Among the litany of things the shutdown will mess up, you can add our nascent housing recovery.
By Diana OlickThe fight may be in Washington, but the effects of the government shutdown will ripple through every neighborhood in America—without a fully functioning government, an already tight mortgage market may become even more prohibitive. It is exactly what the housing recovery does not need."This is going to be very disruptive to the mortgage industry and pretty much result in a freeze of the pipeline," said Craig Strent, CEO of Bethesda, Maryland–based Apex Home Loans.
Aims for it to be like CNN, for music.
If you’re sick of Teen Mom and want some music videos, Sean Combs might have the answer for you. The rapper is backing a new music channel called Revolt, which launches next month and will try to bring back music videos. “The way you go to CNN for breaking news or ESPN for sports—in six months to a year, we want Revolt to be that for music,” said Revolt co-founder Andy Schuon. But they might have something to learn from their predecessors: the network’s music-video outpost, MTV 2, averages just 161,000 viewers in primetime, and VH1 Classic has just 39,000.
Spiked in the mid-2000s.
It might not be so easy to get Adderall for young kids after all. Psychiatric drugs are being prescribed less in very young children after reaching a peak in the mid-2000s, according to a study released Monday by the journal Pediatrics. The decrease occurred despite an overall increase in the number of children diagnosed with behavior disorders. Between 1994 and 1997, 1 percent of all preschoolers were prescribed psychotic drugs—but that number spiked to 1.5 percent between 2002 and 2005 before going back down to 1 percent between 2006 and 2009. The results come on the heels of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launching a review into the use of anti-psychotic drugs on children younger than age 17 in the Medicaid system.
Since 2011 debt-ceiling crisis.
The government shutdown might have shocked you, but apparently the White House Office of Budget and Management has been prepared for two years—since the 2011 debt-ceiling debate. “We have been prudently planning for this contingency for the last month, and frankly, for the past couple of years because we have faced, and agencies have faced, these contingencies in the past,” said Brian Deese, the deputy director of the OMB. Other preparations took place in Washington on Monday, with National Park Service employees setting up barricades at the monuments and on the National Mall—and shutting off the 45 fountains. At the Capitol, the last tour for the indefinite future was held Monday at 3:10 p.m.
Thought you were done with health-care debates? Think again. With the rollout of the new state exchanges Tuesday, health care will be back front and center.
If you had the good fortune to have lived under a rock the past couple weeks, you may be unaware that on Tuesday, October 1, the Health Insurance Marketplace, better known as exchanges, will open.In order to understand what these exchanges are and why everybody is making such a fuss, here is a quick guide to what will happen Tuesday.(1) What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?One of the major goals of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) was to achieve universal access to health care.
Who says Big Macs can’t be gourmet? That’s the message McDonald’s pushed at a fancy invitation-only event last week. Abby Haglage on the charm offensive—and why it’s such a tough sell.
At first glance, the concept was thrilling. An Egg McMuffin transformed into a quiche? A Big Mac macaroon?! It was so wrong that it felt right.And there was so much more. The Invitation-Only McDonald’s Dining Experience, hosted in downtown Manhattan last week, was billed as an “evening of unexpected recipe creations and great conversation,” and it was. Five acclaimed chefs—including Food Network darlings Aaron McCargo Jr. and Dale Talde—were tasked with transforming MickeyD ingredients (eggs, potatoes, hamburger beef) into gourmet dishes.
By even suggesting that the United States might default, the full faith, honor, and credit of the country has become an ideological football, says one of America’s top CEOs.
No matter what your political beliefs or your views on the Affordable Care Act, if you are a decent person, you believe in paying your bills. If you use a credit card, you make your payments every month. Same as you do with a mortgage. At least, the vast majority of us do, and there has never been any question about our collective representative—the United States government—paying its bills on time and in full.Not anymore. Today, the honor, trust, and credibility of our government’s ability and willingness to pay its debts is being used as an ideological football in the House of Representatives.
For the first time in 17 years.
It's really happening. As of midnight Tuesday, the federal government has shut down after Congress failed to pass the spending bill. The Office of Management and Budget directed executive agencies to shut down just before midnight on Monday. The memo read: "We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations." Still, Obama reassured that Obamacare is still in effect. From the president's Twitter account: "'The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. You can't shut it down.' —President Obama #Obamacare"
Signed last-minute bill.
Here's something everyone can agree on: the need to pay our service men and women abroad when the government goes dark. On Monday night, President Obama signed a last-minute bill ensuring the armed forces and civilian employees of the Defense Department and Pentagon will continue to get paid when the shutdown is set to go into effect at midnight. It was approved by the House and approved by the Senate earlier without dispute—a near-miracle in the current political climate.
Say they were fired for being Muslim.
Shams Uddin and Shamiha Mitwally, two former Sears cashiers, are suing the company for discrimination, claiming they were fired from their jobs at a Connecticut Sears store because they are Muslim. Mitwally is also alleging that she was assaulted by an assistant manager who yelled threateningly in her face, but did not hit her. Both Uddin and Mitwally were fired last month for giving customers discount coupons, even though they claim some of their coworkers did the same thing. "I suspect there was a relatively new person working there in a position of power who is prejudiced against Muslims," said their lawyer, Anthony Macri, noting that his clients had been "generally mistreated while on the job, especially during the last couple months."
With an Ohio Walmart hosting a holiday food drive for its own workers, The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky criticizes the notoriously stingy company for not paying them more.
The perfect gift for any crime and mystery lover this season is a new omnibus edition of Dashiell Hammett’s work. Allen Barra on the enduring greatness of his work, even when there are no crimes.