TPM News

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is urging fathers to be more involved in the lives of their children, warning that many problems adolescents run into can be traced to "absentee fathers" who are physically at home but don't take time to actually be with their kids.

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) agreed to expand Medicaid under Obamacare Tuesday, but you'd be forgiven for not catching that if you actually listened to what he had to say.

"I believe Medicaid is not a program we should expand. It's a program that we should reform," Pence said. "That's exactly what we're accomplishing."

His office didn't mention the Affordable Care Act when announcing the plan, which will cover up to 350,000 low-income Indianans. When Pence's PR team tweeted a timeline of the state program being used to expand Medicaid in that state, they skipped over the 2010 passage of Obamacare. But Pence has accepted Medicaid expansion dollars authorized by Obamacare to pay for this alternative plan -- which the Obama administration had to approve.

An Obama administration official had actually primed TPM to be ready for Pence's semantical theatrics. That's because it's become the norm. More Republican-led states are signing onto the key Obamacare program, but they are very reluctant to call it that.

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The judgments were virtually unanimous: The big winner of the first major “winnowing” event of the 2016 Republican presidential contest, the Iowa Freedom Summit, was Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. So said National Review’s John Fund, whose early account of the day of speechifying was festooned with Walker’s iconic shirtsleeves-rolled-up image. So said the influential editor-in-chief of the Iowa Republican website, Craig Robinson, who called the speech Walker’s “coming out party.” Some thought the fiery Ted Cruz was a close second, and some thought Ben Carson maintained his base-pleasing rep, and some thought Carly Fiorina did surprisingly well. But for a proto-candidate most often described as having potential “on paper,” it was a pretty big step forward.

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