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The real victims of government shutdowns are poor kids, military vets, and low-paid workers
Source:  Vox
Friday, 19 January 2018 16:00

Member of Congress will be fine.

The odds of a government shutdown are increasingly likely. As Republicans and Democrats find themselves at an impasse on immigration, the hope of a deal by midnight Friday to fund the government is fading fast.

A shutdown won’t really affect the politicians responsible for it — members of Congress, after all, keep getting paid when the government shuts down.

But what the 2013 government shutdown showed us is that some Americans really do suffer — specifically poor kids in the Head Start program; military families; and janitors, security guards and other low-wage federal contractors.

It's hard to grasp how many programs and services across the country rely on funding from the annual spending bill that Congress passes. But in October 2013, more than 850,000 federal workers were furloughed for the 16-day shutdown, affecting services for all Americans in all 50 states. Only “essential” government employees were allowed to work: anyone whose job is a matter of life and death or an urgent public safety matter.

There’s no evidence anyone died as a result of the 2013 shutdown, though as Tom Frieden, the former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Vox, “In practice it’s certainly possible. We didn’t have our systems fully up and running to assess that.”

But we do know it hurt many Americans who depend on services funded by the appropriations bill. Here are three groups of Americans who lost, and are likely to lose again if the government shuts down on Friday.

Low-income kids in Head Start

More than 6,300 low-income kids in six states couldn't attend their federally funded Head Start preschools during the 2013 shutdown, according to a White House report. These Head Start centers, which rely largely on federal money, teach children early learning skills to help them succeed in kindergarten. They also provide kids with meals and health care services.

The centers that relied on fall funding in 2013 closed during the shutdown because they didn’t get grants to pay employees. The schools that shut down were in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina.

The director of an Alabama Head Start program serving 770 kids said parents were frantic about where to take their kids so they could work. Dora Jones, the director of Cheaha Regional Head Start in Talladega, Alabama, said many had no other option.

"Our biggest concern here is that they’re gonna leave these children in unsafe settings, unlicensed home care facilities or some of them may even leave children at home," she told NPR at the time.

Eventually, philanthropists reopened the schools with donations to the National Head Start Association. But some didn't open their doors for nine days.

Military families and veterans

Perhaps no group of Americans was impacted by the shutdown as much as military veterans and families. The federal government provides a ton of services to them —everything from health care to education, housing, recreation, and subsidized groceries.

Military hospitals and clinics mostly stayed open, and veterans could still call crisis hotlines. But a lot of other important programs were suddenly out of reach. Military veterans couldn't get education counseling or job training help. No one answered the information hotline for questions about military benefits. The VA stopped processing disability claims, adding to the backlog of about 418,000 claims.

Active-duty service members and their families also got screwed. Subsidized grocery stores on US military bases — known as commissaries — closed down for at least a week.

Relatives of service members who died couldn't immediately get money for their funerals. The Department of Defense stopped processing the $100,000 death benefit that was usually sent to grieving families within 48 hours.

Many child care centers on military bases also closed, forcing working military spouses to stay home or scramble to find backup care. And soldiers and their families had to reschedule non-emergency surgeries at several military hospitals.

Low-wage federal contractors

More than 850,000 federal workers who were furloughed during the shutdown eventually got repaid. But most of the janitors, security guards, and cafeteria servers who work in federal buildings didn't.

More than 700 janitors and security guards and 500 food service workers were unable to work in the Washington, DC, area during the shutdown, according to the Washington Post.

The head of a local janitorial company told the Post at the time that 100 employees who cleaned the Labor and Justice Departments couldn't work. It ended up costing his company $80,000.

“We were told just to bill for the services we provided,” said Larry Westfall, vice president of R&R Janitorial Painting & Building Services. “The government did not pay us, and we could not pay our workers.”

Several workers had to take part-time jobs to pay their bills.

Another shutdown would likely hurt these groups again

It's unclear whether a government shutdown today would have the same impact it did five years ago. But it would likely be similar. These services and contracts still depend on funding from the annual appropriations bill —they are not mandatory spending programs like Medicaid and Social Security, which are automatically paid for.

That means that Congress may continue to disrupt the lives of military families, poor children, and low-wage workers. All in the name of American politics.


S&P 500, Nasdaq hit record highs
Source:  WND
Friday, 19 January 2018 16:00

(CNBC) Stocks traded higher on Friday as investors shrugged off worries about a possible government shutdown.

The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to a record high, with consumer staples as the best-performing sector. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.5 percent and hit an all-time high.

“The prospect of a government shutdown isn’t putting a lid on this boiling market—investors simply aren’t fazed,” said Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade. “For traders, many are looking beyond the beltway and finding fundamentals in US companies as sound as they’ve been in a long time.”


Photoshop this man admiring his Vermeer [Photoshop]
Source:  Fark
Friday, 19 January 2018 16:00

Photoshop [link] [12 comments]

Live Like Royalty With This Scottish Hotel Package, 23 Reasons To Travel This Winter and More
Source:  Forbes Real Time
Friday, 19 January 2018 16:00

Passport by ForbesLife chronicles the latest in luxury travel, drinking and dining, fashion—and life's other indulgences.

You Can Easily Spread The Flu Just By Breathing
Source:  Newsy Headlines
Friday, 19 January 2018 16:00


Watch Video

We all know the guidance to avoid getting sick during flu season: Try not to touch your face or other stuff, wash your hands often and, most importantly, don't cough or sneeze without covering up. But new research shows how mere breathing can spread the flu.

Scientists at the University of Maryland measured people with flu infections while they breathed, talked, coughed and sneezed. They found simply breathing in and out is enough to lace the air with the flu virus.

This means people can transmit the flu through the air more easily than previously thought. Most health officials thought the virus spread mostly through coughing or sneezing, but this new research suggests those explosive events aren't required.

SEE MORE: Why It's So Hard To Get A Flu Vaccine Right

Researchers also found that flu breath is most infectious in the early stages of illness. They recommend the same things world and national health organizations do: If you're sick with the flu, stay home.


Chelsea Manning Is Officially On The Ballot For The Maryland Senate Race
Source:  inquisitr
Friday, 19 January 2018 15:59

Chelsea Manning giving a speech.

Chelsea Manning is officially on the ballot for the U.S. Senate race in Maryland. The Senate hopeful took to Twitter to share a picture of herself holding up the official filing paperwork.

Manning announced that she was going to run for Senate earlier this month to wildly different reactions, and then released her first campaign video earlier this week.

In the video, Manning paints herself as a leader of the resistance. She shows the unrest that’s been going on lately and says that we need someone “willing to fight.” The systems won’t fix themselves, so the people need to fix the systems themselves. “We got this,” she says.

Click here to continue and read more...


Arsenal January transfer news LIVE: Gunners pull out of Malcom race
Source:  Goal.com News - English - America
Friday, 19 January 2018 15:59

Goal brings you all the latest news, rumours and deals related to the Gunners as the January transfer window heats up


60 Valentine's Day Puns To Show Love To Your Otter Half
Source:  Elite Daily
Friday, 19 January 2018 15:58

Coupled up or not, we all know it's true; there's no cheesier day of the year than Valentine's Day. Some of us despise the day (I know a few of you are rolling your eyes that the day even exists and going on about a "commercialized holiday"), some of us adore the day and go all out, and some of us just want to wallow in our singleness. But, let me be the first to say it: If you're not single, go ahead and live it up. This is the one day of the year that you're allowed to be truly cheesy, and some sharing crazy Valentine's Day puns are the perfect way to do that.

But first, someone help me out with this: Why are all puns about food? I mean, we all love food, but who really needs to compare their S.O. to it? Like, why is that a thing? I mean, one of the most popular pet names of all time is "honey." Oh well, they're still super cute, and I guess your love for pizza is a good representation of your love for your special someone. Whether you're making fun of the cheese, soaking up every minute of it, or just need some quality captions for your Instagram post of your S.O., these 60 cheesy captions won't let you down.

1. "You're my butter half." — Unknown

2. "You've got a pizza my heart." — Unknown

3. "You make me melt." — Unknown

4. "Every pizza me loves every pizza you." — Unknown

5. "You are eqqsquisite." — Unknown

6. "Lime yours." — Unknown

7. "You're my main squeeze." — Unknown

8. "You are one in a melon." — Unknown

9. "We make a great pear. " — Unknown

10. "Peas be mine?" — Unknown

11. "Are you made of copper and tellurium? Because you're CuTe." — Unknown

12. "Where you bean all my life?" — Unknown

13. "I love you gnome matter what." — Unknown

14. "No bunny compares." — Unknown

15. "Movies are butter when we're together." — Unknown

16. "Lettuce grow old and wilted together." — Unknown

17. "I cannoli be happy when I'm with you." — Unknown

Giphy

18. "Olive you a lot." — Unknown

19. "I soda think you're cute." — Unknown

20. "You got me hooked." —Unknown

21. "To my significant otter." — Unknown

22. "Meow and furever." — Unknown

23. "I'm soy into you." — Unknown

24. "I whale always love you." — Unknown

25. "Yoda one for me." — Unknown

26. "I'm so grapeful for you." — Unknown

27. "I cereal-sly love you!" — Unknown

28. "You're the sweatpants of my life. Cozy, warm, and the only thing I want after a long day." — Unknown

29. "I want tibia valentine." — Unknown

30. "Pie like you berry much." — Unknown

31. "I donut know what I'd do without you." — Unknown

32. "Chex you out! You're so so chexy." — Unknown

33. "I like you a waffle lot." — Unknown

34. "I love you a little s'more every day. — Unknown

35. "I've fallen for you and I can't get up." — Unknown

36. "If you were a triangle you'd be acute one." — Unknown

37. "Don't go bacon my heart." — Unknown

Giphy

38. "I would climb a moderately sized mountain for you." — Unknown

39. "I think you're dandy, and I'm not lion!" — Unknown

40. "You octopi my heart." — Unknown

41. "You guac my world." — Unknown

42. "I'm toast without you!" — Unknown

43. "We bee-long together." — Unknown

44. "You're otter this world." — Unknown

45. "I'll owl-ways love you." — Unknown

46. "Love you, pho real." — Unknown

47. "I love you a latte." — Unknown

48. "You've got a peach of my heart." — Unknown

49. "You are the apple of my eye." — Unknown

50. "Wood you be mine?" — Unknown

51. "This might sound cheesy... but I think you're really grape." — Unknown

52. "There's so mushroom in my heart for you." — Unknown

53. "I love you from my head tomatoes." — Unknown

54. "And I will always love ewe." — Unknown

Giphy

55. "Do you have a library card? Because I've been checking you out!" — Unknown

56. "You are spec-tacular." — Unknown

57. "Be my bae-rrito?" — Unknown

58. "I'm nuts about you." — Unknown

59. "Roses are red, violets are blue, you have a nice butt." — Unknown

60. "Are you a dementor? Because you take my breath away." — Unknown


BUSINESS AND TRADE: US jobless claims plunge to 45-year low
Source:  DailySource
Friday, 19 January 2018 15:58

U.S. filings for unemployment benefits plummeted to the lowest level in almost 45 years in a sign the job market will tighten further in 2018, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.
(Story: Bloomberg)

Manchester United January transfer news LIVE: Mourinho makes Ballon d'Or promise to tempt Bale
Source:  Goal.com News - English - America
Friday, 19 January 2018 15:58

Goal brings you all the latest news, rumours and deals related to the Red Devils as the January transfer window heats up


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