Karen Pence painting a new second lady role

Washington, DC (CNN)Karen Pence is adding a little color to her life; the second lady returned to the classroom as an art teacher Tuesday. The second lady previously taught at the same school while her husband was serving in Congress, and has spent 25 years as an elementary school teacher overall. The school where Pence has taken her part-time job has a “parent agreement” posted online that says their policy bans gay students and parents from the school. “I understand …

Judge halts Trump administration’s weakening of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate

(CNN)A California federal district court judge halted the Trump administration’s weakening of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate Sunday, a day before the new rules were to take effect. “The law couldn’t be clearer — employers have no business interfering in women’s healthcare decisions,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led the group. “Today’s court ruling stops another attempt by the Trump Administration to trample on women’s access to basic reproductive care.” Lawyers for California and Pennsylvania appeared in separate district courts …

A brief look at past government shutdowns

Washington (CNN)The current government shutdown is on track to outlast all previous government shutdowns if it extends into Saturday. And with both sides still seemingly unwilling to budge on their stances regarding funding for a border wall — the chances of it rolling into Saturday and its 22nd day seem likely. “I can’t in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits,” Paul said at the time …

Debt? What debt? At $22 trillion, here’s the argument the national debt doesn’t matter

(CNN)So much ink has been spilled for so long on the national debt, it might be nice if that $22 trillion plus on the red side of the US balance sheet just didn’t really matter. In total, it’ll be $22 trillion any day now and it’s going to get a lot bigger. Cue the annual-ish political fight over raising the US debt limit — the top amount the government is allowed under law to borrow. By the way, lawmakers don’t …

Who gets blamed for a government shutdown?

(CNN)Now that the partial shutdown of the federal government has become the longest in American history, and with no end in sight as President Donald Trump and House Democrats dig in over his proposal for a border wall, it’s worth revisiting who is likely to pay a political price. Starting with the mid-1990s clashes between President Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich’s Republican majority in Congress, there have been seven government shutdowns or close calls that were the subject of polling. …

National Park Service says it will use visitor fees to keep parks running through shutdown

(CNN)The National Park Service said Sunday that it would use reserved money from visitor fees to keep up operations at parks around the country affected by the ongoing government shutdown. The Park Service is one of several agencies affected by the partial government shutdown, which headed into its third week over the weekend. The agency said previously that it would seek to keep parks “as accessible as possible” during the funding lapse. Sunday’s announcement was met with criticism from some …

Judge says Affordable Care Act will remain in effect during appeal

(CNN)The federal judge who declared the Affordable Care Act’s individual coverage mandate unconstitutional earlier this month issued an order on Sunday saying despite his previous ruling the law can remain in effect pending appeal. Still, the decision threw the future of health coverage for millions of Americans on the Obamacare exchanges and in Medicaid expansion into doubt. It also threatened to wipe away popular protections for those with pre-existing conditions, as well as measures that save money for senior citizens …

Democrats head into 2019 split on everything but Trump

(CNN)Democrats are coming into control of the House and entering the 2020 presidential primary unified in their opposition to President Donald Trump — but split on almost everything else. Here is a look ahead at some of the debates that will animate the coming year. Getting real about ‘Medicare for all’ “Medicare for all,” a form of single-payer health care, is the party’s most popular big-ticket proposal for delivering on its promise of universal health care — a solution to …

The Point Awards: The best and worst of politics in 2018

(CNN)2018 is almost over! We’re going to make it to 2019! Hooray for us — or something. Winner: Rick Scott Florida is the swingiest big state in the country, and Scott just keeps on winning races there. After serving two terms as governor, his race against Sen. Bill Nelson (D) looked like something of an uphill climb given the Democratic winds blowing nationwide and Scott’s closeness to President Donald Trump. But Scott, as he always does, wrote big personal checks …

Mark Meadows says Trump is still ‘very firm’ on the wall as shutdown drags on

(CNN)House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies, on Wednesday described Trump’s resolve to hold out for $5 billion in border wall funding as “very firm” as the partial government shutdown entered its fifth day. “I can tell you, if they believe this President is going to yield on this particular issue, they’re misreading him, misreading the American people,” Meadows told CNN’s Manu Raju on “Inside Politics.”

What on earth is going on in UK politics right now?

Image: Leon Neal/Getty Images/ mashable composite So, I suppose you’re wondering what on earth is going on with this raging hellfire of a country? You and me both, babe. And, so too is Chrissy Teigen, which is a comfort to all of us in these dark, confusing times.  SEE ALSO: Theresa May getting locked in a car pretty much sums up how Brexit’s going Vote on Theresa May’s leadership will take place on Wednesday evening with result announced shortly after. …

Celebrities step in after Trump slashes Obamacare ad budget

New York (CNN)The Trump administration isn’t doing much to let Americans know it’s time to sign up for Obamacare, so celebrities are trying to fill the void. What’s more, only a quarter of those who buy their own insurance or are uninsured know when open enrollment ends, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll. In most states, it’s right around the corner on December 15. Colbert isn’t the only celebrity stepping up this fall. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, singer-songwriter …

Wisconsin and Michigan Republicans try to undermine Democratic election wins

(CNN)Republicans in Wisconsin and Michigan were wiped out of their states’ top offices in November. But before Democrats can take their place next year, GOP lawmakers in both states are moving to strip the incoming leaders of key powers. If the lame-duck governor signs those bills and others still under debate, the state could reduce its number of early voting days, restrict gubernatorial appointments to a powerful economic agency and require legislative backing for certain decisions traditionally made by the …

Justice Dept. announces indictment of two Iranians in ransomware scheme

Washington (CNN)Two Iranian men have been indicted for their alleged involvement in a hacking and malware scheme that spanned more than two years and crippled computer systems at hospitals and municipal offices across the country, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday. Other victims of the attack included the city of Newark, New Jersey, MedStar Health and the Colorado Department of Transportation, among others, according to Benczkowski, the head of the Justice Department’s criminal division. The indictment does not allege that …

Trump doesn’t believe his government’s climate change report, gets roasted by Stephen Colbert

Trump doesn’t believe a damning climate change study produced by his own government, something that truly perplexed The Late Show host Stephen Colbert. Aside from telling reporters he’d read “some” of the report, which warns that climate change will not only impact global health, but will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually, Trump referred to it as “fine.” “Fine?” Colbert said. “If I had to describe this report in one word it would not be ‘fine.’ …

How women entrepreneurs are advancing woman’s health

Messages in chalk in Isla Vista, California, after a student murdered six people. He was praised by the "incel" community.Image: Michael Nelson/Epa/REX/Shutterstock Incels.me, the toxic misogynistic community of self-proclaimed involuntary celibates, is no more — at least at that web address. On Tuesday, the .ME registry, which controls the entire .ME domain database, published a post explaining that they — and not a domain registrar like GoDaddy — had suspended the domain. The registry says the domain was suspended over …