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Obamacare needs more
enrollees to work well
Washington Post, by Editorial    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/1/2014 10:17:17 PM     Post Reply
IT’S STILL unclear how well the Affordable Care Act will function. But on Wednesday, the law started working for a good chunk of those it was designed to help. The formerly uninsured who signed up for health-care plans under its provisions are now able to use their new coverage. As The Post’s Lena H. Sun and Amy Goldstein reported Sunday, those people include Illinois financial consultant Adam Peterson, 50, who will be able to get long-needed gallbladder surgery, and Tennessee student Emily Wright, 28, who can have a specialist look at a suspicious mole. Judging by the enrollment numbers the

Historic Bible goes missing
after de Blasio swearing in
New York Post, by Jamie Schram, Larry Celona *    Original Article
Posted By: mitzi- 1/1/2014 10:11:52 PM     Post Reply
The FDR bible used by Mayor Bill de Blasio for his swearing in vanished after the New Year’s Day ceremony, sparking a panicked, hours-long search for the historic tome. “They had the whole detail looking through blankets,’’ a police source said of the scramble by at least 50 NYPD detectives and city officials to find the Bible, which was given to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a gift at his first inauguration in March 1933. Former President Bill Clinton performed the ceremony Wednesday as de Blasio laid his hand on the bible. But around 2:30 pm, the bible was nowhere

Rawlings-Blake wants new fire
chief to make agency more diverse
Baltimore Sun, by Luke Broadwater    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 1/1/2014 10:04:13 PM     Post Reply
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her pick to run the city Fire Department said Monday they hope to hire and promote more minorities and women — even as the department cuts positions. In introducing Niles Ford, 48, as her selection to lead the Baltimore City Fire Department, Rawlings-Blake called a lack of diversity in the agency a "persistent problem." She pointed to Ford´s work as fire chief in Lincoln, Neb., where he created a plan to hire more minorities and women. "Dr. Ford was also a leader in opening the door for women and minorities in Lincoln, promoting the first female



Elderly man assaulted
in Glen Burnie robbery
WBAL-TV [Baltimore, MD], by Saliqa Khan    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 1/1/2014 9:57:36 PM     Post Reply
Glen Burnie robbery, Md. — An elderly man is recovering after he was assaulted and robbed while walking home from an Anne Arundel County McDonald´s Monday. The 89-year-old victim told police three teenage boys struck him in the head and knocked him to the ground near Cloverleaf and Four Leaf Clover drives in Glen Burnie. (Snip) "He was struck in the head. He subsequently fell to the ground. He was apparently able to make it to his residence, and that´s when he was transported for treatment to an area hospital for serious injuries. I mean, it was a serious assault,"

Prices soar for some generic drugs
San Francisco Chronicle, by Victoria Colliver    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 1/1/2014 9:49:27 PM     Post Reply
The widespread use of generic medications is supposed to save the health care system money, but huge price spikes in certain common, previously low-cost drugs is putting some of that savings in question. Nosebleed-level price increases of more than 100 percent, 1,000 percent and, in some cases, 6,000 percent and above are making it difficult for pharmacists to fill some prescriptions because insurance companies have been slow to adjust their reimbursements to reflect the price spikes. Large chain pharmacies have felt the pinch, but it´s been especially hard on independent pharmacists. "I had to turn away several patients

Fiat reaches $4.35 billion
deal to buy rest of Chrysler
Detroit News, by Bryce G. Hoffman and David Shepardson    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 1/1/2014 9:43:13 PM     Post Reply
Fiat SpA has reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers to purchase the rest of Chrysler Group LLC. The $4.35 billion deal, which was announced Wednesday, marks the culmination of years of on-and-off negotiations between the Italian automaker and the union, which controls the retiree health care trust that owns a minority stake in the Auburn Hills automaker. In a message to employees worldwide, Fiat Chairman John Elkann and CEO Sergio Marchionne called it “a historic day” for both Fiat and Chrysler. (Snip) The U.S. Treasury Department booked a $1.3 billion loss on its $12.5 billion bailout

Controversial blogger says
ad contains secret code about
upcoming Muslim Brotherhood attack
Associated Press, by Maggie Michael    Original Article
Posted By: Scottyboy- 1/1/2014 8:47:55 PM     Post Reply
Prosecutors have questioned officials in one of Egypt’s largest telecommunications companies over an online advertisement featuring a puppet, which a controversial blogger has accused of delivering a coded message linked to the Muslim Brotherhood group, the company said Wednesday. The accusations made against Vodafone Egypt’s ad starring well-known puppet Abla Fahita come shortly after the government designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The government accused the Brotherhood of orchestrating a series of attacks by Sinai militants, but has provided little evidence to prove the connection.



Fast and Furious gun turns up
after Mexican resort shootout
CNN, by Evan Pérez    Original Article
Posted By: Lalo- 1/1/2014 8:23:20 PM     Post Reply
Washington - A dramatic shootout between authorities and suspected cartel gunmen at a Mexican seaside resort this month has ties to a botched U.S. gun operation. A U.S. official said Tuesday that investigators have traced at least one firearm recovered at a December 18 gunfight in Puerto Peñasco, across from the Arizona border, to Operation Fast and Furious. That´s the disastrous operation run by agents in the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Agents allowed suspected gun smugglers to buy about 2,000 firearms with the goal of trying to find and prosecute high-level traffickers.

Bankrupt car charging firm funded
by stimulus still doling out bonuses
Washington Times, by Jim McElhatton    Original Article
Posted By: Ribicon- 1/1/2014 7:45:46 PM     Post Reply
Despite a disastrous year for defunct car-charging company Ecotality, which went bankrupt only a few years after winning a $100 million federal grant, two high-level employees soon stand to receive hefty retention bonus payments even though the company has no future. Company lawyers say they need to pay the bonuses to make sure the two stick around during the dim final days as the company finalizes the transfer of its assets. A federal bankruptcy court in Arizona approved the bonus plan despite objections from creditors and government lawyers — though the judge capped the total at the $125,000 sought by the company.

Court deals blow to SAFE Act
Poughkeepsie Journal [NY], by Joseph Spector    Original Article
Posted By: athina- 1/1/2014 7:42:10 PM     Post Reply
ALBANY — New York’s ban on assault weapons is constitutional, but the state’s gun control law cannot limit a magazine to seven bullets, a federal court judge ruled Tuesday. The ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge William Skretny in Buffalo found New York’s law, called the SAFE Act, doesn’t infringe on Second Amendment rights. But the judge tossed a provision that allows only seven bullets in a magazine, saying the number is “arbitrary.” “This court finds that the challenged provisions of the SAFE Act — including the act’s definition and regulation of assault weapons and its ban on large-capacity magazines

Virtuoso’s flutes destroyed by US Customs
Boston Globe, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: PageTurner- 1/1/2014 7:22:14 PM     Post Reply
Before you whine about an airline temporarily losing your luggage, think of poor Boujemaa Razgui. The flute virtuoso who performs regularly with The Boston Camerata lost 13 handmade flutes over the holidays when a US Customs official at New York’s JFK Airport mistook the instruments for pieces of bamboo and destroyed them. Razgui, a Canadian citizen who lives some of the time in Brockton, had flown last week from Morocco to Boston, with stops in Madrid and New York. In New York, he says, an official opened his luggage and found the 13 flutelike instruments — 11 nays and two kawalas.



Camille Paglia: War on Men
Destroying American Culture
Breitbart Big Government, by Dr. Susan Berry    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/1/2014 6:35:55 PM     Post Reply
In October of 2012, Salon veteran, art historian, culture critic, and provocateur Camille Paglia returned to Salon for an interview in which she raved about Bravo’s Real Housewives series because, to her, the episodes were “authentic old-time soap opera,” a television genre she once adored and has since pronounced “dead.” Hailing Real Housewives as “archetypal b****h fests,” Paglia said she had read that Gloria Steinem hates Real Housewives of New Jersey, and was ready to protest the show. “Well, there’s the big difference between Steinem and me,” Paglia said. “She sees the show as a distortion of women, while I

ObamaCare’s latest whopper
New York Post, by Betsy McCaughey    Original Article
Posted By: JoniTx- 1/1/2014 5:17:28 PM     Post Reply
In 2013, the American people learned what whoppers the key promises of ObamaCare turned out to be. But the biggest whopper about the Affordable Care Act is yet to be exposed: the tightening grip the federal government will have over your doctor — even if you’re paying with private insurance. Like so many other parts of ObamaCare, the reality flies in the face of promises. In this case, it was the one where the president assured us that “you’re not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making.” Section 1311(h)(1)(B) of the health

Chicken overtakes beef as the
meat of choice on America´s dinner
dinner tables but is healthy living
or value for money to blame?
Daily Mail [UK], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/1/2014 3:47:31 PM     Post Reply
Chicken has officially overtaken beef as the most popular meat product being consumed in the U.S. and the trend looks likely to continue in 2014. While the per capita consumption of beef has dropped from a peak of 90lbs per capita in the 1970s to 50 lbs in 2012, chicken consumption has gone the other way rising from under 20 lbs in 1960 to about 55 lbs in 2012. Americans now eat less beef then we did in 1955, but is the change a result of a healthier diet or because people are choosing the cheaper option? The answer is

Where Is Obama Finding the Time
to Watch So Much Television?
Newsbusters, by Howard Portnoy    Original Article
Posted By: Dreadnought- 1/1/2014 3:41:49 PM     Post Reply
A recurring theme during the Obama presidency has been that, despite the distinct sense he gives of a man who sees himself as “above it all,” the president is a regular down-to-earth Joe. His efforts to connect with the hoi polloi have not always succeeded. His most recent attempt, enrolling in Obamacare, was sullied by the revelation that he didn’t actually dirty his own hands navigating the exchanges — his “staff” enrolled for him — and the gesture was purely symbolic anyway. Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen observed at the Washington Post that the cynicism of the move would be



Anger in Britain and the U.S. at Afghan
plan to release 88 Taliban prisoners
responsible for scores of attacks that
killed and maimed troops and police
Daily Mail [UK], by Jill Reilly    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/1/2014 3:14:02 PM     Post Reply
The announcement that Afghanistan is planning to release 88 prisoners from jail has been met with fury by officials in the US. [Snip] About 40 percent of the prisoners were directly responsible for wounding or killing 57 Afghan civilians and security forces, and 30 percent had participated in direct attacks that killed or wounded 60 U.S. and coalition troops, a U.S. official said. ´These are guys that are tied directly to killing and trying to kill our forces and Afghan forces,´ an American military official told the New York Times. ´This is an issue of deep concern. It is serious.´

West Nile virus blamed for mysterious
die-off of bald eagles that has
killed 27 this month alone
Associated Press, by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/1/2014 3:07:17 PM     Post Reply
The mystery illness that has killed 27 bald eagles in Utah this month appears to be West Nile Virus, state officials said Tuesday. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said in a statement Tuesday that that laboratory tests done on some of the first birds found indicate they died from West Nile Virus. Since December 1, officials have found the birds in northern and central Utah. All were either dead or were ill and later died during treatment. The eagles displayed similar symptoms, including head tremors, signs of seizures, weakness in legs and feet and a paralysis of the bird´s wings.

Palestinian ambassador in Prague
killed in explosion at his house
Daily Mail [UK], by Staff    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/1/2014 3:00:29 PM     Post Reply
The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic has died after an explosion at his apartment in Prague. Ambassador Jamel al-Jamal was taken to hospital with serious injuries from the blast this morning and put in a medically induced coma, but died this afternoon. The 56-year-old diplomat was in the flat with his family at the time of the explosion. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said the explosion occurred when the ambassador was moving an old office safe box. It was not immediately clear how the explosives ended up in the safe box, but the ministry said the blast was being investigated.

A Year of Fear
National Review, by Kevin D. Williamson    Original Article
Posted By: garnet- 1/1/2014 2:45:15 PM     Post Reply
Anno Domini 2013 was an excellent opportunity to learn the lesson that we failed to learn in 1857, 1933, 1971, and 2008: Uncertainty is the destroyer. Economic growth remains unsteady, with a consensus among experts that the economy is slowing down as the year closes — Bloomberg calculates the average of economic-growth forecasts at a tepid 1.8 percent. Key figures remained negative in 2013, from the labor-force participation rate (down 2.7 percentage points since Barack Obama took office) to the employment-to-population ratio (down 2 percentage points during the same period). The most important of those economic indicators, at least so

The Progressive Honor Roll of 2013
The Nation, by John Nichols    Original Article
Posted By: Magic8Ball- 1/1/2014 2:37:10 PM     Post Reply
This past year was about a lot more than Ted Cruz and the surreal shutdown politics of the Republican right. Across America, grassroots groups, bold unions, inspired activists, crusading editors and courageous elected officials did great things. They are the real heroes of 2013, and The Nation’s Progressive Honor Roll celebrates them for their accomplishments this year and their determination to do even more in 2014.


´I don´t come to rob your country´:
First Romanians to arrive in Britain
following changes to EU migrant rules
insist they are looking for work after*
Daily Mail [UK], by Martin Robinson    Original Article
Posted By: Attercliffe- 1/1/2014 2:34:31 PM     Post Reply
One of the first Romanians to fly into Britain as restrictions on the UK labour market were lifted today was met off the plane by MP Keith Vaz and told him he is here to work not ´rob your country´. Victor Spiresau landed at Luton Airport this morning and is set to start at a London car wash so he can send the cash he earns back to his family in a Transylvanian village. Waiting for the 30-year-old in arrivals was the Leicester East MP, who asked him to stop for a cup of coffee after landing from Tirgu Mures in central

2014: Good Year for a Great War?
National Interest Magazine, by Graham Allison    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/1/2014 2:03:45 PM     Post Reply
Precisely a hundred years ago today, the richest man in the world sent New Year’s greetings to a thousand of the most influential leaders in the U.S. and Europe announcing: mission accomplished. “International Peace,” he proclaimed, “is to prevail through the Great Powers agreeing to settle their disputes by International Law, the pen thus proving mightier than the sword.” Having immigrated to the US penniless, created the steel industry as a pillar of America´s rise to preeminence, and become fabulously wealthy in the process, Andrew Carnegie had the confidence of a man who had achieved the impossible.

Bill Gates told that his
charity pledge is ‘worthless’
New York Post, by Josh Kosman    Original Article
Posted By: StormCnter- 1/1/2014 2:01:55 PM     Post Reply
Bill Gates is the richest person in the world — but one retired New York hedge-fund mogul thought the software pioneer’s Giving Pledge was “practically worthless.” Robert W. Wilson, a well-known philanthropist who had given away $600 million of his fortune as of 2013, abruptly turned aside Gate’s 2010 request that he sign the Giving Pledge. The pledge pushes billionaires to give away a bulk of their fortune while they are alive, or in their will. Wilson found especially problematic the pledge’s loophole that allowed signers to gift their wealth to a family-controlled foundation. “And these foundations become, more often than not,

No, 2.1 million haven´t
enrolled in Obamacare plans
Washington Examiner [DC], by Philip Klein    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/1/2014 1:48:33 PM     Post Reply
With President Obama´s health care law scheduled to begin in earnest when the new year kicks off, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius claimed on a Tuesday conference call that as of Dec. 28, "2.1 million people have enrolled in a private insurance plan" through the program. Later in the call, Sebelius emphasized that enrollments wouldn´t be completed until individuals paid their first month´s premiums. But HHS officials still won´t disclose how many of the 2.1 million they claim enrolled through the federal healthcare.gov website or one of the state-based exchanges actually paid for coverage.

More On That Injunction In
Favor of Religious Liberty
National Review Online, by Andrew C. McCarthy    Original Article
Posted By: Pluperfect- 1/1/2014 1:39:47 PM     Post Reply
It really is a Happy New Year. Congratulations and thanks to my friends Rob Muise and Dave Yerushalmi at the American Freedom Law Center (on whose advisory board I am proud to sit, along with several distinguished Americans). They worked tirelessly and down to the 2013 wire to persuade the DC Circuit to issue the injunction Kathryn posted about last night. That ruling prevented the Obamacare mandate from going into effect – i.e., from coercing religious believers, against the tenets of their faiths, to provide coverage for abortifacients and contraceptives. Of course, as we’ve seen before, President Obama often does

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