Political News from Yahoo

In governor races, Democrats eye wage increase

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican governors running for re-election next year are looking to capitalize on distaste for Washington gridlock and President Barack Obama's dropping public approval amid the bumpy rollout of his signature health care law — and Democratic challengers may need to respond with a popular cause.


Lawmakers dispute Snowden's declaration of victory

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress said Sunday they weren't impressed with Edward Snowden's recent publicity blitz calling for an end to mass surveillance and declaring that he's already accomplished his mission.

A look at the contested Senate GOP primaries

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven Senate Republicans face challengers in the 2014 primaries, complicating the party's solid shot at taking majority control away from Democrats. Here's a look at the races:

Feeling US snub, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Increasingly vocal in its frustration over U.S. policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.


Lawmakers disagree with Snowden's declaration

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress say they're not impressed with Edward Snowden's recent publicity blitz calling for an end to mass surveillance and declaring that he's already accomplished his mission.

In governor's races, Democrats eye wage increase

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican governors running for re-election next year are looking to capitalize on distaste for Washington gridlock and President Barack Obama's dropping public approval amid the bumpy rollout of his signature health care law — and Democratic challengers may need to respond with a popular cause.


GOP can count ways to Senate majority

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans count enough competitive races to challenge Democrats for control of the Senate in next year's elections. But tea party challenges will make it complicated for them.

After troubled rollout, Obamacare's new test starts on New Year's Day

New Year's Day will bring a fresh test for President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, as hundreds of thousands of Americans will begin to use the program's new medical coverage for the first time. For the nation's healthcare system as well as its politics, the stakes are huge in Wednesday's launch of the program known as Obamacare. For anxious Democrats with an eye on the 2014 congressional elections, it is a chance for the Obama administration to rebound from the disastrous rollout of the website that enrolls people in private coverage through the program - and show that the White House's effort to help millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans is finally gaining its footing. Or, as Republican congressman Fred Upton and other critics of Obamacare warned in recent days, Wednesday could represent the beginning of another debacle that fuels Republicans' push to make dissatisfaction with Obamacare the chief issue in the November elections.


Exclusive: U.S. government urged to name CEO to run Obamacare market

By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is coming under pressure from some of its closest allies on healthcare reform to name a chief executive to run its federal health insurance marketplace and allay the concerns of insurers after the rocky rollout of Obamacare. Advocates have been quietly pushing the idea of a CEO who would set marketplace rules, coordinate with insurers and state regulators on the health plans offered for sale, supervise enrollment campaigns and oversee technology, according to several sources familiar with discussions between advocates and the Obama administration. Supporters of the idea say it could help regain the trust of insurers and others whose confidence in the healthcare overhaul has been shaken by the technological woes that crippled the federal HealthCare.gov insurance shopping website and the flurry of sometimes-confusing administration rule changes that followed. The advocates include former White House adviser Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of President Barack Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and the Center for American Progress, the Washington think tank founded by John Podesta, the president's newly appointed senior counselor.


Federal health market surpasses 1 million signups

HONOLULU (AP) — A December surge propelled health care sign-ups through the government's rehabilitated website past the 1 million mark, the Obama administration said Sunday, reflecting new signs of life for the problem-plagued federal insurance exchange.


Obama faces smattering of protests on Hawaiian vacation

The serenity of President Barack Obama's Hawaiian vacation was rattled a little on Saturday when demonstrators aired grievances against unmanned aircraft and other issues in a small protest zone near the first family's upscale rented house. Returning from an early morning gym visit at nearby Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Obama's motorcade passed a few dozen protesters holding signs with slogans including "Drones: Unethical and Illegal," "U.S. Bases Out" and "Close Guantanamo Now." Others expressed their opposition to genetically modified foods. It marked a second day of peaceful protest surrounding Obama, who is spending a two-week vacation in Kailua with wife Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, the first lady's mother, Marian Robinson, and the family's Portuguese Water Dogs, Bo and Sunny. "Other than a friendly 'shaka sign' from the president as he drove by in his motorcade, we have not received a formal response from the White House," said Mike Hasselle of the MoveOn Honolulu Council, one of the organizers of the action.


Kerry heads to Middle East next week for peace talks: U.S. official

By Lesley Wroughton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State John Kerry will return to Israel and the Palestinian territories for peace talks next week, a senior U.S. government official said on Saturday, days after Israel is due to free another group of Palestinian prisoners. The U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Kerry will visit Jerusalem and Ramallah late next week for more talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, resuming his intensive shuttle diplomacy after a Christmas break. The United States is seeking to broker an agreement on a "two-state solution" in which Israel would exist peacefully alongside a new Palestinian state.


Hawaii overshadowed by Chicago for Obama library

HONOLULU (AP) — On these pleasant shores, Barack Obama was born and raised, soaking in an island sensibility that is vital to understanding his presidency. Yet in the search for a home for his future presidential library, sunny Hawaii is overshadowed by Chicago's commanding influence.


Top Ohio Republicans face down intraparty critics

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Conservative restlessness within their own party poses challenges to three Republican stars in the battleground state of Ohio, where House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Rob Portman and Gov. John Kasich all have riled up the right.


News summary: Ohio GOP stars face party critics

RIGHT-WING RUMBLINGS: Some Ohio conservatives are unhappy with what they see as efforts by three party stars — House Speaker John Boehner, Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman — to play to the middle for political expedience.

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