- States and how they can handle net neutrality (video)
- How the left is selling FIRE & FURY book
- Senators asking for amnesty from Trump (video)
- ABC’s George Stephanopoulos might be next on the chopping block
- Report: Black unemployment improving drastically
- Iran regime in fever pitch scenario
- Florida cold snap is freezing iguanas (videos)
- Sessions to review practice used by immigration judges to set aside cases indefinitely
- Broadway’s Ben Vereen accused of sexual harassment
- Florida Republican Rep. announces he’ll run for governor
- Morgan Stanley to take $1.25B hit in Q4 from tax bill
- Feces-smearing passenger prompts flight diversion
- DML: I Respond to Some of Your Emails
- East coast deals with deep freeze after snow
- Apple releases announcement about security issues
- TRUMP TWEET: Russia probe hoax, book phony
- Department of Labor announces new rule to help 11 million Americans find health coverage
- U.S. economy added a disappointing 148,000 jobs in December
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 09:21 AM PST
After FCC Chairman Ajit Pai spent the past year dismantling Obama-era rules on net neutrality, a group of lawmakers from liberal-leaning states plan to spend the next year building them back up. FCC rules include language forbidding states from doing this, but lawmakers in New York and California have another idea; they want to create their own rules.
According to a report in Bloomberg, New York Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy introduced a bill that would make it mandatory for internet providers to adhere to the principles of net neutrality as a requirement for landing state contracts. This would mean they couldn’t block or slow down certain web traffic, and couldn't offer faster speeds to companies who pay them directly.
Fahy further noted that the restrictions on contractors would apply even if they weren’t in New York. "The feds have, we think, walked away from a free and open internet. We're using a side door — I don't want to say a back door," she said. "The reason we want to do this legislatively is because we know we can move faster than a court case."
Fahy admitted that the approach could break the limits set by the FCC on states attempting to regulate interstate commerce, but she’s willing to try.
Even supporters of state legislation on net neutrality think this may go too far. California State Senator Scott Wiener introduced a bill this week that would only apply to behavior within the state, saying any other approach would be too vulnerable to legal challenge.
"We’re expecting that there will be litigation," Wiener acknowledged. But California law often has the upper hand in cases like this.
"California has a long and questionable history of passing laws and regulations that end up applying to the whole country, because companies don't want to or can't change their products to sell them just in California," observed Geoffrey Manne, executive director of the International Center for Law & Economics, a research group.
The post States and how they can handle net neutrality (video) appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 09:01 AM PST
The liberal website Axios has offered a pointed perspective on the provocative book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” that was released ahead of schedule on Friday due to “overwhelming demand” created by the promotion of controversial excerpts from the book.
Axios acknowledges that there are “definitely parts of Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’ that are wrong, sloppy, or betray off-the-record confidence.” However, Axios contends that there are two things Wolff gets “absolutely right, even in the eyes of White House officials who think some of the book’s scenes are fiction.” Axios claims that Wolff’s “spot-on portrait of Trump as an emotionally erratic president” is correct, as is “the low opinion of him among some of those serving him.”
Such contentions are guaranteed to appeal to liberals and never-Trumpers who agree with the alleged contempt that some Trump aides have for him and his family. According to Axios’ Jonathan Swan, that includes people who are often seen declaring their loyalty to Trump.
Some of the sources quoted in “Fire and Fury” have denied making statements that were attributed to them, such as Katie Walsh, former deputy chief of staff, although others, such as former chief strategist Steve Bannon, have not disputed their comments.
Axios defends Wolff’s “liberties with off-the-record comments,” characterizing them as “ethically unacceptable to nearly all reporters,” a contention that is comical in the context of mainstream media reporting in the Trump era, which has suffered an epidemic of citing anonymous sources.
Axios claimed to have had “many of the same conversations with the same sources Wolff used,” although the website declined to “betray them, or put on the record what was off.” With their alleged insider insight, Axios contended that certain excerpts from the book “ring unambiguously true.”
Axios did Trump-haters the favor of excerpting many derogatory items from the book, listing them under several negative categories, including “how Trump processes (and resists) information,” “instinct over expertise,” “ill-preparedness” and “low regard by key aides.”
Trump was characterized as trusting “his own expertise — no matter how paltry or irrelevant — more than anyone else’s. What’s more, he had an extremely short attention span …”
Policymaking in the White House was described as flowing up. “It was a process of suggesting, in throw-it-against-the-wall style, what the president might want, and hoping he might then think that he had thought of this himself.”
The most scathing excerpts included in the Axios piece regarded the disparaging opinions of Trump purportedly offered by key aides.
“He spoke obliviously and happily, believing himself to be a perfect pitch raconteur and public performer, while everyone with him held their breath,” read one excerpt.
“If a wackadoo moment occurred on the occasions … when his remarks careened in no clear direction,” another excerpt read, “his staff had to go into intense method-acting response. It took absolute discipline not to acknowledge what everyone could see.”
Axios need not have bothered with publishing a litany of insulting excerpts from “Fire and Fury” to encourage sales of the controversial book. Following its release on Friday, the title quickly became a number one bestseller on Amazon.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 08:41 AM PST
Lawmakers are facing a March 5 deadline to pass legislation to help the illegal immigrants known as “Dreamers” after Trump announced in September he would terminate the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The deadline affects more than a quarter of a million illegal immigrants who stand to lose their work permits unless Congress protects them.
At the same time, Democrats are pushing to complete a deal on DACA by Jan. 19, which is when lawmakers face another deadline to secure a funding bill to keep the government open. Some Republicans, however, have resisted tying the two issues together, according to a report in The Washington Post on Thursday.
"If we have support from Democrats on DACA that would be terrific," Trump said prior to meeting with a group of pro-amnesty Republican Senators in the White House who want the “Dreamers” to stay. But the president emphasized that "any legislation on DACA must secure our border with a wall. It must give our immigration officers the resources they need to stop illegal immigration."
He also reiterated previous calls to end a diversity visa lottery that provides 50,000 green cards a year to immigrants from countries with low immigration rates to the United States. "The lottery system has to be laughed at by people outside our country," Trump said.
After meeting with Trump at the White House, Republican Senators James Lankford (Okla.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.), said in a joint statement that the lawmakers and Trump are “on the same page when it comes to securing our borders once and for all and providing long-term certainty for DACA youth.”
The senators went on to say that “our discussions on border security and enforcement with Democrats are much further apart, and that is key to getting a bipartisan deal on DACA. Until that happens, we cannot accomplish the solutions our country needs and many families deserve.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump would play host to a bipartisan group of Congress members next week to continue the immigration negotiations.
Immigrant rights groups are pushing for a "clean" DACA bill that is not attached to the spending bill and does not contain other border security provisions. Congressional Democrats have signaled they are open to some security measures, but they continue to refuse to support Trump’s border wall, saying such a barrier is costly and unnecessary at a time when illegal crossings at the Mexican border are at records lows. Some moderate Republicans have also expressed reluctance towards funding Trump’s wall.
Among the GOP senators meeting with Trump was Lindsey Graham (S.C.). Graham has been a vocal supporter of immigration reform efforts that offer a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. During his remarks, Trump said that Graham "used to be a great enemy of mine; now he’s a great friend."
"We’re working with Democrats," Trump added. "We’re moving across the aisle. I think we have a lot of support. But we’ll soon see. I’d like to take care of DACA, but only under these conditions."
Trump has used his Twitter account to repeatedly declare that he wants to end chain migration, the visa lottery and to reform tangled immigration laws that hinder repatriations of illegals. If implemented, the plan would have the effect of slashing the annual delivery of wage-cutting cheap-workers and welfare-aided consumers to American business groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
According to the McClatchy news service, Tillis is an outsourcing-advocate who is pushing a similar amnesty bill, dubbed the SUCCEED Act. Lankford, who is helping Tillis, argues that illegal immigration promotes competition in the labor market.
According to a report from Breitbart News on Thursday, the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting 1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 08:35 AM PST
Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose. These top news anchors were axed in 2017 due to revelations of sexual misconduct, but George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s Good Morning America is still in the ring.
However, new reports indicate that the network is finding a means to get rid of him. Insiders claim he’s too expensive and doesn’t “bring much to the table” since his favored Hillary Clinton didn’t win the presidency.
Fox News reports the following:
“Clinton crony George Stephanopoulos is facing increased pressure at ABC now that morning-show competitors Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose have been kicked to the curb over sexual misconduct allegations, and his eight-figure salary is sticking out like a sore thumb as NBC rolls out a fun-loving and far less expensive team during the first two hours of arch-rival "Today."
The former top aide to the Clintons and close friend of Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is believed to earn roughly $15 million dollars a year at ABC, according to Business Insider, even though his role on "Good Morning America" is limited largely to political and hard-news stories and the show favors lighter stories more suited for ebullient co-hosts Robin Roberts, Michael Strahan and Lara Spencer.
At the same time, the icy anchor's cachet has diminished significantly with Hillary Clinton's failure to win the White House and his cadre of Democratic friends on the outs in Washington with the end of the Obama administration.
"He doesn't bring much to the table anymore," said an ABC insider, who noted that "'GMA' covers barely any news. It's not clear why he's sitting there."”
The post ABC’s George Stephanopoulos might be next on the chopping block appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 08:17 AM PST
While an initial analysis of job growth in December fell below expectations, a recent report from Business Insider shows that unemployment amongst black Americans hit a record low of 6.8%.
Additionally, unemployment remained at just above 4%, constituting a 17-year record low.
Business Insider reports the following:
“The US economy added 148,000 jobs in December, fewer than expected, according to a report Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The unemployment remained at 4.1%, a 17-year low that supports the Federal Reserve’s assertion that the economy is near full employment. The black unemployment rate fell to a record low of 6.8%.
A plunge in retail jobs, by 20,300, weighed on the labor market as brick-and-mortar stores continued to close.
Still, December was the 87th straight month that employers hired more people than they fired, extending the longest-ever stretch of job growth on record. The economy created 2.06 million jobs last year.”
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 08:11 AM PST
In a Friday appearance on Fox News, an expert on Iran claimed that the deadly protests by its discontented populace against the government might not result in immediate reform, but that the “luck” of the mullahs in charge could soon run out.
Tehran has taken swift measures to quell the most serious protests since the “Green Movement” in 2009, cutting off social media and mobilizing police and military forces to address the spreading demonstrations. The tactics might not be enough to discourage current protesters, who differ from those who have demonstrated against the brutal Islamic regime in the past, according to Kenneth Katzman, a senior analyst of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Persian Gulf Affairs at the Congressional Research Service.
“[The demostrations have] morphed into basically a youth protest against the system writ large, and it all goes back to the clerics’ monopoly on power,” said Katzman, whose organization provides research and analysis to Congress.
To date, at least 21 people have been killed and more than 450 arrested in widespread protests in Iran.
In its most recent report, Human Rights Watch, which documents human rights abuses around the world, stated that executions abound in Iran, often for offenses related to drugs, and that “hard-line factions that dominate the security apparatus and judiciary… crack down on citizens for the legitimate exercise of their rights, in blatant disregard of international and domestic legal standards.”
Despite the actions of President Hassan Rouhani’s “reform” administration, such abuses persist, causing Rouhani to be targeted by many protesters along with “hard-line” clerics.
“These are simmering disputes,” said Katzman, who contends that outbreaks of protests are “going to keep happening periodically, but at some point the Islamic Republic’s luck presumably runs out.”
In a Wednesday appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake asserted that there could still be time for reform in Iran, despite past failures.
“There was an opportunity to try to use the diplomatic process in the Obama years to get the Iranians to treat their populations better and to respect human rights, but he ended up going for a narrow nuclear agreement that didn't address any of those things,” Lake said.
“Now there's an opportunity for those of us in the west to say, 'Iran, if you want to be treated like a normal nation, if you want people to invest in your country then you need to free your jails of the lawyers, and the activists, and students you've been arresting for decades now."
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 07:41 AM PST
If you live in southern Florida, you may want to watch above your head when you’re outside this week. You could be struck by a frozen iguana.
According to officials in the Miami area, the cold snap hitting the east coast has had a major impact on some of the animal populations. Iguanas are being heavily affected; with the temperatures turning so cold, the reptilian creatures are literally freezing and falling from trees.
The New York Post reports the following:
“It's so cold in Florida that iguanas are falling from their perches in suburban trees.
Temperatures dipped below 40 degrees Fahrenheit early Thursday in parts of South Florida, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.
That's chilly enough to immobilize green iguanas common in Miami's suburbs.
The cold-blooded creatures native to Central and South America start to get sluggish when temperatures fall below 50 degrees, said Kristen Sommers, who oversees the nonnative fish and wildlife program for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
If temperatures drop below that, iguanas freeze up. "It's too cold for them to move," Sommers said.”
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 07:39 AM PST
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to review a docket practice that has been utilized by immigration judges to postpone pending cases indefinitely.
Known as “administrative closure,” the practice has the effect of giving the subjects of those cases permission to remain in the U.S. and allows them to retain any benefits they have been granted, such as a work authorization.
A senior Justice Department official told Fox News that Sessions has certified one such case for his personal review, allowing him to consider the aspects of the case and “render a decision that is binding on immigration courts, and everyone across the federal government writ large.”
Utilizing such a strategy, Sessions could potentially end the practice of administrative closures.
Sessions is granted the authority to review the practice by a statute of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a privilege that has been used many times by previous attorneys general, including Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Michael Mukasey, Alberto Gonzales and John Ashcroft.
Currently, 350,000 immigration cases are administratively closed. In just four years, the Obama administration closed more than 180,000 pending immigration cases without a final decision — more than were closed in the previous 22 years combined.
Sessions has sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the parties associated with the case under review, posing questions whose answers will be used to inform his decision on the matter.
One of the questions addresses whether judges “have the authority, under any statute, or regulation, or delegation of authority from the Attorney General, to order administrative closure in a case?”
Sessions is seeking to determine what actions should be taken regarding administratively closed cases if he were to determine that judges and the appeals board do not have the authority to make such a decision.
The parties are required to respond by Feb. 2.
There are currently approximately 650,000 pending immigration cases. Should Sessions choose to end the practice of administrative closure, 350,000 additional cases would be added to that backlog.
The post Sessions to review practice used by immigration judges to set aside cases indefinitely appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 07:33 AM PST
Actor Ben Vereen is the latest celebrity to be accused of sexually abusive behavior, according to a report in the New York Daily News that came out on Friday.
Two young actresses are now saying that Vereen played sexual abuse like a game when they worked with the Tony winner in 2015 at a community theater production of "Hair" that took place outside of Tampa, Florida. Vereen reportedly forced unwanted kisses and aggressively hugged them, “stripped naked during an acting exercise and made degrading comments about their weight, sex appeal and personal lives,” the report said.
Two of the actresses told the Daily News that Vereen, then 69 years old, lured them to his Florida rental home on separate occasions in September 2015 under the pretense of "private rehearsals."
Kaitlyn Terpstra was 22 years old at the time. The other actress, who asked to be identified by only her first name, Kim, was 23 years old when Vereen talked both of them into getting naked in his hot tub.
Vereen did not deny the accusations. "I would like to apologize directly to the female cast members of the musical 'Hair' for my inappropriate conduct when I directed the production in 2015," he said.
"He gave this whole speech about how nudity was not inherently sexual. 'That's not what it's about.' He made me feel that if I wasn’t mature enough to understand that, I wasn't mature enough to be in 'Hair,'" Terpstra told The News.
"He basically told both of us, 'Get over yourself. Nudity doesn't have to be sexual.' If we asked questions or hesitated, we were the ones making it weird," Kim said.
Once they got into the hot tub, Vereen began playing head games with the women as he got them to talk about their emotional triggers.
"He was acting as my mentor, asking me about my parents, then that same night, he put me on his lap while I was crying, and I felt his erection," Terpstra recalled.
"He asked me, 'Feel that?' It was terrifying. I said, ‘Feel what?’ I wanted to act like I didn’t. I pushed myself off with a laugh. Then later, he asked, 'Do you think I want to f–k you?' I said 'Yes,' and he got angry. He said, 'Well, I don’t, and that’s unfortunate.’ He made me feel like I had my mind in the gutter."
Vereen went even further with Kim, asking her to perform oral sex on him. She passively obliged, feeling "confused," she said.
"I just think at the time, I didn’t feel like I had a choice. I didn’t want to do it, but I was intimidated and scared. He was being very intense and angry. He seemed very angry and offended. I had seen him behave this way toward others in the tribe during circle," she told The News. "I just felt powerless because I thought I really needed his help and guidance. And when he said nudity doesn’t have to be sexual, I was like, 'OK, maybe this isn't even sexual.' Now I understand it was a power play. It was so calculated. It was like we were putty in his hands."
In his statement, Vereen said he gained new perspective on his behavior in the last two years.
"While it was my intention to create an environment that replicated the themes of that musical during the rehearsal process, I have since come to understand that it is my conduct, not my intentions, which are relevant here. So I am not going to make any excuses because the only thing that matters here is acknowledging and apologizing for the effects of my conduct on the lives of these women," he said.
The post Broadway’s Ben Vereen accused of sexual harassment appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 07:33 AM PST
If you’re a fan of Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, then you’re in luck. The GOP affiliate has announced he’ll be throwing his name in for a bid for governor of the sunshine state.
DeSantis has also earned support from President Trump, who issued a tweet in December for support for the Republican candidate.
The Hill reports the following:
“Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) announced his candidacy to be the state’s next governor on Friday, telling Politico in a statement that he is the only one with the experience necessary to follow in Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) footsteps.
DeSantis’ move follows weeks of speculation over his intentions following a Dec. 22 tweet from President Trump urging Floridians to support the Republican lawmaker for governor.
"Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and Harvard Law, who would make a GREAT Governor of Florida," Trump tweeted last month. "He loves our Country and is a true FIGHTER."
DeSantis said Friday that he was “excited” to launch his campaign for governor with Trump’s endorsement.”
The post Florida Republican Rep. announces he’ll run for governor appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 07:27 AM PST
Morgan Stanley announced on Friday it would take a $1.25 billion hit in its fourth-quarter earnings because of a cut in the corporate tax rate as part of the U.S. tax code overhaul, according to a report in Fox Business.
According to official documents, the bank will lose roughly “$1.4 billion net discrete tax provision, mainly due to the remeasurement of certain net deferred tax assets using the lowered corporate tax rate,” but this loss “would be offset by $160 million in other positive effects.”
The sweeping tax code changes, which were enacted in late December, slashes the corporate tax rate — from 35 percent to 21 percent. The measure was expected to bring short-term pain, but long-term gain for U.S.-based corporations.
According to the Fox report, many large companies, including big banks like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase & Co, have squirreled away an estimated $2.8 trillion overseas in recent years.
The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), a nonpartisan research arm of the U.S. Congress, predicted that the one-time tax on those earnings is expected to raise $339 billion in federal revenues over the coming decade.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc said on Dec. 29 that it expects its fourth-quarter earnings to decrease by about $5 billion due to the repatriation tax, which imposes a tariff on moving money from foreign countries to the U.S., Goldman said in a filing.
The post Morgan Stanley to take $1.25B hit in Q4 from tax bill appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 07:24 AM PST
A United Airlines flight was diverted Thursday night due to the disturbing behavior of a passenger on board.
According to Ted Stevens International Airport Police, United Airlines flight 895 from Chicago to Hong Kong was redirected to Anchorage following reports of a “passenger smearing feces everywhere.”
Airport Police said that the perpetrator was an an adult male who smeared the excrement within some of the bathrooms on the aircraft. He also purportedly took off his shirt and put it into a toilet, KTVA reported.
Following the incidents, the man cooperated with the flight crew and was seated when the plane landed in Anchorage at approximately 6:20 p.m., according to FlightAware.com.
FBI agents and Airport Police met the passenger at the plane. Following interviews with officials, the man was transported to Providence Hospital for a psychological evaluation. No charges were filed.
The incident remains under investigation by the FBI and Airport Police.
The Boeing 777 aircraft was grounded overnight for maintenance.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 07:23 AM PST
Today, I respond to some of the emails you sent me.
To send a message, use the submit news button.
DML: So let me get this right, the president can call people nicknames but nobody can tag him with a nickname? Sorry. That doesn’t work in my book. Your take on “DACA” indicates your watching me, but not listening to me. If DACA goes through and they are legalized, then they VOTE. And by the way, you can not discriminate against which citizens do and do not receive welfare.
I agree with you on the DACA issue. I believe that my President caving on DACA would be the biggest mistake in his presidency. It would give the liberal left democrats all the momentum to win in 2018 and 2020. I also agree that the wall would never be built due to activists groups and the Governor Browns (what an evilness) of the world would stop it in every stage of construction untilPresident Trump is no longer in office.
That being said I also believe that President Trump is in office because God has a plan for this world that as humans we can not explain. We have to try to rally around this President even though mistakes are being made or we should just go ahead and support the impeachment stupidity. Without his base he doesn’t stand a chance and we have to fight to try to stop him from giving in on DACA but we can not stop supporting him if he does.
All I am saying is please don’t turn his base against him. You never once supported the tax bill but it has not turned his base against him. His tweeting you did not like but it did not turn his base against him. I believe that he has made mistakes and will make more but we have to support him trough good decisions and bad decisions.
I will be highly disappointed him he caves on DACA but i will still support him.
Thank you and God bless you for what you do.
DML: First, you are incorrect about the position I took on the tax bill and my videos are alive to prove it. I said I would not have picked this sort of bill, but that I would support it so Trump and the GOP could get a win. That’s the fact, and as noted, there are several videos in which I said those exact words. Moving on to DACA. I do not turn his base against, Trump manages that force on his own. People come to me because they trust I know what I am speaking about, and I deliver the facts. How people land is up to them. For example, despite all I have shared with you and the DML audience, you will stand behind the president even if he hands over DACA and makes it so the Democrats will be in office again. That really speaks volumes to me, and you’ll probably end up with that scenario. Meanwhile, Trump will be playing golf at Mar-a-Largo. If that makes you happy, then amen for you.
This brings me to the need for me to write this email. I am confused. Previously I thought I heard you say that you would be willing to accept and support DACA with all its left/liberal requirements PROVIDED that any such person(s) granted this path to U.S. citizenship could and would NEVER vote in a federal election. Yesterday evening 01/04/18 I thought I heard you say that you are now unwilling to EVER support DACA with all its left/liberal requirements unless and until we have directly addressed and effectively resolved/eliminated the presently estimated 1.5 million homeless, including all children.
Do I have this right? If so, are these the same or different? If they are the same, please explain how. If they are different, please explain why the change and what is your present final position?
DML: Alfred, I appreciate your kind words. However, you are confusing what I said weeks ago. In being snarky, the litmus test for Democrats is to tell them you accept all their demands for DACA in exchange for the provision that they cannot ever vote. In other words, DACA for Democrats is all about getting the votes. Bottom line, if they are granted citizenship they are granted the ability to vote. I say NO. I am only willing to agree to a legalization (not citizenship) if all demands are met as I state them. I will state them again today at 11am.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 06:58 AM PST
A foot of snow, hurricane-force winds and coastal flooding across the East Coast on Thursday have led to bitterly cold temperatures moving in on Friday as people in the region attempt to carry on with their daily activities.
Forecasters now predict that strong winds and record-breaking cold air will affect everyone from the mid-Atlantic to New England, and the deep freeze is supposed to last throughout the weekend.
According to Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, the arctic blast could make temperatures feel as low as minus 15 degrees to minus 25 from Philadelphia to Boston. Those in Maryland and Virginia will likely see temperatures ranging from 10 degrees to 15 degrees.
In some places, like the Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts, the National Weather Service is warning residents that the wind chill could make it feel like minus 35 degrees.
The storm, which started in the Gulf of Mexico before swiftly making its way up the coast with wind gusts of more than 70 mph, dumping several inches of snow on unsuspecting southern towns.
Schools and businesses closed, transportation came to a standstill and many people lost power for a while as the storm, which has been named “Grayson”, raged on throughout the end of the week. Some ferry services even had to be shut down along the Canadian coast.
Frozen pipes burst, causing the need for portable toilets to be placed outside of Mississippi's Capitol. And in South Florida, the chilly temperatures caused sluggish iguanas to fall out of trees. Residents of southeast Georgia were shocked to see half a foot of snow blanket their neighborhoods.
Coastal flooding reached historic levels in some New England communities as icy water overflowed piers, streets and restaurants. Some people were stranded in the deluge and had to be rescued, according to a report from The Associated Press on Friday.
At least seven people have lost their lives in weather-related accidents.
Forecasters are calling for temperatures to be below zero this weekend in northern New England. And those who live in the Deep South can expect the freeze to continue, with temperatures in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia likely to hover around 15 to 20 degrees, Hurley said. Northern Florida will be in the 20s to low 30s.
Hurley said that Sunday morning will be really cold from Portland, Maine, to Washington, D.C. "That's when you'll see records being challenged or broken, with temperatures at or near zero in many places," he said.
The seasonable weather is expected to return early next week, Hurley said, noting that temperatures will warm up to the high 30s and near 40s.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 06:50 AM PST
At the end of 2017, Apple finished the year on a bad foot with customers. Following revelations of slowing battery life on older iPhone models (resulting in lawsuits) and low sales for the new iPhone X, the mega company founded by Steve Jobs hit a snag with its loyal customer base.
It looks like the company is attempting to avoid a rough start in 2018, with new reports indicating the company is issuing update patches following major security glitch issues in iPhone and iOS products.
“Apple on Thursday said it will be releasing more software updates to protect against recently disclosed security vulnerabilities.
Apple said that recent updates to its iOS, macOS and tvOS operating systems included protections against the Meltdown issue, which has been shown to affect several Intel chips. Apple said the operating system for its Apple Watch didn’t need a fix.”
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 06:48 AM PST
President Trump and his son Don Jr. both launched tweets targeting the mainstream media and their anti-Trump focus on the new book by Michael Wolff, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House."
In the president’s tweet, he lambasts Fake News Media for targeting Wolff’s new book in their reports since the Russian collusion story is proving to be moot.
He writes: “Well, now that collusion with Russia is proving to be a total hoax and the only collusion is with Hillary Clinton and the FBI/Russia, the Fake News Media (Mainstream) and this phony new book are hitting out at every new front imaginable. They should try winning an election. Sad!”
In tandem, Don Jr. also launched a tweet about how the media’s focus on the new book is conveniently overshadowing the reporting of positive outcomes under his father, such as the growth of the Dow and the destruction of ISIS.
Don Jr. tweets: “Strange that whenever
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 06:41 AM PST
In an effort to assist approximately 11 million Americans in finding health insurance, the Department of Labor announced a new rule Thursday which allows businesses to band together to offer higher quality and more affordable plans for their employees.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, the rule gives new options to many small businesses and sole proprietors who do not offer insurance to their employees due to the expense of doing so.
“The proposed rule, which applies only to employer-sponsored health insurance, would allow employers to join together as a single group to purchase insurance in the large group market,” the agency said. “By joining together, employers may reduce administrative costs through economies of scale, strengthen their bargaining position to obtain more favorable deals, enhance their ability to self-insure, and offer a wider array of insurance options.”
Thomas Miller, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said the rule allows for more inclusion of individuals in an Association Health Plan.
“It widens the definition of what an employer is, it includes groups of workers who maybe are working for different companies, but they’re either within a similar industry or a type of occupation or it could be defined by geography,” Miller explains. “That allows, hypothetically, more of those type of workers who tend to be working for small employers to access this particular type of coverage.”
Miller noted that the new rule is intended to lower the costs of health insurance for many Americans.
“The rationale, aside from providing some type of additional coverage options and theoretically more attractive coverage, means at least the hope is that because these will be larger plans by aggregating small elements — in many cases businesses below 50 or very much smaller or sole proprietors in the aggregate — that larger collection of lives will have several advantages,” Miller said. “One is, although I think it will be exaggerated, that they will have more bargaining power. It might be able to stretch baseline administrative costs over a wide base of workers and employers’ employees, so that makes them less administratively expensive. And in theory that by being larger they might be able to better craft more attractive or a desired set of benefits.”
The rule also prohibits plans from charging higher premiums or refusing coverage due to a preexisting condition.
Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Lamar Alexander, R.-Tenn., commended the new rule, saying, “The rule would give these individuals and small business employees the same sort of lower cost insurance opportunities that the 178 million Americans have who buy insurance through their employers. These policies will also have the same sort of consumer protections that employees of large companies have such as protections against being charged higher premiums for having a preexisting condition.”
The post Department of Labor announces new rule to help 11 million Americans find health coverage appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.
Posted: 05 Jan 2018 06:40 AM PST
A report released by the Labor Department on Friday revealed that the U.S. economy added a disappointing 148,000 jobs in December, although the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent.
According to CNBC, economists surveyed by Reuters had projected nonfarm payrolls to grow by 190,000. The number of jobs added in December fell below the November total of 252,000, which was revised upward from 228,000, which was initially reported.
Contributing to December’s disappointing jobs numbers was an unexpected loss of 20,000 retail positions during the holiday season.
J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at T.D. Ameritrade said, “A little bit of a disappointment when you only get 2,000 jobs out of the government and get retail at the absolute busiest time of the year losing 20,000 jobs. It just goes to show the true struggle that traditional brick and mortar is having now. Outside of that I actually thought it was a good report.”
Preceding the report was a stronger-than-expected reading on private-sector employment where 250,000 jobs were added in December, well above the 190,000 jobs expected by economists polled by Reuters.
Greater detail provided in the video below.
The post U.S. economy added a disappointing 148,000 jobs in December appeared first on Dennis Michael Lynch.
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