William Saletan: if health care did cost the party its majority, so what? The bill was more important than the election. I realize that sounds crazy. We've become so obsessed with who wins or loses in politics that we've forgotten what the winning and losing are about. ... The big picture isn't about winning or keeping power. It's about using it.
A new poll released on Thursday morning showed that just 39 percent back the Republican effort to repeal or scale it President Obama's health care reform legislation. Fifty-eight percent would rather make more changes in the health care system or leave the bill alone.
Emboldened by President Obama's political struggles, foreign-policy hard-liners on the right are stepping up efforts to pursue a U.S. military attack on Iran. "The theoreticians who called for war in Iraq as a way to stop Saddam acquiring weapons of mass destruction are at it again, with the same playbook," said Joel Rubin of the liberal National Security Network.
According to a new Gallup poll, 59 percent of Democrats say it is generally more important for political leaders to compromise, with 18 percent saying it is more important to stick to your beliefs. But 41 percent of Republicans questioned in the survey say it is more important for lawmakers to stick to their beliefs even if little gets done. The poll indicates that by a 49 to 24 percent margin, independent voters say it is more important for politicians to compromise to get things done rather than sticking to their core beliefs.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns a 7 percent stake in Fox News parent News Corp, making him the largest shareholder outside CEO Rupert Murdoch's family. Alwaleed has grown close with the Murdoch enterprise, recently endorsing James Murdoch to succeed his father and creating a content-sharing agreement with Fox News for his own media conglomerate. Last weekend, at the right-wing Constitutional Coalition's annual conference, WorldNetDaily publisher Joseph Farah blasted Fox News for its relationship with Alwaleed.
In a ceremony in Prague, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a "New START" treaty that administration officials say will bring U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals to their lowest levels since the early 1960s. The White House says the treaty will reduce the number of long-range deployed nuclear warheads by 30%, while also taking the two nations several strides forward in overall relations.
Last year more than 100 foreign delegations and governments visited Helsinki, Finland, hoping to learn the secret of their schools' success. In 2006, Finland's pupils scored the highest average results in science and reading in the whole of the developed world. Why do they get the best results?
A $106 million project to create a solar-powered plane has successfully completed its first test flight. The Solar Impulse weighs about the same as a mid-sized car and has four electric motors powered by 12,000 solar cells built into wings as wide as a 747's. It completed an 87-mile flight at one mile high and a speed of 28 mph.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at a rally for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) -- the first time they've appeared together at a campaign rally. Recalling a "pink elephant" button for female Republican politicians, Palin said, "Someone had better tell Washington that that pink elephant is on the move, and Michele is leading the stampede."
Bristol Palin, daughter of former Gov. Sarah Palin, is continuing her campaign against teen pregnancy with a new public-service ad. Bristol Palin, who once described teen abstinence as "not realistic," reversed her position and works on the issue with the Candies Foundation.
Gregory Giusti, a man arrested Wednesday for making threats against the life of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over health care reform, is a victim of Fox News' angry rhetoric, according to his 83-year-old mother. "Greg frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas and that are not consistent with myself or the rest of the family, which gets him into problems," Eleanor Giusti said. "I say Fox News, or all of those that are really radical, and he, that's where he comes from."
Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born Muslim cleric, who may be in Yemen, has been added to the CIA's target list -- meaning agents are authorized to kill or capture him -- after U.S. intelligence officials concluded that he has taken an operational role in terrorist attacks. The 38-year-old cleric, who was born in New Mexico, is believed to be the first U.S. citizen added to the list since 2001.
When faced with a choice that could yield either short-term satisfaction or longer-term benefits, people with complete information about the options generally go for the quick reward, according to new research from University of Texas at Austin psychologists. "You'd think that with more information about your options, a person would make a better decision. Our study suggests the opposite," said researcher Bradley Love.
PoliFact: The Gun Owners of America has recently taken aim at an unlikely subject: health care reform. GOA has sent out a member alert titled, "ObamaCare Could be Used to Ban Guns in Home Self-Defense." PoliFact's response: "There is nothing in the bill itself to indicate that is contemplated. We find the statement False."
The economy had its biggest jump in jobs in three years in March, according to a government report released Friday, CNNMoney reports. The Labor Department said the economy gained 162,000 jobs in the month, compared to a revised reading of a 14,000 job loss in February. That makes March only the third month since the start of 2008 that employers did not cut payrolls.
The Republican National Committee accidentally listed the number to a phone sex line in a recent fundraising mailer. The RNC document, which appeared similar to a census form, featured Chairman Michael Steele's name and listed the RNC's return number as (800) 863-8500 instead of the correct number (202) 863-8500. Callers received a record message that begin, "Hey there sexy guy. Welcome to an exciting new way to go live one-on-one with hot, horny girls waiting right now to talk to you. ... we love nasty talk as much as you do."
A Florida doctor who considers the national health-care overhaul to be bad medicine for the country posted a sign on his office door telling patients who voted for President Barack Obama to leave. "If you voted for Obama, seek care elsewhere," the sign on Dr. Jack Cassell's door reads. "Changes to your health care begin right now, not in four years."
On his TV show Wednesday, Bill O'Reilly said he'd pay the $16,500 in legal fees owed by the father of a soldier to Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church. An appeals judge last week ruled Albert Snyder must pay the fees after he unsuccessfully sued Phelps' church for picketing the 2006 funeral of Snyder's son Matthew, a Marine killed in Iraq. "I will pay Mr. Snyder's obligation," O'Reilly said. "I'm not going to let this injustice stand."
A member of the Hutaree militia charged with federal crimes was upset because she thought that President Barack Obama had signed into law this month a bill that would spend $20 billion to help the terrorist group Hamas settle in the U.S. There was never any such legislation, but Tina Stone believed it was the truth, according to her Facebook account. "I'm peeved ... when people in this country is getting kicked out of there homes everyday and our government passes a bill to spend more then 20 billion dollars to bring Hamas here and supplies them with food and homes that just wrong."
Raw Story: When Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska in the summer of 2009, she left the state with a 70 percent debt-to-GDP ratio -- the highest state debt burden in the United States. By comparison, crisis-stricken California has a debt ratio of less than 40 percent. All the more confounding about Alaska's debt is the fact that it is an oil-producing region with a small population to share in that wealth. Oil-rich Alberta, Canada, for example, collects no sales tax and still managed to retire its debt entirely in 2004.
Though he recently said that he'd "never seen any racial slurs" at Tea Party events, TeaParty.Org founder Dale Robertson was photographed carrying a sign with the words "Taxpayer = Niggar" at an event. Robertson has been claiming the photo on his site was a fake, but he admitted in a radio interview with Alan Colmes in January that it was real. "Well, I just don't agree with what Congress is doing to the American people," he explained to Colmes.