Washington — Americans may be forgiven for calling their lawmakers "lunatics" given the partisanship that has consumed Washington, but that term will no longer be allowed in laws promulgated by Congress. The House of Representatives voted 398-1 on Wednesday to strike the word "lunatic" from all federal legislation. With the Senate having approved the measure earlier this year, the bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. "Federal law should reflect the 21st century understanding of mental illness and disease, and that the continued use of this pejorative term has no place
Washington — Consumers saved nearly $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of rules in President Obama´s healthcare law that limit what insurance companies can spend on expenses unrelated to medical care, including profit, a new analysis shows. Much of those savings — an estimated $1.1 billion — came in rebates to consumers required because insurers had exceeded the required limits. The study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the
Dave Brubeck changed the sound of jazz in profound ways, unexpectedly becoming something of a pop star in the process. Starting in the mid-1950s, in fact, he emerged as a symbol of jazz in America, and well beyond, gracing the cover of Time magazine in 1954 and selling more than a million copies of “Take Five” in 1960. To this day, the puckishly syncopated tune remains one of the most recognizable in jazz, though Brubeck didn’t write it – his alto saxophonist, Paul Desmond, did. Beneath the popular acclaim stood a brilliant, uncompromising composer-pianist who challenged conventional jazz
A digital advertising company agreed Wednesday to end its practice of “history sniffing,” the practice of secretly tracking Internet users’ activity through their Web browsers. Epic Marketplace Inc. and a subsidiary were able to place a code in user´s Web browsers allowing them to instantly see whether the unwitting users had visited any of the more than 50,000 websites that they were monitoring, including pages related to impotence, fertility issues and personal bankruptcy. The information was then used to tailor ads to the users, according to the Federal Trade Commission complaint. “Consumers searching the Internet shouldn’t have to worry about
The Syrian military is prepared to use chemical weapons against its own people and is awaiting final orders from President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials told NBC News on Wednesday. The military has loaded the precursor chemicals for sarin, a deadly nerve gas, into aerial bombs that could be dropped onto the Syrian people from dozens of fighter-bombers, the officials said. As recently as Tuesday, officials had said there was as yet no evidence that the process of mixing the "precursor" chemicals had begun. But Wednesday, they said their worst fears had been confirmed:
According to Transparency International (TI) annual report, Venezuela ranks 165th along with Haiti, after they both obtained 19 points in the 100-point scale. The two countries are only ahead of Afghanistan, North Korea, Somalia or Iraq, which were the most corrupt nations worldwide Unlike Chile and Paraguay, whose corruption levels are the lowest in Latin America, Venezuela ranked among the most corrupt nations in the region, according to NGO Transparency International (TI) annual report, released in Germany on Wednesday. The report comprises 176 countries. Denmark, Finland, and New Zeeland obtained the highest qualification, 90 out of 100 points, AFP explained.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blocked a vote on President Obama’s proposal, articulated last week by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, saying that “there is no Geithner proposal.” “If the President’s proposal was made in good faith, Democrats should be eager to vote for it,” McConnell said today. “So I’m surprised the Majority Leader just declined the chance for them to support it with their votes. I guess we’re left to conclude that it couldn’t even pass by a bare majority of votes, and that they’d rather take the country off the cliff than actually work out a good-faith agreement
I´ve been critical of Republican tactics and messaging this week, so let´s give credit where it´s due: Moments ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor and offered an immediate vote on President Obama´s fiscal cliff plan, which shocked the Beltway late last week. (In case you´re keeping score at home, this was the surreal proposal that induced McConnell to laugh out loud as it was outlined by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner). Harry Reid quickly objected and shut the whole thing down, labeling the suggestion a "stunt."
Conservative stand-up comedian Evan Sayet says there is “no doubt” his fellow comics have taken it easy on President Barack Obama. “They’ve even admitted it themselves,” he told The Daily Caller. “Liberals don’t want to make fun of Obama because they feel that it will weaken him if they honestly point out his foibles and his shortcomings. The narrative is that Obama is sort of a god (in fact, Evan Thomas of Newsweek said exactly that.) Gods don’t have any flaws. Thus, if they point out a single flaw, they are entirely destroying the narrative.”
Is it a girl? Is it a boy? Is it a hockey-playing helicopter pilot with blue eyes and lustrous locks? Is it identical twins who can do the first monarchy job-share, taking it in turns to cut the ribbons and doze through the Royal Variety Performance? No, it’s an early pregnancy, as fraught with risk as any other. The foetus currently measures about an inch and its feet are starting to lose their webbed appearance. Now the miracle of becoming human can begin. In the brain, nerve cells sprout branches and join up to make miniature trees where,
It seems the search for a new buddy for Today show host Matt Lauer is over - and the object of his ´bromance´ is the 9am Hour´s Willie Geist. As MailOnline revealed, NBC chiefs were looking for a male pal for the long-time anchor in a desperate bid to increase ratings. And the ailing morning program introduced the budding love affair today, with a bizarre four-minute segmentdedicated to Geist swatting Lauer´s bottom backstage. The show got Rossen Reports´ Jeff Rossen on the case, who declared: ´This kind of behavior happens
On Wednesday´s CBS This Morning, Major Garrett promoted a thinly-veiled version of President Obama´s "Scrooge Christmas" attack on congressional Republicans. After spotlighting how White House Press Secretary Jay Carney maligned the GOP´s fiscal cliff solution as "magic beans and fairy dust," Garrett added that the "Republicans answered back – bah, humbug." The CBS morning newscast, along with NBC´s Today, aided the President by failing to point out that his rejection of the Republican plan is a 180 from his position in 2011. That year, the Democrat called for "$1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without
A Massachusetts daily newspaper apologized to its readers after an internal investigation concluded that a veteran reporter wrote dozens of stories that included people who don’t exist. The Cape Cod Times said Karen Jeffrey, 59, a writer for the Times since 1981, “admitted to fabricating people in some of these articles and giving some others false names.” In a column published Tuesday titled “An apology to our readers,” Publisher Peter Meyer and Editor Paul Pronovost wrote:
Only in a town like this would criminally reckless and penniless grifters still be at the bargaining table as their debtors and creditors pick through the rubble of the financial ruin they themselves created. This Congress has for decades stolen billions out of our personal retirement account to fund an obscene lavishness and political nest-feathering that would make a king blush. Perhaps the king only feared having his head on a pike and his crown skittering down the cobblestone — but he still would blush. In recent years when one party firmly controlled both chambers of Congress and the
Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Chicago police are making strong moves to confront continuing city violence—which has included violent attacks at funerals. The mayor expressed anger that people have been shooting and carrying guns at gang-member funerals. “The police department is going to change the way they deal with gang funerals,” he said. “If you cannot respect a place of worship, at a time of a funeral, we are going to show a different type of attitude.” The funerals will be treated as “gang events,” with mourners being searched and patted down, among other security measures.