Show Notes for Friday, May 30, 2014

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT for another edition of Fridays With Fugelsang

GoldwaterCC Goldwater, granddaughter of Barry Goldwater, joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT

• Even as more and more politicians call for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, the White House on Thursday insisted President Obama will wait to see Shinseki’s internal review of the VA before determining what steps should be taken to ensure there’s accountability at the agency.

• One day after the bombshell interim Inspector General report showing “secret waiting lists” as a Phoenix veterans hospital, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki met with leading veteran service organizations. The meeting included 15 organization leaders and focused on the interim report and how to fix the problem.

• Shelly Sterling has reached an agreement to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. The sale must be approved by the NBA before it can go forward and would have required Donald Sterling’s signature but Donald Sterling had been ruled mentally incapacitated, making his wife sole trustee.

• Edward Snowden says he repeatedly raised constitutional concerns about National Security Agency surveillance internally, but an NSA search turned up a single email in which Snowden gently asks for “clarification” on a technical legal question about training materials, agency officials said Thursday.

Show Notes for Thursday, May 29, 2014

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Frisch 2013Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the Santa Barbara massacre and HBO’s “The Normal Heart”

• Health care reform expert Jacki Schechner joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for “Jacki’s Healthcare Corner”

• One day after President Obama laid out the end game for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, he talked about America’s role in the world after the war. Delivering the commencement at West Point on Wednesday, he said isolation is not an option but not every problem has a military solution.

• National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden says he would like to go home. The former NSA contract systems analyst is living in Russia on a temporary grant of asylum after leaking a massive volume of NSA documents to the media. Snowden said he had taken action in the belief that he was serving his country.

• An interim report released Wednesday by the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General concluded that patients experienced “significant delays” in treatment at a VA health care facility in Phoenix, providing the administration’s first official confirmation of problems that have been widely reported in recent weeks.

• Just when it appeared the battle over the Los Angeles Clippers was nearing its end, it isn’t. Owner Donald Sterling, who was banned for life for making racist comments, gave his wife permission last week to sell the team; now, Sterling has decided to fight to keep it.

Show Notes for Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Morin• Comedian Brent Morin of NBC’s “Undateable” calls in at 10:20am ET / 7:20am PT to talk about his new sitcom

• Sexy Liberal Carlos Alazraqui joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for “Coffee With Carlos”

• President Obama announced Tuesday that the U.S. plans to remove all troops from Afghanistan by 2016, starting with reducing the troop presence in the country to just 9,800 and an end to the U.S. combat mission at the close of 2014.

• Thousands mourned the deaths of their classmates at UC Santa Barbara, California lawmakers proposed ways to prevent the next round of deaths, and the rampant presence of guns were at the forefront of both discussions as a rampage that left seven dead reverberated across the state.

• A response filed with the NBA Tuesday by embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling claims that the league’s use of an “illegally recorded” conversation that took place during a “lovers’ quarrel” cannot be used to strip him of his ownership, CBS Los Angeles said.

• US fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden “trained as a spy” for intelligence agencies, he told NBC News in aired excerpts from an interview. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas,” he said.

Show Notes for Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pierce2• Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the latest mass shooting in Santa Barbara

• Elliot Rodger, 22, stabbed to death three people in his apartment, shot two women to death outside a sorority house and killed another man inside a deli with gunfire before killing himself near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, on Friday, investigators said.

• Senator Richard Blumenthal said on Sunday he wanted to revive gun control legislation rejected by Congress in the wake of the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre, saying it could have helped prevent this weekend’s deadly California shooting spree.

• Almost six weeks after nearly 300 girls were kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Nigerian defense chief believes the girls have been located. Despite this breakthrough, the Nigerian government seems reluctant to use military force to free the girls.

• The Malaysian government on Tuesday released 45 pages of raw satellite data it used to determine that the missing jetliner crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, responding to demands for greater transparency by relatives of some of the 239 people on board.

• The Ukrainian city of Donetsk was in turmoil Tuesday after a day of heavy fighting in which government forces used combat jets to stop pro-Russia separatists from taking over the airport. The mayor said 40 people were killed.

Show Notes for Friday, May 23, 2014

Fugelsang2• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT for another edition of Fridays With Fugelsang

• Debbie Powers, author of “Meeting Her Match,” joins us in studio at 11am ET / 8am PT to promote sports participation among women

• Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has no imminent intention of stepping down, he indicated Thursday, flouting a growing chorus of lawmakers and veterans’ groups calling for him to do so amid widespread allegations of fraud and abuse at VA medical centers across the country.

• President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Democrats to vote in November elections, saying the chance to pass immigration reform is at risk if Republicans gain control of both houses of Congress.

• The U.N. Security Council committee on al Qaeda sanctions blacklisted Nigeria’s Islamist militant group Boko Haram on Thursday after the insurgents kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls, diplomats said.

• Seven confirmed and three likely cases of E. coli infection linked to raw clover sprouts have been reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The patients are all in either Idaho or Washington. Half the people who have fallen ill have been hospitalized.

Show Notes for Thursday, May 22, 2014

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about marriage equality victories in Pennsylvania and Oregon

HuffingtonArianna Huffington calls in at 10:50am ET / 7:50am PT to talk about her new book, “Thrive”

• Health care reform expert Jacki Schechner joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Jacki’s Healthcare Corner

• President Barack Obama promised accountability, but he made clear Wednesday he won’t fire Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki — yet — over excessive and sometimes deadly waiting times faced by veterans seeking government health care.

• Democrats will participate in the Republican-led House Select Committee investigation of the deadly Benghazi terror attack. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has named five lawmakers to the 12-member panel looking into the 2012 armed assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in eastern Libya.

• A defiant Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday shrugged off a mounting budget crisis and blamed Democrats for economic problems in New Jersey that threaten to further taint his presidential ambitions.

• Hundreds of firefighters poured into northern Arizona to battle a fire between Sedona and Flagstaff, and by Wednesday afternoon, the fire grew to an estimated 7 square miles.

Show Notes for Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Alazraqui• Sexy Liberal Carlos Alazraqui joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Coffee With Carlos

• Mitch McConnell, the five-term senator from Kentucky — who’s the top Republican in the chamber — defeated tea party-backed challenger Matt Bevin in Tuesday’s primary. He goes on to run against Alison Lundergan Grimes in the Fall.

• A 30-page NBA document detailing the charges against Donald Sterling accuses the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Clippers of trying to persuade V. Stiviano to tell a league investigator she altered a recording and it wasn’t Sterling making racist remarks on the audio, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

• Same-sex couples in Pennsylvania clamored for marriage licenses after a judge ruled to allow the state to join the rest of the Northeast in legalizing gay weddings, with Philadelphia offices staying open late to handle a rush of applications.

• An administration official says that the Department of Justice will not appeal a court’s order requiring the US government to disclose secret memos detailing the legal justification for drone strikes on U.S. citizens suspected of being involved terrorism overseas.

• A group of retired NFL players says in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the league, thirsty for profits, illegally supplied them with risky narcotics and other painkillers that numbed their injuries for games and led to medical complications down the road.

Show Notes for Tuesday, May 20, 2014

• Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about why Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is pissed

Penn• Actor and activist Kal Penn calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about his work with Michelle Obama to promote arts in education

• Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about the Far Right trying to debunk his Benghazi article and failing

• China summoned the U.S. ambassador and the Defense Ministry warned Tuesday of “serious damage” to military relations after the United States charged five Chinese army officers with hacking into U.S. companies to steal vital trade secrets.

• Voters in six states will choose candidates today for some of November’s top congressional election races, including another round of crucial U.S. Senate primaries between the Republican establishment and Tea Party favorites in Kentucky, Georgia and Oregon.

• President Barack Obama is to speak out this week about reports of healthcare delays and deaths at the Veterans Administration in an effort to underscore his determination to fix any flaws in the system.

Show Notes for Monday, May 19, 2014

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about calling Ann Coulter a bad word

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the GOP questioning Hillary Clinton’s age

Obeidallah• Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about bigotry’s return 60 years after Brown vs. Board of Education

• Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops deployed in regions near Ukraine to return to their home bases, the Kremlin said Monday. Putin has previously said he has ordered troops to return from the area near the Ukraine border, but the United States and NATO have said they see no sign of a pullout.

• White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough says President Obama is “madder than hell” about reports of treatment delays at veterans’ hospitals across the country and is demanding that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki “continue to fix these things until they’re functioning the way that our veterans believe they should.”

• Hillary Clinton’s age and health are valid campaign issues if the 66-year-old Democrat makes another run for president in 2016, the RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said on Sunday. “I think that health and age is fair game,” Priebus said. “It was fair game for Ronald Reagan. It was fair game for John McCain.”

Show Notes for Friday, May 16, 2014

• Director Robert Greenwald calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about his new documentary, “Koch Brothers: Exposed”

Fugelsang2• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT for another edition of “Fridays With Fugelsang”

• Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has sent a letter to the National Basketball Association telling the league he won’t pay his $2.5 million fine and rejecting his lifetime ban, according to multiple media reports.

• Under withering criticism, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki told a Senate committee on Thursday that he was “mad as hell” about allegations of deadly waiting times and coverup at VA hospitals but he doesn’t plan to resign.

• It is a rare, strange day when Senate Republicans vote to block billions in tax cuts. But that’s what happened Thursday when they chose to freeze the EXPIRE Act, which would extend $85 billion in tax credits, in order to protest how Democrats are running the chamber.

• Temperatures and winds across scorched areas of southern California are starting to subside, but Unruly wildfires keep barreling from one community to another, destroying homes and spawning “firenadoes” — funnels of flames that look like tornadoes. 10,000 acres in San Diego county have burned, and one person is dead.

Show Notes for Thursday, May 15, 2014

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the flood of marriage equality rulings in the last week

smerconish• SiriusXM POTUS host Michael Smerconish calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about his new book, “Talk: A Novel”

• Health care reform expert Jacki Schechner joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for “Jacki’s Healthcare Corner”

• Nine wildfires covering more than 14 square miles scorched San Diego County on Wednesday, forcing thousands to flee their homes and prompting the closures of a college campus and Legoland California. No major injuries were reported.

• Nigeria’s president has rejected an offer from Islamist rebel group Boko Haram to exchange schoolgirls it abducted for imprisoned militants, but the government is open to broader talks with the rebels, a visiting British minister said.

• Nigeria’s president has rejected an offer from Islamist rebel group Boko Haram to exchange schoolgirls it abducted for imprisoned militants, but the government is open to broader talks with the rebels, a visiting British minister said.

• The daughter of missing radio legend Casey Kasem has received confirmation that her father has been found in Washington state, her publicist said.

Show Notes for Wednesday, May 14, 2014

DigbyHeather “Digby” Parton, contributing writer to Salon, calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the Tea Party vs. the GOP Establishment

• Sexy Liberal Carlos Alazraqui joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for “Coffee With Carlos”

• Magic Johnson has some advice for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling: Sell the team, take the money and enjoy the rest of your life. A day after Sterling appeared on CNN slamming the NBA legend’s character, his battle with HIV and his community outreach efforts, Johnson said Tuesday that he feels sorry for the 80-year-old billionaire.

• Shelly Sterling reasserted on the TODAY show Tuesday her contention that she is not connected to her estranged husband’s statements and should be allowed to retain ownership of the L.A. Clippers no matter what happens to him.

• Hillary Clinton’s team has slammed Karl Rove for his allegations about Clinton’s health, calling his accusations “a form of sickness,” and saying the GOP is “scared of what she has achieved and what she has to offer.”

• A federal magistrate judge has ruled that Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. She says Idaho’s laws wrongly stigmatize gay and lesbian couples and relegate their families to second-class status without sufficient reason. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has already said he intends to appeal the case.

Show Notes for Tuesday, May 13, 2014

• Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about Ann Coulter getting her Twitter ass handed to her

FitzgeraldMelissa Fitzgerald joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the upcoming Justice For Vets fundraising concert

• Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about the Far Right’s aversion to what they call ‘hashtag activism’

• A Nigerian government official said “all options are open” in the search for missing schoolgirls that’s now being actively supported by U.S. surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. Boko Haram, the militant group that kidnapped the girls, says that the girls will only be freed after the government releases jailed militants.

• Clay Aiken’s opponent in the Democratic primary for North Carolina’s Second Congressional District seat, Keith Crisco, died yesterday, according to the company he owned. Aiken said he is suspending all campaign activities in the race that was still too close to call after last week’s election.

• A judge on Monday ordered an investigation into the whereabouts of Casey Kasem after an attorney for the ailing radio personality’s wife said the former “Top 40” host had been removed from Los Angeles without his children’s knowledge.

Show Notes for Monday, May 12, 2014

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to take pity on the “Bullied White, Straight, Conservative Christian”

BoehlertEric Boehlert of Media Matters for America calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about whether Dems should boycott the Benghazi panel

• In his first public comments since being banned for life from the NBA, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling apologized for racist comments captured on tape, saying they were a “terrible mistake” but that he was “baited” into making them.

• Shelly Sterling says she doesn’t think Donald Sterling is a racist, but she believes her estranged husband is in the “onset of dementia.” Sterling told Barbara Walters her husband said, “I don’t remember saying that. I don’t remember ever saying those things.”

• A video distributed Monday shows the leader of the Nigerian Islamic extremist group Boko Haram saying he is willing to trade more than 200 kidnapped teenage girls for imprisoned members of his group, and offered the first evidence that most of the girls are still alive.

• President Obama congratulated Michael Sam yesterday, after he made history as the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL when he was picked by the St. Louis Rams, the White House said.

Show Notes for Friday, May 9, 2014

• Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to urge Dems to boycott these latest Benghazi hearings

Fugelsang2• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT for another edition of Fridays With Fugelsang

• A new recording of Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling reacting to the scandal that enveloped him has been posted online, with Sterling yelling “You know I’m not a racist!” to an unidentified listener.

• Embattled Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki is directing his agency to complete a nationwide review of clinics at VA Medical Centers across the country to assess veterans’ access to care. Shinseki has come under fire in the wake of reports that at least 40 veterans died while waiting for care at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system.

• An American team is on the ground in Nigeria to help in the search for more than 200 teenage girls kidnapped from their school in a remote village. The Islamic terror group Boko Haram has threatened to sell them into slavery.

• House Republicans on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a resolution to establish a new committee to investigate the deadly attack in Benghazi, a move panned by Democrats as an election-year distraction aimed to motivate the GOP ahead of November’s midterm contests.

Show Notes for Thursday, May 8, 2014

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about his experiences at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

• Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about why Conservatives can’t take a joke

Overton• Comedian Rick Overton joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT to hang with us for the hour

• The U.S. is sending technical experts to aid Nigeria’s search for nearly 300 teenage girls who were kidnapped from their school in mid-April, the White House said Tuesday. The mass abduction has sparked international outrage and mounting demands for Nigeria do more to free the girls.

• Russian President Vladimir Putin told rebels in Ukraine to halt plans for independence votes and said his troops have pulled back from the border, but his apparent change of heart received short shrift from Kiev and Washington.

• The House of Representatives voted Wednesday evening to find former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress and adopted a resolution calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting scandal.

• The NBA’s strategy for forcing the sale of the L.A. Clippers by Donald Sterling hinges on a morality clause in a document the owner signed when he bought the team in 1981 that lays out reasons ownership could be terminated, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday.

Show Notes for Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Alazraqui• Sexy Liberal Carlos Alazraqui joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for Coffee With Carlos

• Climate change’s assorted harms “are expected to become increasingly disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond,” the National Climate Assessment concluded Tuesday. The report emphasizes how warming and its all-too-wild weather are changing daily lives.

• President Obama said Tuesday that the U.S. would do everything possible to help Nigeria find nearly 300 teenage girls missing since they were kidnapped from school three weeks ago by an Islamic extremist group that has threatened to sell them.

• Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., will go after every single document and witness in that could shed light on the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi in his role as chairman of a special committee House Republicans are creating to continue their investigation.

• After 10 years of silence — a decade of dodging questions about the infamous stain on her blue dress and the jokes about the president’s cigar — Bill Clinton’s mistress, Monica Lewinsky, spoke out in Vanity Fair. The 40-year-old, who says she’s still recognized everywhere she goes, has had enough of “tiptoeing around my past — and other people’s futures.”

• In a race more dramatic in its last moments than an “American Idol” finale, Clay Aiken is locked in a race too close to call in the Democratic primary in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district.

Show Notes for Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about what the GOP should be paying attention to rather than Benghazi

Pierce2• Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the Supreme Court and prayer

• Bob Cesca of The Daily Banter calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about the GOP’s lopsided response to Benghazi

• The Obama administration will release an updated report today showing how climate change touches every part of the country, as the administration seeks to convince the American public on the need for a crackdown on carbon pollution.

• Speaker of the House John Boehner has ordered the establishment of a new special committee to investigate the 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi — but some Democrats don’t want anyone from their party to take part in the hearings.

• The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a town in New York that begins its public board meetings with a prayer. The decision was a loss for two women, Linda Stephens and Susan Galloway, an atheist and a Jew, who filed suit against Greece, N.Y., arguing that they felt coerced to participate in prayers

• Authorities trying to determine what caused a support frame to collapse during an aerial hair-hanging stunt during a circus performance focused on a broken clip holding the apparatus.

Show Notes for Monday, May 5, 2014

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters for America calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about the Far Right’s continuing obsession with Benghazi

KatamiZarrilloPaul Katami & Jeff Zarrillo, two of the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case, join us in studio at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about their upcoming wedding

• Forgoing the largely self-deprecating front he’s donned the past several years, President Obama during his prepared roast Saturday to the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner instead opted to go after some members of the Washington, D.C., cast who’ve complicated his five-and-a-half-year tenure in the Oval Office.

• V. Stiviano sat for a bizarre interview with Barbara Walters Friday afternoon, in which she proclaimed the Clippers owner is NOT a racist and that she was not his girlfriend, but his right hand man.

• Authorities are trying to determine what caused a support frame to collapse during an aerial hair-hanging stunt during a circus performance in Rhode Island yesterday, sending eight acrobats crashing to the ground.

• The Oscar Pistorius murder trial resumed Monday after a two-week recess, with the defense team calling its fourth witness in an attempt to bolster the double-amputee athlete’s case that he killed his girlfriend by mistake last year.

Show Notes for Friday, May 2, 2014

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT for another edition of “Fridays With Fugelsang”

• Daily Beast columnist Dean Obeidallah calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about President Obama’s use of comedy

Shrum• Political consultant Bob Shrum calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about who is to blame for Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy

• Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is battling cancer, sources have confirmed to ESPN as first reported by the New York Post. The Post, citing sources, reported that the 80-year-old Sterling has been battling prostate cancer for an extended period of time.

• Leon Jenkins, the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, has resigned following outrage over a decision he later reversed to give Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling an award for promoting civil rights.

• Senior officials from Malaysia, Australia and China will meet early next week to decide on the next step in the search for the Malaysia Airlines jet, while expressing confidence Friday that the hunt was on the right track despite no wreckage being found so far.

• New documents obtained by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch reinforce that the White House strongly argued that an anti-Muslim video was the reason for the deadly 2012 terror attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi.

Show Notes for Thursday, May 1, 2014

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to talk about the ramifications of the NBA’s Donald Sterling situation

• Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about what the GOP would do if they took over the Senate

Schechner• Health care reform expert Jacki Schechner joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11am ET / 8am PT for “Jacki’s Healthcare Corner”

• Democratic legislation to raise the federal minimum wage hit a road block Wednesday when Republicans blocked the bill in the Senate, setting up an election-year battle over which party can best grow the economy and help struggling Americans.

• Some NBA owners are prepared to tell Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling that he must sell the team in response to racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he would call on the owners to vote to force Sterling to sell the team.

• An apparent natural gas explosion at a jail in the Florida Panhandle killed two inmates and injured as many as 150 inmates and corrections officers, officials say.

• Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will take a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse, his lawyer said Wednesday, as a national Canadian newspaper reported viewing of a new video of the embattled politician smoking what was described as crack.