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
Jan 7, 2014

1. JANET YELLEN CONFIRMED TO LEAD FED

Senators voted 56-26 in favor of Yellen, who will be the first woman to lead the 100-year-old bank.

2. LESS THAN ZERO

Temperatures plunge toward record lows in the Midwest, halting normal routines for many, and bringing travel to a standstill for others, with 187 million feeling the "polar vortex."

3. SUPREME COURT HALTS GAY MARRIAGE IN UTAH

Wedding vows come to a screeching halt as the thousands of couples rushing to say "I do" find themselves suddenly in legal limbo.

4. UNEMPLOYMENT BILL TOPS CONGRESS' LIST

Democratic supporters of the three-month extension say they are close to the 60 votes needed to advance the White House-backed bill.

5. Al-QAIDA ESCALATES CHALLENGE TO IRAQ RULER

With Fallujah under siege, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki urges residents to drive out the militants, perhaps preparing for military action.

6. CLASHES SPREAD BETWEEN SYRIAN REBELS, AL-QAIDA GROUP

The rebel-on-rebel fighting in the city of Raqqa reflects a widening war within a war in Syria, this one against radical extremists.

7. EGYPT'S NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY WIDENS REACH

Some activists fear that the agency — once feared as a pillar of the police state under autocrat Hosni Mubarak — is reclaiming a major role amid militant violence and a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.

8. WHO NBC HIRES FOR SNL

Criticized for lack of diversity, "Saturday Night Live" adds a black woman, Sasheer Zamata, to its cast.

9. HOW DENNIS RODMAN SEES HIS LATEST N. KOREA TRIP

The former NBA star calls the exhibition game he organized a "birthday present" for leader Kim Jung Un and the enigmatic country.

10. DETAILS ANNOUNCED IN $765M PLAN FOR NFL CONCUSSIONS

The planned awards could reach $5 million for athletes with Lou Gehrig's disease; $4 million for a death involving brain trauma; and $3 million for dementia cases, lawyers say.

Comments

Vladtheimp

11. Surprise! Walmart health plan is cheaper, offers more coverage than Obamacare http://washingtonexaminer.com/su...

Former Grandhavenite

I can't comment on whether or not Walmart's plan is cheaper than Obamacare/the ACA. It's important to keep in mind however that the Washington Examiner is basically a propaganda outlet for a bunch of self-styled 'libertarian' (in reality authoritarian/corporatist) Ayn Rand disciples, and not a serious journalistic organization. Anything you read in the Examiner needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

Vladtheimp

Maybe it would be sensible to read the article, check out the facts, check out the reputations of the people quoted in the article, and make your own judgment instead of shooting the messenger.

You think we couldn't make similar observations about NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, Huffington Post, etc?

Lanivan

...*cough*....

Former Grandhavenite

Some sources are just so laughable that there's nothing to do BUT shoot the messenger.

If a liberal/progressive/whatever told you, "Look at this article, Michael Moore did this academic analysis of Obamacare and determined that it's awesome!" I bet you'd take the source into account when deciding how much weight to give the findings.

Heh, Michael Moore, weight.

Vladtheimp

So I guess I can conclude that neither you nor the person with a frog in her throat had the intellectual curiosity to determine whether the Walmart insurance program is, indeed, superior to that of Mr. Obama.

That's just sad, but typical.

Lanivan

Ok - you shamed me into reading it. I went into it with an open mind, but came away with several questions. It's late, so bear with me:

#1. This is a faulty comparison (so unexpected!). Walmart's health insurance plan is one offered by a company that ranks #15 on the Forbes list of the 100 most profitable companies in the world. It should be compared with the health insurance plans of other employers like, say, Microsoft or Wells Fargo Bank.

#2. Nowhere in the article do I find whether this plan is offered to both part-time and full-time employees. That's because we all know it is NOT offered to part-time employees; they must turn to Obamacare for their health insurance, at the urging of their employer, Wal-Mart, whose primary goal is to remain #15 on the list of the most profitable companies in the world.

#3. The article, jaded and heavily biased as it is, continuously compares the Wal-Mart policy to that of Obamacare. Obamacare is not a policy; the insurance companies that participate in the federal and state exchanges offer the policies. People pay their premiums to the insurance companies, not to Obamacare. How in the Sam Hill can you compare an individual employer policy to the thousands of policies of hundreds of insurance companies being offered throughout the US of A, whose only connection to Obamacare is that they participate by competing in the exchanges?

How did I do?

Tri-cities realist

"How in the Sam Hill can you compare an individual employer policy to the thousands of policies of hundreds of insurance companies being offered throughout the US of A, whose only connection to Obamacare is that they participate by competing in the exchanges?"

But I thought the ACA required all insurers in the exchanges to provide the same basic coverage for things such as preventive care, cover pre-existing conditions, etc. So now the insurance companies "only connection to Obamacare is that they participate by competing in the exchanges?" So the gazillion word legislation only set up exchanges, it didn't require any of the changes I mentioned (among other things)? Is amnesia a pre-existing condition? For your sake, I hope it is, so that you are now covered.

Or perhaps it was just past your bedtime...

Tri-cities realist

#1 Profitable companies are so evil! It allows them to offer affordable insurance to their employees. Shame on Walmart for making obamacare look so bad.

#2 Walmart is the only company that does NOT offer insurance to their part time employees, right?

#3 see my comment above, I was a bit hasty in my first post.

Here we have a profitable successful American company that offers a good benefit to its employees at a very competitive price, and you can't find it in you to recognize that Walmart does some things right. And you sometimes think I have blinders on?

Nevermind, you were up late...

Lanivan

#2. The Tea Party-driven sequestration caused a reduction in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program by $155 million, reducing the program budget to $3.32 billion from $5.1 billions. This means that, in a winter where the country is experiencing a 'polar vortex' and temps are in the single digits, thousands of the disabled, elderly, children, veterans and their families are without home heating assistance.

And yet the Tea Party-driven, 16-day government shutdown cost the economy $24+ billion, accomplished not a damm thing, but made a lot of citizens very hot under the collar.

Vladtheimp

Ah, why should we need 5.1 billion for home energy assistance when we are lectured that Globull Warming is melting the polar ice caps and we can afford to ban low cost incandescent bulbs to combat it?

And please be accurate; the White House has admitted that the Sequester was the idea of Barack Hussein Obama! White House Admits (Third Time) President Obama Fibbed On Sequester http://www.forbes.com/sites/paul...

Unexpectedly, he Lied Again!

Lanivan

I'm sure you were a joy to your mother, but...
I'm not even going to respond to the incandescent thing as I'm sure by now you are just having a little blast pulling my pigtails.

I'll let you justify the denial of home heating assistance to the elderly, the disabled, families with babies and small children, and our veterans - I'm already on page #2 of my confession list.

As for the sequester, for the 100th time, we all understand that Obama set a trap for the Republicans, knowing that a sequester would cobble funding for Defense - the Repubs Holy Grail - and figured they would never agree to that! - but those Republican Tea Party wile e coyotes called his bluff.

Guess they showed him who's boss!

As for Lies - I would like to draw your attention to the fact that you unexpectedly disregarded my post about the multiple lies of Ted Cruz regarding Obamacare in the Kamischke piece - those lies that were analyzed and revealed by PolitiFacts Texas, his own home state.

Vladtheimp

So, I am correct that the Sequester was a proposal by Obama, and not the Tea Party as your first comment implied - I'll take my small victories as they come.

And, since we're on the topic, who fought so desperately to get rid of the sequester in the bi-partisan 2 year Ryan-Murray budget deal? Why, it was the Democrats! And now who wants to toss aside the 2 week old bi-partisan budget deal by adding to the deficit and the debt by extending unemployment insurance, even at the same time they are telling us Obama's economy is strong and that the recession ended 4 years ago? Why, it's the Democrats again.

You must be proud to be surrounded by people who believe all this bilge water.

Lanivan

It may be premature to dance that Victory Waltz....I said the sequester was "Tea Party-driven". To quote an actual member of the Tea Party after the sequester went into effect,.. “This will be the first significant tea party victory in that we got what we set out to do in changing Washington,” says Rep. Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), a Tea Partier who was first elected in 2010.

President Obama proposed the sequester in an attempt to compromise in fulfilling a Grand Bargain, believing the Repubs were actually serious about deficit reduction, when, in fact, the Tea Party-dominated Repubs were serious only about dismembering government. They used fear and anger tactics to promote the war on government, using austerity measures and 'voo-doo' trickle-down economics. They pretended they actually had a mandate of the majority - perhaps an obscenely poor analysis of the 2010 election.

The Tea Party-driven Republicans have no ideas, alternate policies, vision, or concerns beyond government disruption and paralysis.

Better be careful when getting too uppity about Federal deficits and debts - remember it was your crony, Dick Cheney, who said "deficits don't matter". Talk about a cesspool of bodily wastes!

Barry Soetoro

I don't remember your post in the Kamischke piece but I do remember you commenting that your were a part-business owner putting in endless hours, not getting paid, etc. How do you find time for it all?

Lanivan

Look for my new book, due out soon - 'How to Be a Co-Business Owner and Still Post Comments on the GHTrib for Dummies'.

Barry Soetoro

How lucky for us Dummies! Please set aside a signed copy for your pal BS!

Lanivan

Please be assured I did not have you in mind when I selected the title! I will tell my agent to be sure and set aside your copy for a signing before they sell out....:D

Lanivan

#1. Congratulations, Ms. Yellen! Things should get very interesting - Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren, and a high probability of a President Hillary Clinton kicking but! Can you hear the sounds of spittin' and sputterin'??

Vladtheimp
Lanivan

Oh yeah....the fun begins...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E...

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