Political News from Yahoo

Obama shuffles deck to cement health law gains

President Barack Obama on Friday nominated budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his new health secretary, seeking to capitalize on an enrollment surge to cement his signature health law. Obama paid tribute to outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, saying she had pulled off a "historic accomplishment" by securing health insurance for millions of Americans for the first time. Despite Obama's warm endorsement, Sebelius is effectively paying the price for the chaotic rollout of Obamacare last year, which forced the administration to launch an emergency effort to fix a malfunctioning enrollment website. The hurried triage paid off, after 7.5 million people eventually signed up through federal and state exchanges to the health care plan by an end-of-March deadline.

US prods world's nations, institutions for Ukraine aid

The United States on Friday urged the international community to contribute more to Ukraine's economic rescue, stressing the "immediate" need to fund a huge IMF program for Kiev. "The United States is bolstering the IMF program through a complementary aid package, which includes a $1 billion loan guarantee and additional technical assistance," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a statement to the IMF. "It is critical that the international community -- multilateral development banks and bilaterals -- take immediate steps to also support the IMF program by providing financing support, given the sizeable financing needs." As Ukraine's economy foundered under a new government and threats from neighboring Russia last month, the International Monetary Fund announced a rescue program of $14-18 billion to stabilize the country's crumpled finances and help restore growth.

Obama nominates new health secretary

Washington (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Friday nominated budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell as his new health secretary, seeking to capitalize on an enrollment surge to cement his signature health law.

Former Connecticut Governor Rowland due in court to face campaign charges

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland, who was forced to resign from office a decade ago for corruption, is due in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut, on Friday for arraignment on charges he violated campaign laws. Rowland, a 56-year-old Republican who spent 10 months in prison in 2005 and 2006, was indicted on Thursday on charges he tried to conceal payments made to him by two congressional campaigns he worked on in 2009 and 2012. The candidate involved in the 2012 campaign and her husband last month pleaded guilty to charges involving illegal campaign contributions. Rowland served as Connecticut's governor from 1995 to 2004, when he resigned amid another corruption scandal.

North Korea denounces US 'double-standards'

North Korea on Friday accused the United States of hypocrisy for remaining silent over a South Korean missile test while condemning Pyongyang's recent launches. "The US double-dealing attitude and despicable mode of action has been brought to light," a spokesman for the North's powerful National Defence Commission (NDC) said in a statement. The statement, carried by the North's official KCNA news agency, comes at a time of elevated military tensions, with Pyongyang threatening a "new" type of nuclear test. "As long as the US persists in its hostile policy... according to its high-handed, arbitrary and gangster-like double standards, (North Korea) will push ahead with countermeasures for self-defence to put an end to the policy," the spokesman said.

Meet Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Woman Getting DC's Worst Job: HHS Secretary

Imagine someone came to you and said, "I will give you this job where you manage one of the most complicated, least popular, and most politically toxic things in the government, but before you get the job, a bunch of senators will be intentionally harsh to you to improve their political positions." President Obama made that pitch to Sylvia Mathews Burwell and she — inexplicably — said yes. Burwell currently runs the government's Office of Management and Budget, an executive branch agency that helps the president prepare and evaluate the federal budget. This is sort of what Burwell does for the federal government.

'Mad Men': Where We Left Off

Peggy flaunts cleavage and fishnets, Don finds sobriety and a mandatory leave of absence, and Bob Benson’s still a potential sociopath with a hundred-watt smile.

From Swimsuits to Sitcoms

The curvaceous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model opens up about her transition into acting with the new CBS sitcom Friends with Better Lives.

FLA’s Zombie Apocalypse Gun Bill

In case of riots, emergencies, or World War Z, the Sunshine State may throw out all rules on guns. This is crazy, even by Florida standards.

What Plantation Is He Living On?

Jim DeMint’s ludicrous claim about who ended slavery in America is just his latest effort to destroy the federal government—past or present.

Big Data’s War on Crime

Fourteen years after Cure Violence started in Chicago, studies show its tactics—which treat violence as a “disease” to be contained—are working. It’s newest partner? Syria.

DC’s Politics of Self-Destruction

From ‘un-American’ slander to shouting like a teenager at the leader of the free world, politicians on both parties are misrepresenting our country—and themselves.

War in Technicolor

Using a type of film popular during WWII, Richard Mosse photographs the brutality of the drawn-out conflict in the DRC in vibrant color, hoping to catch the world's attention.

Razing the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’

The developer is walking away from an idea that became a hater’s dream. If a mosque doesn’t return, it’s a loss for everyone who loves America.

Confessions of a Co-Star

After starring in over 90 movies and TV shows—from ‘Arrested Development’ to ’27 Dresses’ to ‘The Descendants,’ it’s about time Judy Greer got the recognition she deserves.

Patients Aren’t Customers

Reports say patients are increasingly asking doctors for drugs by name, and docs are complying. If they don’t write the script, they risk a low rating on one of many doc-ranking sites.

Inside Putin's Recession

The Russian leader may win accolades for his toughness, but it’s hard to be an assertive global power when yours is the only major economy that’s shrinking.

Did Putin Kill a Polish President?

A 2010 plane crash in Russia wiped out the entire anti-Kremlin government of Poland. Probably it was an accident. But Putin’s ruthless ops in Ukraine have people taking a second look.

Jeb Bush immigration remark could be 2016 problem

MIAMI (AP) — With a single phrase of compassion for immigrants in the U.S. illegally, Jeb Bush has prompted questions about his viability as a potential presidential contender and underscored how divisive the immigration issue remains for the Republican Party.