What’s more, press coverage of the Benghazi affair thus far has left Dems with a sense that no matter what Dems do, press accounts will accord credibility — initially, at least — to whatever revelations Republicans serve up, even if they turn out to be bogus later. If the goal of boycotting the proceedings is to reveal them to be without credibility, that could be complicated by media treatment of the twists and turns in the probe, which will be unpredictable.Andy Borowitz:
Millions of unemployed Americans who have fruitlessly been looking for work for months are determined that Congress get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi, a new poll indicates.More politics and policy below the fold.
According to the survey, job-seeking Americans hope that Congress will eventually do something about job creation, but they are adamant that it hold new hearings about Benghazi first.
By a wide majority, respondents to the poll “strongly agreed” with the statement “I would really like to find a job, but not if it in any way distracts Congress from my No. 1 concern: finding out what really happened in Benghazi.”
Controversy over the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate continues. The requirement’s implications for coverage are small, and yet the negative labor market effects of keeping it in place could harm some low-wage workers.Chris Geidner:
Under the law, employers of 50 or more workers are subject to a penalty if at least one of their full-time workers obtains a Marketplace subsidy. Employees offered coverage deemed affordable and adequate are prohibited from obtaining subsidies, as are their family members, and employers can avoid penalties by offering coverage to at least 95 percent of workers. However, the Administration has delayed the requirements until 2016 for employers of 50-99, for larger employers until 2015, and softened
requirements for that first year. Yet there are anecdotal reports of employers changing labor practices even though penalties have yet to be implemented.
Our analyses as well as that of others find that eliminating the employer mandate willnot reduce insurance coverage significantly, contrary to its supporters’ expectations. Eliminating it will remove labor market distortions that have troubled employer groups and which would harm some workers. However, new revenue sources will be required to replace that anticipated to be raised by the employer mandate.
Arkansas Judge Strikes Down State Ban On Same-Sex MarriageReuters:
“THIS COURT HEREBY FINDS the Arkansas constitutional and legislative ban on same-sex marriage through Act 144 of 1997 and Amendment 83 is unconstitutional.” [Update: The state is seeking an immediate stay.]
The first U.S. patient to test positive for the often deadly MERS virus was released from an Indiana hospital on Friday and is fully recovered, hospital officials said.Aaron Glantz:
Multiple tests conducted at different times by the Indiana State Laboratory and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were negative for the presence of ongoing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) infection in the patient, according to a statement from the Indiana State Department of Health.
"The patient has tested negative for MERS, is no longer symptomatic and poses no threat to the community," said Dr. Alan Kumar, chief medical information officer for Community Hospital in Munster. No additional cases have been found.
With criticism mounting on Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki over allegations that veterans in Phoenix died while waiting for care, another whistleblower has stepped forward with documents alleging he witnessed incidents that together pose “a substantial and specific threat to the mental health and safety of our veterans.”NY Times:
In an exclusive interview with ABC News and The Center for Investigative Reporting, Dr. Jose Mathews said he was removed from his position as chief of psychiatry at the VA hospital in St. Louis after he complained that other psychiatrists were counseling veterans for as few as three hours a day.
“The workday started late, and it ended early,” he said. “We are taking care of veterans who underwrite our freedom. It’s completely unacceptable and unethical.”
In a federal whistleblower complaint filed with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, Mathews said his superiors exhibited a “disregard for veteran care and safety” at the St. Louis hospital, citing emails he wrote to hospital administrators asking them to investigate two allegedly preventable deaths, an inpatient suicide attempt and a veteran who was turned away from care.
In each case, he said, his efforts were rebuffed.
What comes after “The Colbert Report”?
On Comedy Central it will be “The Minority Report” and the host will be the “senior black correspondent” from “The Daily Show” — otherwise known as Larry Wilmore.
Comedy Central has concluded a deal with Jon Stewart’s production company, Busboy Productions, to create the follow-up show to the Emmy-winning “Colbert Report,” which will be coming to an end in the next year when its star, Stephen Colbert, leaves to succeed David Letterman on CBS’s “Late Show.”