Last night, Jon Stewart asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius a simple question: Why was business given the opportunity to delay Obamacare, but individuals were not?
"But if I'm an individual, I'm wondering -- well, an individual who doesn't want this, because there are individuals who clearly that want this -- but if I'm an individual that doesn't want this, it would be hard for me to look at a big business getting a waiver and not having to do it, and me having to, because I would think, Well, gee, it looks like because I don't have a lobbying group," Steward asked. "I would feel like you were favoring big business because they lobbied you to delay it because they didn't want to do it this year, but you're not allowing individuals that same courtesy."
After a back-and-forth, which consisted of Stewart asking that simple question and Sebelius trying to avoid answering that question, Sebelius makes the argument that actually individuals can delay it if they pay a fine:
STEWART: So why is it that individuals, though, couldn't say that they didn't want to do it just for a year, like business? SEBELIUS: Well, they can. STEWART: Oh, they -- SEBELIUS: They'd pay a fine. They'd pay a fine at the end of the year, but they don't have to -- I mean, they can say I didn't want to do it. The theory is they can't pick and choose if they're going to get hit by a bus or diagnosed with a illness. For a lot of young folks, there is one fall on the basketball court, one auto accident from a lifetime of hospital bills they can't pay.
Northern New England is in its glory; now and for the next week or so. The leaves are nearing peak color and until yesterday, there has been a big high pressure zone parked over the area so the weather has been what would once have been described as "heavenly." It has been raining now but in a few days, the sun will shine again and the leaves will still be there, in full. And for that, Washington can take no credit.
The antitrust lawyers I have served as a consultant often have the same complaint: Their clients don’t know when to shut up. This was certainly true of the executives of US Airways and American Airlines as they touted the virtues of their proposed $11 billion merger. US Airways president Scott Kirby reportedly said consolidation allows airlines to raise fees and charge for baggage, and the company’s CEO, Doug Parker spoke of the virtues of “rationalization,” which antitrust enforcers have always taken to mean higher prices and consumer harm. Now that the Justice Department has decided to sue to stop the merger, the airlines’ lawyers say these comments are taken out of context.
Local Ci Ci's pizza franchise owner Bob Westbrook had to sell off part of his business due to Obamacare:
"Bob Westbrook, franchise owner, tells us: The Affordable Health Care Act is the reason why he sold some of his stores, because it would cost him 30-thousand dollars more out of his payroll," an East Texas affiliate reports.
With another of those airline mergers in the works, there is a possibility that flights from Washington's Reagan National Airport to some smaller cities out in the interior may be cancelled to the inconvenience of members of Congress who need to get home regularly and hang with their constituents. There are other airports in the vicinity of Washington but Reagan is easily the most convenient.
Last week, it was announced that Ray's Hell Burger just outside Washington, D.C. would be closing its doors. A fan of the burger joint was President Obama, who had visited the location with his Russian counterpart.
Well, it's happened again. In August, Obama visited Star Brewery in Dubuque. And now a local publication reports that the business is closing its doors.
Tomorrow at the White House, President Barack Obama will bring in "progressive and labor leaders" for an immigration discussion. He'll also be meeting with "business leaders" to discuss the same topic.
John Kerry, who will be nominated later today to be the next secretary of state, is the richest member of the U.S. Senate. His estimated net worth is, at minimum, $198.65 million, according to disclosure forms.
Kerry's disclosure forms also reveal that he has invested in companies accused of doing business with Iran.
Forbes’s recently released list of “The Best States for Businesses and Careers” provides further evidence of the Democratic party’s striking erosion as a party of economic growth and prosperity. Based on their votes in the most recent presidential election, all but three of Forbes’s top-10 states are Republican-leaning, while all but two of its bottom-10 states are Democratic-leaning.