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"Medicare: Not Such a Budget-Buster Anymore"

(NYT) You’re looking at the biggest story involving the federal budget and a crucial one for the future of the American economy. Every year for the last six years in a row, the Congressional Budget Office has reduced its estimate for how much the federal government will need to spend on Medicare in coming years. The latest reduction came in a report from the budget office on Wednesday morning.

The changes are big. The difference between the current estimate for Medicare’s 2019 budget and the estimate for the 2019 budget four years ago is about $95 billion. That sum is greater than the government is expected to spend that year on unemployment insurance, welfare and Amtrak — combined. It’s equal to about one-fifth of the expected Pentagon budget in 2019. Widely discussed policy changes, like raising the estate tax, would generate just a tiny fraction of the budget savings relative to the recent changes in Medicare’s spending estimates.


Former Iowa state senator pleads guilty in Ron Paul endorsement-for-pay scheme

(Washington Pos) A former Iowa state senator pleaded guilty Wednesday to concealing campaign expenditures and obstructing justice as part of an endorsement-for-pay scheme that roiled the Iowa Republican caucuses in 2012.

Kent Sorenson, of Milo, Iowa, admitted in federal district court that former Rep. Ron Paul’s presidential campaign secretly paid him $73,000 after he dramatically dropped his backing of Rep. Michele Bachmann in late 2011 and endorsed Paul’s White House bid, saying at the time that Bachmann was no longer a viable candidate.


TV station pulls anti-Shaheen ads off air

(AP) A super PAC’s negative ads against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen were pulled off the air Wednesday after the New Hampshire Democrat’s attorneys flagged inaccuracies in the spot.

Ending Spending Action Fund, a conservative outside group, claimed in ads that “Shaheen’s wealth has surged while in public office.” Her financial disclosure forms filed with the Senate show the opposite, with her personal wealth dropping by at least $562,000 and perhaps as much as $1 million.


Women are “barely receptive” to Republican policies — GOP poll

(Seattle PI) Two powerful, male-led Republican “SuperPACs” commissioned a major poll on what women think of the party and its candidates, and were rewarded with dismal results.

Women view the Republican Party as “lacking in compassion,” and “stuck in the past” and “intolerant,” according to the report, “Republicans and Women Voters: Huge Challenges, Real Opportunities,” which was obtained by the Politico website.


We interrupt this difficult life for scenes of love and joy

From Chicago, where the 11- and 12-year olds from Jackie Robinson West were celebrated for winning the US Little League Championship and second-best in the world:


Schauer edges ahead of Snyder, 45% to 43%, in new governor race poll

(Detroit Free Press) Democratic challenger Mark Schauer has edged ahead of Gov. Rick Snyder by two percentage points, according to a new poll of likely voters in the Nov. 4 election.

The results from EPIC-MRA of Lansing come just before the Labor Day holiday which is seen as the kickoff of the main campaign season and were released exclusively to the Free Press, WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) and statewide media partners. A 2-point lead is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, meaning the race remains a statistical dead heat.


Gillibrand To Male Colleague Who Called Her 'Porky': 'Thanks A--hole'

(TPM) She does not give names, but this clarifies why no gender equality bill can be passed in the US Senate (and I am sure some of this guys are "on our side".

In promoting her new book, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has come forward with several stories of being called "chubby," "fat," and "porky" by her male colleagues in Congress.

In one incident from her early days in the Senate, Gillibrand describes an older senator who approached her from behind and squeezed her waist. "Don’t lose too much weight now," she recalls him saying. "I like my girls chubby.”


Republican State Rep candidate drops bomb shell comment

(KOAA) A Colorado Springs candidate for the state house, known for his controversial comments, dropped another bomb shell.

We're talking about District 15 Republican Gordon Klingenschmitt and his most recent attack on openly gay Colorado Congressman Jared Polis.

"Democrats like Polis want to bankrupt Christians who refuse to worship and endorse his sodomy. Next he'll join ISIS in beheading Christians..." said Klingenschmitt.


Teammate defends Michael Sam after ESPN's 'shower' report

(Yahoo) Before Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly gay player, ever set foot on an NFL football field, doubters had claimed that he would be a distraction to his team and shunned by his teammates. However, in the first media flare-up regarding Sam's orientation, he has received the definitive support of one of the strongest voices in his locker room.

The precipitating incident was an ESPN report on how Sam, no sure thing to make the Rams' roster, was adjusting to life with his new teammates. And after some initial cliches, the report took a sharp turn, focusing for almost a full minute on Sam's showering habits:

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Politics 2014

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Latest Breaking News

Exclusive: U.S. may use secrets act to stop suit against Iran sanctions group

55 min ago - (Reuters) - The U.S. government is considering using a powerful national security law to halt a private lawsuit against a non-profit group, United Against A Nuclear Iran, according to a source familiar with the case. Greek businessman and ship owner ... (Reuters)

Colombia arrests 32 politicians over paramilitary ties (U.S. South American right-wing ally)

1 hr ago - Colombia arrests 32 politicians over paramilitary ties AFP August 29, 2014, 4:22 am Bogota (AFP) - Colombian authorities have arrested 32 local politicians for alleged ties to right-wing paramilitary groups that fueled the country's 50-year confli ... (Agence France-Presse)

Hillary Clinton on Ferguson: 'We Can Do Better'

2 hrs ago - Hillary Clinton on Thursday delivered her first public remarks on the death of Michael Brown, saying her heart broke for the teenager’s family and that Martin Luther King Jr.’s calls for racial equality are “as fiercely urgent today” as they were 50 ... (NBC)

US starts extradition process for Colombia ex-Minister of Agriculture

2 hrs ago - US starts extradition process for Colombia ex-Minister of Agriculture Aug 28, 2014 posted by Victoria McKenzie The US has begun the process of extraditing Andres Felipe Arias, the former Colombian minister sentenced to 17 years in prison for embe ... (Colombia Reports)

NFL increases penalties for domestic violence

2 hrs ago - NEW YORK (AP) — NFL players will be subject to a six-week suspension for a first domestic violence offense and banishment from the league for a second under a new policy outlined by Commissioner Roger Goodell. In a letter and memo sent to all 32 tea ... (AP)

Obama to make statement on Ukraine

3 hrs ago - President Obama is expected to make a statement soon from the White House about the situation in Ukraine. Watch it at the link below. ... (Washington Post)

Another big boost for Obamacare

3 hrs ago - By Greg Sargent August 28 at 3:40 PM In another sign that the politics of Obamacare continue to shift, the Medicaid expansion is now all but certain to come to another big state whose Republican governor had previously resisted it: Pennsylvania. ... (Washington Post)

Captives held by Islamic State were waterboarded

3 hrs ago - At least four hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State, including an American journalist who was recently executed by the group, were waterboarded in the early part of their captivity, according to people familiar with the treatment of the kidnapp ... (Washington Post)

Judge rules school finance system unconstitutional

3 hrs ago - AUSTIN -- A judge on Thursday again declared Texas' school finance system unconstitutional, reaffirming his 2013 ruling that struck down the current mode of funding public education as inefficient and inadequate. The office of Attorney General Greg ... (Houston Chronicle)

BREAKING: Michael Brown Audio Aired By CNN Authenticated

3 hrs ago - Reported by Erik Wemple of the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/08/28/video-messaging-service-verifies-timing-of-cnn-audio-recording/ "Video messaging service Glide has confirmed to the Washington Post the exac ... (Glide Video Messaging Service)

NHL expansion plans in the works: reports

3 hrs ago - The NHL is considering expanding by as many as four teams, according to a pair of reports, with Toronto and Quebec City in the mix to land new franchises. Howard Bloom of Sports Business News tweeted that the league will add four franchises "by 2017 ... (CBC)

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif is named as a murder suspect

4 hrs ago - Police in Pakistan have named Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as a suspect in a murder case, officials say. He is among 21 possible defendants suspected of the killing of 14 demonstrators near Lahore in June. Opposition cleric Tahir ul-Qadri has demand ... (BBC)

UN Security Council Meets on Ukraine Crisis

4 hrs ago - The U.N. Security Council met Thursday in an emergency session on the growing crisis in Ukraine with some members expressing outrage. U.N. Undersecretary-General of Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told council members, as the meeting began, that ... (Associated Press)

Islamic State group kills captured Syrian soldiers

5 hrs ago - By RYAN LUCAS and ZEINA KARAM BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group killed more than 150 troops captured in recent fighting for a string of military bases in northeastern Syria, shooting some and slashing others with knives in the past 24 hours in t ... (AP-EXCITE)

Ebola Cases May Surpass 20,000, WHO Says in Updated Plan

7 hrs ago - More than 20,000 people may be infected with Ebola before the outbreak in West Africa is controlled, and curbing the epidemic will cost at least $490 million, according to a World Health Organization plan. The number of people falling ill is acceler ... (Bloomberg)

Ukraine fears weigh on global stock markets

8 hrs ago - Worsening tensions in Ukraine are sending markets lower, overshadowing an encouraging report on U.S. economic growth. Ukraine's president declared that Russian forces have entered his country and called an emergency meeting of the nation's security ... (AP-EXCITE)

Explosion Shakes BP's Largest Oil Refinery in The U.S.

9 hrs ago - A fire broke out at BP’s largest U.S. refinery on Wednesday night after a compressor exploded in one of the refinery’s units, sending shakes through local homes and injuring one worker, according to media reports. The explosion is the latest mishap ... (ClimateProgress)

Romney for US president in 2016? Iowa poll puts him on top

9 hrs ago - Americans may not be through with Mitt Romney after all. The two-time Republican presidential candidate has repeatedly stressed over the past year that he is not interested in a third shot at the White House. But an Iowa poll released Wednesday sugg ... (Agence France-Presse)

US economy grew at brisk 4.2 pct. rate in Q2

10 hrs ago - By MARTIN CRUTSINGER WASHINGTON (AP) — After a bleak start to the year, the U.S. economy rebounded vigorously in the April-June quarter, growing at a brisk annual rate of 4.2 percent, slightly faster than first estimated. The upward revision suppor ... (AP-EXCITE)

Local Deal To Sell Market Basket To Arthur T. Demoulas Has Been Reached

11 hrs ago - BOSTON (CBS) – A deal to sell supermarket chain Market Basket to Arthur T. Demoulas has been signed. The deal, which is for more than $1.5 billion, was reached at a board meeting Wednesday night. The agreement will take months to formally close, an ... (WBZ)

Iowa Lawmaker Guilty of Receiving Illegal Payments

12 hrs ago - Former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson (R) has pleaded guilty in federal court to receiving concealed payments from then-Rep. Ron Paul's (R) presidential campaign and then obstructing the investigation into the incident, the Des Moines Register reports ... (Political Wire)

Russian and Ukraine troops battle in south, prompting fears that invasion has begun

14 hrs ago - By Annie Gowen and Karoun Demirjian August 28 at 4:08 AM KIEV, Ukraine — Fighting between Russian troops and the Ukrainian military worsened early Thursday, prompting fears in Ukraine that a Russian invasion of their territory has begun. Ukrainian ... (Washington Post)

Journal questions validity of autism and vaccine study

16 hrs ago - updated 11:48 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014 (CNN) -- A study published earlier this month on an alleged link between vaccines and autism has been removed from the public domain pending further investigation, according to Translational Neurodegeneratio ... (By Debra Goldschmidt, CNN)

Judge denies restraining order in immigration case

17 hrs ago - BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) —A federal judge in Texas denied Wednesday a conservative activist's request for an emergency stay to stop the government from transporting immigrants who entered the country illegally in South Texas to other states or releasi ... (AP)

A summer of violence is exposing Europe’s foreign policy weaknesses

18 hrs ago - August 28, 2014 00:31 LISBON, Portugal — European Union leaders have met 162 times since the bloc first began holding regular summits back in 1975, but this Saturday's gathering will be their first-ever during the month of August. The EU's president ... (GlobalPost)

Syrian rebels, al Qaeda-linked militants seize Golan Heights border crossing

18 hrs ago - By Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson, CNN updated 8:28 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014 Majdal Shams, Golan Heights (CNN) -- Rebels aided by al Qaeda-linked militants seized control of the only border crossing between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan H ... (CNN)

Medical regulators to investigate risky psych drug prescribing to California foster youth

18 hrs ago - With pressure on California's foster care system to curb the rampant use of powerful psych meds on children, concern is mounting about the doctors behind the questionable prescribing. For months, the state has adamantly refused to release data that ... (SJ Mercury News)

White House officials and Hispanic artists visit Concord elementary school

18 hrs ago - CONCORD -- Although Meadow Homes Elementary is considered a low-performing campus in the Mt. Diablo school district, it shined in the eyes of White House officials and famous artists who visited Wednesday. "All of you can make your dreams come true, ... (Contra Costa Times)

Darrell Issa invites Kathleen Sebelius, Hilda Solis to testify

19 hrs ago - Darrell Issa’s campaign against the White House’s political affairs is escalating. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman invited former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former Secretary of the Labor ... (Politico)

Obama crafts legal rationale for immigration steps

19 hrs ago - WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is crafting a blame-it-on-Congress legal justification to back up President Barack Obama's impending executive actions on immigration. Facing an expected onslaught of opposition, the administration plans to argue th ... (AP)