As a kid, I spent a lot of time in malls – less as a rampant consumer than as a bored teenager, but still it was a place to go. Said malls usually had one or two stores I loved to shop in, typically a video arcade or a Waldenbooks (about the only place I could find AD&D manuals and sci-fi/fantasy pulp fiction). They also had junk food, shelter from Wisconsin winters and summers, and age appropriate girls.
As an adult, I can’t stand malls and I spend as little time in them as is needed to get what I need and be gone. Yet I can’t help being a bit sad to see many of them struggling and shuttering, especially some of the ones that were a part of my formative years. As an adult, it is interesting to look back – further back than my own birth – to see some of the history of the places. This link has some history on a mall that was a place I frequented until I left home for the Navy (and even during the few times I’ve gone back home). I remember going there to buy a shirt for my mother’s funeral service, because I had to deliver the eulogy and the shirt I had packed had been ruined by a too hot iron.
Lots of memories in these places, for many of us, I suspect.
I was born into the era of malls. The nostalgia is there, but I won’t miss them terribly if they vanish. I hope they do become better places, parks, centers of community, more mixed use urban spaces – or even just better malls – something more than just box like enclosed shopping plazas.
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday said that under his new health care plan, people who like their insurance coverage won’t be forced to give it up.
Speaking at the AARP presidential forum in Iowa, Biden drew a contrast between his plan, which would give people a Medicare-like public option, and the “Medicare for All” plan championed by more progressive Democratic presidential candidates including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).
“If you like your health care plan, your employer based plan, you can keep it. If in fact you have private insurance, you can keep it,” Biden said.
Biden’s speech echoed the now-infamous “if you like your doctor, you’re going to be able to keep your doctor” catchphrase former President Barack Obama repeatedly said in 2009 and 2010 when he was trying to sell the public on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
The GOP seized on those remarks, and spent years throwing them back at Democrats to showcase what they said were ObamaCare’s failures. In 2013, PolitiFact called "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it" the "Lie of the Year."
But the law has provided 20 million people with health insurance, and it’s now more popular than ever.
Biden is running on protecting ObamaCare. He is banking the law’s popularity will convince voters that his plan of shoring up the law with more subsidies and a public option is a better approach than Medicare for All.
“You get your choice, you get full coverage … I think it’s the quickest, most reasonable rational and best way to get to universal coverage,” he said. In formally announcing his plan on Monday, Biden equated the push for Medicare for All with the GOP attempts to repeal ObamaCare.
“I understand the appeal of Medicare for All, but folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of ObamaCare, and I’m not for that,” Biden said in a video announcing his plan.
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta Resigns Amid Epstein Furor
President Donald Trump alerted reporters this morning of Acosta's departure. "This was him, not me," said Trump as Acosta stood beside him.
Trump, who saw Acosta largely as a source of favorable monthly statistics about unemployment and job growth, called Acosta "a great labor secretary not a good one" and "a tremendous talent. He's a Hispanic man, he went to Harvard, a great student." Trump indicated that he was satisfied with Acosta's explanation for the plea deal in Wednesday's news conference, saying, "He explained it."
But Acosta has had a rocky relationship in recent months with other White House officials, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, over the perceived slow pace of deregulation at the department. And one person familiar with the situation said that although Trump initially thought Acosta handled the Epstein controversy well, over the last couple of days the president saw the negative press and didn’t like it.
“POTUS is not a fan of bad press, especially when other people make him look bad," this person said.
Acosta, a 50-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer, came newly under fire for the lenient 2008 plea deal after Epstein was re-arrested July 6 in New York City and charged with sex trafficking. Under the earlier plea agreement, Epstein served only 13 months of an 18-month term and was permitted daily furloughs to go to the office. Epstein also was required to register as a sex offender and to pay restitution to his underage victims.
At the White House this morning, Acosta told reporters: "Over the last week I've seen a lot of coverage of the department of labor. And what I have not seen is the incredible job creation that we've seen in this economy. more than 5 million jobs, I haven't seen that.... I do not think it is right and fair for this administration's labor department to have Epstein as the focus, rather than the incredible economy that we have today."
A horrible story raises age-old questions about regulation, medical care, and people who make money insisting they know better than trained professionals.
At about 9:15 p.m. June 15, Omaha Fire Department paramedics were called to a home where a 25-year-old woman at full term in her pregnancy was in distress following complications during a breech birth.
The woman told police she went into labor at about 9 p.m. June 14. Hock reportedly arrived to help with the birth at 6 p.m. June 15, according to a criminal complaint.
After realizing the baby’s foot had been delivered, the mother told detectives that Hock asked her whether to continue with the birth at home “and stated she had trained in delivering breech babies,” court documents state.
The mother agreed to continue at home but said that after at least 30 minutes, the baby had only been delivered up to the shoulders, the documents state. That’s when Hock advised calling 911.
When police arrived, they found Hock assisting the pregnant woman and asking for medical scissors, court documents state. Paramedics said the baby was partially delivered at that time and that Hock performed a medical procedure during her attempt to deliver the baby.
The baby, delivered by paramedics while en route to a hospital, was limp and unresponsive, according to the criminal complaint. Resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.
The baby was taken to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit upon arrival at the hospital and placed on life support, the documents state.
The obstetrics doctor in the ER that night reported to police that the baby was deprived of oxygen and suffered swelling in the brain and indicated the infant could die as a result of the injuries.
The doctor told officers Hock had revealed she was at the scene serving as a midwife, a service she advertises through her company’s website, Nebraska Birth Keeper, and “had known for a couple hours that the baby was in breech” position but continued with the birthing process for an hour before 911 was called, the court documents state.
The baby was pronounced dead June 17.
A warrant was issued for Hock’s arrest when it was determined by Nebraska Health and Human Services that she does not hold a medical or certified nurse-midwife license.
The mother told investigators she had signed an agreement for Hock’s midwife services and that she and her husband had paid Hock about $3,000 to $4,000 for those services.
The couple paid about $4,000 for Ms. Hock’s services, according to Mr. Dornan, who said Ms. Hock served as a midwife when Ms. Noe gave birth to another child two years earlier.
“They wanted to have a birth in their bedroom,” Mr. Dornan said. “Didn’t want to go to the hospital."
Similar complications arose during the earlier pregnancy with a breech baby, he said, and Ms. Noe opted to have a C-section at the hospital after Ms Hock advised her of the risks. This time, he said, Ms. Hock once again warned Ms. Noe of the risks of a breech birth, but that she had opted to remain at home.
Mr. Dornan said Ms. Hock tried a maneuver to dislodge the baby, but was unsuccessful. She was accompanied by her 9-year-old daughter and a doula, who Mr. Dornan said called 911.
When the emergency responders arrived at the home, Mr. Dornan said, they gave Ms. Hock a pair of scissors to try to help make a wider opening for the baby, which is considered to be a surgical procedure and is mentioned in the criminal complaint against his client.
On Sunday, Mr Trump became the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea, accompanied by leader Kim Jong-un.
Mr Trump had earlier tweeted asking Mr Kim if he would like to meet while the US president was in South Korea.
On Monday, KCNA carried extensive coverage of the unprecedented meeting.
North Koreans rarely receive news of the outside world, and the heavily controlled media has depicted the US as its most hated enemy for decades.
Images of the US president walking into the North as a friend of Mr Kim will be an extraordinary sight for ordinary North Koreans.
Negotiations over North Korea's controversial nuclear programme have stalled since the second summit between the two leaders ended without an agreement in February.
After their surprise talks on Sunday, they reaffirmed their claims to friendship and said talks would continue through their negotiating teams.
Critics have dismissed the occasion as an act of political theatre which does not make substantial progress towards North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons.
Negotiations with North Korea to try to convince it to abandon its controversial nuclear programme reached a peak last year when Mr Trump and Mr Kim had a historic meeting in Singapore.
They both committed to the "complete denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula, but without clarifying what that meant.
It was hoped their second meeting, in Hanoi in February, would make some concrete agreement about North Korea handing over its nuclear programme in exchange for some of the tight sanctions against it being lifted.
But those talks ended with no deal, as they failed to agree on the pace at which sanctions should be eased.
SCOTUS: “partisan gerrymandering claims are not justiciable”
Whoa...people can over-react to Supreme Court rulings, but this ruling, and the reaction, is going to be big.
In a 5-4 decision along traditional conservative-liberal ideological lines, the Supreme Court rules that partisan redistricting is a political question, not reviewable by federal courts and can't judge if extreme gerrymandering violates the constitution.
"We conclude that partisan gerrymandering claims present political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts," Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the conservative majority. "Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions."
The court's ruling came in two cases. In Maryland, Democrats who controlled the state legislature drew new lines for congressional districts to eliminate one of the state's two GOP seats in the U.S. House of Representatives; and in North Carolina, where Republicans controlled the state legislature, they used the same tactics to isolate and limit Democratic power, and maximize their own.