What’s interesting in the news today?
The President seems determined to push ahead with his plan for Syria, despite losing the UK and France.
From Politico “President Barack Obama’s latest geopolitical problem: His closest ally won’t help him attack Syria.
Britain’s House of Commons on Thursday evening rejected a motion from Prime Minister David Cameron to endorse British participation in military action in Syria, potentially hurting Obama’s effort to punish the Bashar Assad regime for its reported use of chemical weapons.
More here, from TheNYTimes “The negative vote in Britain’s Parliament was a heavy blow to Prime Minister David Cameron, who had pledged his support to Mr. Obama and called on lawmakers to endorse Britain’s involvement in a brief operation to punish the government of President Bashar al-Assad for apparently launching a deadly chemical weapons attack last week that killed hundreds.
The vote was also a setback for Mr. Obama, who, having given up hope of getting United Nations Security Council authorization for the strike, is struggling to assemble a coalition of allies against Syria.”
“But administration officials made clear that the eroding support would not deter Mr. Obama in deciding to go ahead with a strike. Pentagon officials said that the Navy had now moved a fifth destroyer into the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Each ship carries dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles that would probably be the centerpiece of any attack on Syria.”
Who’s the cowboy now?
Don’t know if this will be useful to anyone, but I figured I’d throw it out there. There is help, but it isn’t easy to do.
From MSNNews “More than 33 million workers qualify to have their student loans forgiven because they work in schools, hospitals or city halls, but too few take advantage of the options because the programs are overly complicated and often confusing, the government’s consumer advocate said Wednesday.
Roughly a quarter of the U.S. workforce could take advantage of federal rules that give favorable loan repayment options to those in public service fields, including the military, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency recommended Congress review the loan forgiveness programs and encouraged employers to make sure their workers know they are available.
“Teachers, soldiers, firefighters, policeman — public sector careers invariably involve some effort, some inconvenience or some sacrifice. People give up higher incomes to serve their city, their state or their country,” said Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB. “We believe that people who contribute part of their talents, part of the benefits of their education, to society as a whole should not be mired in debt because they stir themselves to the calling of public service.”
The Affordable Care Act is not, unless you make under 20 grand a year.
From NationalJournal “For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act.
Health law proponents have excused the rate hikes by saying the prices in the exchange won’t apply to the millions receiving coverage from their employers. But that’s only if employers continue to offer that coverage–something that’s looking increasingly uncertain. Already, UPS, for example, cited Obamacare as its reason for nixing spousal coverage. And while a Kaiser Family Foundation report found that 49 percent of the U.S. population now receives employer-sponsored coverage, more companies are debating whether they will continue to be in the business of providing such benefits at all.”
“The truth is, Obamacare is doing what it was intended to do: make health care affordable for the nation’s lowest earners by spreading out the costs among taxpayers.
The trap is that the exchanges also present a savings for some employers but a rate hike for their employees.”
Fast food workers staged walkouts nationwide yesterday for higher wages.
From MyWayNews/AP “Fast-food workers and their supporters beat drums, blew whistles and chanted slogans Thursday on picket lines in dozens of U.S. cities, marking the largest protests yet in their quest for higher wages.
The nationwide day of demonstrations came after similar actions organized by unions and community groups over the past several months. Workers are calling for the right to unionize without interference from employers and for pay of $15 an hour. That’s more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year for full-time employees.
Thursday’s walkouts and protests reached about 60 cities, including New York, Chicago and Detroit, organizers said. But the turnout varied significantly. Some targeted restaurants were temporarily unable to do business because they had too few employees, and others seemingly operated normally.”
New federal tax laws will treat “married” gay couples in all 50 states as married now, regardless of their state laws.
“Gay spouses in all U.S. states will be treated as married under federal tax law even if local authorities don’t recognize their marriages, in what gay-rights advocates are calling a victory.
The decision by the Treasury Department today implements the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which had forbidden the Internal Revenue Service from letting married homosexual couples file joint tax returns.“
More here from TheWashingtonTimes
And Medicare benefits as well. More on that from TheWeeklyStandard