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Republicans to target Afghan withdrawal timetable

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WASHINGTON — Fresh from their historic elections romp, US Republicans served notice Wednesday that they would target President Barack Obama’s July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan.

Republicans, who retook the House of Representatives on Tuesday and sliced deep into the Democrats’ Senate majority, have long criticized Obama’s timeline as encouraging Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters simply to wait out US forces.

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Republican Representative Buck McKeon, who was all but certain to be the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, signaled that the party would ensure that US forces have the “time” to achieve their goals.

Republicans will ensure that “our troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world have the equipment, resources, authorities, training, and time they need to successfully complete their missions and return home,” his office said in a statement.

“America remains a nation at war. More than 150,000 of our sons and daughters are deployed around the globe in the fight against Al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies,” said McKeon.

The committee’s “top priority,” he added, “will be to work in a bipartisan manner to provide those brave warfighters the resources and support they need to succeed in their missions and return home safely.”

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Two entrepreneurs explain why the health insurance industry is a direct threat to middle-class life

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Among many recent troubling headlines was this one: “Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class.” That story came on the heels of a report that consumer debt in the United States hit $14 trillion in the first quarter of the year, a level not seen since just before the financial crash of 2008.

To understand how we got here, it’s important to note another finding we feel has been perhaps most damaging to America’s middle class: since 1990, health care costs have risen 276 percent as wages, when adjusting for inflation, have barely grown at all.

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Award-winning broadcaster Cokie Roberts dies at 75

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Veteran broadcaster Cokie Roberts has died at the age of 75 due to complications from breast cancer.

Roberts joined NPR in 1978 before moving to ABC News, and she won three Emmy Awards and was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting.

"She was a true pioneer for women in journalism," said James Goldston, president of ABC News, "well-regarded for her insightful analysis of politics and policy in Washington, D.C., countless newsmaking interviews, and, notably, her unwavering support for generations of young women — and men — who would follow in her footsteps."

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Here’s what it would really take to impeach Brett Kavanaugh

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President Donald Trump isn’t the only Republican who some Democrats in Congress are talking about impeaching: Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts is among the Democrats who is calling for the impeachment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. But Sen. Dick Durban isn’t one of them. The Illinois Democrat has forcefully stated that trying to impeach Kavanaugh would be a waste of time for his party, and he’s right. The bar for impeaching a U.S. Supreme Court justice is incredibly high  — especially when far-right Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a.k.a. Moscow Mitch, still have a majority in the U.S. Senate.

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