10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:
AP Wire
Jan 20, 2014

1. LANDMARK NUCLEAR DEAL SET TO BEGIN FOR IRAN

An Iranian official says limiting uranium enrichment and stockpile are the nation's "most important commitments."

2. UN SAYS IRAN INVITED TO SYRIA PEACE TALKS

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon issued the invitation after "speaking at length in recent days" with the Iranian foreign minister, who "pledged that Iran would play a positive and constructive role."

3. IRAQ ANNOUNCES ALL-OUT OFFENSIVE AGAINST AL-QAIDA

Officials say government forces and allied tribal militias began to push militants from Ramadi, the capital of the largely Sunni western province of Anbar.

4. MLK DISCUSSED HIS ARREST, JFK IN RECOVERED 1960 TAPE

An audiotape of an interview with the civil rights leader showed that King, while appreciative, wasn't as quick to credit the Kennedys alone with getting him out of jail.

5. HOBOKEN MAYOR SAYS CHRISTIE BEHIND REAL ESTATE PLOT

Dawn Zimmer says an ultimatum about receiving Superstorm Sandy funds in return for support of a development project was "a direct message from the governor."

6. TWO WOMEN CHARGED IN EXORCISM MURDERS

Police say a Maryland woman who is accused of killing two of her children said she was trying to remove the presence of the devil and evil spirits.

7. HOW VIRGINIA HAS BECOME KEY IN GAY MARRIAGE FIGHT

A seismic political shift in the state's top three elected offices ushers in a new group of liberal Democrats who support gay marriage.

8. PUTIN LINKS GAYS TO PEDOPHILES

Putin offers new assurances to gay athletes and fans attending the Olympics next month, but he defends Russia's anti-gay law by equating homosexuality with pedophilia.

9. 'RIDE ALONG' ROLLS TO TOP SPOT AT BOX OFFICE

The Universal buddy cop comedy featuring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube debuted with an estimated $41.2 million.

10. WHO WILL FACE THE BRONCOS IN THE SUPER BOWL

The 49ers and Seahawks are in the third quarter of the NFC Championship game; the winner will face Denver for the championship.

Comments

Vladtheimp

11. REPORT: 1,000 JOBS LOST IN WEST MICHIGAN DUE TO OBAMACARE

The report, released Thursday by researchers at Grand Valley State University, found that companies are opting out of hiring and cutting hours due to President Obama’s signature health-care law. http://www.gvsu.edu/gvnow/files/...

bigdeal

maybe we could have them do a study on the deer population in Grand Haven. Oh, wait they botched that too.

Lanivan

Whenever there are changes to the economy, businesses make adjustments to compensate. A great deal of explanatory information is left out of the study, such as, how many businesses are using the ACA as an excuse to drop some marginal full-time employees. It would be interesting to do a follow-up study to track how many dead-wood employees were dropped, with the ACA given as the reason, but then new full-time employees hired in a few years to fill those positions.

The vast number of small businesses that drive the economy and employment have under 50 employees. Actually, a business with over 50 employees is not really a "small" business, but a medium-sized one; the 50 employee line of demarcation is mostly for tax purposes. But it would be nice to see a study that shows how many jobs are CREATED by the ACA. For example, it could track the following:

* How many employees of small businesses have health insurance available to them through the health insurance exchanges or the Medicaid expansion programs. These options are of great benefit to both workers and their employers.

* How many people will now be free to change jobs according to their skill sets rather than health insurance dictates. When your health insurance is covered independent of your job, you have freedoms you didn't have before. This is a huge advantage to employers, as the job market will now consist of people seeking jobs based on their skills and talents, rather than seeking health insurance.

* How many people will no longer have to worry about losing their health insurance along with their jobs during a downsizing, and try to remain covered if they have pre-existing conditions.

* How many new business start-ups are created by entrepreneurials who have the freedom of no longer being worried about a lack of affordable health insurance while they grow their businesses.

* How many people will not have to face bankruptcy due to unplanned medical costs.

* How many businesses will experience an increase in productivity, efficiency, and profitability because their employees/families are now getting regular preventative health care, have access to better treatments, and quicker diagnoses.

* And last, but not least, how many private sector jobs will be created in the insurance industry, the medical industry, and the Pharma industry.

Most definitely, there is a need for more studies.

Vladtheimp

1. Concur that more studies of the kind you suggested would have been helpful - one would believe the geniuses in the Democrat party would have undertaken such studies BEFORE attempting a takeover of 1/6 of the U.S. economy; spending billions on the effort to do so, and causing millions to lose their current health insurance. Studies on the impact on doctors, hospitals, and emergency room crowding would have been useful too.

2. With respect to the stated purpose of Obamacare - getting health insurance coverage for the uninsured, it now appears that
the majority of the more than 2 million Americans who signed up for health insurance under ObamaCare through the end of December were already enrolled in employer-sponsored plans or had previously bought their own coverage, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday http://www.foxnews.com/politics/...

So was Obamacare about improving health insurance and covering the uninsured or about expanding government control over the populace? Everyone needs to draw his or her own conclusion.

Lanivan

This is an important link that explains how the previous health care system put an undue burden on small businesses - the other side of the coin: http://www.whitehouse.gov/admini...

"So was Obamacare about improving health insurance and covering the uninsured or about expanding government control over the populace?"

In a spirit of brevity - Yes.

Vladtheimp

Wow - I'm impressed - describing a self-serving Obama White House political screed as "important" and then linking it to apparently prove the truth of what the White House claims.

Reminder - "If you like your health insurance you can keep your health insurance - period. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor - period," If you provided a link to those serial lies would it prove their truth or make them "important?"

What a joke.

Lanivan

The link on small businesses is no joke. It's absolutely correct, and I dare you to challenge me on the veracity of it. Go ahead, Vlad - feeling lucky? - make. my. day!

As to links regarding the lies, the BIG kahunas, whoppers, and fibs you continue to be obsessed with, just remember: For 85% of insured Americans, those "lies" are absolutely true.

Vladtheimp

There is no need to challenge the facts in the link you provided - it is hopelessly out of date, written before Obamacare was even passed, before all of the bribes and kickbacks were incorporated into the law, and most importantly, before the Supreme Court saved the law by declaring the individual mandate is a tax, and Obama could not force the states to set up Exchanges through extortion on Medicaid. As we know, as a result many states refused to expand Medicaid and to set up state exchanges.

Notwithstanding that the link is from the Council of Economic Advisers, the same Council that infamously predicted unemployment would never go above 8% if Congress passed the stimulus, they could never have predicted in what form the law would be passed or how it would be treated by the Supreme Court.

The 4 years since the Report you linked was written have provided some real details about the law - the lies Obama told that has made it singularly unpopular; the incompetence of producing a website to be used to sign up, including its lack of data security rendering it even more unpopular; the unconstitutional changes Obama has unilaterally made to the law; the adverse selection that is currently making Obamacare unsustainable (less than 1/4 of the young people needed, 80% of signers receiving subsidies, inability of the government to even know who has paid, the fact that most who signed up already had insurance), the number of people in the individual market that lost their health insurance as a result of Obamacare, and the number of people who currently get their insurance from their employer, especially small businesses, that will lose their health insurance later this year.

If you want a more current snapshot of what has happened since your 2009 Report, including the impact on Small Business, and why Democrats (except Obama) are terrified about the midterms, see http://www.forbes.com/sites/scot....

I don't expect you or other Obama zealots will be persuaded by any of this, so we'll just have to wait and see what 2014 brings, in terms of signups and payment and the demographics thereof, the decisions of the Courts on the many challenges to Obamacare pending, and how Democrats react as Obamacare makes their futures even less tenable. http://www.forbes.com/sites/scot...

Former Grandhavenite

* And last, but not least, how many private sector jobs will be created in the insurance industry, the medical industry, and the Pharma industry.

This is an important part of the ACA debate that's usually overlooked. Since ACA is essentially a system designed to enrich private insurance, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies at the expense of the public, there have been a ton of generally well paying jobs created in those fields. The IT contracting industry has also gained hugely with the development of all the back-end processing systems for relaying info between the exchanges and the private insurance companies, and from the insurance companies to the service providers.

I've never quite gotten the rationale behind business wing conservatives opposing Obamacare. It's basically just a conservative Republican-designed health plan from the early 90's intended to enrich the insurance companies while stealing from the public via the ban on negotiating discounts, and zero effort at cost control. If anything, there's a deliberate effort to inflate costs as much as possible to steer even more money to the insurance companies.

The same folks who are always saying, "We need to run government more like a business!" seem to be the biggest cheerleaders for the lack of cost control and the ban on importing generic drugs from other countries, etc.

Can you imagine a private business buying a huge quantity of some product from a supplier, and demanding, "We're only willing to pay full suggested retail price! We refuse any wholesale discounts or economies of scale!" If that doesn't prove the true purpose of Obamacare/the ACA, I don't know what does.

tetrahydra

This is nothing new companies have been doing this well before the ACA. Walmart is one of many that championed this practice to make large profits. I have a link for you Vlad. Anyone can find articles online to support their broken theories. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3...

bigdeal

your Bitcoins are worthless in Finland. More countries will probably follow, as it does not meet the standards of currency and is deemed a commodity.
Thai default looms, risking Asian markets. China feels pressure on its economy under its debt load to reform.

bigdeal

Oil leak on massive pipeline pushing tar sands through the Great Lakes. Enbridge shuts down pipeline due to 5000 gallon spill. Pipeline is 60 years old, runs under the lakes by the Mighty Mac. They want to push the pressure from 450k barrels/day to 880K barrles/day on pipelines so old and unmaintained. Enbridge has no idea how to clean up tar sands, and even has a corrective action order against them for their entire Great Lakes system which they have done nothing about. Yet they push the US government for expansion (Keystone) without maintaining their lines. Enbrige also has proposed shipping of tar sands on the Great Lakes. Our dependence on this crap will kill us yet.

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