Author: kstreet607

Politics! Politics! I love politics! Unapologetic Barack Obama enthusiast.

GOP congresswoman gets surprise on Facebook after asking constituents for Obamacare horror stories

Anti-Obamacare image on the 5th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act | attribution: Cathy McMorris Rodgers Facebook page

 Daily Kos

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers posted an image on her official Facebook page, slamming the Affordable Care Act on the fifth anniversary of President Obama signing it into law. She asked constituents to share their Obamacare nightmare stories and well, the response probably wasn’t what she expected. Below are a small sample of the comments constituents left on her page:

My story is that I once knew 7 people who couldn’t get health insurance. Now they all have it, thanks to the ACA and President Obama, and their plans are as good as the one my employer provides–and they pay less for them. Now, that’s not the kind of story you want to hear. You want to hear made-up horror stories. I don’t know anyone with one of those stories.

I work for cancer care northwest. We actually have more patients with insurance and fewer having to choose treatment over bankruptcy. Cathy, I’m a die hard conservative and I’m asking you to stop just slamming Obamacare. Fix it, change it or come up with a better idea! Thanks

With Obamacare, I saved 300 bucks a month premium.. I have more coverage.. I like ObamaCare and can’t wait til we go to the next step… Medicare for ALL.

And now my daughter, diagnosed with MS at age 22, can have insurance. What do you plan to do with her?

My daughter is fighting for her life with stage 3 breast cancer! We are about to enter a second go round of diagnostic procedures and possibly more treatment after two full years of treatment! So yah! The ACA is more than helping! I resent that our rep thinks the only problems involve her personal story!

My whole family now has coverage. The ACA is the cause for this, I work in health care, I have seen the increase in covered patients first hand. The next step is universal coverage, this will truly lower costs and provide the best care. Cathy, you barely work, spend most of your time catering to special interests so you can be re-elected.. All while receiving a large wage and the best health insurance and care. Stop telling us how it doesn’t work while enjoying your tax payer funded care and life.

Instead of trying to repeal it why don’t you improve it? Our local rural clinics are packed daily with people who have needed healthcare for years!! it is a godsend. It is pitiful this nation does not have healthcare for all and that doesn’t mean the EMERGENCY room!!

Thanks to the ACA, my cousin was able to get affordable insurance despite her preexisting condition. So grateful.

I think we should repeal Obamacare, and replace it … with universal socialized medicine – like the rest of the industrialized nations of the world.

Hello Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers!I work as the facilitator of a task force that is overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Washington State. I have learned that the ACA is helping people who did not previously have health insurance get it. It is helping bring down medical costs. It is improving the quality of care. It is improving experiences of both patients and their families.

I work with doctors, nurses, hospital and clinic managers, non-profit service providers, citizens-at-large. Each of them can site an improvement they would like to make to the Act. But whether they are Republican or Democrat, from urban or rural areas, powerful or not, they all say the ACA is working.

Can’t you and your Republican colleagues stop trying to repeal this Act and work to make it even more effective? Please?

Obama Care saved us when my husband was unemployed and we couldn’t afford coverage. We might have been ruined without it. My husband could not have had the eye surgery needed after an accident. So grateful.

We now have patients that can see a doctor in the clinic on time rather than waiting till they are too ill ACA is saving lives and you are too stupid to realize that. Get your political view out of the way and see what is happening in our community because you have shown again and again it is not your community. I see that your son has downs but not everyone in our community has it so get done with this supporting downs to the neglect of everything else.

My plans are intact, premiums have increased as always, but what seems to be a lesser rate, my plan was not cancelled, I did not lose my doctor, I have not experienced reduced work hours, and it’s actually freed me from the chains of employer based being the ONLY path to coverage. #FEARMONGER

Those are just a small sample of the hundreds or even thousands of comments left on her Facebook page. It is damn clear that her constituents are loving the Affordable Care Act. Will she take their comments to heart and abandon attempts to take insurance coverage away from her constituents?

ORIGINALLY POSTED TO SCOUT FINCH ON THU MAR 26, 2015 AT 07:33 AM PDT.

Mike Pence Spends 20 Minutes Lying To ABC News About His Anti-Gay Discrimination Law

Crooks & Liars

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) on Sunday insisted that people on the Internet had conspired to create a “misunderstanding” that a so-called “religious freedom” law was about denying services to LGBT people. But at the same time, he repeatedly refused to answer if it effectively gave Christians a legal defense for discriminating against same-sex couples.

“I understand that there’s been a tremendous amount of misinformation and misunderstanding around this bill, and I’m just determined — and I appreciate the time on your program — I’m just determined to clarify this,” Pence told ABC’s George Stephanopolous.

“So this is a yes or no question,” the ABC host noted. “Is Advance America right when they say a florist in Indiana can now refuse to serve a gay couple without fear of punishment?”

Pence, however said that the purpose of the bill that he signed was to “empower” religious people.

And this was a pattern that would be repeated over the next 20 minutes: Stephanopolous asking if the bill allowed anti-LGBT discrimination, followed by Pence dodging the question.

“And so yes or no, if a florist in Indiana refuses to serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana?” Stephanopolous asked. “Yes or no?”

“This is where this debate has gone, with misinformation,” Pence replied. “There’s been shameless rhetoric about my state and about this law and about its intention all over the Internet. People are trying to make it about one particular issue. And now you’re doing that, as well.”

“That was one of your supporters who was talking about the bill right there,” Stephanopolous pressed. “It said it would protect a Christian florist who — against any kind of punishment. Is that true or not?”

“George, look, the issue here is, you know, is tolerance a two way street or not?” Pence opined. “I mean, you know, there’s a lot of talk about tolerance in this country today having to do with people on the left. But here Indiana, steps forward to protect the constitutional rights and privileges of freedom of religion for people of faith and families of faith in our state and this avalanche of intolerance that’s been poured on our state is just outrageous.”

“So when you say tolerance is a two way street, does that mean that Christians who want to refuse service or people of any other faith who want to refuse service to gays and lesbians, that it’s now legal in the state of Indiana?” the ABC host tried again.

And again, Pence deflected: “I’m telling you, George, it is a red herring and I think it’s deeply troubling to millions of Americans and, frankly, people all across the state of Indiana who feel troubled about government overreach.”

The Indiana governor added that he had no plans to add protections for LGBT people to the state’s civil rights laws. But officials had been “been doing our level best, George, to correct the gross mischaracterization of this law that has been spread all over the country by many in the media.”

“I mean, frankly, some of the media coverage of this has been shameless and reckless,” he insisted. “The online attacks against the people of our state, I’m just not going to stand for it.”

Pence said that he would be open to a bill that “amplifies” the current law, but “we’re not going to change this law.”

“A final question, a final yes or no question, Governor,” Stephanopolous pushed. “Do you think it should be legal in the state of Indiana to discriminate against gays or lesbians?”

“It’s a yes or no question,” the host added.

“Hoosiers don’t believe in discrimination,” Pence insisted. “I mean this is not about discrimination. This is about protecting the religious liberty of every Hoosier of every faith.”

“We’re going to continue to explain it to people that don’t understand it. And in — and if possible, we will find a way to amplify what this bill really is in a legislative process. But I stand by this law,” he concluded. “I’m proud that Indiana has adopted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

Ohio Republicans Sneak A Vote Suppression Rider Into State’s Transportation Budget

Thanks Ted for dropping this and other great news items in my inbox.  I’m using the following item because my reaction to that article was, “OMG!”

PoliticusUSA

Jon Husted Ohio

Every time a Republican sneaks an unrelated rider into a law, it’s a guarantee that someone will get screwed. Art Pope’s Republicans in North Carolina included last minute anti-choice provisions in a motorcycle safety bill.  Often, but not always, these riders come in at the last possible moment.  It’s the political version of the frowned upon court room tactic of unfair surprise.  Unfair because opponents don’t have a chance to research the provision and the public doesn’t have a chance to comment at all.

This was one of those riders. This time, the targets are college students who Republicans clearly want to disenfranchise because they tend to vote Democrat.

This time, Republicans in Ohio snuck a vote suppression rider into a transportation budget bill in an effort to disenfranchise out of state students.

Plunderbund explains,

The new language in the bill will have these students convert to an Ohio driver’s license, register their cars with Ohio plates and assume a few other costs that would raise their out-of-pocket expenses to an estimated $100.

This amounts to pricing young, mostly Democratic voters, out of the franchise. According to Cleveland, 116,000 college students will have to pay what amounts to a poll tax.

Of course, the rider’s sponsor claims there is nothing to see here. It’s all about regulating vehicle registration laws.  The fact that this will also make it harder to vote for college students (who tend to vote Democrat) is just the cherry on top.

10 things you need to know today: March 29, 2015

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

The Week

1.Arab leaders agree in principle to form joint military force
Arab leaders on Sunday announced a tentative agreement to create a joint military force to combat violence and extremism in the region. “We recognize the clear challenges in the Arab world and the need to take measures to combat them,” Nabil al Araby, chairman of the Arab League, said on the final day of the group’s summit in Egypt. The announcement came days after a Saudi-led coalition began launching airstrikes in Yemen against the Houthi rebels who have overrun the country and forced President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee.

Source: The Guardian, USA Today

2.Kentucky, Wisconsin advance to Final Four
The Kentucky Wildcats are headed to the Final Four after holding off Notre Dame’s upset bid on Saturday, and they now sit just two games away from a perfect season. The undefeated Wildcats did not miss a shot from the field in the final 12 minutes of the game, and then watched as a potential game-winning desperation three sailed over the rim. Also Saturday, the Wisconsin Badgers punched their ticket to the Final Four with a convincing win over Arizona. On Sunday, Michigan State and Louisville will meet and Duke will take on Gonzaga to determine the final two teams in the national semifinal round.

Source: Yahoo Sports

3.Germanwings pilot may have had vision problem
Andreas Lubitz, the pilot believed to have deliberately crashed a Germanwings airliner last week, sought treatment for a vision problem that could have been psychosomatic and impacted his ability to fly, according to investigators. In addition, investigators on Saturday revealed they found antidepressants while searching Lubitz’s home earlier in the week, though it was not clear whether the medication factored into the crash. Also this weekend, a woman who identified herself as an ex-girlfriend of Lubitz told a German newspaper that the 27-year-old co-pilot once vowed to do something so dramatic that “everyone will know my name and remember.”

Source: The New York Times, AFP

4.Indiana will ‘clarify’ anti-gay law, governor says
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) said Saturday his sate would move to “clarify” the intent of a controversial so-called religious freedom law that critics contend will allow businesses to discriminate against gays. “I support religious liberty, and I support this law,” Pence told the Indianapolis Star. “But we are in discussions with legislative leaders this weekend to see if there’s a way to clarify the intent of the law.” The law, which will go into effect in July, bars the state from enacting legislation that could “substantially burden” the ability of people and businesses to practice their religious beliefs.

Source: Indianapolis Star

5.Nigerian election extended one day due to violence, technical glitches
Voting continued on Sunday in Nigeria’s presidential election after faulty equipment and terror attacks forced polls in some areas of the country to remain open for an extra day. In use for the first time, digital voter verification scanners in some places failed to work, even forcing President Goodluck Jonathan to spend more than 20 minutes casting a ballot. Boko Haram militants also disrupted the vote, killing an estimated 41 people in multiple attacks.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

6.Israel PM blasts framework of Iranian nuclear deal
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday assailed the emerging details of a nuclear agreement intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program. “This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that,” he said, according to a Reuters translation. The U.S. and Iran have three days left before the deadline to reach a framework deal.

Source: Reuters

7.Yemeni President says Shiite rebels are ‘puppets of Iran’
Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Saturday blamed Iran for his country’s current chaos, calling the Shiite rebels “puppets of Iran.” Hadi fled the country and made his way to Saudi Arabia earlier this week after the rebels, known as Houthis, pushed farther toward the southern Yemen city of Aden, where he had been staying. “You have destroyed Yemen with your political adolescence and by manufacturing domestic and regional crises,” Hadi said, speaking directly to the rebels and their backers.

Source: The Associated Press

8.Researchers find Ebola virus not undergoing rapid mutations
Virologists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases say the Ebola outbreak has not given rise to an even more virulent form of the virus despite “extensive and prolonged human-to-human transmission,” according to new research published Thursday in the journal Science. Earlier research suggested the virus was mutating at nearly double the rate as in past outbreaks. “Whereas from a public health perspective, the current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa continues to be an extremely pressing emergency, it is doubtful that either virulence or transmissibility has increased,” the researchers said.

Source: NPR

9. Leading suspect in Tunisian terror attack killed
A prime suspect in the attack on Tunisia’s Bardo Museum has been killed in an overnight anti-terror raid, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid said Sunday. The news came as tens of thousands of Tunisians took to the streets Sunday for an anti-terrorism rally. The March 18 museum attack left 23 dead.

Source: NBC, Reuters

10.Leonard Nimoy’s son to direct Spock documentary
Saying he wanted to create “a tribute to my dad and Spock,” Adam Nimoy toldVariety on Friday that he plans to produce and direct a documentary about the iconic Star Trek character played by his father, Leonard Nimoy. The elder Nimoy died in February at the age of 83 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Zachary Quinto, who has played Spock in two recent film takes on the franchise, will narrate, and William Shatner, who played James T. Kirk in the original series, plans to appear in the documentary.

Source: Variety

Bill Maher Slams Liberals For Slamming Liberals (Viewer Discretion Advised)

The Huffington Post

“Don’t throw the synthetic baby out with the bathwater,” said Bill Maher on Friday.

During his “New Rules” segment on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” the talk show host took some time to call out liberals for attacking other liberals. Maher ran through a number of topics, including Elton John’s boycott of Dolce and Gabbana over comments on gay adoption and in vitro fertilization, backlash The Economist got over a cover and a college president who was forced to apologize for sending out an email that said “all lives matter” instead of “Black lives matter.”

“What is the point of attacking people who are 95 percent on your side?” said Maher, later adding, “I see atheists and agnostics bitching at each other. Why is this even a thing? Do you believe in a talking snake? Me neither. We’re on the same team.”

“Real Time with Bill Maher” airs Fridays at 10:00 p.m. ET on HBO.

Sunday Talk: The father, the sun, and the holy ****!

attribution: Silly Rabbit

Daily Kos

9/11 changed everything.

Never in Earth’s (roughly) 6,000 yearhistory has that statement been more true than with regard to @TedCruz’smusical preferences.

Prior to that horrific day, like many of his fellow Canadians, Ted considered himself a fan of numerous (American)rock ‘n’ roll artists.

But, after witnessing their responseto the tragic events of September 11,he renounced his foreign citizenship(in June 2014), and devoted himself to God (Jesus) and country music.

That (ultimately) set him on the path to Liberty UniversityGo Flames!—where, Monday morning, TedCruz.ORG formally announced his #campaign for president of the United States.

To say that his speech was warmly received would be a monumental understatement;every utterance was met with more rapturous applause than even John Lennon could’ve imagined.

In fact, many of the faithful attendees were cheering like their afterlives depended on it.

As a Jewish Democrat—though, obviously, not in that order—I, for one, welcome these developments.

Viva la revolucíon!

Morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Erin Bowen (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University); Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. H.E. Adel A. Al-Jubeir; Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq/Chief U.S. Negotiator on Nuclear Disarmament Christopher Hill; Ted Kennedy’s WidowVictoria Kennedy; Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI); Roundtable: Kathleen Parker (Washington Post), Joe Scarborough (MSNBC), Sam Stein (Huffington Post) and Neera Tanden (Center for American Progress).

Face the Nation: Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC); Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA); Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R); “Ted Kennedy’s Legacy” Panel: Sen. John McCain(R-AZ), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME); Roundtable: Dan Balz (Washington Post), Manu Raju(Politico), Scott Conroy (Huffington Post) and Nancy Cordes (CBS News).

This Week: Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D); Ted Kennedy’s Widow Victoria Kennedy; Roundtable: Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), Republican Strategist Matthew Dowd and Fareed Zakaria (CNN).

Fox News Sunday: Former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina; Roundtable: George Will (Washington Post), Carol Lee (Wall Street Journal), Matt Kibbe (FreedomWorks) and Former Sen.Evan Bayh (D-IN).

State of the Union: House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH); Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); Others TBD.

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: an interview with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad (preview); and, a report on a clinical trial being conducted at Duke University using polio to treat cancer (preview).

10 things you need to know today: March 28, 2015

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Week

1.Italian court overturns conviction in Amanda Knox murder trial
Italy’s highest court overturned the 2009 murder convictions of Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito on Friday, officially closing the controversial case that has captivated people across the U.S. and Europe since Knox’s British roommate Meredith Kercher was murdered in 2007. The case has been an emotional rollercoaster for Knox and Sollecito, who were convicted in 2009, acquitted in 2011, and retried in 2013, after their acquittals were overturned. In 2007, Kercher was found stabbed to death in the apartment she shared with Knox. Another man, Rudy Guede, is already serving a 16-year sentence for the crime.

Source: Reuters, CNN

2.Astronauts Scott Kelly, Mikhail Kornienko begin their year in space aboard ISS
American astronaut Scott Kelly and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko successfully began their year aboard the International Space Station on Friday, rocketing away from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The duo’s mission would be the longest expedition ever, when completed. And NASA will be studying an interesting component of Kelly’s time in space, by comparing his physical changes over the course of the year against his Earth-bound twin brother, Mark Kelly.

Source: Space.com, The Washington Post

3.Jury rules against Ellen Pao in Silicon Valley gender discrimination suit
Gender was not the reason former partner Ellen Pao was passed over for a promotion at prominent venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield, and Byers, a California jury in Silicon Valley ruled on Friday. Pao’s suit had asked for $16 million in compensatory damages from Kleiner Perkins, an early investor in companies such as Google and Genentech. Pao alleged that in her seven years with the firm, she was overlooked for promotions because of her gender, and subject to inappropriate behavior from male colleagues who went undisciplined. But Kleiner Perkins argued that Pao was a difficult employee who failed to improve in areas on which she was critiqued, and that she failed to build “thought leadership” with fellow employees.

Source: Time

4.Rep. Trey Gowdy: Hillary Clinton wiped email server ‘clean’
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said Friday that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wiped “clean” all private emails from her server, defying a subpoena from Gowdy requesting “any emails relating to Libya, weapons located in the country, the Benghazi attacks, and administration statements following the attacks on the compound,” Politico reports. Gowdy, who is chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, subpoenaed Clinton following reports that she had saved emails on a private server and used a personal email account while at the State Department. An attorney for Clinton, David Kendall, responded to Gowdy in a letter stating that the 900 pages of emails Clinton has already provided to the panel cover the subpoena’s requests.

Source: Politico

5.Investigators find Germanwings co-pilot hid medical condition from company
German investigators announced Friday that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings plane, had intentionally hidden his medical condition from his employer. Lubitz reportedly spent more than a year receiving psychiatric treatment after suffering from a “serious depressive episode.” Investigators searched Lubitz’s home and found a ripped-up doctor’s note that authorized Lubitz to take time off from work due to an illness. The investigators added that they did not find “any indication of a political or religious” nature in the home, nor did they find a suicide note. Lubitz is believed to have intentionally crashed a Germanwings plane in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board.

Source: The New York Times, Reuters

6.Harry Reid endorses Chuck Schumer as next Senate minority leader
Following the news that he would not seek re-election next year, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) endorsed Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to take his place during a Friday morning interview with The Washington Post. Reid’s endorsement of Schumer leapfrogged Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) who is the second-highest Democrat in the upper chamber. Schumer is third in line. Reid said Durbin would likely not oppose Schumer, and that Schumer could bring “a different style” to the leadership post.

Source: The Washington Post

7.Nigerian army re-takes Boko Haram stronghold ahead of presidential election
The Nigerian army announced on Friday that it had re-taken the town of Gwoza from Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Army officials said Boko Haram had been using the site as its headquarters, and that insurgents were seen fleeing toward Nigeria’s border with Cameroon. The news comes just ahead of today’s presidential elections; incumbent President Goodluck Johathan faces an uphill battle at the ballot box against Muhammadu Buhari, who has criticized Jonathan’s perceived failure to force out Boko Haram during his time in office.

Source: Time

8.U.N. report: More than 2,300 Palestinians killed by Israeli operations in 2014
Israel’s operations resulted in the deaths of 2,314 Palestinians in 2014, according to an annual report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The report credited most of the deaths to the Gaza Strip conflict, which ran from July 2014 through August 2014 and killed 2,220 Gazans. Of those, 1,492 people were civilians, 605 were militants, and another 123 could not be verified. In addition to the deaths, 17,125 Palestinians reported injuries as a result of Israel’s activities, and about 500,000 Palestinians were displaced during the conflict — around 100,000 of whom remain displaced. The number of casualties is the highest since the year 1967, when the West Bank and Gaza Strip occupation began, the UN report notes. Israeli fatalities due to the conflict increased from four in 2013 to 12 deaths in 2014.

Source: The Guardian

9. U.S. Senate approves GOP-led budget
The Senate approved a GOP-led budget at 3:28 a.m. on Friday, with a 52-46 vote. The budget seeks to reduce the federal deficit to zero within a decade and includes a repeal of ObamaCare. The vote comes after the House passed a similar budget blueprint on Wednesday. Both chambers now face an April 15deadline to hash out a final budget. Of the 52 votes in favor of the budget, not one was from a Democratic senator. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, meanwhile, were the only Republicans not to vote in favor of the budget.

Source: The New York Times, Politico

10.Michigan St. makes Elite Eight as lowest seed left standing
For much of the regular season, Michigan State’s men’s basketball team was decidedly average. The Spartans went 21-10, and there was some talk as to whether they’d even land a spot in the NCAA tournament. Having downed No. 2 seed Virginia and, on Friday night, No. 3 seed Oklahoma, the No. 7 Spartans are headed for the Elite Eight as the lowest seed left standing. Tom Izzo’s team takes on Louisville on Sunday; Saturday night’s matchups feature Wisconsin vs. Arizona, and Kentucky vs. Notre Dame. The other Sunday game is between Duke and Gonzaga. The winners of each will head for Indianapolis on April 4, to compete in the Final Four.

Source: Sports Illustrated

Obama Family Reportedly Thinking About Moving to NYC Because Chicago Is a Mess

President Obama and the next Mayor of NYC Bill DeBlasio leaving Junior’s Restaurant in Brooklyn October 25, 2013 | WBLS

Upstate New York or Long Island may be their preference. Residing in the city is an option as well…

Mediaite

How bad is Chicago right now? Depends on where you look (the shootings kind of suck, as does the weather) but apparently it’s losing its allure enough that the Obamas may not move back after they leave the White House.

BuzzFeed reports that the Obamas are considering a move to New York after Barack’s term ends, thanks to “messy Chicago politics and a personal craving for a new beginning when they leave the White House for the last time as residents. The first family fears the Chicago they left is not one they want to return to, and a source close to the family said the long-shot New York library bid has emerged as a serious alternative.”

This may be partly due to the non-popularity of Obama’s former Chief of Staff and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, who Obama heavily assisted during his election and famously has low poll numbers (though those numbers are quickly rising thanks to his re-election campaign). Or maybe they don’t like the blizzards.

But why would they move somewhere that has equal amounts of bad weather? For one, suggests BuzzFeed, they may be seriously considering Columbia University’s bid for the Obama Presidential Library (he completed his undergraduate degree there, after all). They could also be considering the sad inevitable path of…becoming pundits:

Another New York Congressman, Long Island Republican Peter King, suggested New York would offer Obama a better environment for staying relevant, should he want to.

“New York is the media capital of the world. I think that’s what he wants and you don’t get that anywhere else,” said King, who added that he’d “heard second and third hand” that Obama is seriously considering New York. “I can certainly understand why.”

Let’s hope that’s not the reason, guys.

Harry Reid choked a man for trying to bribe him, and 10 more facts about the Senate leader

Harry Reid, in March 2015 | Win McNamee / Getty

Senator Reid is a formidable opponent to those that he doesn’t agree with…

VOX

Today, Harry Reid announced his retirement from the Senate. Reid is well-known for his decade of Senate leadership, for winning the 60 votes necessary to pass Obamacare, and for changing the filibuster rules in 2013.

But he’s had a long career and a fascinating life before any of that, including a troubled rural childhood, a stint as an amateur boxer, and some tangles with the mob while he headed the Nevada Gaming Commission. Here are the highlights, drawn mainly from his memoir, The Good Fight.

  1. Reid grew up in Searchlight, Nevada, a declining gold-mining town that had 13 brothels and no churches. His parents were heavy drinkers, and his father sometimes abused his mother.
  2. Nicknamed “Pinky,” the young Reid frequently got into fights with other children. He once beat up his teacher’s son in front of his class, breaking his own hand. Eventually, he channeled his aggression into amateur boxing.
  3. Reid grew up without any religious affiliation, while his wife, Landra, was Jewish. But the couple converted to Mormonism shortly after they married. Landra’s parents did not approve of the marriage, so the couple eloped, and had their wedding dinner at a Chinese restaurant. (Before the marriage, Reid once got in a fistfight with his future father-in-law.)
  4. After Reid’s own father died, Reid found his marriage certificate and was surprised to discover that he and his younger brother were born out of wedlock. He called up his brother and said, “Hey, you little bastard,” according to his memoir.
  5. In the 1960s, Reid chose to go to law school at George Washington University. His congressman arranged a patronage job for him as a Capitol policeman, and Reid sat at the front desk in the building now named Longworth.
  6. Reid’s high school history teacher, Mike O’Callaghan, was crucial to Reid’s political rise — because O’Callaghan rose to chair Nevada’s Democratic Party and eventually became the state’s governor. Reid served as his lieutenant governor from 1971 to 1975, his first statewide political office.
  7. In the mid-’70s, Reid failed to win election to the US Senate and as mayor of Las Vegas. So his mentor, Governor O’Callaghan, intervened again, naming him chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission. This gave Reid a powerful position at a time when corruption and mafia influence on gambling were heavy. At one point, Reid’s wife’s car was rigged to explode.
  8. When a man tried to offer Reid a bribe in 1978, he reported it to the FBI. They set up a sting, but Reid ended up going off-script and choking the criminal as he was about to be arrested. “You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me!” he said. (It was videotaped.)
  9. Reid has been involved in two incredibly close elections. He lost his 1974 Senate bid by just 0.4 percent. Then, after finally winning a Senate seat in 1986 and serving two terms, he won a third term in 1998 by just 0.1 percent.
  10. Reid became Senate Democratic whip, the number-two position in party leadership, in 1997. He described his technique as follows: “I would reserve the breast pocket of my suit jacket for [senators’] notes, requests, and complaints, and by the end of most days that pocket would be full.” When the top spot opened up in 2005, Reid became Senate Democratic leader — a position he still holds.
  11. Reid’s relationship with President George W. Bush was notoriously terrible, due to disagreements ranging from the Iraq War to the administration’s plan to store nuclear waste in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. Reid publicly called Bush, at various times, a “loser” and a “liar.” When a Rolling Stone reporter observed that Reid had apologized for the “loser” comment, Reid responded, “But never for the liar, have I?”
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