Bush's New Dentist Faces Tough Confirmation Hearing

Top Headlines


Rand Paul Escorted Off Stage After Falling Below 2.5% In Middle Of Debate

MILWAUKEE—Interrupted midway through answering a question about how he would reform the nation’s tax code, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was reportedly escorted off stage roughly an hour into Tuesday’s GOP primary debate after falling below the minimum 2.5 percent polling threshold necessary for participating in the forum.

Fact-Checking Ben Carson’s Claims

GOP presidential frontrunner Ben Carson is currently under fire for claims he’s made about his past in books and interviews, many of which journalists have alleged are fabricated or skewed in the candidate’s favor. The Onion breaks down what’s truth and what’s fiction.

Republicans’ Demands For Upcoming Debates

Following last week’s contentious debate in Colorado, Republican presidential candidates are formulating demands for future debates in the effort to reduce perceived media bias and foster a more productive, policy-focused discussion. Here are the GOP’s demands for upcoming debates

Top Issues For Voters In The 2016 Election

With the presidential race well underway and the pool of candidates narrowing, Americans will soon have to choose their next leader based on how well they speak to the issues. Here are the top issues that matter for voters in the 2016 election

Winners And Losers Of Last Night’s Debate

The top 10 leading GOP presidential candidates met in Boulder, CO for their third debate last night, hosted by CNBC and featuring a number of contentious moments concerning alleged liberal media bias, frontrunners’ contradictory statements, and more. The Onion breaks down who won and who lost the debate

Ben Carson Tormented By Periodic Rational Thoughts

SAN ANTONIO—Calling the disturbing incidents a persistent source of anguish, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson told reporters at a Monday campaign stop that he has been tormented by periodic rational thoughts for the past several years.

How Democrats Are Preparing For Their First Debate

The first Democratic presidential debate will be held Tuesday, and the candidates are expected to battle it out over issues as wide-ranging as gun control, climate change, and wealth inequality in America. Here’s how the candidates are preparing for the debate

Group Of Christie Campaign Deserters Found In Forest

SHAMONG, NJ—Huddling together around fires of burning yard signs while sipping small rations of soup from mugs adorned with the phrase “Telling It Like It Is,” a ragged encampment of advisers, pollsters, and volunteers who deserted Chris Christie’s presidential campaign was reportedly found living deep in a New Jersey forest Friday, authorities confirmed.

Sight Of 400 War Elephants On Horizon Marks Hillary Clinton’s Arrival In Swing State

WHEELING, OH—Feeling the earth shake beneath them as they watched the procession climb over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains toward their village, sources along the Ohio border confirmed Thursday that the sight of 400 war elephants marching on the horizon marked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s arrival to the critical swing state.

Unemployed Single Mother In Rubio Speech Told Candidate About Her Problems In Confidence

CEDAR FALLS, IA—Describing her shock and embarrassment upon learning that her personal struggles were shared with an entire campaign rally audience, 37-year-old Allison Kilpatrick, an unemployed single mother that Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio mentioned in a recent stump speech, informed reporters Thursday that she told the candidate about her problems in confidence.

Obama Scrambling Around White House Kitchen Before State Dinner

WASHINGTON—Darting back and forth from refrigerator to sink to prep table while hurriedly preparing 350 hand-carved radish rosettes, a visibly agitated President Obama reported Friday that everything must be absolutely perfect for tonight’s state dinner in honor of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Voters Look On In Horror As 3 New Republican Candidates Appear In Place Of Scott Walker

MADISON, WI—Overcome by a profound feeling of dread and helplessness as the GOP field multiplied before their eyes, voters at Scott Walker’s press conference yesterday, in which the Wisconsin governor announced he was exiting the presidential race, reportedly looked on in horror as three new Republican contenders appeared on stage in place of the former candidate.

Top Snake Handler Leaves Sinking Huckabee Campaign

LITTLE ROCK, AR—Dealing yet another blow to the former Arkansas governor’s presidential hopes, Dalton Hobbs, one of Mike Huckabee’s top snake handlers, has decided to leave the sinking campaign, sources reported Thursday.

Aides Rush On Stage To Rotate Scott Walker Back To Direction Of Audience

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Upon noticing that the Wisconsin governor had become disoriented during one of the moderator’s questions and begun delivering his response while facing the set’s backdrop, several of his aides rushed on stage during Wednesday’s GOP primary debate to rotate Scott Walker back in the direction of the audience.

GOP Debate Stage Manager Pulls Ladies’ Podium Out Of Storage For Carly Fiorina

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Having rummaged through a cluttered backstage closet for nearly half an hour in an effort to locate its elegantly curved lavender form, stage manager Paul Guzman is said to have finally pulled the GOP’s official ladies’ podium out of storage for Carly Fiorina ahead of Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate.

Who Is Kim Davis?

Rowan County, KY clerk Kim Davis returned to work Monday after being jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples on religious grounds. Here’s what you need to know about the defiant public servant:

Obamas Decide To Stay In White House Until Daughters Finish High School

‘We Don’t Want To Uproot Them Just For Our Jobs,’ Say Parents

WASHINGTON—Saying it wouldn’t be fair to disrupt their lives after seven years in the same school district, Barack and Michelle Obama this week announced their plans to stay in the White House until their daughters graduate high school.

Frenzied Trump Supporters Admit They’d Be Just As Happy Tearing Him To Pieces

‘We’re Just Mad And Want To Destroy Something,’ Say Candidate’s Backers

WASHINGTON—Saying they simply needed something to direct their anger toward, the nation’s frenzied Donald Trump supporters admitted Thursday that, if circumstances were different, they would be just as happy tearing the Republican frontrunner to pieces.

How Trump Continues To Lead The Polls

Recent polls indicate that, despite public outcry against his incendiary comments on women and minorities, Donald Trump is still the leading Republican candidate. Here are some reasons Trump stays so popular with his supporters:

Obama’s Post-Presidency Plans

With his two-term presidency drawing to a close, Barack Obama has been meeting with several high-profile public figures to determine the trajectory of his post–White House legacy. Here are some of the proposed plans

Details Of Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan

This week, Donald Trump unveiled his plan for addressing immigration as president, a series of core principles that specify his heretofore generalized statements about America’s relationship with immigrants. Here are the items detailed in Trump’s outline

Huckabee Campaign Suspended After Candidate Trapped In Briar Patch

HOPE, AR—Saying all public appearances would be canceled until they could find a way to free the former Arkansas governor, officials announced Friday that Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign had been suspended due to the Republican candidate becoming trapped in a briar patch.

What’s Been Found In Hillary’s Emails So Far

Hillary Clinton agreed to turn over her private email server to the FBI Wednesday after it was alleged that emails sent over her personal account could be compromised outside the possession of the government. Here are some of the contents of Clinton’s emails that have been inspected thus far

Biden Offers Government Post To Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark

WASHINGTON—Calling the late-night horror film host well-suited for the job “and then some,” Vice President Joe Biden offered Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, an entry-level position within the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, White House sources confirmed Thursday.

How The GOP Can Appeal To Women

In light of Donald Trump’s controversial comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and the Republican Party’s divisive views on Planned Parenthood, many are wondering how the party will win the female vote in next year’s presidential election.

Most Used Words In The GOP Debate

On Thursday night, the top 10 Republican presidential hopefuls gathered at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to engage in the first primary debate. Below are the words and phrases used by the candidates, weighted by the frequency with which they appeared.

On Thursday night, the top 10 Republican presidential hopefuls gathered at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to engage in the first primary debate. Here are the words and phrases used by the candidates, weighted by the frequency with which they appeared.

Trump Delivers Anecdote About Small Business Owner Who Isn’t Half The Man He Is

CLEVELAND—Noting that there are millions of entrepreneurs throughout the country who are in the same difficult position, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responded to a question about the economy at Thursday night’s primary debate by sharing an anecdote about meeting a struggling small business owner who isn’t half the man he is.

What To Expect From Tonight’s GOP Debate

The first Republican primary debate will air Thursday evening on Fox News and will feature the top 10 polling candidates, with Donald Trump in a strong lead, as they field questions from moderators Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace. Here’s what to expect during tonight’s debate:

How Campaigns Spend Their Money

The 2016 election cycle is shaping up to be the most expensive in American history, with most presidential candidates already having raised tens of millions of dollars for their respective campaigns. Here is a breakdown of just how that money is spent:

Details Of Obama’s Climate Change Plan

President Obama unveiled Monday a plan to increase the country’s clean power usage that many are calling the strongest action ever taken by a U.S. president to combat the effects of climate change. Here are some key details of Obama’s climate change plan

Revelations From Trump’s Financial Documents

Donald Trump made the financial disclosures this week required of all presidential candidates, divulging his job titles, assets, and other information in a 92-page report. Here are some things we learned about Trump in these documents

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

Candidate Profile: Scott Walker

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker formally announced Monday that he will run for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election, bringing one of the frontrunners in early polls officially into the race. Here are some key facts to know about Walker
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage



Bush's New Dentist Faces Tough Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON—The Senate Judiciary Committee announced Monday that, after five days of intense questioning, internal debate, and outside testimony, it is no closer to confirming Dr. Richard J. Applebaum, President George W. Bush's controversial nominee to be the 73rd presidential dentist in U.S. history.

Applebaum—a Howard University College of Dentistry graduate, owner of the private practice Gentle Dental, and close friend of the Bush family—faced a seemingly unending battery of questions during the first week of his confirmation hearing, with the committee's 19 members grilling him on issues ranging from tooth decay to tartar control to the divisive "brushing side-to-side or up-and-down" question.

According to committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), however, the most important matter is restoring honor and dignity to the dentist's office.

"We cannot stand by and allow the Republicans to rubber-stamp another dentist," Leahy said on NBC's Meet The Press Sunday. "We need someone with integrity. Someone who will not ignore untreated abscesses in the posterior region of the mouth. Someone who will not simply be told that Mr. Bush flosses daily and blindly accept that as fact. Someone who is tough on plaque, yet gentle around the gums."

Applebaum's testimony thus far indicates that he has always been a vocal proponent of mercury amalgam fillings, which does not sit well with some of the Democrats in the Senate. He has, however, earned bipartisan approval for his policy on latex gloves. In addition, he has shown a commitment to featuring a wide selection of toothpaste flavors—including pina colada—and, with the exception of two occasions in the summer of 1992, has consistently consulted patients beforehand as to their favorite flavor.

His stance on fluoride treatment is unknown.

Although Applebaum's testimony has revealed a philosophy largely in line with current dental thought, his record is not unblemished. An FBI investigation launched shortly after his nomination revealed conflicting viewpoints on the issue of brushing.

"Dr. Applebaum, according to our records, in March of 1999, you told a patient by the name of Bev Kaplansky that it was advisable to brush twice a day. Yet just two years later, in February of 2001, you told one Mr. Grayson Peters that brushing should occur after every meal," a transcript of Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-IL) questioning read in part. "Well, which is it, Dr. Applebaum? Two times a day, or after every meal?"

Applebaum's refusal to answer Sen. Durbin's question has led many Democrats and some Republicans to declare that they will not support his confirmation, claiming that they do not want "another Dr. Cesario."

Dr. Samuel Cesario, Bush's previous dentist, served for a tumultuous two years before resigning in October amid accusations that he politicized the position by handing out free toothbrushes and floss dispensers to the president, that he was pro-gingivitis, and that he ordered the illegal torture of several U.S.-held detainees.

While most agree that Applebaum represents a significant upgrade from Cesario, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) was disappointed that Bush did not select the senator's own dentist, Dr. Harry Gellert, whom Specter has long championed as "a very nice man."

The media, meanwhile, has often portrayed Applebaum as a beneficiary of nepotism, as both his father and grandfather worked in the dental profession. Some critics have been even harsher. In a recent segment that has been highly circulated on the Internet and within the political blogosphere, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann called Applebaum, 52, a "spineless hypocrite who is being called on not to clean teeth, but to obsequiously kowtow to the Bush administration."

"In a 1987 checkup with a young child who shall remain nameless, you purportedly discouraged the consumption of so-called 'sweets,' but just moments later, sir, you rewarded that same child with a lollipop from the office treasure chest," Olbermann said during a "special comment" addressed to Applebaum on the program Countdown. "Are we to believe that you do not classify lollipops as 'sweets,' sir? And more importantly: Is this really the man we want scraping the gums of the leader of the free world?"

Though Bush, who is said to be suffering from a severe toothache, has urged a swift confirmation and even threatened to name Applebaum as a recess appointment, there is speculation that the Democrats may attempt to filibuster the nomination, as they did to 1968 chief justice appointee Abe Fortas and 2003 White House plumber nominee Dave.