What a surprise in the White House list of federal outlays that will be cut in New York State because of the sequester. It turns out that the impact will be largely positive in a state with one of the highest combined tax rates in the country. The White House list is too long to include in its entirety. But the President has cut shrewdly, and here is a sense of it. One big gain will be a $42.7 million savings that taxpayers won’t have to pay to teachers and schools.
There are two Popes. One is Francis as he actually is: spiritual shepherd of the Catholic faithful, the man chosen to defend and articulate the beliefs of the Church. The other is Francis as the liberal establishment would have him be: a crusading humanist on the verge of making the Catholic Church socially acceptable at Manhattan dinner parties. Guess which Pope Francis Time Magazine just made Man of the Year? The Catholic writer Billy Newton has done a great run down of why Time´s Pope is not the real Pope, with two killer observations. First, the magazine calls him The
Turns out nobody likes this budget deal except the press, which loves bipartisan agreements, no matter how puny. The tone of the coverage is as follows: Finally, they’re acting like grownups. Finally, a return to “regular order” (a legislative term no one cares about but which means doing a budget for a year rather than these endless stopgap measures). Finally, both sides have agreed to compromise. Finally, no danger of a government shutdown. All true. But let’s not get carried away: the agreement accomplishes very little. Maybe journalists are just relieved they don’t have to work over the Christmas holidays on another up-to-the-brink
A South African government minister has said that "a mistake happened" in the hiring of a sign language interpreter accused of gesticulating nonsense during the Nelson Mandela memorial service. Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu said that officials have tried to track down the company that provided Thamsanqa Jantjie but that the owners "have vanished into thin air". Earlier on Thursday Jantjie claimed he is qualified but was hallucinating and hearing voices and said he is receiving treatment for schizophrenia. Millions of TV viewers saw Jantjie interpreting speeches by Barack Obama and other global leaders at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg. His gestures baffled and angered deaf
If it seemed like cable news spent more time covering President Barack Obama’s handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro and “selfie” with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt than they did on the substance of Nelson Mandela’s memorial service, that’s because they did. An analysis put together by Media Matters reveals that on Tuesday night, December 10th the big three cable news networks spent an average 62% of their Mandela-themed segments focusing on either the handshake or the selfie, with 38% of that time spent discussing Mandela’s legacy and the rest of the memorial service. CNN appeared to be the worst offender, dedicating
Nearly 365,000 people selected a private health plan on state Obamacare markets through the end of November — a sign that people are flocking to the patched-up federal website, HealthCare.gov — although the new pace falls short of long-range projections for an inaugural sign-up period that ends in March. The Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday announced a total of 364,682 enrollees in private health plans from all states in Oct. 1-Nov. 30. The release came shortly before agency Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was slated to testify before Congress about the state of the health care law’s implementation. The new report
Senate Democrats facing tough reelections say President Obama has not done enough to fix the botched rollout of his healthcare law and are vowing to repair it themselves. The Senate Democratic leadership is not on board with lawmaker plans to begin rewriting ObamaCare and have urged for more time to assess the changes made by Obama and his team, lawmakers say.
Rep. Lou Barletta (R., Pa.) introduced a bill Tuesday that will exempt volunteer fire departments from having to pay for their members’ insurance benefits. The current IRS policy defines volunteer firefighters as employees for federal tax purposes. If voted into law, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act will redefine volunteers as non-employees, which will relieve fire departments from the burden of paying for volunteers’ health insurance. “Without further guidance from the IRS—which could have issued a clarification immediately if it so chose—we have no choice but to pursue a legislative fix to yet another problem with Obamacare,” Barletta
When I was a kid, I knew two different Santa Clauses. The first had a fat belly, rosy cheeks, a long white beard, and skin as pink as bubble gum. He was omnipresent, visiting my pre-school and the local mall, visible in all of my favorite Christmas specials. Then there was the Santa in my family’s household, in the form of ornaments, cards, and holiday figurines. A near-carbon copy of the first one—big belly, rosy cheeks, long white beard: check, check, check. But his skin was as dark as mine. Seeing two different Santas was bewildering. Eventually I asked my father what
US President Barack Obama may have moved the masses attending Nelson Mandela’s memorial service with his stirring eulogy, but it was his grinning "selfie" with the Danish and British premiers that set social networks abuzz. In a candid moment captured by a photographer, Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt can be seen holding up her smartphone, with Obama lending a helping hand, as they pose for a picture with David Cameron, all three of them smiling broadly in their seats at Soweto’s World Cup stadium.(Snip)Mashable, the news and technology website, ran the photograph under the headline: ‘‘Dear Obama: Funerals are no place
Johannesburg - A man who provided sign language interpretation on stage for Nelson Mandela´s memorial service, attended by scores of heads of state, was a "fake," the national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa said on Tuesday. Asked about the claim by The Associated Press, South Africa´s government said it was preparing a statement. Three sign language experts said the man was not signing in South African or American sign languages. South African sign language covers all of the country´s 11 official languages, according to the federation. It wasn´t immediately clear if the unidentified man was using a
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) snapped at conservative groups that have come out in opposition to the budget deal reached Wednesday between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). "They´re using the American people for their own purposes. This is ridiculous," Boehner said at a press conference with other members of House Republican leadership on Wednesday. Over the past few days, a number of conservative groups have blasted the deal because it sets discretionary spending levels in the budget higher than previous levels under sequestration. In the past three days, the influential Heritage Action, Club for Growth, Americans
New York — The anchor who might beat Bill O’Reilly gets her eyelash extensions applied one at a time, with tweezers and dabs of glue, about 90 minutes before showtime, right after a motorized gun sprays foundation over her face, neck, shoulders, collarbone and sternum, wiping out a galaxy of light freckles that spreads across her — Let me stop you right there. Photos of the day Uruguay legalizes marijuana, Kiev police pull back from protesters, aging U.S. prison population and more. Tuesday´s Photos of the day Would you write this way about a man? About O’Reilly himself? At least that’s what Megyn Kelly might ask at
A black fashion student says he was brutally attacked by a gang of Hasidic men who shouted anti-gay slurs at him while he was walking through Williamsburg after a night of partying, the Daily News has learned. Taj Patterson, 22, was headed home to Fort Greene around 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 1 when he says more than a dozen ultra-Orthodox Jewish men began assaulting him on Flushing Ave. and yelling, “Stay down, f----t!”
A “presidential selfie” featuring President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service began making the rounds this morning, but it’s the person not included in the frame who caught everyone’s attention: As anyone with two eyes and a Twitter account has noticed, Michelle Obama does not appear amused. Of course, though a picture says a thousand words, not all of those words are necessarily true. FLOTUS might not have even known the photo was taking place. Or she could disapprove of funeral selfies. Either way.