Separate appearances Friday by President Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan before an AARP meeting in New Orleans proved that the third rail of American politics, Medicare and Social Security collectively, is still very much electrified.
Speaking to a supremely friendly audience via live video feed from Virginia, where he was campaigning, Obama drew repeated applause and cheers with promises to defend Medicare and Social Security from Republican proposals that he said threaten the entitlement programs' ability to deliver the kind of benefits seniors have become accustomed to.
Both President Barack Obama and Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan presented their visions for Medicare to the nation's most influential lobbying group for the elderly on Friday. Julie Rovner has parsed their remarks and joins Audie Cornish to provide some context.
Republican dreams of taking control of the U.S. Senate in November have been declared all but dead over the past several days by prognosticators pointing to trouble facing the party in unexpected places.
Missouri and Indiana come to mind.
But don't count Senate race analyst Jennifer Duffy among them.
"I'm not ready to call this done and over," Duffy said of the GOP's push to pick up four seats, which would definitely tip the Senate balance of power. "We seem to be in some period of transition. Whether it's permanent or not, we'll know in a couple weeks."
Many people erupted in outrage when secretly taped remarks by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney were released earlier this week. But people from both sides of the political aisle suggest that maybe Romney has a point. Host Michel Martin speaks with David Sirota who wrote about this on Salon.com, and Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute.
After an investigation that lasted two years, the House Ethics Committee has cleared Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of charges that she tried to influence regulators when a bank that her husband owns stock in went looking for a federal bailout in 2008.
Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, acting chairman of the ethics panel, announced the decision this morning.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 1:22 pm
Credit Amy Davis / MCT /Landov
If you didn't get your fill of the debate about the best ways to evaluate and compensate teachers from the strike in Chicago, you can now tune in to hear similar arguments in Idaho.
Voters there are going to decide the fate of three different state laws that would phase out tenure, offer financial incentives to top-performing teachers and strip teachers of collective bargaining rights.
All of these laws are being challenged by what are known as popular referendums: when citizens challenge laws that have already been passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.
Fundraising reports filed last night by the presidential campaigns show President Obama with a slight advantage in fundraising last month, while Republican Mitt Romney has the edge by some other measures.
Each candidate is raising money for his own campaign committee, plus his national party committee and a joint fundraising committee or two.
So what you see depends on what you look at.
In cash on hand, the overall Romney organization finished August with more than $168 million — that's $43 million more than the overall Obama organization.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been busy after a tape emerged of him telling wealthy donors that nearly half of Americans see themselves as victims dependent on the federal government. Now he's trying to make those remarks part of a broader argument: What is the proper role of government and who should pay for it?