WASHINGTON — As a small coterie of grim-faced advisers shuffled into the Oval Office on the evening of Oct. 15, President Obama’s chief domestic accomplishment was falling apart 24 miles away, at a bustling high-tech data center in suburban Virginia. HealthCare.gov, the $630 million online insurance marketplace, was a disaster after it went live on Oct. 1, with a roster of engineering repairs that would eventually swell to more than 600 items. The private contractors who built it were pointing fingers at one another. And inside the White House, after initially saying too much traffic was to blame, Mr. Obama’s closest confidants had few good answers. The political dangers were clear to everyone in the room: Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; Kathleen Sebelius , the health secretary; Marilyn Tavenner, the Medicare chief; Denis McDonough, the chief of staff; Todd Park , the chief technology officer; and others. For 90 excruciating minutes, a furious and frustrated president … [Read more...] about Inside the Race to Rescue a Health Care Site, and Obama
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TEMECULA, Calif. — Legal sports betting in the United States accelerated in 2021 as a flurry of states either overcame legislative logjams, as Ohio did just before Christmas, or signed off on online wagering, as New York did just after Election Day. But those efforts are likely to pale in comparison to the all-out lobbying, campaigning and legal jousting in 2022 involving what a DraftKings executive recently called “one of the holy grails” in sports betting: California. By November, Californians may be asked to vote on as many as four sports betting initiatives. That’s why deep-pocketed interests, including national sports books and Native American casinos, have been gearing up to spend $200 million to persuade voters in California to support their particular proposal — or to reject the others. One measure that has already qualified for the state ballot, sponsored by powerful tribes in California, would add sports wagering, but only in person, at tribal casinos or horse racing … [Read more...] about Sports Betting’s Next Big Election Battles Are in California
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — AT&T and Verizon announced the delay of their new, faster 5G network on towers near some airports across the country. There are nine 5G cell towers across the state, including in Sacramento. So how could this impact Sacramento International Airport, and why isn’t this technology a problem elsewhere? READ MORE: Entire Staff Quits Noah's Bagels In Vacaville In Protest — And Video Goes Viral We took our questions to the Sacramento County Department of Airports but were only given a statement. So we reached out to the Airports Council International – North America and were told there’s still a lot that airports don’t know and are bracing for a busy Wednesday. “We are still trying to get information from the FAA regarding additional mitigation strategies that will be deployed at individual airports,” said Chris Oswald, vice president of safety and regulatory affairs with the council. It’s a push for guidance as AT&T and Verizon announced they’ll … [Read more...] about 5G Rollout Concerns: How Could Technology, Delay Impact Sacramento?
Major airlines around the world rushed to cancel or change flights to the United States on Wednesday ahead of the rollout of a new 5G wireless service that has sparked safety concerns. The scramble came despite Verizon and AT&T agreeing to temporarily limit the launch of the new C-Band 5G service around some airports after airline chief executives warned it could cause "catastrophic" disruptions. Several airlines still opted to cancel or switch aircraft models for flights to the U.S. after warnings that the 5G launch could potentially interfere with signals used by radio altimeters, which help pilots land safely in low-visibility operations, on some jets and planes. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration began updating its guidance on which airports and aircraft models could be affected by the 5G rollout late Tuesday, with the issue appearing to particularly impact the Boeing 777 — a long-range, wide-body aircraft used by carriers worldwide. Dubai’s Emirates … [Read more...] about Airlines scramble to cancel flights, change schedules over 5G rollout fears
When Dean Mehmood decided it was time to move his family out of Brooklyn, where his parents had been renting for 35 years, he took them on a driving tour of central New Jersey, looking for a place that was affordable and welcoming. He found it in the one-square-mile borough of Dunellen, in Middlesex County. “There was something that was calling my mother to this area, and to this house,” said Mr. Mehmood, a 27-year-old R&B singer, of the home he bought in December for $327,000. “She just had to have it.” “This is their first house. It’s a big deal,” he said of the two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath 1940s ranch house that he now shares with his 60-year-old retired parents, Tariq and Asia, and his younger brother. “When we signed the papers and got the keys, the first thing my mom said to me was, ‘I didn’t think I’d live to see the day I’d own my own house.’” NEW JERSEY NEW JERSEY New York City Dunellen SOMERSET COUNTY MIDDLESEX … [Read more...] about Dunellen, N.J.: Affordability, With a ‘Small-Town Quaintness’
Last February, I searched for a vacation rental in Door County , the wayward spear of Wisconsin that juts into Lake Michigan, for an early May getaway, confident I had beaten the summer rush to the popular vacation spot. But Airbnb occupancy calendars for lovely converted farmhouses and log cabins were already full and when I called a local vacation home rental agency, the agent said they were almost completely booked through the summer. That’s how I ended up in a one-bedroom shack last spring with a wobbly card table in an ant-infested kitchen and a new awareness of the shrinking off-season. From Miami to communities around national parks like Zion in Utah and Joshua Tree in California, high-occupancy rates during traditionally off-season times of the year are muddling what was normally a reliable way to save money — traveling when few others are. Continued work-from-anywhere policies have freed travelers from their homes, and as they have flocked to places like Jackson Hole, … [Read more...] about Has the Pandemic Undermined Off-Season Deals?
WASHINGTON — President Obama, trying to quell a growing furor over the rollout of his health care law, bowed to bipartisan pressure on Thursday and announced a policy reversal that would allow insurance companies to temporarily keep people on health plans that were to be canceled under the new law because they did not meet minimum standards. The decision to allow the policies to remain in effect for a year without penalties represented the Obama administration’s hurriedly developed effort to address one of the major complaints about the beleaguered health care law. It seemed for the moment to calm rising anger and fear of a political backlash among congressional Democrats who had been threatening to support various legislative solutions opposed by the White House because of their potential to undermine the law. Senate Democratic leaders said they did not see the need for an immediate legislative fix — a victory for White House officials worried that momentum was building toward … [Read more...] about Obama Moves to Avert Cancellation of Insurance
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in a statement Wednesday that the department’s top spokesman, Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs Michael Caputo, would be taking a leave of absence days after he accused government scientists of “sedition” in a now-deleted video posted on his personal Facebook page Sunday. An HHS statement released Monday said that Caputo would take a leave of absence for 60 days “to focus on his health and the well-being of his family.” HHS also announced that Caputo’s senior policy adviser Paul Alexander would be leaving the department as well. HHS says Micheal Caputo, the spokesman who over the weekend told his Facebook followers that CDC scientists were guilt of sedition and undermining Trump, will take a leave of absence for the next two months. Paul Alexander, who Politico reported was editing CDC reports, is out. pic.twitter.com/mEIX5i18Jb — Alex Ruoff (@Alexruoff) September 16, 2020 In a statement released … [Read more...] about HHS Spokesman Caputo To Take Leave Of Absence After Reportedly Accusing Government Scientists Of Conspiring Against Trump
WASHINGTON — Just over 106,000 people picked health plans in the first month of open enrollment through the state and federal insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s health secretary said Wednesday, a fraction of the administration’s initial estimate for enrollment during that period. Only about a fourth of the new enrollees — 26,794 — signed up through HealthCare.gov, the problem-plagued federal exchange, according to figures released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A much larger number, 76,319, signed up through the 14 state-run marketplaces. The long-awaited figures, released by Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, became instant fodder for the political battle over Mr. Obama’s signature legislative initiative. As nervous Democrats on Capitol Hill threatened to introduce legislation altering the law, Republicans called the new numbers dismal and embarrassing, citing them as further proof that … [Read more...] about Only 106,000 Pick Health Insurance Plans in First Month
Voice of America employs a reporter for its Russian Service website who used to produce anti-U.S. and anti-Semitic videos for a Russian outlet. The reporter’s productions have been scrubbed from the VOA Russia search page, but he is still employed as a “contractor.” One of the videos produced by the VOA employee while working for a different outlet suggests that the U.S. developed its currency to get rich at the expense of other countries. The taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) currently employs a reporter for its Russian website who formerly produced anti-U.S. propaganda videos for a Russian outlet. Ilya Kolosov is a “contractor with the VOA Russian language service TV team,” Bridget Serchak, Director of Public Relations at VOA , told the Daily Caller News Foundation. He was previously employed at ONT, a Belorussian state-run TV station and RTVI, a Russian station, according to a report by Belsat. VOA is a U.S. government-funded and state-owned news agency, … [Read more...] about Voice Of America Currently Employs A Former Russian Anti-U.S. Propagandist