Atlanta (CNN) - Camp Gingrich plays the theme song from "The Karate Kid." Mitt Romney? He's wrapping himself in the long-haired high octaves of Kid Rock. Really.
Why? Strategy. Music, in fact, may be the least-criticized and least-analyzed piece of subliminal campaign strategy. So, this week American Sauce looks the melodic and political reasons politicians pick their rally songs.
Listen to the podcast here or keep reading.
(CNN) - Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-New York, went on the offense while speaking with CNN's Rick Sanchez.
Telling Sanchez to "write this down," Weiner said Republicans do not want the health care overhaul to succeed, in part because "the health care industry is one of their biggest benefactors."
Pressed by Sanchez, Weiner allowed that Democrats also receive money from the health industry but held strong to his initial assertion. CNN Fact Check Desk wondered: Where does the money go?
Fact Check: Which party has received more money from the health care sector?
(CNN) - Reconciliation sure sounds like a nice word, but it is getting a lot of negative attention around Washington. Senators from both sides of the
aisle have criticized the idea of using budget reconciliation to overhaul health care.
In the health care summit Thursday, Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee, called upon President Barack Obama to renounce the very idea, calling reconciliation "a partisan vote through a little-used process." But this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said legislation has passed under budget-reconciliation rules 21 times since 1981, and critics should "stop crying about reconciliation as if it's never been done before."
As the health care debate evolves into strategy sessions to overcome the threat of filibuster, the CNN Fact Check Desk wondered: How common is reconciliation?
Fact Check: Has reconciliation been used 21 times since 1981? - Reconciliation was established by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. A reconciliation bill is one that reconciles law with budget resolutions passed by Congress. Reconciliation was established, in part, to lower the bar for passing tough deficit-reducing legislation.
(CNN) - At the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, President Barack Obama spoke out against proposed legislation in Uganda. Issuing a call for common ground, the president blasted the proposal to penalize homosexuality, calling it "odious."
Fact Check: What penalities would homosexuals face under the proposed law in Uganda?
(Get the facts and the bottom line after the jump)
Addressing President Barack Obama at the GOP retreat Friday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asserted that the president reneged on a campaign promise to broadcast all health care debates on C-SPAN. The president, while admitting that some elements of the debate were left out, asserted that the majority of the legislative process surrounding health care had been made available for broadcast.
Fact Check: So which version of events is accurate?
According to a letter from C-SPAN: "Since the initial introduction of the America's Affordable Health Care Act of 2009 in the House and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the Senate, C-SPAN has televised literally hundreds of hours of committee hearings, markups and floor debate on these bills for the public to see. And importantly, we have archived all of this video for future generations to study in the C-SPAN Video Archives."
CNN Congressional Producer Ted Barrett says the health care conference meetings thus far have been informal and unofficial, but if a formal and official "conference committee" is convened, then rules would require its activities be open to media coverage. But, Barrett notes, the hard work for many bills is done in closed informal meetings. Only once everything is worked out is an official open meeting called to cast votes.
Bottom line: While many hearings and debates have been broadcast, key informal conference committee discussions - where any deal between the House and Senate will ultimately be brokered - are not open to the public or media, giving credence to Chaffetz's assertion.
- CNN Political Producer Robert Yoon contributed to this report.
Claim: For the first time in history - my administration posts our White House visitors online.
Verdict: The Obama administration did make history by posting its logsonline. You can browse them yourself here.
But the release of these logs came only after a legal challenge by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The group filed suit seeking the logs related to the visits by certain groups. When the Obama administration settled the suit it went further, agreeing to post the logs of all visitors from September 15 onward.
While this seems like a big win for transparency, Melanie Sloan, the executive director of CREW, says because the administration voluntarily agreed to release the logs, the administration could later decide to reverse this decision. Additionally, nothing compels the next administration to take the same course. Nothing besides the promise that a reversal would provoke a resumption of legal action!
Bottom line: The Obama administration did pioneer new transparency in visitor logs but it took outside pressure to get there.