Obamacare may be in the spotlight, but an estimated 16 million California employees are facing healthcare decisions of their own — at work. Like most other Americans, a majority of Californians get their insurance through their employers. Although they may be among the least affected by the Affordable Care Act, a flood of news about the new law has left many workers befuddled about their own coverage. (Snip) With deadlines looming to select coverage, experts say consumers may discover: - higher monthly premiums, typically deducted from worker paychecks - increases in deductibles,
An African-American Baptist minister from Chesterfield County, Virginia was sentenced to two years in prison this week after admitting he staged a “hate crime” at his own home because he could no longer afford to pay rent. 41-year-old Olander D. Cuthrell confessed to spray-painting racial slurs on the side of his house and setting his porch on fire. According the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Cuthrell told the judge in the case that he was “ashamed and embarrassed” for pouring gasoline onto his family’s front porch and lighting it ablaze. He also spray-painted the “n-word” on two sides of his rented home,
Californians will get the first chance to comment on President Obama´s proposals to make college more affordable during a public forum this week at Cal State Dominguez Hills, officials said. The Wednesday event is the first in a series of four public sessions held around the country — and the only one in California — to gather input on the president´s recently announced agenda to develop a college ratings system to help students select schools with the best bang for their buck. "Higher education is still the best ticket to upward mobility in America," Obama said in August during a
Why does the Tea Party love Ted Cruz despite his decisive role in the recent partial government shutdown, which many consider a debacle for the GOP? Why aren’t Tea Partiers blaming Cruz for their drop in the polls, as mainstream Republicans are busily doing for their own decline in popularity? A CNN-ORC International survey from shortly after the shutdown ended shows that 56 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party, while “only 28 percent” see it in a favorable light — the Tea Party’s lowest favorability rating since its emergence in the wake of the 2008
In conventional political terms, Mitt Romney’s challenge in picking a VP presented a complex puzzle. With the GOP convention in Tampa less than a month away, he was running four to six points behind Barack Obama in the national polls. Mitt was hurting with women, hurting with Hispanics, hurting with blue collar whites. His standing in the industrial Midwest and the West was shaky. The Republican base remained unenthused by him and the middle of the electorate unimpressed. The quandary was which of these maladies he should try to heal with his running mate. For many members of the
In a bombshell report, the Wall Street Journal has gotten Obama advisers -- some on the record, others anonymous -- talking about the internal debate over the president´s false guarantee that Americans could keep their insurance plan if they liked it, under Obamacare. In the end, politics trumped the truth. (snip)One official who remains anonymous: "You try to talk about health care in broad, intelligible points that cut through, and you inevitably lose some accuracy when you do that," the former official said. The former official added that in the midst of a hard-fought political debate "if you
Blame it on Rio! Justin Bieber tried to sneak out of a brothel in Brazil while covered in a sheet Friday — but photographers caught him red-handed. The 19-year-old pop star and a friend spent more than three hours in the popular whorehouse Centauros in Rio de Janeiro — before leaving with two women, sources said. He jumped into the back seat of a car while the women, who covered their faces, were put in SUVs and escorted back to his hotel. Bieber’s security team covered him with a bedsheet bearing the sex den’s logo as he walked out of the establishment — and one of his handlers sprayed
In a week when the President´s approval ratings fell to a low of 42 percent, the cast of Saturday Night Live couldn´t resist having a dig. In a skit with host Kerry Washington, the TV show reviewed Barack Obama´s tough week in the face of the dismal response to the Obamacare website and latest NSA revelations.[Snip] But when asked whether they should have voted for Mitt Romney, Washington and Jay Pharoah fell about laughing, before Kenan Thompson said: ´I always like to start with a joke.´ After pondering over why so many white people feared Obamacare, they concluding that their
The 17-year pause in global warming is likely to last into the 2030s and the Arctic sea ice has already started to recover, according to new research. A paper in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Dynamics--by Professor Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology and Dr Marcia Wyatt--amounts to a stunning challenge to climate science orthodoxy. Not only does it explain the unexpected pause, it suggests that the scientific majority--whose views are represented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)--have underestimated the role of natural cycles and exaggerated that of greenhouse gases. The research comes amid mounting evidence that the
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