Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) failed miserably last year in his attempt to stop ObamaCare by forcing a government shutdown. And Republican lawmakers have voted 50 times now, all to no avail, to repeal the law. But now, Cruz claims the GOP could still totally repeal the law — while President Obama is in office, no less — via a wildly fantastical scenario in which Democrats have a sudden change of heart and turn on the president.
Here's what Cruz told Jonathan Karl Sunday on ABC's This Week:
If there's one thing that unifies politicians of both parties, you know, their top priority is preserving their own hide. And if enough Congressional Democrats realize they either stand with ObamaCare and lose, or they listen to the American people and have a chance at staying in office, that's the one scenario we could do it in 2015. If not, we'll do it in 2017. […] Washington isn't listening to those people. That's how we win elections and that's also how we repeal ObamaCare.
An incredulous Karl asked Cruz if he really believed Congress could overturn the whole law while Obama was president, to which Cruz replied, "Every single word."
Cruz is either delusional or willfully obfuscating the truth on the matter. Poll after poll has shown that while voters don't particularly like ObamaCare, they don't support repealing it either. And Democratic lawmakers have shown no indication they would ever get behind the GOP's repeal efforts; just a few months ago, they locked arms amid the government shutdown and forced the GOP to back down.
Moreover, Cruz is being a little hypocritical in saying repeal is still even an option at this point. In pushing for the self-serving government shutdown last year, he repeatedly warned that the law could not be stopped after January 1. Of course, Cruz has strong financial and personal-branding incentives to beat the repeal drum, so don't expect him to move on any time soon. Jon Terbush
The State Department marked 81 of more than 500 Hillary Clinton emails released Saturday as confidential, The Hill reports. Another three were upgraded to "secret" status, and none were marked "top secret," the highest designation.
None of the emails released Saturday had been marked confidential when they were originally sent.
The State Department still has more than 3,000 emails to release from Clinton's private server, which she used as secretary of state. Julie Kliegman
In case the Rubik's Cube isn't already challenging enough to solve, one puzzle maker just made it physically demanding, too. Tony Fisher constructed a monstrous cube, spanning just over 5 feet in either direction and weighing in at about 224 pounds.
Fisher believes his creation could be the biggest functional Rubik's Cube in the world, and he hopes to get it recognized as such by Guinness World Records.
On his YouTube page, he notes that the cube broke shortly after he shot the surreal video below, but he's working on getting it fixed. Julie Kliegman
Singer Katy Perry has attended the Grammys for eight years straight. But for Monday's show, she's doing something a little different — watching from home, she told The New York Times.
Perry will be rooting for The Weeknd "in my pajamas, eating matzo ball soup. No makeup, glad I'm not in a corset. Vicks cream on."
With 13 nominations, Perry has yet to win a Grammy of her own. Julie Kliegman
Refugees are arriving in Europe by boat at a faster rate in 2016 than at the beginning of 2015, the United Nations Refugee Agency said in a report released Friday.
In the first six weeks of 2016, more than 80,000 refugees have arrived in Europe. That's more than in the first four months of 2015.
Many European countries, including Turkey, say they're struggling to keep taking in refugees, many of whom are fleeing conflict in Syria.
More than 400 refugees have died crossing the Mediterranean so far in 2016. Julie Kliegman
Across 10 programming languages, women are considered better coders than men, a new study published by computer science researchers shows.
Researchers examined 3 million pull requests, or contributions to projects, on GitHub, an open-source software community, and found that code written by women was accepted at 78.6 percent to men's 74.6 percent.
But there's a catch, The Guardian reports. Women's work was only accepted more than men's if their GitHub profiles were gender neutral. When users clearly identified as women, their acceptance rate was lower than that of their male peers. Julie Kliegman
More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have been infected by the Zika virus, the country's national health institute said Saturday. In the nation, 31,555 people in total have the virus, Reuters reports.
The Zika virus, which the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency, is thought to be linked to microcephaly, a birth defect. So far there are no cases of microcephaly linked to Zika in Colombia.
The mosquito-borne virus, which has been traced back to Brazil, has spread to more than 30 countries. Julie Kliegman
The mother of Dylan Klebold, one of two boys who killed 13 people at Columbine High School in 1999, gave her first televised interview Friday. Speaking to ABC's Diane Sawyer, Sue Klebold said she missed warning signs her son was depressed.
"I think we like to believe that our love and our understanding is protective, and that 'if anything were wrong with my kids, I would know,' but I didn't know, and I wasn't able to stop him from hurting other people," she said.
Klebold's interview, which you can watch here, comes as she promotes her Feb. 15 memoir, A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Julie Kliegman