PA Gets Big Race to the Top Grant

The third installment of Barack Obama’s much-lauded/much-reviled education reform initiative, Race to the Top, focuses on early education. States that show progress in reform, as deemed by Sec. Education Arne Duncan and co., get money. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and four others are today’s big winners. PA gets $51.4 million.

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Can Everybody Please Shut Up About The Obama Funeral Selfie?

selfie

It happened on Tuesday. One day before the Fake Sign Language Interpreter Scandal broke, United States President Barack Obama put on the Classic Overbite Selfie Face for a photo with some mobile-phone-wielding blonde (who happened to be Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt) and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, a photo that has now become known as the Obama Funeral Selfie and has inspired the Great Obama Funeral Selfie Scandal of 2013, otherwise known as Selfie-gate. Read more »

Corbett Asks Obama Admin to Approve Non-Obamacare Plan

Tom Corbett, in a final effort to push his alternative to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, will now ask the Obama administration to formally approve it. It would function similarly to the current Medicaid expansion–which 25 states, including all of PA’s neighbors have agreed to–which offers Medicaid to all those living within 133% of the poverty line. Except for a couple thorny factors.

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Obamacare’s Awful Choice Between Contraception and Religious Freedom

Shutterstock.com

Photo | Shutterstock.com

Are you for religious freedom or for women’s access to birth control? Me, I’m for both, but it sure doesn’t look like we’ll be able to leave it there.

Soon, the Supreme Court will hear a case in which private employers — including, notably, the craft-store chain Hobby Lobby — challenge Obamacare’s new mandate that employer-provided health insurance policies include contraception coverage. The employers say the edict violates their religious beliefs against birth control; the law’s defenders say that corportations like Hobby Lobby aren’t religious institutions and thus aren’t owed exemptions from a requirement that will be beneficial to millions of women.

And they’re both right.

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No, Obama Isn’t Shutting Down the Embassy to the Vatican

Photo | Shutterstock

Photo | Shutterstock.com

Pope Francis issued a pretty stern statement Tuesday about capitalism’s less-redeeming features, but you might not’ve known that from the behavior of conservative American Catholics. Rather than pondering what the pope’s message means for their ideology, they were spending the day getting mad at President Obama. Why? Because he’s closing down the American embassy to the Vatican!

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White House Asks America to Choose Which Pardoned Turkey Is Awesomer

This seems weird: Instead of just, you know, pardoning a turkey at Thanksgiving, the White House is giving America two candidates for survival, birds that go by the charming names of “Caramel” and “Popcorn.” “Both turkeys will be pardoned, but only the American people will decide which bird takes the title.” America will decide which is which. So go vote!

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The Clintons Were Right: Where Obamacare (Maybe) Went Wrong

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Watching all the fuss and muss surrounding the launch of Obamacare these last few weeks, I’ve been struck by an unwelcome thought:

Maybe the Clintons were right.

The Clintons — Bill and Hillary both, back when Bill was president — emerged from the last fight for universal health care pretty wounded, politically. The Democrats lost control of Congress for the first time in a generation. The president was reduced to asserting his Constitutional relevance to the press. And the pair seemed to lose the courage of their liberal convictions.

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