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[28 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

Politico reports:

The political environment continues to deteriorate for House Democrats ahead of a midterm election that’s certain to diminish their ranks.

With President Barack Obama’s unpopularity hindering their candidates and Republican cash flooding into races across the country, Democrats are increasingly worried that the election will push them deep into the minority and diminish their hopes of winning back the majority in 2016 or beyond.

Ouch.

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[23 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

A federal judge has agreed to appoint a monitor to oversee hiring decisions at the Illinois Department of Transportation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier’s ruling comes just two weeks before the gubernatorial election and was immediately seized on by Republican candidate Bruce Rauner as evidence that “Pat Quinn is corrupt and cannot be trusted to clean up state government.”

But Quinn’s camp disputed that, and Schenkier himself used much more measured language Wednesday morning, saying simply that appointing a monitor was “the best way to ensure compliance” with rules over political hiring in state government.

Campaigning lawyer Michael Shakman first asked for a federal hiring monitor to oversee IDOT in 2009 — a move opposed by Quinn.

The story MSNBC will not be covering today… or ever.

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[23 Oct 2014 | No Comment | ]

Marketwatch reports:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pushed down prices for some generic prescription drugs to just $4 eight years ago, setting a new industry standard. Now it is trying to do the same for seeing a doctor.

On Friday, a Walmart Care Clinic opened in Dalton, Ga., six months after Walmart U.S., the retailer’s WMT, +0.01% biggest unit, entered the business of providing primary health care. It now operates a dozen clinics in rural Texas, South Carolina and Georgia and has increased its target for openings this year to 17.

An office visit costs $40, which Walmart U.S. says is about half the industry standard, and just $4 for Walmart U.S. employees and family members with the company’s insurance. A pregnancy test costs just $3, and a cholesterol test $8. A typical retail clinic offers acute care only. But a Walmart Care Clinic also treats chronic conditions such as diabetes. (Walmart U.S. also leases space in its stores to 94 clinics owned by others that set their own pricing.)

“It was very important to us that we establish a retail price in the health-care industry because price leadership matters to us,” said Jennifer LaPerre, a Walmart U.S. senior director responsible for health and wellness, in an interview.

Competition!