Dean Griffin liked the health insurance he purchased for himself and his wife three years ago and thought he´d be able to keep the plan even after the federal Affordable Care Act took effect. [Snip] The cheapest plan they found on their state insurance exchange was a so-called bronze plan charging a $1,275 monthly premium with deductibles totaling $12,700. It covers only providers in Pennsylvania, so the couple, who live near Delaware, won´t be able to see doctors they´ve used for more than a decade. ‘We´re buying insurance that we will never use and can´t possibly ever benefit from. We´re
Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, slams ´unacceptable´ interference by Strasbourg judges as one of Britain´s most dangerous terrorists claims his rights were infringed. One of Britain’s most dangerous al-Qaeda terrorists is seeking to have his conviction overturned on human rights grounds, The Telegraph can disclose. Abdulla Ahmed Ali, the ringleader of a suicide plot which could have killed 10,000 people, has gone to the European Court of Human Rights to claim his human rights were infringed by publicity before he was convicted of conspiracy to murder. He alleges the jury would have been prejudiced by media coverage of a previous
US Secretary of State John Kerry has called for an end to all violence and urged progress towards full democracy on his first visit to Egypt since the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi. "History has demonstrated that democracies are more stable viable and prosperous than any alternative," he told a news conference. "With stability comes tourism and investment, and with both come jobs for the Egyptian people." He said Egypt was a "vital" US partner. Last month the US froze a large portion of the $1.3bn (£810m) in aid it sends to Egypt, prompting condemnation from Cairo.
The third House Republican to support the comprehensive immigration bill introduced by House Democrats is circulating a petition to House Republicans to pressure House Republican leaders to bring up comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year. On Friday, Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) said he was "hoping to get a decent number" of signatures, according to the Washington Post. Reps. Jeff Denham (R-CA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) are the other two Republicans who have come out in support of the Senate´s immigration bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for the country´s illegal immigrants with less stringent border security provisions.
Pro-amnesty organizations are campaigning heavily for Democrat Terry McAuliffe, the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and a close ally of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in Virginia´s gubernatorial election on Tuesday. “Latino groups are intensifying get-out-the-vote efforts in the Virginia governor’s race against a national backdrop of a congressional struggle over immigration reform,” NBC News Latino reports. “The groups said Thursday immigration reform is a critical issue on which candidates will be measured by Latino voters in the race.
It isn’t often that the Koch brothers’ political advocacy group gets involved in a local school board race. But this fall, Americans for Prosperity is spending big in the wealthy suburbs south of Denver to influence voters in the Douglas County School District, which has gone further than any district in the nation to reshape public education into a competitive, free-market enterprise. The conservatives who control the board have neutered the teachers union, prodded neighborhood elementary schools to compete with one another for market share, directed tax money to pay for religious education and imposed a novel pay scale that values teachers
"The buck stops here." There´s a sustaining beauty to President Harry Truman´s desk sign. In four simple words, it offers a defining purpose to an office of immense complexity -- in the end, the president holds the final responsibility. Most presidents accept this narrative. But nearly five years into office -- after Fast and Furious, after Benghazi, after the snooping on Associated Press phone records, after the IRS political vendetta and now the Obamacare website mess, President Obama has shown his preference for a different kind of "buck" -- with a deliberately amorphous Constitution. By his own choice, Obama has become the
Despite the new generous federal estate tax law, there’s reason to worry about estate taxes. There are 19 states and the District of Columbia that impose separate state levies. And just because you live in a no-estate-tax state now, don’t get complacent. What if you move in your old age to the estate-tax-happy Northeast to be closer to your family? Or what if your state gets revenue-hungry like Illinois which reinstated its estate tax in 2011, Delaware which made a “temporary” estate tax permanent this summer, or Minnesota that recently tweaked its law to disallow common ways folks now get
The Affordable Health Care act rollout was an unmitigated disaster thanks in large part to a cluttered website that both didn´t work and was offensively ugly. Maybe things would not have gone so poorly if HealthCare.gov looked something like this. No one knows the resources that went into building HealthCare.gov, but the government quickly realized it wasn´t enough after that terrible first day, so they decided to bring in a crew of leading tech experts to fix the website´s many, many problems. But the job was already at least partially completed by three unknown coders living in San Francisco. Meet the Health
The wheel of death has survivors. A Cirque du Soleil performer slipped and fell off the "Wheel of Death" during a performance at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas Friday night, the company stated on its Facebook page. The company, which features a mix of circus arts and street entertainment, reported the accident halted the show and the artist was transported to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. The performer is listed in stable condition and is expected to be released within a few days, the company said. Cirque does not reveal the names of artists injured during
Did you know that President Obama might be reading The American Spectator? “Most nights, before going to bed, he’ll surf the Internet, reading the columnists whose opinions he values,” writes Dylan Byers in a Politico piece called “President Obama: Off the Record.” One wonders whether Obama spends a lot of time in the comments section—hopefully with a more creative alias than Carlos Danger. Byers describes the president as a voracious consumer of opinion journalism who frequently summons his favorite writers to the White House for off-the-record discussions where “he can show them how obviously everything he is doing makes sense.” Byers
Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that bolstered political speech against campaign finance reform limitations, may also mean trouble for Obamacare´s contraception coverage mandate, according to the second-highest court in the country. Attorneys for Francis and Philip Gilardi argued that the Gilardis should not be required to provide contraception to their employees because it violates their religious beliefs. The Gilardis own Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics in Ohio and are devout Catholics. They argued that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects them from having to comply with the mandate, promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services. Writing for the U.S.
I made this point in a casual bloggy way, so I’m very glad to see it made more rigorously by a highly regarded author and commentator. In Time, Fareed Zakaria punctures the notion that the Saudis are the Mideastern ally which must be catered to (this has become a new neocon meme, especially useful for those who want to downplay the Israel lobby’s role in influencing American Mideast policy.) Key Zakaria graf: If there were a prize for Most Irresponsible Foreign Policy it would surely be awarded to Saudi Arabia. It is the nation most responsible for the rise of Islamic
Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. kept secret diaries that were found by his wife, Mary, who committed suicide last year in the midst of a contentious divorce. The Post, which was provided copies of the journals by a source, previously reported how the volumes detailed RFK’s “lust demons” while chronicling his sexual conquests with 37 women. Now, newly revealed entries show the family’s reaction to JFK Jr.’s death in 1999. The tragic death of John F. Kennedy Jr. was marked by deep sorrow — and intense family bickering over the funerals before the bodies were even recovered, according to Robert F.
How Americans see President Obama changed in an important way this week. It’s because there is a huge difference between lies and bulls – - t. Obama says a lot of things that are not true, even nonsensical. But it’s easy to shrug off most of these, because they aren’t really lies. They’re just bulls – - t. Bulls – - t is airy, meaningless drivel, the stuff that campaigns are made of. Or it’s a misleading oversimplification with hidden qualifiers. Not only do we forgive bulls – - t, we like it. Especially suckers who have far too high an opinion
Now we know why Mayor Rob Ford refused to have an official driver. Who would want a chauffeur at the wheel — with long ears and beady eyes — during all those mystifying late-night peregrinations around the city: pulling over in parking lots, gas stations, Tim Hortons, near high schools; the rambles down isolated pathways, left strewn with empty vodka bottles and juice boxes? Who would want a witness — insufficiently trustworthy — to twitchy transactions, packages and manila envelopes exchanged between a chief magistrate and his bagman, content of the goods unknown, though bird-dogging cops noted the behavior certainly
It’s a sign of just how fast the balance of world power is shifting, that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin oversaw a huge exercise of Russia’s nuclear forces this Wednesday, involving — as the AP reported – “multiple test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, a formidable demonstration of Russia’s resurgent military power.” This follows the entry of Russian warships into the Mediterranean, concurrent with the Russia-brokered deal to relieve Syria’s Assad regime of its chemical weapons, at the cost of relieving the U.S. of any real influence in what might come next. That followed the biggest war games launched by the
Nicolas Maduro has so far managed to mostly avoid the showy expropriations of which his predecessor Hugo Chavez was so very fond in times of political need, but the rapidly deteriorating social and economic situation in Venezuela is moving toward a desperate-times, desperate-measures scenario for the new Venezuelan leader. The socialist country relies on oil for almost all of its exports and about half of its government revenue, but their lately dwindling production capacity is a reflection — not of dwindling supply (indeed, they some of the world’s largest proven reserves) – but rather of dwindling investment in their shady
Political scientists and military strategists have tried to define a new grand strategy for America since the end of the Cold War. Despite repeated efforts, the results have not been compelling, perhaps because they start from the wrong premise about America´s continued global role. The chaotic global political situation we face now, with clashing values and interests, is not the same as a military threat to freedom from hostile totalitarian regimes against whom we could lead and defend. In the current situation, we are just another contender for power, one whose ideas, no matter how exceptional, are often greeted with
President Obama calls them “substandard” insurance plans. But to many of the people who bought individual insurance policies that are now being canceled under the Affordable Care Act, their choice of insurance was a prudent decision that met their needs at a price that will be hard to beat under the ACA. Jim Stadler is one of the “5 percenters”—the 5% of Americans with health insurance policies they purchased on their own—who got notified recently that their carrier was canceling coverage because it didn’t meet the tougher new minimum requirements of the ACA. Stadler, a freelance writer who lives outside
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his Republican colleagues won the shutdown drama in October. However, the effects are still gradually rippling through the electorate. And the full results will depend upon Republicans understanding the strategy (they don´t) and continuing to implement conservatives´ obvious plan consistently for maximum impact (unlikely). Approval has dropped five percent for President Barack Obama since the October government shutdown, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal opinion survey. Obama´s disapproval rating has reached a toxic 51 percent -- as even Obama-worshiping NBC News admits. Over 50 percent of voters disapproving is considered fatal for an incumbent
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Thirty-five years after Love Canal´s oozing toxic waste scared away a neighborhood and became a symbol of environmental catastrophe, history could be repeating itself. New residents, attracted by promises of cleaned-up land and affordable homes, say in lawsuits that they are being sickened by the same buried chemicals from the disaster in the Niagara Falls neighborhood in the 1970s. "We´re stuck here. We want to get out," said 34-year-old Dan Reynolds, adding that he´s been plagued by mysterious rashes and other ailments since he moved into the four-bedroom home purchased a decade ago for $39,900.
CHICAGO -- Listen to the many harrowing stories of war, suffering and survival, all under one roof: On the third floor, there´s Margie. A prisoner of Nazi labor camps, she hauled backbreaking cement bags and was beaten with clubs. Sometimes, she had only a piece of bread to eat every other day. She weighed 56 pounds when she was freed. Down the hall, there´s Edith. Though pregnant, she miraculously avoided the gas chamber at Auschwitz. She lost her mother, father and husband in the camps. After liberation, she faced even more heartbreak: Her son died days after his birth. Up on the eighth
The Benghazi whistleblower whose new book details massive security failures in the run-up to the September 11, 2012 attacks denies he wrote an incident report made public this week that undermines key details in his memoir. The debate over the Obama administration’s actions before and after the attack on the U.S. mission was reignited following an Oct. 27 60 Minutes report featuring an interview with Morgan Jones, a pseudonym for a British security contractor who trained and advised the local Libyan guard force for the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Jones’s book, The Embassy House, was released two days later and
ISLAMABAD -- The Pakistani government Saturday accused the U.S. of sabotaging peace talks with domestic Taliban fighters by killing their leader in a drone strike, as the militants began the process of choosing a successor. The rise in tension, even though the U.S. took out Pakistan´s No. 1 enemy, shows just how complicated the relationship between the professed allies can be. The two repeatedly have clashed over issues such as drone strikes and Pakistan´s alleged support for militants fighting U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan. The Pakistani Taliban leader slain Friday, Hakimullah Mehsud, was a ruthless figure known for a deadly attack on
On Monday, November 4th, an Egyptian Triple Seven elite military force helicopter will transport former Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, out of secret hiding where he has been held in custody by authorities since July 3rd this year. Morsi will be flown to a courtroom inside Toro Police School to begin his trial for high treason and other suspected crimes. On the eve of his political career and presidential candidacy, Morsi sat in prison awaiting trial for spying against Egypt. Now he is accused of continuing these efforts during his presidency. According to Egyptian news agencies, Morsi recently notified his family that