Court Declares San Bernardino Eligible For Bankruptcy

Aug 28, 2013, 9:45 pm EDT
Court Declares San Bernardino Eligible For Bankruptcy

A bankruptcy court judge ruled today that the city of San Bernardino, Ca. was eligible for bankruptcy protection, setting up a showdown between the city and its employees.

The ruling makes it likely that San Bernardino will propose a plan to get out of debt by cutting money promised to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, also know as Calpers. Not surprisingly, Calpers is strongly opposed to such a move.

San Bernardino declared bankruptcy last summer, saying it had run out of money to pay for the day-to-day operations of the city in large part because of pension obligations. Calpers lawyers had  argued that the retirement system should be treated separately from other creditors and not be eligible for cuts. Read 

Government Delays Key Obamacare Deadline

Aug 28, 2013, 12:09 pm EDT
Government Delays Key Obamacare Deadline

The Obama administration is delaying the deadline to sign final agreements on federal health insurance provided by the government.

Reuters reports that the agreements for Obamacare were expected to be signed between September 5 and 9, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told insurance companies that these plans have been delayed. Insurance companies will have to wait until mid-September to finalize these agreements, but the marketplaces will still open on October 1 as scheduled.

The delay may have been caused by technical difficulties within the federal information technology system, but this has yet to be confirmed. Although marketplaces are expected to open on October 1, the most critical date is January 1 when the coverage starts to kick in — it would be a lot more problematic if that date was delayed. Read 

VIDEO: Watch the ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech in Full

Aug 28, 2013, 9:01 am EDT

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington, D.C. in which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, here is the speech in its entirety.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took more than a year to plan. The march called for civil-rights legislation, school desegregation and demanded economic rights as well (such as a higher minimum wage and anti-discrimination laws). Read 

U.S.-Russia Meeting Over Syria Put on Hold

Aug 27, 2013, 9:28 am EDT

Tensions between the world powers over reports of possible chemical weapons against Syrian rebels have grown sharper as the likelihood of some type of U.S. intervention in the conflict has increased. On Monday, the U.S. announced that senior American diplomats would not attend a previously scheduled meeting with Russian officials in The Hague, the Telegraph noted.

Russia’s foreign minister expressed regret that the meeting had been cancelled. Russia has been the primary supporter the regime of Bashar al-Assad during the conflict, which has raged for two years.

American officials say that there is evidence that the Assad regime was behind the use of chemical weapons, which may have killed as many as 1,300 last week. However, Russia disputes the accusation, asserting that the attack may have been faked by the rebels themselves. Read 

Treasury Sees American Debt Hitting Cap in October

Aug 27, 2013, 9:09 am EDT

Jacob Lew, U.S. Treasury Secretary, predicts that the government debt will hit its cap in mid-October.

Lew is asking Congress to increase the government spending cap, which is currently at $16.7 trillion. He says that if the limit isn’t raised, then by mid-October the government will be left with $50 billion in cash. Lew says that this won’t be enough to take care of Social Security payments, military personnel salaries, Medicare and other programs for a prolonged time, reports MSN Money.

“We think the $50 billion cash balance indicates that Lew is right to raise the borrowing authority before mid-October,” Steve Bell, economic policy director at the Bipartisan Policy Center, told The Washington Post. “People may think it’s a big number, but these intergovernmental transfers that are paid every month to Social Security and Medicare are as big as $30 billion in one day.” Read 

How One City is Dealing with its Homeless

Aug 26, 2013, 2:50 pm EDT

Columbia, S.C. is exiling homeless people who live in the downtown area of the city.

The plan to exile the homeless was unanimously approved by the Columbia City Council. The plan will create police patrols that will search the downtown area of the city for homeless people. Once found the homeless are given one of two options; Go to jail or go to a homeless shelter outside the city. While the second option doesn’t seem so bad at first, further details paint a different picture. Homeless can only leave the shelter is they set up an appointment, and then they have to be transported via a van. If homeless people leave the shelter and try to walk back to town, they will be stopped by a police officer that will patrol the road that leads back into the downtown area. The shelter, which has 240 beds and it open 24 hours, won’t likely be able to hold the 1,518 homeless people living in the Columbia area, reports MSN Money.

“The underlying design is that they want the homeless not to be visible in downtown Columbia,” Susan Dunn, South Carolina ACLU’s legal director, told MSN Money. “You can shuttle them somewhere or you can go to jail. That’s, in fact, an abuse of power.” Read 

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