Sep 14, 2012, 9:49 am EDT
Another company has come on board in opposing healthcare mandates in Obamacare. Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores, has sued the Obama Administration to stop them from requiring companies to provide drugs such as the morning-after pill as part of their health insurance plans.
Hobby Lobby, which was originally founded by evangelical Christians, becomes the largest and first non-Catholic company or group to sue the government. There are currently 27 other lawsuits pending over the healthcare mandate, most of them from nonprofit organizations.
If Hobby Lobby refuses to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s mandate, it faces a $1.3 million per day fine. The company has until January 1 to comply. Read
Sep 14, 2012, 7:30 am EDT
Thursday’s announcement after the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting was jaw-dropping. Here’s what it said:
The Committee is concerned that, without further policy accommodation, economic growth might not be strong enough to generate sustained improvement in labor market conditions. Furthermore, strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook.
So, “to support a stronger economic recovery,” the Fed will purchase $40 billion of additional mortgage-backed securities a month indefinitely and will continue its current purchases through the end of the year, for a grand total of $85 billion a month through December. That means a $340 billion boost in the Fed’s balance sheet by the end of the year. Read
Sep 13, 2012, 9:48 am EDT
In what will almost certainly be its last significant move before the November election, the House of Representatives will vote today on a six-month spending bill.
The six-month bill is needed to avoid a government shut-down on September 30. It will fund the daily operating budgets of Cabinet agencies typically funded through 12 appropriations bills. It also breaks with the Ryan budget plan ideal, as it permits spending at a rate that is $19 billion more than that plan. It will allow spending at the budget caps negotiated last summer between President Barack Obama and the House. The measure being discussed will actually increase spending by 0.6%. Typically, short-term spending bills do not increase the rate of spending.
The bill is expected to be easily passed by the Senate, and then it will be back to the campaign trails for Congress. Read
Sep 12, 2012, 11:26 am EDT
Glenn Beck’s exodus from TV has finally ended. The conservative talk-show host’s online video channel will be added to Dish Network’s (NASDAQ:DISH) satellite service, a year after he left Fox News.
TheBlaze TV, Beck’s online network, started after he left Fox June 30, 2011. It currently has 300,000 subscribers. Under the terms of the Dish deal, it will continue to stream online.
Dish subscribers who purchase the satellite provider’s 250-channel package will get TheBlaze TV as an included channel, while subscribers purchasing smaller bundles will have the option to add it on for $5. Read
Sep 12, 2012, 9:48 am EDT
In a surprising move, the White House said that President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during Netanyahu’s visit to the United States later this month.
It’s sounding a bit like a case of “he said, he said”, too. An Israeli official told Reuters that their request for Netanyahu and Obama to meet face-to-face was flatly turned down. The White House, however, says that it was a matter of the two leaders’ schedules not lining up: Netanyahu and Obama will be attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York on different days.
Some speculate that this is fallout from tension between Obama and Netanyahu on how to deal with Iran. Israel wants the United States to set “red lines” for how far Iran’s nuclear program can go before they attempt to shut it down, possibly through military action. Israel also accuses the U.S. of being too tough on it, and not tough enough on Iran. Read
Sep 11, 2012, 10:37 am EDT
A Florida pizza shop owner’s spontaneous bear-hug of President Barack Obama has had some unintended consequences for the business owner. The restaurateur has been facing backlash on Yelp (NYSE:YELP) from angry conservatives since the hug.
Ironically enough, Scott Van Duzer, the bear-hugging owner of Big Apple Pizza in Fort Pierce, Fla., is a Republican. That didn’t stop him from voting for Obama in 2008, nor does it seem likely to deter him from supporting the president again. Once this information got out, though, Yelpers began barraging Big Apple Pizza’s Yelp page with negative reviews and comments. This was swiftly countered by other Yelp visitors giving positive reviews and comments.
Van Duzer has been making the media rounds since his hug. He’s scheduled to appear on Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show “Anderson Live”, and “Inside Edition” and “Good Morning America” have been reaching out to bring him on their shows. Read