The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared more than 300 points in the biggest advance for stocks since January as lawmakers moved toward breaking political gridlock in Washington. (Snip) "The intransigence is melting away," said Quincy Krosby, chief financial strategist at Prudential Financial. "You don´t even need a deal; all that was needed were signs that both sides are continuing to talk." Despite the big gain, there was muted enthusiasm on Wall Street trading desks. Traders said the rebound in stocks was led by investors buying as they exited from bearish positions built to protect portfolios from declines in the stock
At least 146,000 Michiganders — and possibly thousands more — with health coverage purchased directly from insurers now are learning their polices will end Dec. 31 because they don’t meet the minimum requirements of the federal health care act. Under the law, each policy must cover essential benefits in 10 categories. Instead of beefing up these policies, insurers are opting to drop them, advising consumers to consider other policies that are now available either from the insurers directly or though the Michigan Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the state exchange. The policies that are ending were often less expensive
John Foley is beyond exasperated about the meltdowns plaguing HealthCare.gov, the federal Obamacare enrollment website that Floridians must use. "I´m stunned — I just don´t know what to say," Foley, a supervising attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, said Friday. "It´s still not working. And it´s just as terrible as it´s been from Day One." Since Oct. 1, Foley has spent most of his time trying to enroll South Floridians in health insurance plans as a certified Obamacare "navigator." Yet he — and six others on staff — haven´t been able to enroll anyone in any
Andy Mangione, who lives in Louisville, Ky. with his wife Amy and their two boys, is doing the same thing millions of people are doing --trying to figure out how much his insurance will cost under ObamaCare. Before the exchanges opened, his insurance company said his rates would soar. But now that there are subsidies, he´s been trying for days to find out how much he would get. "To logically compare plans, I´ve been calling them every day since October 1st," says Mangione, "several times a day on some occasions. Sometimes enduring 45, 50 minute holds, half an hour holds."
Money was falling from the sky in a Senate office building on Thursday. It was just a protest against the lobbying by agribusiness giant Monsanto, but the sight elicited a Twitter joke from Washington Examiner economics reporter Joe Lawler: "The Yellen Era begins." President Obama´s nomination of Janet Yellen as chairman of the Federal Reserve board represents a victory for the Left. (Snip) There are many ways to put a dollar figure on the money supply, and the broadest measure, the “monetary base,” has increased from $800 billion in 2008 to nearly $3.5 trillion today.
China´s official news agency has called for the creation of a "de-Americanised world", saying the destinies of people should not be left in the hands of a hypocritical nation with a dysfunctional government. Heaping criticism and caustic ridicule on Washington, the Xinhua news agency called the US a civilian slayer, prisoner torturer and meddler in others´ affairs, and said the ´Pax Americana´ was a failure on all fronts. The official news agency of China, which is seen as the pretender to the world´s superpower crown, then rubbed in more salt, calling American economic pre-eminence just a seeming dominance.
Beijing -- As U.S. politicians of both political parties are still shuffling back and forth between the White House and the Capitol Hill without striking a viable deal to bring normality to the body politic they brag about, it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world. Emerging from the bloodshed of the Second World War as the world´s most powerful nation, the United States has since then been trying to build a global empire by imposing a postwar world order, fueling recovery in Europe, and encouraging regime-change in nations that it
Anyone thinking of skating on mortgages owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may want to think again. As a result of new government reports, the two companies say they are going to do a better job of going after so-called strategic defaulters. Fannie and Freddie can pursue judgments against borrowers who walk away from their loans even though they have the ability to make their payments. That´s called a strategic default, and many borrowers are taking that step — typically throwing in the towel because their homes are no longer worth as much as they owe.
Chinese construction giant Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG) has signed a deal with British firms to develop a business district around Manchester airport, the companies involved in the project announced on Sunday. The development of Britain´s third busiest airport -- described as one of the largest construction projects in the United Kingdom since the 2012 London Olympics -- will cost £800 million ($1.27 billion). (Snip) The deal comes at a time when Britain is seeking to boost trade with the world´s second largest economy, with both nations agreeing in 2010 to double their trade to $100 billion by 2015.
An Israeli company has been selected to take part in manufacturing hi-tech helmets for pilots of the US F-35 stealth fighter, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Sunday. He said in a statement that Elbit Systems and its US partner Rockwell Collins have been chosen by the Pentagon and F35 manufacturer Lockheed Martin to supply helmets for the next generation of the Joint Strike Fighter, the hi-tech warplane that is supposed to serve as the backbone of future American air power. (Snip) Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot said that Israel has so far ordered 19 of the aircraft and intends to
US leaders seeking a budget compromise that would avoid a default have no need for outside lectures, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said late Friday. "They don’t need a lecture. They just need the force to come to an agreement," Schaeuble said at a news briefing after a finance meeting of the world´s major economies in Washington. Speaking after the Group of 20 issued a statement calling for the US to take "urgent action to address short-term fiscal uncertainties," the German finance minister echoed other officials´ concerns about a default if the gridlocked Congress fails to lift the $16.7 trillion
Jerusalem — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, the son of a historian, often complains to his inner circle that “people have a historical memory that goes back to breakfast.” But when Mr. Netanyahu has recently tried to focus the world on the Iranian nuclear program, using ancient texts, Holocaust history and a 2011 book by Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, he has sometimes come off sounding shrill. As six major world powers convene next week to negotiate on the nuclear issue with Iran’s new leadership, the Israeli leader risks seeming frozen in the past amid a shifting geopolitical landscape.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned French and British leaders over the weekend not to lift sanctions against Iran precisely when they appear to be working. In advance of the six party diplomatic talks scheduled to be held in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday, Netanyahu spoke by telephone with French President François Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron. France and Great Britain will participate in the P5+1 talks, along with the US, China, Russia and Germany and Iran. Netanyahu made the calls as part of his diplomatic and media blitz to sway the international community
Megyn Kelly blew out Rachel Maddow in the key demo on Tuesday after losing to her the night before. "I have never seen it in all my years of cable," says Phil Griffin.Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, says there's something fishy about Tuesday's ratings for the Fox News Channel, which were up significantly from a day earlier when Fox News debuted its new schedule. And he wants an investigation."Monday we had a really good day in the key demographic. On the night that Fox News debuted their three shows, we either tied or beat them in those hours," Griffin said at a briefing, according to TVNewser
On Friday, after blaming conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for the Obama administration´s mishandling of military death benefits, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Cruz simply did not represent the GOP. Fox News host Martha MacCallum mentioned that Cruz would be visiting President Barack Obama along with other Republican senators like Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) at the White House on Friday. She asked McCain, "How do you feel about him representing you there?" In response, McCain smirked before saying, "First of of all, Martha, please, he´s not representing us there." Also in the interview,
Jen Senko is a filmmaker who watched in horror as her father slowly came to believe the extreme right-wing lies of Rush Limbaugh and other conservative media mavens. Now she’s making a documentary about it calledThe Brainwashing of My Dad. Senko’s first documentary, Road Map Warrior Women, won recognition with several festival awards. Her most recent film, The Vanishing City, co-directed with Fiore DeRosa, exposes the economic policies that have made New York a city for the rich. The Vanishing City won Best Feature Documentary in the Williamsburg International Film Festival, Best Short Documentary in the Harlem International Film Festival, and
On health care, the president´s pile of broken promises keeps getting higher. Consider this gem from Aug. 20, 2009: “Let´s be clear about the fact that nobody has proposed anything close to a government takeover of health care.” Well, yes, somebody did. President Obama is now well on his way to orchestrating the federal government´s takeover of Americans´ health care. Commandeering the resources of major federal departments, particularly the Department of Health and Human Services and the IRS, the administration and its allies in Congress have created numerous federal bureaus, commissions and programs and have issued thousands of pages of rules, regulations,
I pointed out the other day that President Obama has unquestionably been hurt by the government shutdown, but Republicans have been hurt more. How bad is it for the GOP? The most recent Gallup poll shows the GOP is viewed favorably by 28 percent of Americans–down 10 points since September and the lowest number for either party since Gallup began asking the question in 1992. “The Republican Party is clearly taking a bigger political hit from Americans thus far in the unfolding saga,” according to the Gallup analysis. Then there’s a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which (as Rod Dreher helpfully summarizes)
The Los Angeles Times headline said it all: "Rep. Paul Ryan Fails to Close Republican Divide." When this became Ryan´s job, or whether his now "controversial" Wall Street Journal op-ed was even an attempt at doing that, is anyone´s guess. But once again, Republicans have decided to cannibalize themselves viciously and needlessly instead of uniting over common goals. To be clear, the divide on the right isn´t over policy. No Republican I´ve met thinks Obamacare is good legislation. No one is suggesting capitulation on the debt ceiling. Everyone wants spending cuts, entitlement reform and deficit reduction. Where we´re divided is over tactics. Incidentally, Ryan
Good morning. Over the past few days, I’ve met with Republicans and Democrats from both houses of Congress in an effort to reopen your government and remove the dangers of default from our economy. It’s a positive development that House Republicans have agreed on the need to avoid the economic consequences of not meeting our country’s commitments. Because once the debt ceiling is raised, and the shutdown is over, there’s a lot we can accomplish together. We’ve created seven and a half million new jobs in the past three and a half years. Now let’s create more. We’ve cut our deficits in half over
It’s a buyer’s market for President Barack Obama. With House and Senate Republicans preparing competing proposals to end the government shutdown and avert a default on the nation’s debt, Obama hasn’t shown any inclination to jump at the first offer. The plan House Republicans presented to the White House on Thursday night wasn’t enticing enough, and there is a sense in Washington that the GOP’s scramble to avoid further political pain from this latest fiscal crisis will give Obama plenty of opportunity to define the terms of a settlement. At this point, White House officials won’t even describe
Law: An Obama official at the heart of the Pigford reparations scheme sues the widow of the crusading conservative who exposed her and a multibillion-dollar redistribution scam to African-American farmers. Hell hath no fury like an Obama administration official exposed for corruption or racism. On Wednesday, news broke that Shirley Sherrod, the former USDA official whose speech before an NAACP group revealing her angst about helping a white farmer got her fired, has decided to amend her lawsuit against the late Andrew Breitbart to name Andrew´s widow and mother of four, Susie Bean Breitbart. As Christian Adams recounts on PJ Media, Sherrod,
Boston – A possible glitch in a computer system upgrade was causing major problems nationwide with the Electronic Benefits Transfer System on Saturday, as a countless number of shoppers found themselves stranded at the register. Reports from around the country began pouring in around 9 a.m. on Saturday that customers’ EBT cards were not working in stores. The glitch, however, did not appear to be part of the government shutdown. At 2 p.m., an EBT customer service representative told CBS Boston that the system was currently down for a computer system upgrade. The representative said the glitch is affecting people
Police officers in Los Angeles have long faced accusations of institutional racism, but now it appears their dogs may be unjustly discriminatory, too. A new report focusing on the Canine Special Detail of the LA Sherriff’s Department (LASD) has uncovered a vast increase in the number of minority individuals bitten by police dogs since 2004. And in the first six months of this year, every single victim of a bite by a LASD dog was African-American or Latino.The data was published in a new report by the Police Assessment Resource Centre (Parc), a Los Angeles-based non-profit organisation, devoted to “advancing effective
House Republicans were furious with Senate Republicans and President Obama on Saturday for trying to cut a debt ceiling deal that leaves them out in the cold. Members emerged from a conference meeting saying Obama had double-crossed them by breaking off talks in order to shop for a better deal from the Senate GOP. They said the deal, formulated by centrist Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine.), would never get House GOP approval. “They are trying to jam us with the Senate and we are not going to roll over and take that,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said after a GOP