10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:
AP Wire
Dec 3, 2013

1. HOW FAST NYC TRAIN WAS GOING BEFORE DERAILMENT

Data recorders reveal the rate of speed was 82 mph on a 30 mph curve, but it's unclear whether the cause of the deadly crash was human or mechanical error.

2. WHERE MORE CUSTOMERS ARE SPENDING CYBER MONDAY

Many of their purchases are made on mobile devices, showing shoppers are increasingly comfortable buying on tablets and smartphones.

3. THE GRINCH THAT MAY STEAL TAX-FREE INTERNET PURCHASES

The Supreme Court turns away appeals from Amazon.com and Overstock.com in their fight against a N.Y. court decision forcing them to remit sales tax.

4. WHO THE UN THINKS HAS A ROLE IN SYRIA ATROCITIES

A growing body of evidence points to the involvement of senior Syrian officials, including President Bashar Assad, in crimes against humanity and war crimes.

5. WHY TWINS CAN MEAN DOUBLE TROUBLE

Fertility experts are now pushing for in vitro fertilization with a single embryo, citing much higher risks of prematurity and serious health problems with multiple births.

6. BIGGEST TEST REMAINS FOR GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE SITE

If HealthCare.gov becomes overwhelmed by an expected year-end crunch, many Americans will be left facing a break in their insurance coverage.

7. SOCIETAL DIVIDE FUELS THAI CONFLICT

The unrest shows the majority rural poor battling an urban-based elite establishment, with both claiming to fight for democracy.

8. 'IT'S KIND OF SCARY AND YOU JUST HOPE IT QUITS'

Oklahoma resident Bill Hediger echoes the sentiments of others in the Sooner State concerned by an uptick in earthquakes there in recent years.

9. 'SINGIN' IN THE RAIN' SUIT UP FOR AUCTION

The water-soaked duds sported by Gene Kelly in the movie's famous storm scene are expected to sell for more than $20,000 at auction.

10. USC NAMES NEW HEAD COACH

Steve Sarkisian gets the nod to lead the storied Trojan football program.

 

Comments

Lanivan

(Cool! I get to beat Vlad to the punch - that's what happens when one sleeps in).

Seems that as early as 2010, conservatives have been roaming the countryside, searching for plaintiffs to bring cases against Obama and Obamacare to court. Never mind that the law improves our previously under-performing, most expensive in all the world, and shot-full-of holes health care system.

More than a year after the Supreme Court upheld the central provision of President Obama’s health care overhaul, a fresh wave of legal challenges to the law is playing out in courtrooms as conservative critics — joined by their Republican allies on Capitol Hill — make the case that Mr. Obama has overstepped his authority in applying it.

A federal judge in the District of Columbia will hear oral arguments on Tuesday in one of several cases brought by states including Indiana and Oklahoma, along with business owners and individual consumers, who say that the law does not grant the Internal Revenue Service authority to provide tax credits or subsidies to people who buy insurance through the federal exchange. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/0...

Sound familiar? Why are they spending so much money to defeat something that saves money?

owell

Wow. Assumptions and stating facts of things that have not had time to reveal.

Vladtheimp

The editorializing notwithstanding, Lanivan has managed to convert a legal argument based on the plain language of the Obamacare statute to a caricature of wascally Wepublicans trying to undo the signature accomplishment of her Dear Leader.

In fact, the decision of the Obama administration to attempt to provide an entitlement from tax dollars to individuals who got insurance through the Federal Exchange is contrary to the specific provisions of the Affordable Care Act and yet another example of the lawlessness and deceit of the Obama regime's attempts to force socialized medicine down our throats, from the bribes and kickbacks, to the waivers and exemptions, to ignoring dates for compliance in the statute, to the obvious and premeditated lies of you can keep your insurance and you can keep your doctor if you like them.

The lawsuits are largely based on a 2013 legal analysis published in a law review of Case Western Reserve University. For anyone interested in the truth (unlike Lanivan) regarding how the Act was passed, and the provisions that were violated in providing this new entitlement, the law review article can be read here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/pape...

Regarding spending money to defeat something, the amount spent on overturning Obamacare pales in comparison to the money spent on frivolous challenges to the Second Amendment, to our Immigration Laws, to stopping people from expressing their First Amendment religious rights, and to requiring voter identification, to name a few.

Lanivan

Vladtheimportunate attempts to paint a picture of lofty, Constitutionally-motivated, esteemed and inestimable motivations behind what is more than likely petty, wasteful, and ineffective actions on the part of a bunch of over-eager legal beavers out looking to promote their publicity hound inclinations and make a buck while they are at it. One wonders how successful they will be when the Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge brought by Liberty University, a Christian college in Virginia, to the “employer mandate,” which requires companies with more than 50 employees to offer coverage. In another challenge, the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative group, has filed suit claiming that the law is unconstitutional because it was introduced in the Senate, not the House, where tax bills must originate.

What is it about the modern conservative mind that wants to tear down and destroy instead of conserve?

In my opinion, they would better serve their country and Constitution by directing their time, energy, and money towards something more productive and much more important - this fact of US health care: "In a medical system notorious for opaque finances and inflated bills, nothing is more convoluted than hospital pricing, economists say. Hospital charges represent about a third of the $2.7 trillion annual United States health care bill, the biggest single segment, according to government statistics, and are the largest driver of medical inflation, a new study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found.

A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries, according to the International Federation of Health Plans, a global network of health insurance industries. The most expensive hospitals charge more than $12,500 a day. And at many of them, including California Pacific Medical Center, emergency rooms are profit centers. That is why one of the simplest and oldest medical procedures — closing a wound with a needle and thread — typically leads to bills of at least $1,500 and often much more".

Economists conclude that “costs” are highly discretionary, noting that hospitals in other developed countries often provide high-quality care, with better outcomes in comparatively no-frills environments. Said Dr. Robinson, the Berkeley health economist: “If you pay hospitals more, they spend it. If you pay them less, they adjust. The only way to pay less for health care — is to pay less for health care.” New York Times.

I would like to thank Vladthe(im)pious for bringing up religious rights, as it gives me an opportunity to quote Pope Francis, who is quickly attaining hero status in my book: He said politicians should guarantee all citizens "dignified work, education and health care." Maybe those who actively seek to repeal, nullify, and shred the health care law should have a moment of prayer.

And although Lanivan appreciates Vladtheimperialist's law review article, she would appreciate a greater (and truthful) attempt on his part to reconcile the review article with the SCOTUS 2012 ruling.

Vladtheimp

1. Well, either you didn't read the law review article or you didn't understand it - otherwise you would never have made the statement about the modern conservative mind, inasmuch as what we are talking about is protecting the rule of law and the Separation of Powers inherent in the Constitution.

2. You also would not have made the silly statement about the SCOTUS decision - inasmuch as Justice Roberts saved Obamacare by ruling that the government did not have authority under the Commerce Clause to issue the mandate, but agreed with the Obama Solicitor General that the mandate was a tax and thus permissible. However, he also ruled that the Obama Administration could not coerce the states to expand their Medicaid eligibility rules, which in effect increased the number of people eligible for subsidies - BUT, since the ACA provided subsidies could only be given to individuals signed up under the STATE Exchanges, and 27 states elected not to set up exchanges (consistent with the ACA) Obama chose to ignore the law and try to give subsidies to individuals signed up under the Federal exchange - contrary to the terms of the very ACA you believe is so wonderful. Or, is the language of statutes immaterial - to be ignored by future Presidents at their whim?

2. Comparing American health care with care in other countries is a fools errand, since different standards and metrics are used in different countries, and because no other country permits lawyers to increase the cost of the practice of medicine the way that we do (and of course, regardless of the efforts of Republicans to include tort reform in the ACA, the Democrats, under the thumb of the Trial Lawyers resisted reigning in the costs in that regard.

As you may be aware, your health care economic expert, Dr. Robinson of Berkeley, as long been an advocate for consumer directed health care and Health Savings Accounts - a reform pushed by Republicans but effectively rejected by Obama and the Democrats - imagine, the revolutionary idea of giving people tax breaks for savings for health care and permitting the people to shop around and choose their own insurer, doctors, and hospitals - just doesn't fit into the socialist paradigm of government controlled, top down mandates and diktats.

I suggest you read the relevant provisions of the ACA, and the SCOTUS decison, and ask yourself if you really want President Cruz to exercise the authorities you are willing to cede to President Obama. I also suggest that you not be enamored by the media cherry picking of some of the statements of the Pope in his 224 page Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). http://hotair.com/archives/2013/...

Lanivan

What a pithy comment. Obeying your diktat of familiarizing myself with the ACA and the SCOTUS decision over the last few hours, I've come to some conclusions.

44 House ACA repeals got nowhere. Repeated lawsuits since 2010 have been blocked, thrown out, or ruled in favor of the ACA. A government shutdown based on the repeal of the ACA, with a rippled economic effect costing in excess of $40 billion, backfires with congressional approval ratings in the negative. And now this current crop of lawsuits based on a language glitch has become the major focus of Republicans for undoing the law.

The fact that these lawsuits are the result of the decision of some Republican-led states to not open state insurance exchanges compels one to connect the dots and think this might have been strategized a long time ago (that clever Roberts guy!). At any rate, I guess we'll know soon enough if this will be the one strategy that actually has some legs and brings Obama, Obamacare, millions of Americans, the sick, the suffering, the infirm, the poor, elderly, disabled, the uninsured, those in bankruptcy due to medical costs, the baby boomers, young families, and children to their knees. Hope you guys don't ruin your health during the jubilation ceremonies....remember - Single Payer might be right around the corner.

As for the points in your #2 (I think you meant #3 - silly!): It might be necessary for you to attempt some paradigm-alteration, as the ACA is based, quite extensively, on free markets, capitalism, and free will.

And of course you bring up tort reform - the Republican red herring that gets dragged out every now and again. The cost of health care has doubled since the late 1980's, but the number of claims is approximately the same. Within the $2 trillion US health care system, litigation costs and malpractice insurance is about 1-1.5% of total medical costs. The argument that tort reform is a major factor in attaining cost control is not persuasive.

Speaking of the Constitution, doesn't the US Constitution give citizens the right to civil trials for damages they have suffered at the hands of another party? Doesn't tort reform meddle with that right?

The comparison of American health care with that of other developed countries is hardly a foolish endeavor - if that were the case, why make any comparisons of any issues? Certainly researchers take differing "standards and metrics" into consideration when making comparisons. But nice try.

bigdeal

6. Republican critics of Obamacare are now complaining Healthcare.gov website works too fast! lol
http://www.newyorker.com/online/...

bigdeal

11. With the stock market at an all time high, stocks overpriced, and the Feds printing money willy-nilly without backing, the bubble is ready to POP. Watch for the inevitable crash soon. Very soon.

Vladtheimp

Agree wholeheartedly!

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