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NYTimes Poll Suprise: Southern Senate Dems In The Lead

(TPM) The polls, released Wednesday, found Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) leading Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) 46 percent to 36 percent. In Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) just barely leads Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) 44 percent to 43 percent, the poll found.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) is neck-and-neck with House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-NC) in a hypothetical matchup with Hagan getting 42 percent while Tillis gets 40 percent.


Ted Cruz's Worst Nightmare Is Coming True: Obamacare is working.

(Politico) Last August, as conservatives barnstormed the country seeking to build support for a cockamamie plan to shut down the U.S. federal government unless Congress voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican senator, said something surprisingly prescient about the president’s signature health-care law.

“President Obama wants to get as many Americans addicted to the subsidies because he knows that in modern times, no major entitlement has ever been implemented and then unwound,” he said. The worry, according to Cruz, was that once the ACA went into effect, we’d all be “addicted to the sugar.” Then, it would be too late to roll it back.


Florida Republican Dane Eagle Arrested For DUI After Leaving Taco Bell At 2 A.M.

(HuffPo) "We need to be as elected officials held to a higher standard," said Florida state Rep. Dane Eagle (R-Cape Coral) last month after sponsoring a bill that would require legislators to submit to drug testing.

Just before 2 a.m. Monday morning, Eagle was arrested in Tallahassee on suspicion of DUI. Police first spotted him pulling out of a Taco Bell in his black SUV before he narrowly avoided hitting a median, then stopped in an intersection, veered into a curb and ran a traffic light, according to arrest documents.


The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest

(NYT) The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.

While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.

After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans.


New York City Council budget to fund universal free lunch for all public school kids

(NY Daily News) There is such a thing as a free lunch, if the City Council has its way. The Council’s proposed city budget, to be unveiled Wednesday, will include a universal school lunch program for all kids, regardless of how much money their families make.


Justice Sotomayor Attacks John Roberts' Views On Race As 'Out Of Touch With Reality'

(TPM) A significant portion of Justice Sonia Sotomayor's scathing dissent in the Supreme Court's decision upholding Michigan's affirmative action ban was dedicated to taking on Chief Justice John Roberts' views on race in America.

"In my colleagues' view, examining the racial impact of legislation only perpetuates racial discrimination. This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination. As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society. It is this view that works harm, by perpetuating the facile notion that what makes race matter is acknowledging the simple truth that race does matter."


Study: American public has ‘virtually no influence’ over politics in face of wealthy interest groups

(Al Jazeera America) It’s not just your imagination: The influence of money in politics has indeed drowned out the voices of American voters, a new analysis shows, with runaway corporate lobbying and a lack of campaign finance reform to blame for giving much more political weight to the wealthy.

Researchers at Princeton University and Northwestern University compared the public’s influence on 1,779 policy issues between 1981 and 2002, finding that more often than not, the interests of wealthy groups and individuals won out over the demands of the general public. For instance, when 80 percent of the public asked for a change of some sort, they got their way only about 43 percent of the time.


Mitch McConnell Says He Stood Up for Women in a Sexual-Harassment Scandal and The Real Story Is ...

(Mother Jones) Facing his toughest reelection battle in years against a well-known and well-financed female opponent, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently boasted that he led the Senate in ousting a GOP colleague accused of sexual harassment in 1995. But news reports from that time show that late in the investigation, McConnell tried to stall the probe against his fellow Republican, Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.). He derided efforts by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to hold public hearings on Packwood as "frolic and detour"—after the Senate ethics committee had substantiated nearly two-dozen claims of sexual harassment leveled against Packwood by female lobbyists and former staffers.


Christie’s Presidential Chances Declining in New Hampshire

(Philly Mag) Who knows if it’s because of Bridgegate, or because of conservatives’ underlying suspicion of him, but Chris Christie’s New Hampshire support in the 2016 presidential election has declined precipitously. Power Line, a conservative blog, reports on the result of a new poll of Granite State Republican primary voters.

For Christie, there is very little good news in this poll. Sure, he places fourth with 12 percent support. But last July, the Granite State poll had him in the lead at 21 percent.


Debbie Wasserman Schultz Guts David Gregory’s GOP Cheerleading On Meet The Press

(Politicus USA) David Gregory repeatedly told Rep. Wasserman Schultz that he wasn’t interested in facts, or the merits as he called them. Gregory made it clear that he was only interested in pushing the Republican fantasy that Democrats are doomed because of Obamacare.

Wasserman-Schultz put him in his place by explaining reality. Millions of people do understand the ACA, because they now have health insurance, or they aren’t getting dropped because they have a preexisting condition. As far as the 2014 electoral map is concerned, Democratic Senate incumbents are leading in places like Arkansas and Louisiana, and they could easily pick up two more seats in Kentucky and Georgia.


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Latest Breaking News

(Philadelphia Glaucoma) doc, daughter, arrested for growing pot

27 min ago - After 28 marijuana plants were seized at his home, police said, a Main Line eye doctor was arrested Wednesday and jailed on drug charges. Appearing before a district judge, Paul Carter Ezell, 58, of Haverford Township, wearing a brown t-shirt and b ... (Philly.com)

Aurora Victims' Families Denounce Photoshopped Ad Attacking Udall As 'Disgrace'

1 hr ago - DANIEL STRAUSS – APRIL 23, 2014, 5:09 PM EDT Families of the victims of the Aurora, Colorado shooting denounced Americans For Prosperity for photoshopping a picture of President Barack Obama and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) into a new ad attacking Udall o ... (TPM)

First troops land in Poland as US beefs up Baltic presence

1 hr ago - Swidwin (Poland) (AFP) - The first American troops arrived in Poland on Wednesday, after Washington said it was sending a force of 600 there and to the Baltic states amid rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine. Some 130 soldiers from the 173rd Ai ... (AFP/Yahoo)

NYT Poll: Even These Southern States Don't Want Obamacare Repealed

1 hr ago - DYLAN SCOTT – APRIL 23, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT Majorities of people surveyed in a trio of Southern states said they would rather keep Obamacare and improve than repeal and replace it, according to a New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation poll released W ... (TPM)

In Landmark Ruling, Jury Says Fracking Company Must Pay $3 Million To Sickened Family

1 hr ago - A family claiming they were sickened because of pollution from hydraulic fracturing operations near their home should be awarded $2.95 million for their troubles, a jury ruled on Tuesday. The Parr family had sued Aruba Petroleum Inc. in 2011, allegi ... (ThinkProgress)

KKK affiliate starts neighborhood watch–what could possibly go wrong?

1 hr ago - According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 41 hate groups actively operate in Pennsylvania. In York County, an affiliate of the KKK and longtime nemesis of the SPLC has decided to “give back” to its community: by starting a neighborhood watch grou ... (Philly Now)

6 fired for closing Arizona child abuse reports

1 hr ago - Five senior Arizona child welfare employees were fired Wednesday for orchestrating a plan that led to more than 6,500 Arizona child abuse and neglect cases being closed without investigations, officials said. The firings were the first major pers ... (ABC News)

State College residents looking to put up new statue of Joe Paterno

2 hrs ago - It’s approaching two years since Penn State, in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, took down the Joe Paterno statue and carted the likeness of the legendary football coach off into nearby Beaver Stadium. The university’s been tight lipped ... (Centre Daily Times)

F.C.C., in ‘Net Neutrality’ Turnaround, Plans to Allow Fast Lane.

2 hrs ago - The Federal Communications Commission will propose new rules that allow Internet service providers to offer a faster lane through which to send video and other content to consumers, as long as a content company is willing to pay for it, according to ... (nyt)

Shaky Start to Ukraine’s Military Push Amid Frayed Geneva Deal

3 hrs ago - SLOVYANSK, Ukraine — While Russia and the United States traded warnings and accusations over developments Wednesday in Ukraine, the promised Ukrainian military effort to reassert control over the restive eastern part of the country got off to a halti ... (New York Times)

San Antonio GI killed in Guatemala exercise

3 hrs ago - San Antonio GI killed in Guatemala exercise By Sig Christenson : April 23, 2014 : Updated: April 23, 2014 2:17pm A soldier from U.S. Army South in San Antonio was killed this week in an incident in Guatemala that left three other GIs injured. Th ... (San Antonio Express News)

USAF: Colombia crash caused by plane hitting hill

3 hrs ago - USAF: Colombia crash caused by plane hitting hill By BROCK VERGAKIS Associated Press April 23, 2014 Updated 20 minutes ago NORFOLK, Va. — Air Force investigators say a plane crash that killed four people in Colombia this past fall occurred when the ... (Associated Press)

GMO Labeling Bill Passes VT Legislature

3 hrs ago - MONTPELIER, Vt. - The Vermont House has passed a GMO labeling bill on Wednesday. The bill has now passed both the House and Senate and has to be signed by Governor Shumlin before it becomes law. “I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in t ... (04/23/2014 03:49 PM, 04/23/2014 03:50 PM)

Turkey offers condolences to Armenia over WWI killings

3 hrs ago - Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered condolences for the first time for the mass killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule during WWI. His comments came on the eve of the 99th anniversary of the mass deportation of Armenians in 1915. Turkey d ... (BBC News)

Pussy Riot singer joins opposition to UK prison book ban

3 hrs ago - Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has given her support to a campaign against the UK government's ban on sending books to prisoners. Ms Tolokonnikova, who spent 16 months in jail for protesting against Russian president Vladimir Putin, is one ... (BBC)

Ukraine Receives IMF Staff Support for $17 Billion Loan

4 hrs ago - International Monetary Fund staff endorsed a $17 billion loan to Ukraine to help the government pay its bills amid a projected economic contraction of 5 percent this year, according to government officials who have seen the recommendations. The staf ... (Bloomberg)

Stowaway: San Jose airport eyes security changes after 'very serious' incident

4 hrs ago - SAN JOSE -- The director of San Jose's airport on Tuesday called the unusual security breach involving a teen stowaway who sneaked onto the airfield a "very serious" incident that could spark changes in how the airport protects its passengers. But A ... (SJ mercury News)

Energy Department scraps millions in fees for nuclear loan guarantee

4 hrs ago - Developers of a Georgia nuclear project didn't have to pay millions of dollars in fees designed to prevent risk for taxpayers when it secured $6.5 billion in loan guarantees from the Energy Department in February, the agency confirmed Tuesday to the ... (Washington Examiner)

[MS] Gov. Bryant signs 20-week abortion ban

4 hrs ago - Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill that bans on abortions at 20 weeks or more gestation, without exception for rape or incest. Proponents, including House Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, author of the bill, said Mississippi is the last st ... (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)

Photo Of Obama In Conservative Attack Ad Is Photoshopped From Hospital Trip After Aurora Shooting

4 hrs ago - Conservative group Americans For Prosperity cut out the hospital and the governor of Colorado to show President Obama and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall looking sad together for a negative campaign ad. WASHINGTON — President Obama and Colorado Sen. Ma ... (Buzzfeed)

U.S. man accused of arms dealing, attempted murder in Venezuela

4 hrs ago - U.S. man accused of arms dealing, attempted murder in Venezuela Source: Reuters - Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:52 PM CARACAS, April 23 (Reuters) - A Venezuelan court ordered a U.S. citizen to remain behind bars on Wednesday for alleged arms trafficking and a ... (Reuters)

Eric Holder: Sonia Sotomayor ‘courageous’

5 hrs ago - Eric Holder lauded Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent in the Michigan affirmative action case, calling it “courageous.” The attorney general, speaking at a diversity event at the Justice Department on Wednesday, said the justice’s disse ... (Politico)

New AFP TV spot attacks Udall over Obamacare cancellations

5 hrs ago - The second TV ad from the group Americans For Prosperity attacking Colorado Sen. Mark Udall focuses on the 335,000 health insurance policy cancellation letters mailed to Coloradans as a result of the Affordable Care Act that Udall supported. That ... (KDVR-TV FOX 31 Denver)

New Records: IRS Targeted Progressive Groups More Extensively Than Tea Party

5 hrs ago - A series of IRS documents, provided to ThinkProgress under the Freedom of Information Act, appears to contradict the claims by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that only Tea Party organizations applying ... (Think Progress)

Mo. House panel to consider impeaching governor

6 hrs ago - JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Republican-led Missouri House committee plans to hold a hearing on measures seeking to impeach Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The Wednesday hearing on three separate impeachment resolutions includes one citing Nixon's decisi ... (Channel 5 KDSK (St. Louis))

Georgia’s ‘Guns Everywhere Bill’

6 hrs ago - Just a few minutes ago, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed sweeping new gun legislation into law, and while it’s technically the “Safe Carry Protection Act,” NBC News’ Gabe Gutierrez noted that many have labeled it the “Guns Everywhere Bill.” One ... (msnbc Rachel Maddow show)

NYT Poll Blows Up The GOP's Obamacare Narrative

7 hrs ago - DYLAN SCOTT – APRIL 23, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT A poll released Wednesday offers yet another data point showing the politics of Obamacare aren't as set in stone as the conventional wisdom would have you believe. Embracing Obamacare isn't necessarily a po ... (TPM)

Brazil Passes Bill on Internet Privacy

7 hrs ago - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday ratified a bill guaranteeing Internet privacy and enshrining access to the Web during a major conference in Sao Paulo on the future of Internet governance. The legislation, which was passed by the Sena ... (Associated Press)

Erdogan confirms ‘aid’ to Turkish military post inside Syria

7 hrs ago - A Turkish convoy has carried “aid” into Syria, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 23, responding to claims that Turkish forces have started an operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) near the tomb of Süle ... (Hurriyet Daily News)

IRS paid 1,100 of its employees bonuses although they owed back taxes

7 hrs ago - WASHINGTON --Failure to pay taxes usually is bad news for most Americans, but apparently not for some employees of the Internal Revenue Service –-they received performance bonuses from the agency despite failing to submit what they owed. The IRS pai ... (Los Angeles Times)