Affordable Care Act Can Stay In Effect While Under Appeal, Judge Says

The Federal judge in Texas who ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional earlier this month said that the law can remain in effect while under appeal.

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor wrote in his ruling filed on Sunday that “many everyday Americans would otherwise face great uncertainty during the pendency of appeal.”

But O’Connor still stands by his initial decision, he wrote, that a recent change in federal tax law that eliminated the penalty on uninsured people, in turn, invalidates the entire health care law, which is also referred to as Obamacare.

Before issuing the stay, O’Connor struck down the ACA on Dec. 14, siding with a group of 19 Republican attorneys general and a governor, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

As Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News wrote for NPR following the district court judges decision, “The plaintiffs argued that because the Supreme Court upheld the ACA in 2012 as a constitutional use of its taxing power, the elimination of the tax makes the rest of the law unconstitutional.”

Judge O’Connor agreed with that reasoning.

“In some ways, the question before the Court involves the intent of both the 2010 and 2017 Congresses,” O’Connor wrote in his 55-page decision. “The former enacted the ACA. The latter sawed off the last leg it stood on.”

Democrats, meanwhile, say they plan to challenge O’Connor’s partial judgment. A spokesperson for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — who’s joined by 16 other states defending the ACA — said his state is “prepared to appeal the December 14 decision imminently.”

“We’ve always said we’re going to protect the healthcare of Americans and make clear that the ACA is the law of the land,” Becerra said in a statement emailed to NPR. “Today the judge granted what we asked for when we filed our expedited motion but at the end of the day, we’re working to keep healthcare affordable and accessible to millions of Americans, so we march forward.”

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28th Amendment Challenge

Please read 28th amendment

Please Read, and forward. This will only take 1 minute to read!
28th Amendment, 35 States and Counting.

It will take you less than a minute to read this. If you agree, please pass it on. It’s an idea whose time has come to deal with this self-serving situation:

OUR PRESENT SITUATION !

Children of Congress members do not have to pay back their college student loans.

Staffers of Congress family members are also exempt from having to pay back student loans.

Members of Congress can retire at full pay after only one term.

Members of Congress have exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed, under which ordinary citizens must live.
For example, they are exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment.

And as the latest example, they have exempted themselves from Healthcare Reform, in all of its aspects.

We must not tolerate an elite class of such people, elected as public servants and then putting themselves above the law.

I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent, or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon their states.It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.

If each person that receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days most people in The United States of America will have the message.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

“Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the Citizens of the United States …”

This is an idea that should be passed around, regardless of political party.

Congressional Reform Act of 2017

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office. And, no more perks go with them.

2. Congress (past, present, & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress must purchase their own retirement plan, just as ALL Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people (i.e. NO MORE INSIDER TRADING!!!).

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congress made all these contracts by and for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor and privledge NOT a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work … not get all kinds of freebies.

Just hold your finger down then hit forward and send it to everyone you know. Let’s help get the country straightened out.

Usher files for divorce after three years of marriage to Grace Miguel, reports say

Usher filed for divorce from his wife, Grace Miguel, after three years of marriage, according to reports on Friday.

People said it had obtained the divorce document filed in court in Georgia and Us Weekly said it had confirmed the legal action. Each credited The Blast with first reporting the news.
The divorce filing is not a surprise. It comes nine months after Usher, 40, and Miguel, 49, issued a statement to those publications confirming their separation.
Usher and Miguel, who has served as his manager, were married in 2015.
The popular singer, whose full name is Usher Raymond, has also appeared as a coach on NBC’s “The Voice.”

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Remembering the First Pair of African-American Sisters to Take Tennis by Storm

As Serena and Venus Williams play out the end of their careers, debates have risen about their place in tennis and American history.


Some call Serena Williams the greatest female tennis player of all time. Journalist Ian Crouch recently wrote a story for the New Yorker proclaiming Serena as America’s greatest athlete. Few dispute that the sisters are one of the most dynamic sibling duos in sports history.
Yet perhaps even fewer know that the Williams sisters weren’t the first African-American siblings to take tennis by storm.


That distinction belongs to Margaret and Matilda Roumania Peters, sisters from Washington D.C. who wowed crowds with their spectacular doubles play in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.


Nicknamed “Pete” and “Re-Pete,” respectively, the Peters sisters played in the American Tennis Association, a league formed to give African-Americans a chance to play competitive tennis at a national level.
Established in 1916 and still alive today, the ATA is the oldest black sports organization in the U.S. Similar to the Negro Leagues in baseball, the ATA offered top black tennis players—who were denied access to all-white professional leagues—a stage to showcase their talents.


The ATA sponsored tournaments throughout the country. Although top players didn’t make a living from these tournaments, they were indeed stars. The Peters sisters were often asked to pose for publicity shots and sign autographs. Crowds of blacks and whites traveled to watch them play.
Known for their slice serves, powerful backhands and quick chop shots, the Peters sisters became pseudo-celebrities. Margaret (sometimes called “Big Pete”) was the oldest by two years and the taller sister. Matilda, (Re-Pete) was the younger, feistier sister.


According to Cecil Harris and Larryette Kyle-DeBose’s book Charging the Net: A History of Blacks in Tennis, actor and dancer Gene Kelly, stationed at a Navy Base near Washington D.C. during World War II, dropped in to watch the sisters play in 1944. Kelly would also play tennis with the Peters sisters when he was in town.


In a Jan. 10, 1942 edition of the Afro American newspaper, the “famous Peters sisters” made headlines for winning a fourth-consecutive doubles title.


The sisters began playing tennis as young girls at a park across from their home in Georgetown. They were recruited to play at Tuskegee University. So close were they that Margaret waited for her sister to graduate high school so that they could enroll at Tuskegee together.


Segregation and discrimination forced the ATA to hold most of its tournaments at historically black colleges and universities. These tournaments became social events for affluent blacks. The annual national championships were highly anticipated and included parties, formal dances and fashion shows.


The ATA operated in a parallel existence to the United States Lawn Tennis Association, now the USTA. Before the 1950s, the USTA refused to allow blacks to compete against whites. This included a talented young player named Althea Gibson who was making noise on the ATA Tour.


Gibson, younger than the Peters sisters by nearly a decade, moved quickly up the ranks of the ATA Tour. She won the national championship in 1944 and 1945. She suffered a loss in the finals in 1946 before winning 10 straight titles from 1947 to 1956.


That loss was to Matilda “Re-Pete” Peters, the younger sister. Matilda is the only African-American woman to ever defeat Gibson.


Four years later, pressured by ATA officials and Alice Marble, Gibson was invited to compete in the U.S. National Championships, now the U.S. Open. Already in her mid-20s, Gibson made her debut at Forest Lawn in 1950. Two years later, George Stewart would become the first black man to play at the U.S. Open.


Meanwhile, the Peters sisters, like so many other talented African-American tennis players, remained on the ATA tour. They dominated the ATA, winning 14 doubles championships, a record that still remains. Matilda also won two ATA singles titles.


By the time color lines began to be broken, the sisters were in their 30s, about the age Venus and Serena Williams are now. One’s mid-30s are hardly the years to begin a professional tennis career.


In 2003, the USTA, the same organization that denied African-Americans a chance to compete during most of the sisters’ careers, honored the Peters duo with an achievement award during the Fed Cup quarterfinals in their hometown.


The Peters sisters were also inducted into the USTA’s Mid-Atlantic Section Hall of Fame in November 2003. They were inducted into the Black Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012.


Matilda died of pneumonia in May 2003. Margaret died in November 2004.
It’s hard to say how their games would have stacked up against those of Helen Wills Moody and Alice Marble. It would have been nice to see.


However, desegregation doors didn’t swing wide open for African-American athletes. As was the case with Jackie Robinson in Major League Baseball and Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton in the NBA, in the 1950s only a hand-picked, select few were given opportunities.


That’s why although they reached prominence in tennis decades before the Williams sisters, it seems odd to classify the Peters sisters as pioneers. After all, they played tennis at Tuskegee, a university that had been offering tennis since the 1890s.


Long after the Peters sisters retired from tennis, the ATA continued to attract top black players. Lori McNeil, Chanda Rubin and Zina Garrison all played in the ATA. Garrison, a Wimbledon finalist in 1990, won the ATA singles titles in 1979 and 1980 and the doubles titles in 1980 and 1981.
Instead, consider the Peters sisters forgotten stars. Their stories, buried beneath the weight of segregation, have existed all along. Gibson, the first African-American to win a Grand Slam, is the pioneer. The Peters sisters, like several talented African-American baseball players who made Negro League All-Star teams that left Robinson off, were simply the unlucky uninvited.


They lacked an invitation, not talent. Those who watched them compete witnessed two dynamic and athletic tennis superstars. Even as they accumulate posthumous accolades, their unearthed stories shine a light on misplaced tennis gems.

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10 Vietnamese Dishes You Aren’t Ordering But Should Be

When it comes to Vietnamese food, most people immediately think of two things: phoand banh mi. It makes sense. Pho, the aromatic noodle soup, is widely considered to be Vietnam’s national dish. Banh mi — the flavor-packed oblong sandwiches filled with things like pickled carrots, chargrilled pork, and liver pâté — is inexpensive and delicious.

But just as Mexican food is comprised of more than tacos, and Japanese food is so much than sushi, Vietnamese food is also made of more than pho and banh mi. How much more, do you ask? From noodle soups and beef stew, to rice cakes and epic fish preparations, these dishes can be found at exciting Vietnamese restaurants around the country like Hanoi House and Madame Vo. Here are 10 dishes you need to order ASAP.

Read more

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Sistine Chapel comes alive in immersive experience

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition recreates the awe and wonder of arguably one of mankind’s greatest artistic achievements while allowing its visitors to experience this art from a new perspective.

With special expertise and care, the ceiling paintings from the Sistine Chapel have been reproduced using state of the art technology. In order for the observer to fully engage and comprehend the artwork, the paintings have been reproduced in their original sizes. The overwhelming impression for the observer will be the dimensions of the art, the closeness to the picture, and the modern style of the exhibition. As a result, the visitor can explore the artwork up close at a distance impossible to achieve in the Sistine Chapel.

The introduction and information in the pre-show area of the exhibition will prepare visitors for a new staging of Michelangelo’s works and awaken their curiosity. The exhibition is an innovative and unique interpretation of Michelangelo’s timeless masterpiece.  Guests who have already visited the Sistine Chapel will find a new way of observing the art. Visitors who have never seen the originals will be intrigued and inspired to visit the Sistine Chapel at some time in the future.

Plunge into the universe of Michelangelo. Learn more about the exhibit, visit http://chapelsistine.com/

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Kaiser Permanente Awards The Positive Results Corporation Grant to Conduct Youth Leadership Academy

The award from Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center will expand PRC’s program in Compton, Lynwood, North Long Beach and Watts.

LOS ANGELES – Dec. 21, 2018 – PRLog — Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center has awarded a $50,000 grant to The Positive Results Corporation to conduct four 12-week Youth Leadership Academies in 2019. The program called, Healing Stronger will be conducted in Compton, Lynwood, North Long Beach and Watts.

Healing Stronger focuses on youth and young adults age 16-24, incorporating Art, Music, Movement and Writing in a series of Leadership workshops to facilitate healing trauma, resolve conflict, learn financial empowerment and build leadership skills to keep participants positively engaged in school and community.

Participants will be provided with the tools and resources necessary to achieve higher levels of success, a meaningful and relevant voice in the world around them, and position them to be positive contributing leaders and thinkers.

“We are excited to provide a safe place for participants to feel supported, a place for youth to connect with each other in a nonjudgmental and positive environment and a place where young leaders can cultivate their personal leadership skills and explore how to make a positive impact in their community,” said Kandee Lewis, PRC Executive Director.

Their target audience is youth and young adults, 16-24, low to no income, at-risk, parenting, prone to violence or has a family history of trauma-related violence (gang, gun, domestic or family violence), homeless, in or former foster youth, or recently reconnected to the community.

Their goal is to build a positive and engaging rapport between youth and family, schools, faith and community-based partners, law enforcement, social services, and local Chamber of Commerce to create healthy personal and professional relationships, understand resources each organization provides and understand no matter the position, each man or woman is a real person, worthy of respect

With this grant, the PRC welcomes community partners to conduct workshops and provide expanded mentoring and networking opportunities with professional men and women such as Captain Brent Burton – member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles CARES Mentoring and chairman of the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles’ See Your Future Mentoring Program.

To learn more about The PRC or Healing Stronger, contact us at http://www.PRC123.org, email info@prc123.org or call (323) 787-9252.

About the Positive Results Corporation
The Positive Results Corporation’s mission addresses bullying, teen dating/inter-personal violence, and sexual assault in youth, young adults, and communities of color. PRC is considered a premier authority on healthy relationships and teen dating violence awareness.

Their core focus includes Trauma & Abuse; Healthy Relationships; Positive Family Dynamics; Manhood and Healthy Relationships; Leadership Development; Youth Peer Advocates Program and Financial Empowerment.

Our Manhood and Healthy Relationships workshops are designed to engage men and boys as part of the solution to prevent and end sexual assault and violence, increase awareness, while having meaningful conversations about Accountability and Consent.

PRC also conducts professional development on trauma, violence and the impact of abuse for parents, educators, providers and community partners. By doing so, they provide space to understand how trauma is manifested, learn triggers, push points, and areas of sensitivity on awareness, prevention, trauma and healing. Learn more at http://www.prc123.org/

Follow PRC on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PRC123/ and Instagram @thepositiveresults

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

Michelle Obama Wore The Glittery, Thigh-High Balenciaga Boots Of Your Dreams

Michelle Obama literally dazzled at her Barclays Center appearance in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday night to promote her bestselling memoir, Becoming

The former first lady, who spoke alongside moderator Sarah Jessica Parker, wore a gorgeous, bright yellow gown from Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2019 collection. There’s no doubt that Carrie Bradshaw would covet this outfit.

Obama’s silk dress featured large sleeves and a massive slit in the front, which showed off her showstopping, thigh-high boots. The $3,900 stilettos, also from Balenciaga, shimmered in metallic gold. 

Jessica Parker wore a similarly dazzling outfit ― a sequined dress and shimmery blue and purple heels. 

Obama’s bold outfit is certainly not a look she would have worn during her tenure in the White House.

Throughout the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the first lady was known for mixing and matching high-street fashion brands with more affordable retailers, like J.Crew, Target and Gap. She spoke about the impact and importance of the clothes she wore during her time in D.C. at Wednesday’s event. 

“I did know that my clothes were making a statement, I knew that was the case,” she said.

“So we decided why don’t we use this platform to uplift some young new designers who normally wouldn’t get this kind of attention, because you can change their lives, which is one of the reasons why we chose Jason Wu for my inaugural gown.”

Obama added that some designers (like the late Oscar de la Renta) felt they were “entitled” to dress the first lady, because things had always been that way. 

“I hated that feeling,” she said. “There are whole lot of people out here who are trying to make it, there are young women and immigrants and black folk.”

Obama added: “I didn’t want to wear the clothes of someone who didn’t have a good spirit, and you could hear these things, you could hear how they treated my staff or how they treated their works, so everyone I wore as far as I knew had a good spirit as well.”

In her memoir, the author wrote about the intense pressure to dress a certain way, not only because she was scrutinized by the public for every outfit, but also because she was the first black first lady. 

“It was a thin line to walk. I was supposed to stand out without overshadowing others, to blend in but not fade away,” Obama wrote.

“As a black woman, too, I knew I’d be criticized if I was perceived as being showy and high-end, and I’d also be criticized if I was too casual.” she said. “So I mixed it up. I’d match a Michael Kors skirt with a T-shirt from Gap. I wore something from Target one day and Diane von Furstenberg the next.”

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U.S. allies in Asia-Pacific region rattled after Mattis quits

The abrupt resignation of U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sparked concern among Asia-Pacific allies who credit the retired general with building trust and tempering isolationist impulses, regional officials and analysts said on Friday.

The region – which includes strong U.S. allies Japan, South Korea and Australia – hosts some of the world’s most volatile flashpoints, with high tension on the Korean peninsula and China’s militarization of the South China Sea causing friction.

Mattis, who embraced America’s traditional alliances, said he was quitting after falling out with President Donald Trump over foreign policy, including surprise decisions this week to pull troops from Syria and start planning a drawdown in Afghanistan.

“He has generally been referred to as one of the adults in the Trump administration,” Australian government Senator Jim Molan told The Australian newspaper.

He said his departure was concerning because it introduced “another extreme variable” into U.S. decision making.

Mattis has been a vocal critic of China’s increasing presence in the South China Sea but he worked to ensure tensions did not boil over.

“He’s been the point of continuity and the gatekeeper in the administration that they’ve relied on most to temper the instincts of Trump, which are much more, I think, isolationist and clearly highly skeptical … about alliance commitments,” said foreign policy and security analyst Euan Graham, executive director of La Trobe Asia at Australia’s La Trobe University.

Mattis’ departure also robs Australia, without a U.S. ambassador since 2016, of a key ally in the Trump administration.

“Australia has always had the ear of Mattis,” a U.S.-based diplomatic source told Reuters.

Australia has had roughly 800 troops in the Middle East since 2014, mostly based in Iraq, as part of coalition efforts to combat the Islamic State group.

About 300 troops are based in Afghanistan, where they have had a presence since not long after the war began 17 years ago.

Trump announced on Wednesday that U.S. troops in Syria would be withdrawn, a decision that upended U.S. policy in the region.

A U.S. official said on Thursday Trump was planning to withdraw at least 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Mattis had advocated for a strong U.S. military presence to bolster diplomatic peace efforts there.

Adam Mount, defense analyst at the Federation of American Scientists, said Mattis was a steady hand on North Korea and was instrumental in preventing a war.

“Mattis was bailing water out of an alliance being buffeted by an erratic president, an advancing North Korea, and an increasingly assertive China,” Mount said.

“His work kept the alliance afloat but major questions will have to be resolved to keep it strong,” he said.

SOURCE: REUTERS

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