Over the weekend, a team of Alaska health care leaders huddled in a classroom at the University of Alaska Anchorage, part of incoming Gov. Bill Walker’s transition conference. By Sunday afternoon, large sheets of paper scribbled with the state’s most pressing health care priorities — from behavioral health to changes in state leadership — were plastered across the classroom walls.
Walker had asked the group to identify “low-hanging fruit,” participant Valerie Davidson told the group, that he could accomplish within 90 days of being sworn into office. At the top of the list was Medicaid expansion, an initiative rejected by Gov. Sean Parnell, but which Walker said during the campaign would be one of his first priorities upon assuming office.
Walker has said repeatedly that Medicaid expansion will be a priority for his administration. Yet how Walker will forge ahead — with or without the approval of the Republican-controlled Legislature — is still up in the air, as legislators and the incoming governor parse out details of what is necessary to expand the government program to cover an estimated 40,000 additional Alaskans.
When power is divided between the hands of a hereditary privileged elite and the leaders of narco terror gangs, this is the result. Let’s not follow the lead of Mexico as we progress into this still relatively new century.
On November 27th Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, did what he should have done long ago: he announced a series of measures aimed at making the rule of law a priority of his administration. He did it in response to a groundswell of protest against his government triggered by the disappearance of 43 students in the southern state of Guerrero two months ago. But in failing to acknowledge any responsibility for the crisis, and in failing to challenge the entire political system to clean up its act, he may have missed a chance to turn the tide of public opinion.
In a nutshell, he localised the problem. He said he would draft laws to enable the authorities to remove municipal authorities colluding with drug traffickers, as allegedly happened with tragic consequences for the 43 students. He plans to replace Mexico’s 1,800 municipal police forces with 32 state ones. He ordered an immediate deployment of federal forces into areas of organised crime in Guerrero and nearby. He unveiled plans to create special economic zones in the poor south to encourage investment and reduce crime, as well as promising special treatment to poor farmers in the area.
What he did not acknowledge was that there is rot at the top as well as the bottom, says Miguel Pulido of Fundar, an NGO that promotes transparency. He sidestepped the federal government’s responsibility for letting drug gangs run rampant in the countryside, even though such crimes are federal, not local. There was no cabinet reshuffle signifying that the government was acknowledging the political cost of its failures.
Police in Austin say a shooter targeted multiple buildings downtown and prompted the evacuation of police headquarters before being shot.
According to the police department’s Twitter account, a male suspect was dead at the scene.
One male suspect is deceased. We are in process of securing scene.
There was an active shooter targeting multiple downtown blogs, including APD Headquarters. This resulted in an Ofc. Involved Shooting.
A squadron of Russian warships entered the English Channel on Friday to hold exercises, RIA news agency reported, the latest apparent show of military might since ties with the West plunged to Cold War lows over Ukraine.
RIA quoted the Northern Fleet as saying its vessels, led by anti-submarine ship Severomorsk, had passed through the Strait of Dover and were now in international waters in the Seine Bay to wait for a storm to pass.
“While it is anchored the crew are undertaking a series of exercises on how to tackle … infiltrating submarine forces and are training on survival techniques in the case of flooding or fire,” RIA quoted the Northern Fleet as saying in a statement.
When President Obama called for net neutrality this month, AT&T said the sky would fall. It warned that a policy banning internet providers from giving special treatment to some websites over others would lead companies to stop investing in new network capacity. So much for that.
As of Tuesday morning, an airwave auction by the FCC is still going gangbusters as companies scramble for a series of spectrum licenses that will let them deliver more data and stream more video to consumer cellphones. While most people expected the bidding to exceed the $10 billion reserve price set by the agency, the FCC has already raked in more than triple that — bids have exceeded $36 billion, and the auction is still going. Companies like T-Mobile, Dish and, yes, AT&T are all participating in the bidding.
Here’s a screenshot from the FCC’s auction website that shows Round 32 of the bidding, and the eye-popping figures at stake:
The Robber barons of the new millenium are much richer than the old robber barons.
Black Friday is best known as the day when big-box retailers rake in money, but it has also become a time for some of their employees to demand a share of the proceeds. At Walmart, this year’s Black Friday protests will be the widest-reaching ever, organizers say, with pickets and strikes planned at 1600 stores in 49 states to remind shoppers that the people serving them often can’t afford to feed themselves.
“I have to depend on the government mostly,” says Fatmata Jabbie, a 21-year-old single mother of two who earns $8.40 an hour working at a Walmart in Alexandria, Virginia. She makes ends meet with food stamps, subsidized housing, and Medicaid. “Walmart should pay us $15 an hour and let us work full-time hours,” she says. “That would change our lives. That would change our whole path. I wouldn’t be dependent on government too much. I could buy clothes for my kids to wear.”
The nation’s largest employer, Walmart employs 1.4 million people, or 10 percent of all retail workers, and pulls in $16 billion in annual profits. Its largest stockholders—Christy, Jim, Alice, and S. Robson Walton—are the nation’s wealthiest family, collectively worth $145 billion. Yet the company is notorious for paying poverty wages and using part-time schedules to avoid offering workers benefits. Last year, a report commissioned by Congressional Democrats found that each Walmart store costs taxpayers between 900,000 and $1.75 million per year because so many employees are forced to turn to government aid.
When their 12-year-old son Ryan said he was gay, they told him they loved him, but he had to change. He entered “reparative therapy,” met regularly with his pastor and immersed himself in Bible study and his church youth group. After six years, nothing changed. A despondent Ryan cut off from his parents and his faith, started taking drugs and in 2009, died of an overdose.
“Now we realize we were so wrongly taught,” said Rob Robertson, a firefighter for more than 30 years who lives in Redmond, Washington. “It’s a horrible, horrible mistake the church has made.”
The tragedy could have easily driven the Robertsons from the church. But instead of breaking with evangelicalism — as many parents in similar circumstances have done — the couple is taking a different approach, and they’re inspiring other Christians with gay children to do the same. They are staying in the church and, in protesting what they see as the demonization of their sons and daughters, presenting a new challenge to Christian leaders trying to hold off growing acceptance of same-sex relationships.
Mr. Levy’s existential question was recalled this month when Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts agreed to pay Avery Fisher’s descendants $15 million for permission to expunge his name from Philharmonic Hall, in return for other inducements, in hopes of luring a much larger donor willing to subsidize a projected $500 million renovation.
In 1973, Mr. Fisher, the music philanthropist, gave $10.5 million to repair the building with the stipulation that his name appear in perpetuity.
“Perpetuity is usually a matter of negotiation now,” said William D. Zabel, a lawyer representing the Fisher family, who had threatened to sue on their behalf 12 years ago when Lincoln Center considered changing the name at that time without its permission.
“It’s like in ‘Alice in Wonderland’: ‘When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less,’ ” he said.
This time, both sides came to a mutually satisfactory agreement for the right price.
Three business operators in Fairbanks have been federally charged for selling misbranded Spice, or synthetic marijuana — the first time the government has sought to charge Alaska head shop owners for selling the over-the-counter drugs.
Brandon Michael Newman, operator of The Scentz; Richard Stanley Krakowski of Mr. Rock & Roll; and Nan Young Siddiqui of The Smoke Shop have been charged with “delivery of misbranded drugs received in interstate commerce,” a misdemeanor. Newman faces one count; Krakowski and Siddiqui face two counts each, according to charges filed in mid-November.
Interstate commerce, the movement of the drugs across state lines or from foreign countries, is necessary for federal jurisdiction, said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Barkeley. Under the law, “drug” is defined as anything intended to have or that has an effect on the human body, he said.
“It’s a very broad definition that encompasses non-prescription drugs, over-the-counter substances and other substances — stuff outside the realm of what we normally see in federal court,” Barkeley said. “It covers a lot of things, but the key allegation is that these packets of Spice … were falsely labeled as something that was not intended for human consumption when in fact they were sold expressly for that purpose.”