Daily Archives: May 5, 2014

Sebelius made a cameo at correspondents’ dinner

sebeliuswhiteOutgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made a cameo appearance in President Obama’s speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, approaching the lectern when the president, supposedly encountering a video glitch, asked, “Does anybody know how to fix this?” The president also quipped that the HealthCare.gov rollout had inspired one of the year’s biggest movies, “Frozen,” and said that “in 2008 my slogan was ‘yes, we can.’ In 2013 my slogan was ‘control, alt, delete.’” In a night of jokes, some better than others, somebody probably saw one in the seating arrangements, which put Sebelius at the same table as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who has vowed to repeal every word of the Affordable Care Act. Among the president’s other jokes: “MSNBC is here. They’re a little overwhelmed. They’ve never seen an audience this big before.” And “the Koch brothers bought a table here tonight, but as usual they used a shadowy right-wing organization as a front. Hello, Fox News!”

Open thread (May 5)

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Huelskamp thinks Benghazi worth $5 million reward

huelskampRep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, second to none in Congress in opposing federal spending, found one expenditure to endorse last week: a $5 million reward to anyone who could provide information about the Benghazi attacks on Sept. 11, 2012. Huelskamp is co-sponsoring legislation with Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, to mandate the reward through the State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program. “By offering a substantial reward for information leading to the apprehension and prosecution of suspects in these attacks, this bill will help Americans learn the truth about Benghazi,” Huelskamp said in a statement.

Kansas lawmakers wisely sidelined ‘kill people faster’ bill

lethal injectionThe 20th anniversary of Kansas’ revived death penalty came and went last month, with the state still having performed no executions since 1965. Kansas is due another thorough legislative re-examination of whether it should have capital punishment at all, especially after last week’s lethal-injection debacle in Oklahoma. The trouble that state and others are having acquiring execution drugs is among the arguments for repeal, as are the high costs of death-penalty prosecutions. But at least Kansas lawmakers last week sidelined what some have been calling the “kill people faster” bill, which would have set arbitrary time limits on death-penalty appeals. As Mary Sloan, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty, told The Eagle editorial board, the bill included “things that really were very concerning if you are worried about innocent people being executed” – something that should concern every Kansan, especially given the many death-row exonerations nationally. She added: “When we’re talking about matters of life and death in public policy, you really need to be careful.”