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‘Not clear’ if GOP can stop reconciliation on health care

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The Senate’s top Republican told Fox News’ Chris Wallace he isn’t sure if the Senate can be stopped from passing health care reform using budget reconciliation.

Reconciliation is a parliamentary budget maneuver that circumvents the filibuster and would allow Senate Democrats to pass reform without any support from Republicans, on a simple majority vote.

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Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Wallace he is uncertain if enough Democrats oppose the plan to defeat the bill. “There’ll be a lot of Democrats who will vote against it,” said McConnell. “Whether there will be 11 Democrats who will vote against it is not clear.”

McConnell worked a zinger into the conversation when he said, “The only thing bipartisan about it would be the opposition to it.”

More and more Democratic senators have signed a letter calling for the public option to be added back in to health care reform.

Monday the Senate will vote on a jobs bill after the snowstorm and President’s Day holiday have slowed business down significantly. McConnell and Majority Leader Harry Reid, along with other House and Senate leaders from both parties, will then head to the White House on Thursday for a bipartisan, televised summit on healthcare.

Firedoglake blogger Swopa says the summit could be a mistake for Democrats because Republicans may monkeywrech the whole thing “by actually offering a substantial proposal.”

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This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Feb. 21, 2010.



Download video via RawReplay.com


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2020 Election

We are witnessing the birth of a movement — and the downfall of a president

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They almost always begin to right wrongs: illegitimate wars; decades of discrimination on the grounds of gender or racial or sexual identity; killings of innocents by police or gun-toting lunatics; oppression by governments wielding unequal laws; the deeply embedded legacy of centuries of racism.

This article first appeared in Salon.

They are imperfect. Arising out of rage, they can be unfocused, inchoate, contradictory. Protesting violence, they often involve violence. Protesting oppression, they sometimes oppress by destroying public spaces, small businesses, even entire neighborhoods.

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COVID-19

COVID-19 research scandal: Unwanted diversion during pandemic

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The first research scandal of the coronavirus pandemic has created unnecessary distraction around the politically divisive drug hydroxychloroquine, scientists say, as questions swirl around the tiny health care company at the center of the affair.

On Thursday, most of the authors of major studies that appeared in The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) retracted their work and issued apologies, saying they could no longer vouch for their data after the firm that supplied it -- Chicago-based Surgisphere -- refused to be audited.

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Marriott ceases Cuban operations after new Trump sanctions

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Marriott has been ordered by the US Treasury Department to close its Four Points Sheraton hotel in Havana by the end of August and abandon plans to open others in Cuba, a spokeswoman for the American hotel group told AFP on Friday.

"We entered the Cuban market in 2016, with permission from the US government," the spokeswoman said.

"Our operating license was reviewed and renewed in 2018. We have recently received notice that the government-issued license will not be renewed, forcing Marriott to cease operations in Cuba."

Marriott's entry into the Cuban market came during the administration of US president Barack Obama, a Democrat.

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