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Are corporations people?
March 25th, 2014
12:33 PM ET

Are corporations people?

By CNN's Deena Zaru

The oral arguments regarding Hobby Lobby vs. Sebelius commence in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. In this case the contraception coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be debated, specifically as it applies to for-profit corporations.

The mandate requires businesses of a certain size to provide contraception coverage for their employees. Nearly 50 businesses, many of them Catholic, have sued, and some have protested the coverage of any form of birth control.

However, in the case currently before the Supreme Court, brought on by the Oklahoma-based arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., and an identical case brought on by Pennsylvania-based Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., only certain contraceptives are disputed.

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Filed under: Obamacare • Peanut Gallery • Religion • SCOTUS • State of the Union
February 27th, 2014
03:35 PM ET

Washington "Scandal"-ized

By CNN's Deena Zaru

Reality is what you choose to show and not necessarily what is; public image is invaluable and what you say can and will be used against you not only in the court of law, but in the court of public opinion; and sometimes silence is more dangerous than anything you might say.

Welcome to Washington D.C. – where if the media and the public pay attention to you, chances are you are in need of an adviser, an image consultant – and in the midst of scandal – a cunning, capable and calculating crisis manager.

Enter Olivia Pope.

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Sochi Goes Social
February 22nd, 2014
08:18 PM ET

Sochi Goes Social

By Paige Hymson

Evident from historic terror attacks, protests, and more, the Olympic Games have been used as a tool for political discourse for many years. An international event intended as an athletic competition, often turns into a political competition by the participating nations. Boycotting the games has been a common pattern of opposition toward the host country in the past. Women’s rights and racial matters are among some of the many issues that have engaged the political agenda in a number of past Olympic events.

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From the football field to the political pulpit
February 1st, 2014
02:17 PM ET

On the line of scrimmage: Football and politics

By CNN's Deena Zaru

A political primary in America is much like football season. Top players are chosen through a series of nominations, caucuses and conventions, or in other words, an organized recruiting process. Once the field is narrowed and the top players are positioned as starters, it’s a jumble of fumbles, interceptions, setbacks and small victories until the top two candidates make it to the general election—the Super Bowl.

Even our democratic system operates with the same values and the same mechanisms as the game that captures the hearts of millions and millions of Americans.

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Filed under: Peanut Gallery • State of the Union
Presidential Poker Politics
January 28th, 2014
11:07 AM ET

Presidential Poker Politics

By Jamie Gray

Over the years, poker and the presidency have been inextricably linked. President Truman played poker with reporters for twelve hours a day on the ship returning from the Potsdam Conference and President Nixon is said to have used his winnings from the poker table to help fund one of his early political campaigns. In his seminal poker book, “Positively Fifth Street” author James McManus quotes one of Nixon’s college professors as saying “A man who couldn’t hold a hand in a first-class poker game is not fit to be President of the United States.” Indeed, many of the skills needed for success in a poker room can also be useful in the Oval Office.

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Filed under: Peanut Gallery • State of the Union
Dressing like a politician
January 25th, 2014
12:48 PM ET

Dressing like a politician

By CNN's Deena Zaru

When one thinks of politicians, one does not necessarily think fashion, largely because most politicians have a streamlined and often uniform look that is appropriate for Capitol Hill—women in blazers and pencil skirts and men in suits and ties. However, if you take a closer look, not only will you find politicians who bend the rules but you will also find that dressing like a politician requires a very disciplined, calculated and detailed approach to fashion.  After spending some time on the Hill, I have learned the very specific fashion culture that is fostered by the country’s top lawmakers.

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Filed under: Peanut Gallery • State of the Union
How to dress like a politician
January 16th, 2014
03:39 PM ET

How to dress like a politician

By CNN's Deena Zaru

It was a humid day in early June and I was facing the Cannon House building, reporter notebook in hand, ready for my Capitol Hill debut. I was 19, bright eyed and coffee-buzzed. Not even the sweltering heat could wipe the smile off my face. It was my first day as CNN’s Capitol Hill intern. At the bureau people seemed pretty laid back- everyone looked nice, some in jeans, some in flats and others in blazers and fun necklaces.  For my first time on the Hill, I wore my favorite skinny black pants, comfortable leopard print flats, a flowy black top and a carry-all fringe black leather bag. As a college junior, who owned every jean mini skirt from Abercrombie and whose favorite colors are red, hot pink and anything leopard print, this was my sincerest attempt to wade through the avalanche of Victoria’s Secret sweatpants, college T’s and Forever 21 dresses in my closet to look conservative and official. I pulled my hair back in a loose ponytail to cool myself off and went in to meet CNN’s Dana Bash and congressional producer Ted Barrett.

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Filed under: Peanut Gallery
Presidential Jobs
January 10th, 2014
03:38 PM ET

Presidential Jobs

By Becky Perlow

December jobs numbers are out today, and the economy added 74,000 new jobs last month.

That's bad news for President Obama, as economists and analysts were hoping for a more positive jobs report to reflect the recovering economy. According to CNN Money, it was the worst jobs report since January 2011.

FULL POST


Filed under: Peanut Gallery • State of the Union
Millennial women are closing pay gap, but they’re still pessimistic about workplace equality
December 11th, 2013
04:07 PM ET

Millennial women are closing pay gap, but they’re still pessimistic about workplace equality

By Rachel Rosen

A study out Wednesday from the Pew Research Center says younger women-ages 25-34– are earning 93 cents for every dollar a man earns. Still, 75% of Millennial women say more changes are needed to give men and women equality in the workplace.

The debate over equal pay was a hot topic on the 2012 presidential campaign trail.  At the town hall debate at Hofstra University moderated by Candy Crowley, a questioner asked Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, “In what ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?” Mitt Romney’s response that as the Governor of Massachusetts he requested “binders full of women” to fill positions in his cabinet went viral.

Next week we'll ask two members of the Future Caucus, Reps. Aaron Schock and Tulsi Gabbard, about the significance of this survey.

The Pew report is based on a Pew Research Center survey of 2,002 adults, including 810 Millennials (adults ages 18 to 32) from  Oct. 7-27, 2013.

A Journey Through Time
November 21st, 2013
02:42 PM ET

A Journey Through Time

By CNN's Ellen Van de Mark

My grandfather’s pocketwatch is one of my favorite possessions. It dates back to the turn of the 20th century. My dad kept it in an old cigar box for many years. A forgotten artifact of another time. It no longer winds and the initials that were engraved once have been rubbed down from use. But I love it. It has a history and story that is intertwined with my own.

A few years ago I started on a journey back through time and the origins of my family.  It was prompted in large part due to my father's waning health and a fear that his story might be lost if I didn't start recording it.  I had no idea where that journey would lead and how grateful I would be to have started the trek.

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