"We're actually the alternative party."
That quote from Speaker of the House John Boehner.. at a GOP retreat in Cambridge, MD. Republicans seem to be uniting behind finding an alternative to the widely unpopular Obamacare. Republicans are also suggesting that they are now open to a wide-ranging deal on immigration. In an interview before the news, the President said, "I actually think that we have a good chance of getting immigration reform."
Mixed news on health care cost savings today. The Wall Street Journal reports nearly half of the 114 hospitals and doctor groups that began Accountable Care Organizations under the health law in 2012 managed to slow Medicare spending in their first year. Still only 29 of them saved enough money to qualify for bonus payments according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is in St Louis to make an Obamacare announcement on enrollment numbers.
Meantime, a massive advertising campaign financed by deep pockets on the right is rattling Democratic nerves, and worrying vulnerable Democrats. The DNC is now reportedly giving up on the idea of retaking the House, and trying to focus on saving those vulnerable Senate Democrats in states from New Hampshire to North Carolina to Oregon.
Good news on the economy.. the GDP numbers came in about as expected. With the second half of 2013 showing some strong growth. The Wall Street Journal put it this way:
"... many economists see the U.S. economy moving into a higher gear. Federal Reserve officials, in further pulling back on a bond-buying program meant to spur growth,
noted this week that the economy has shown "growing underlying strength." Consumer confidence is rising, and manufacturers are getting busier to meet increased demand.
President Obama speaks on the long term unemployed during our show today.
1130EST -- POTUS delivers remarks announcing major corporations have signed a pledge saying that they won't discriminate against the long-term unemployed when making hiring decisions. VPOTUS attends. East Room. LIVE
Meantime, we'll take a closer look today at the President's plans for MyRA.. a new retirement account proposed by the President to help folks facing a shortage of money for retirement.
The backlash against officials in the South over the botched handling of this week's winter storms intensifying today. Jonathan Serrie reporting.
Adam Housley reports on an openly gay southern California man running for Congress. Carl DeMaio would be the first openly-gay Republican elected to the Congress if he wins.
Doug Kennedy reporting a potential breakthrough in nanotechnology for electric car batteries that could extend battery life by three times.
Amanda Knox guilty.. again. The American woman was found guilty for the second time in the death of British student Meredith Kercher back in 2007. Knox is safe in Seattle Washington, but she's now facing an extradition battle). Her then-boyfriend was arrested today at Italy's border near Slovenia and Austria.
Higher than normal levels of radiation being found at a nuclear reprocessing plant in Britain has some folks worried. Officials have excused some workers at the plant today, but say there is no danger to people living and working nearby.
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