Timothy Egan has a profile of Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who gave the English-language official Republican SOTU response. It turns out she represents a very poor district that is way above the national average in poverty and unemployment.
Given that picture, it would seem surprising that McMorris Rodgers voted to drastically cut food aid last year, and joined her party in resisting emergency benefits to the unemployed. She has been a leading strategist in the unrelenting Republican attempt to kill the Affordable Care Act.
And yet, in her district, people are flocking to Obamacare â€” well beyond the national average. Though she has been screening town hall meetings to highlight only critics of the new law, her constituents are doing something entirely different in making their personal health decisions.
In Spokane County, the most populous in the Fifth Congressional District with nearly half a million people, the rate of participation in the new health care law is even well above the state average. At the end of December, signups were 102 percent of the state target. Thatâ€™s saying something, because Washington, with a big range of insurance choices and a well-run exchange, has been one of the nationâ€™s success stories for the Affordable Care Act.
Also in the New York Times, David Firestone compares what Republicans say against what Republicans mean.
Joan Walsh looks at this New York Times story about last year’s gubernatorial race in New Jersey. You might remember that the Democratic challenger, Barbara Buono, accused her fellow Dems of making deals with Christie to not support her. The Times is saying that exactly what happened, and that Christie’s team was pulling every trick in the book to run up Christie’s margin of victory to make him the front runner for 2016.