential Republican 2016 candidates who have formed committees as precursors to formally running for president. The announcement of the Our American Revival comes after Walker was one of the speakers at this weekend's Iowa Freedom Summit, which showcased a number of potential nominees.Correction: This post originally said Our American Revival is a political action committee. We regret the error.
Former journalist and stuck backspace key victim Sharyl Attkisson will testify at Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch's confirmation hearing.
Journalist Sharyl Attkisson is listed as one of the witnesses at Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on President Barack Obama's nominee to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. As The Hill noted, Attkisson, a former CBS investigative reporter who now contributes to the conservative Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal, has implied that the Obama administration hacked into her computer because of her work investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi. She has also reported on the U.S. Justice Department's Fast and Furious operation, for which she won an Emmy.Attkisson and Catherine Engelbrecht, whose tea party group has accused the Internal Revenue Service of ideological-based targeting, will testify separately from Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch at Wednesday's hearing, along with a handful of other witnesses.Attkisson resigned from CBS in October, reportedly over her frustrations with the network's alleged liberal bias.
House Speaker John Boehner is eying another lawsuit against President Barack Obama — this time against his executive actions to protect nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation. The Ohioan privately discussed his plans in a House Republican conference meeting on Tuesday."We are finalizing a plan to authorize litigation on this issue — one we believe gives us the best chance of success," he told his members, according to a source in the room.Boehner is considering a resolution to authorize the House to "take a variety of legal actions" against Obama on immigration, much as it did last year over Obama's unilateral tweaks to Obamacare implementation, a Republican leadership aide familiar with his plans told TPM.The aide said the legal actions could include a standalone lawsuit by the House, or a move to join a lawsuit by several dozen states.The aide stressed that Republicans "will continue to vigorously pursue legislative options" to stop Obama, including the House-passed bill to fund DHS while reversing the president's immigration actions.Boehner's move, first reported by National Journal, comes as GOP leaders face enormous pressure from conservatives to withhold funding for the Department of Homeland Security unless Obama's immigration actions are overturned. The president has made clear he'll veto any such bill, putting Republicans in an unenviable bind between their base and and the need to maintain homeland security funding.A lawsuit may be an attempt to placate conservatives and avert a shutdown.Asked about DHS funding on Tuesday, Boehner was mum about next steps."There's no reason for me to speculate on what we will or won't do," he told reporters. "At this point it's up to the Senate to act and I expect that they will soon."
Democrats are giving Senate Republicans a taste of their own medicine.The new minority is pulling out all the stops to stymie Sen. Mitch McConnell's first bill as majority leader — legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which faces a veto threat from President Barack Obama.And in a possible sign of trouble to come for the Kentucky Republican, Democrats are having some success — even though plenty of their own members support the pipeline. A vote to end debate on the legislation failed on Monday afternoon, 53-39, falling short of the 60 votes required to defeat a filibuster. In an extraordinary act of trolling, Democrats seized on McConnell's promise of an open amendment process to clog up the legislation with more than 150 amendments, and then complained that McConnell tried to "shut down debate" by attempting to move to a final vote on Monday.McConnell's office observes that he allowed 24 amendments — many of them from Democrats — to come up on the Keystone bill, more than former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid permitted in the entire year of 2014.But Democrats persisted — and then persisted some more.Sen. Barbara Boxer (CA) offered an amendment to address the impact of oil spills on public health. Sens. Maria Cantwell (WA) and Bob Menendez (NJ) offered one to protect private property in the building of the pipeline. Sen. Ben Cardin (MD) offered another to protect communities from pipeline-related hazards that could affect their drinking water. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Gary Peters (MI) offered one to study the environmental impact on the Great Lakes.And so on.When McConnell attempted to move forward to a final vote, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin objected, saying the Republican leader had "purged the calendar of five of the six Democratic amendments."Reid's spokesman Adam Jentleson said, "Sen. McConnell is offering a variety of excuses for shutting down debate on Keystone despite the fact that senators are still seeking votes."Democrats went on to complete their first filibuster of the 114th Congress, with just four defections: Sens. Michael Bennet (CO), Joe Donnelly (IN), Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin (WV). Numerous Democrats who support the pipeline and voted to approve it last month supported the Monday filibuster.Senate Republican leaders were clearly frustrated."It was surprising to see a handful of Democrats use a ‘lack of amendments’ as a rationale for filibustering a bipartisan bill that they voted for just two months ago, despite Sen. Reid giving them NO amendments," Don Stewart, McConnell's top spokesman, said in an email.The Democrats' unity can be rivaled only by McConnell's own successes at making their lives miserable during eight years in the majority, with escalated filibusters and creative stalling tactics. It came despite the absence of Reid from the Capitol, who has spent most of the month working from his Washington home at the Ritz-Carlton as he nurses a recent injury to his right eye, in which doctors aren't sure he'll ever recover his vision.Monday's vote does not bode well for McConnell. If he's unable to secure Democratic support to move legislation, he won't be able to get much done, even when it comes to mundane messaging bills. Complicating his challenge will be that several of his members — Sens. Rand Paul (KY), Ted Cruz (TX) and Marco Rubio (FL) — may run for president, which would force them to miss some votes while they're on the campaign trail.McConnell proceeded to bring up the bill again on Tuesday morning, saying that "the vote last night to filibuster was disappointing" and calling on Democrats to reconsider.
After Fox News host Bill O'Reilly mocked the recent New York Times profile of Fox's Megyn Kelly as a "puff piece" on Monday night, Kelly called out her colleague for merely being envious."Jealousy is an ugly emotion, Bill," she quipped. O'Reilly then continued to complain that the Times loved Kelly, but showed no affection for the other hosts at the network. When Kelly asked O'Reilly why he thought the Times favored her, he said she is "charming.""Oh my God, it's on camera — this is awesome,” Kelly said about O'Reilly's compliment. "Another puff piece, right now, is happening at this moment."Kelly said that Times reporter Jim Rutenberg was "very fair" to her and the rest of Fox News."Not only was he fair to me, he was fair to the Fox News Channel and to our boss, Roger Ailes," she said. "A lot of people want to make Roger Ailes into the boogieman because they’re jealous of his success. They’re afraid of Fox News. He (Rutenberg) told it like it is."Although O'Reilly once consistently led Fox News in the ratings, Kelly beat O'Reilly in the 25-34 age group for the first time in June.Watch the clip via YouTube:H/t Raw Story
California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D), who's running to succeed outgoing Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), has been tapped by the Obama administration to serve as a messenger for how President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions help the state's economy. The White House announced Harris would take that role on Monday, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. Harris said Obama's actions that expands the amount of undocumented immigrants who won't be deported immediately will improve the California economy "by anywhere from $11.7 billion to $27.5 billion" in the next ten years. Harris also described herself as a "daughter of immigrants" during the press conference announcing the attorney general's role. The White House has not endorsed Harris or anyone else in the California Senate race but finding a way to associate with Harris while also touting an issue that helps her with a key constituency underscores various overt and more subtle levels of support Harris has been getting from major players in the Democratic Party. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has already endorsed Harris and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has also expressed support for Harris's candidacy.
Indiana will become the latest Republican-led state to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, Gov. Mike Pence (R) announced Tuesday.Pence outlined the alternative expansion plan that he and the Obama administration had agreed upon, which builds on an existing state program. "I believe that Medicaid is not a program we should expand, but one we should reform. That's exactly what we are doing," Pence said, although the proposal is still using Medicaid expansion dollars to extend coverage, and is only possible through a federal Medicaid waiver.Using the Healthy Indiana program, which sets up health savings accounts, Indiana will require enrollees above the poverty level to make monthly contributions. If they fail to do so, they could lose some benefits. Those below the poverty line have the option to make additional payments to receive better coverage, but it is not required.Contributions under the program will not exceed 2 percent of an enrollee's annual income. Pence's plan also includes a work-referral component, though there is no requirement for enrollees to participate.About 350,000 low-income Indianans are expected to be covered by the Medicaid expansion.
The quiet blow that Republicans dealt to Obamacare in the so-called CRomnibus spending bill passed last month has now helped contribute to the shuttering of one of the law's co-op health plans, as experts told TPM it might.Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announced Monday that his office would request that CoOpportunity Health, a non-profit health plan created under the health care reform law, be liquidated. Gerhart's office had taken over control of the plan in December amid financial struggles, per the Wall Street Journal. Part of the reason that the insurance commissioner took over the struggling insurer, and therefore part of the reason it is now being shut down after state officials determined it couldn't be saved, is a provision that House Republicans inserted into the spending bill approved in December.As TPM reported at the time, House GOP staff requested a change to Obamacare's so-called risk-corridor program as part of the CRomnibus. The program, a favorite punching bag of Republicans, who have pushed for its repeal, is designed to help insurers in the law's first few years. Companies estimate what their insurance pools will look like. If they turn out better than expected, then the companies pay money into the program. If they turn out worse, then companies are paid money by the program.That helps lessen the risk for insurers as they take on a new population of Obamacare enrollees. But what the Republicans inserted into the CRomnibus was a requirement that the risk-corridor program effectively be revenue neutral. So if the program didn't bring in enough money from overperforming companies, it wouldn't be able to make payments to underperforming ones.Experts told TPM at the time that bigger companies would likely be able to absorb any short-term losses that might come with the change, but that smaller insurers -- like CoOpportunity Health, which covers about 68,000 people in Iowa and Nebraska -- would be more vulnerable.When Iowa insurance commissioner Gerhart petitioned to take over the company in December, he cited the uncertainty of the risk-corridor money as one reason for CoOpportunity Health's struggles, stating that the CRomnibus provision had "placed in jeopardy" up to $60 million of the company's projected assets.Becky Blum, a senior official at the Iowa agency, confirmed to TPM in an email that the CRomnibus provision had been one of the factors in the company's financial instability, though not the only one. The bottom line was that the insurer was paying out too much in claims and not bringing in enough revenue.But that is exactly the problem that the risk-corridor program is designed to address and, because the revenue for CoOpportunity wasn't guaranteed after the spending bill, it put the company's long-term solvency further into doubt."The potential limitation on recouping the risk corridor money complicated the company’s ability to put forward a plan of viability," Blum said.That was the fallout that Obamacare supporters warned about when the CRominbus passed."The risk corridor program was established specifically to assist insurers, like the coops and other new entrants, who face difficulties in setting premiums accurately for the first couple of years of their existence because they lack previous experience," Tim Jost, a health law professor at Washington and Lee University who supports the law, told TPM. "Congress should have realized that by limiting funding for the risk corridor program, it would likely be driving some insurers into insolvency."
Cable news channels pulled out all the stops for their coverage of Monday night's supposedly historic blizzard. But it was clear by Tuesday morning that they'd gone overboard, and no single news personality was singled out for derision more than CNN's Don Lemon. Over the course of CNN's late-night coverage, weather experts repeatedly noted that New York City could be spared the worst of the storm and may see far less snow accumulation than the approximately two feet originally predicted. Still, Lemon rode through the largely deserted streets of the city in what the channel a "Blizzardmobile." He repeatedly noted that any non-emergency vehicle driving on the street in New York after 11 p.m. was breaking the law.Twitter users mocked the coverage: Don Lemon declares a slightly gusty NY snow flurry "a blizzard" and is surviving it live in his Blizzardmobile. pic.twitter.com/cYdXfUhwwj— Neil King (@NKingofDC) January 27, 2015CNN's Blizzardmobile. Or as regular people call it, a car. #blizzardof2015 pic.twitter.com/9b4VWATuTs— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) January 27, 2015No one has told Don Lemon that the storm has been downgraded. For all of our sake, someone text him. #blizzardof2015— Kathleen Madigan (@kathleenmadigan) January 27, 2015Gotta be a strange feeling when you're driving in your weird, dimly lit "Blizzard Mobile" and realize it's only gonna be a foot of snow.— Mike Birbiglia (@birbigs) January 27, 2015Twist: Don Lemon's Blizzardmobile rounds a corner and discovers, on an empty Manhattan street, the missing plane.— Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) January 27, 2015Is the Blizzardmobile an emergency vehicle, and if not, can Don Lemon be arrested for driving right now?— Matt Ford (@fordm) January 27, 2015SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT I AM WATCHING pic.twitter.com/3uDaH9EmVr— Mark Joyella (@standupkid) January 27, 2015Watching Don Lemon anchor a report on the Aaron Hernandez trial while riding shotgun in the Blizzardmobile is weird TV.— Ross Maghielse (@Maghielse) January 27, 2015In a nod to the Twitter chatter, Lemon said on-air that "people have been talking about the Blizzardmobile, but that's what it is. We were mobile out in the storm.""When a city as big as New York City, the biggest city in this country, when they have sent everybody off the streets, when they close down the subway system, that's a big, big deal," he added.Some other eagle-eyed viewers caught some flubs in Lemon's coverage, as well:
Jamie Cole is suing her former employer over allegedly refusing to let her keep working while pregnant. The post Woman Says Employer Forced Her To Take Unpaid Leave While Pregnant appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Rather than finding housing for the park's homeless population, they say they'll just have to move elsewhere. The post Mayor Says Homeless People Are Criminals, Closes Public Park To Drive Them Away appeared first on ThinkProgress.
City officials and homeless advocates went into crisis mode Monday night. The post Cities Scramble To Shelter Homeless From Blizzard appeared first on ThinkProgress.
New York City officials are bracing for a snowstorm of historic proportions, but even before it hits the city's infrastructure is in dire shape. The post Massive Blizzard Exposes How Decrepit New York City’s Infrastructure Is appeared first on ThinkProgress.
"I don't know how anybody can disagree with this, unless you're running for something," Kasich said. The post John Kasich Mocks Republicans For Opposing Higher Education Standards appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A new study finds that fast food restaurants wouldn't have to resort to layoffs, even with a $15 minimum wage. The post Here’s How Fast Food Could Handle A $15 Minimum Wage Without Cutting Jobs appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The 42,000-person strong lawsuit against TGI Friday's accusing it of underpaying them can move forward. The post TGI Friday’s Accused Of Denying Workers Minimum Wage And Overtime Pay appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The sharing economy isn't always the unadulterated positive force that it is often portrayed as being, and San Francisco housing market activists think they've found a good way to illustrate the downside of Airbnb's ascendance. The post Map: How Airbnb Is Fueling San Francisco’s Sky-High Rents appeared first on ThinkProgress.
While state officials portray their decision as an act of compliance with federal law, the feds have invited Maine to waive work requirements for another year because the economy is still too weak for the policy to be effective. The post Maine Has Kicked 6,500 People Off Of Food Stamps So Far This Winter appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Obama proposed a new $3,000 childcare tax credit, but it's dwarfed by the cost of care. The post The Affordable Childcare System That Used To Exist In The U.S. appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Violence against the homeless without provocation is very common. The post Three Men Poured Lighter Fluid On Homeless Man And Lit Him And His Belongings On Fire appeared first on ThinkProgress.
President Obama's State of the Union speech will include some measures intended to address poverty and inequality. How effective would they be if they became law, and what problems are they designed to tackle? The post 5 Numbers To Keep In Mind As You Watch Obama’s State Of The Union appeared first on ThinkProgress.
If the proposal makes it through the state legislature, it would raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour in the city and $10.50 an hour for workers in the rest of the state. The post New York Governor Calls For Major Minimum Wage Hike appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Senator Alexander, the Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, wants to destroy the federal government’s ability to protect students’ right to a high-quality education. The post Senators Just Introduced An Education Bill To Upend 1965 Civil Rights Legislation appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Obama will unveil the plan at this week's State of the Union. The post What You Need To Know About Obama’s Proposal To Tax The Rich appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Intel will add an additional eight weeks of paid "bonding" leave for new parents of both genders. The post How This Major Tech Company Plans To Attract More Female Workers appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Seattle's shelters system leaves hundreds of homeless people on the streets every night, and the mayor's new proposal for organizing those people is at best a stop-gap measure towards lasting solutions. The post Seattle Mayor Proposes Trio Of Tent Cities In Response To Surging Homelessness appeared first on ThinkProgress.
President Obama will propose measures to encourage the flow of private investment in the face of Congressional inaction. The post With Republican Obstruction, A Last Resort For Fixing Our Roads And Bridges appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A look at the new recommendations for combating "a toxic combination of too little growth and rising inequality" in industrialized democracies that could help define the 2016 presidential race. The post The Key To Closing The Income Gap Is An Idea Almost Nobody Is Talking About appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A $25 million grant so historically black colleges can expand their cybersecurity programs could be the move needed to bridge the tech industry's diversity problem -- and make our data safer. The post The White House’s Plan To Fix Tech’s Diversity Problem And Cybersecurity At The Same Time appeared first on ThinkProgress.
There's good and bad news for black men and women in the criminal justice system. The post 6 Death Row Inmates Were Exonerated In 2014. All Of Them Were Black. appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Since DA Kari Brandenburg started floating murder charges against two Albuquerque cops, she has faced a personal criminal investigation by police, and a professional battle to keep her lawyers out. The post The Prosecutor Who Filed Murder Charges Against The Cops Is Becoming A Police Target appeared first on ThinkProgress.
And more than 60 percent of all federal arrests in 2012 came from immigration offenses committed in states along the U.S.-Mexico border. The post Immigration Offenses Made Up Half Of All Federal Arrests In 2012 appeared first on ThinkProgress.
It's a small victory, but one that could have a substantial impact. The post Supreme Court Gives A Ray Of Hope To Native Americans Who Want Long Hair In Prison appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The police tracking function in the crowd-sourced traffic app Waze makes police worry about their safety. The post Police Ask Google To Shut Down Waze’s Police-Tracking Feature appeared first on ThinkProgress.
One police tactic could have saved Michael Brown. The post ‘Tactical Retreat’ Policy Would Emphasize Safety In Police Interactions appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The police allege that the car was stolen and one officer was hit in the leg by the vehicle prior to the officers opening fire. The post Two Denver Police Officers Fatally Shoot 16-Year-Old Girl appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Requiring all couples to be treated with equal dignity is actually not at all like ancient Roman torture of Christians. The post Bishops Freak Out After Catholic Hospitals Consider Giving Equal Rights To Gay People appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A powerful virtual protest. The post Clergy Send In Photos To Replace Images Of Black Youth Police Were Using For Target Practice appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The incident, at this point, is shrouded in mystery. The post 17-Year-Old Girl Shot Dead By Three Cops At Texas Police Station appeared first on ThinkProgress.
If a majority of the Court is willing to allow a man to be killed while his case is currently pending before the justices, that is not a good sign that there are five votes to halt Oklahoma’s execution practices. The post The Supreme Court Allowed A Man To Be Executed, Then They Took His Case appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A 27-year-old Muslim woman is suing the Dearborn Heights Police Department in Michigan after officers allegedly forced her to remove her headscarf while taking a booking photo for a traffic misdemeanor, claiming that their actions violated her right to religious expression. The post Woman Sues Michigan Police Department For Forced Hijab Removal appeared first on ThinkProgress.
“They’re basically Maytag repairmen,” he said. “Nothing gets done.” The post Jeb Bush Blasts Congress: ‘Nothing Gets Done’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The guards told her it was standard practice for visitors on their periods. The post Prison Visitor Says Guards Made Her Prove She Was Menstruating By Letting Them Inspect Her Vagina appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Homicides don't often occur for want of a good guy with a gun. They occur much more often because two guys are arguing at a bar, and one of them happens to be armed. The post Kansas Senate Doesn’t Want People With Concealed Firearms To Have To Get Safety Training appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Sessions released a 25-page memo calling for GOP lawmakers to fast-track the deportation of unaccompanied Central American kids and to end asylum "loopholes." The post Senator With Anti-Immigrant Record Appointed To Key Immigration Post appeared first on ThinkProgress.
"If you have a situation like we had in Paris, you don’t want a cop to show up with a flashlight and a baton," he said. The post Police Commissioner Defends Giving Tanks And Automatic Weapons To Cops appeared first on ThinkProgress.
D.C. has one of the highest arrest rates for marijuana possession in the country. The post D.C. Police Chief: Arresting People For Marijuana Possession ‘Never Was Productive To Begin With’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The problem with Loretta Lynch is that she's never held a rifle over her head and yelled out "from my cold dead hands." The post Gun Lobbyists Seek Extraordinary Veto Power Over Attorney General Nominee appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The "more guns, less crime" debate continues. The post Florida Could Say Goodbye To Gun-Free College Campuses appeared first on ThinkProgress.
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