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Obama Looks To Hollywood To Help Promote His Healthcare Law

House passes spending bill that may provoke shutdown

More traditionally, Americans for Prosperity , the free-market advocacy group that spent more than $33 million to try to defeat Obama in the 2012 election, has hosted telephone forums and town-hall-style meetings as part of a 35-state campaign to block the healthcare law. “We now have a funded, professional, logistically proficient infrastructure that, when one of these fights [arises] can really spring into action,” said Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips. The House vote Friday illustrated the fervor of the battle. After months of largely symbolic votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the chamber’s most conservative Republican lawmakers backed the GOP leadership into a corner, insisting that future government spending be linked to suspension of funding for the healthcare law. Without a compromise, many nonessential government agencies will shut their doors when the budget year ends Sept. 30, the eve of the law’s enrollment period. Beyond the squabbling over a government shutdown, the stakes for Obama in the success of his signature legislative achievement are immense. His push for immigration reform has stalled, he was pounded by critics for appearing indecisive on action in Syria, and his approval ratings have sunk. Republican and Democratic groups acknowledge that the fate of many 2014 congressional campaigns will tip on public perceptions of the healthcare law. And the burden of any problems will be shouldered by the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, particularly if it is Vice President Joe Biden or Hillary Rodham Clinton , who is remembered for her healthcare push during her husband’s administration. At this stage, it is difficult to measure the efficacy of the campaign to influence Americans’ perceptions of the law, in part because there is little transparency about how much third-party groups are spending on both sides.

Body of Hollywood stunt pilot who crashed in China discovered in lake: officials

David Riggs died when a plane he was flying crashed in China.

Zhang said Riggs crashed while attempting a stunt in which the wheels of his plane were to drag along the lake surface at high speed. He had just taken off in a light rain, but there was no indication he had violated any flying regulations, Zhang said. Other reports said Chinese officials had urged Riggs not to take off, but Zhang said he had no information about that. Riggs was a well-known Hollywood stunt pilot, and the center of considerable controversy over a string of legal problems and penchant for self-promotion. Riggs website touts his credentials as a holder of several aviation speed world records, but doesnt mention the fact his U.S. pilots license had been suspended twice. Yang Qing/ Yang Qing/Xinhua Press/Corbis David Riggs body was recovered after more than 70 hours of searching. The first time was after buzzing the famed Santa Monica pier in Los Angeles in his Vodochody L-39 Albatros jet trainer. Riggs was sentenced to 60 days of community service and 60 days in jail for reckless flying. He lost his license again in November for selling rides in his plane without permission. The prosecution came after a plane piloted by a business partner crashed, killing both people on board. Riggs had a stack of other legal problems, including convictions for bank, wire and passport fraud.