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Obama Appoints First Woman as Head of Secret Service

Mar 28, 2013, 11:16 am EDT

On Wednesday, Julia Pierson made history as the first woman sworn in as director of the U.S. Secret Service.

Pierson started her Secret Service career in 1983 as a field agent in Miami. In 2008, she became chief of staff to the service’s director. Appointed by President Barack Obama, she succeeds former director Mark Sullivan, CNN notes.

She took the oath becoming the twenty-third director of the Secret Service in a Oval Office ceremony with the President Obama holding the Bible. The president has been criticized for not promoting enough women and minorities to top-level federal positions. Read 

Ashley Judd Will Not Be Kentucky’s Next Senator

Mar 28, 2013, 10:58 am EDT

Actress Ashley Judd has elected not to run for a senate seat in 2014.

The star — who is a native Kentuckian and a frequent spectator at University of Kentucky sporting events — announced her decision via Twitter, reports Politico.

“After serious and thorough contemplation, I realize that my responsibilities & energy at this time need to be focused on my family,” she tweeted Wednesday. Judd had been a subject of much speculation as a Democratic contender to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) in his re-election campaign next year. Read 

Study: Obamacare Will Raise Claims Costs by 32%

Mar 28, 2013, 10:52 am EDT

A study released by the Society of Actuaries has found that President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act may prove more costly than advocates originally suggested.

The study calculates that the cost of claims made through individual health insurance plans will jump by an average 32% after 2014. The sharp increase will be driven by the higher costs of treating high-risk patients who will purchased individual plans under the health care law, the Wall Street Journal noted.

Advocates of the health care law — commonly known as Obamacare — had argued that extending individual health plans to cover more people would offset any additional costs for treating high-risk people. However, the Society found that that those people will gravitate toward individual plans, causing costs in those plans to spiral upward. Read 

The Monsanto Protection Act? Only in America

Mar 28, 2013, 9:11 am EDT
The Monsanto Protection Act? Only in America

Either you’re painfully and wholly aware of it, or it’s completely slipped by you — there’s no one in that “vaguely familiar” middle ground.

The “it” is the so-called Monsanto Protection Act, though that’s not what it’s technically called. That’s just the name that’s been assigned to the snippet of legislation quietly tacked onto HR 933 … a bill that was signed by President Obama on Tuesday.

Although HR 933 started out as a spending bill intended to avert a government shutdown, as is all too often the case, other non-related items were added to the bill’s initial wording. In the case of HR 933, it was section 735 of the resolution — 78 pages into the document — where the proposed law took a left turn. Read 

CEOs Need to Shut Up About Politics

Mar 28, 2013, 6:00 am EDT
CEOs Need to Shut Up About Politics

“There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin.”

This is wisdom from Linus Van Pelt, he of the security blanket and crabby sister, and his words are particularly appropriate to senior management of public corporations. It’s not just that nobody wants to hear what a CEO’s opinion is on a certain issue — it’s that nothing a CEO says on these fronts can possibly be good for the company or the stock.

The thesis is simple: Every issue has two sides. No matter what a CEO says, there will be a group of people who don’t like what he has said. If the issue is important enough, grand enough or sweeping enough, that group of people might be put off at the company enough to never buy its product again. There is no scenario where 100% of customers will love the position the CEO takes. Read 

Nevada Politician Hopes to Legalize Betting On Elections

Mar 27, 2013, 10:31 pm EDT

Gamblers and investors disappointed when online betting site Intrade shut down earlier this month may be catching a break, as long as they’re in Vegas. A state senator in Nevada is pushing to legalize gambling on federal elections.

Tick Segerblom, a Democrat who heads the state senate’s Judiciary Committee, gave a simple reason for why he was making the proposal. “Simply to make money for the state. I’ve been following elections and betting in London and [gaming companies there] are making a fortune. Why not do it here?”

He pointed out that bookmakers in other countries made a killing on bets related to the 2012 presidential election in the United States. In fact, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power said that more than $1.6 million was bet by their gamblers on the presidential election last year, including both head-to-head bets and bets on who would win the swing states. Read 

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