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Tags: Obamacare | Spurs | Hiring | Freeze | Israelis Reject US Jews Input Obama Climate Plan Panned as Medieval Witchcraft | Experts Call for Government Action on Salt | Mothers as Breadwinners

Obamacare Spurs Hiring Freeze; Israelis Reject US Jews' Input; Obama Climate Plan Panned as 'Medieval Witchcraft'

By    |   Monday, 01 July 2013 01:00 AM EDT

Insider Report

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Obama's Global Warming Plan Called 'Medieval Witchcraft'
2. Mothers as Breadwinners at All-Time High
3. Experts Call for Government Action on Salt
4. Small Businesses Freeze Hiring Over Obamacare
5. Israelis Reject Input From American Jews
6. Foreign-Born Population to Set Record

1. Obama's Global Warming Plan Called 'Medieval Witchcraft'

President Barack Obama on Tuesday declared that the debate over climate change and its causes was over, and announced a wide-ranging plan to combat global warming.

But despite the president's warnings about the dire consequences of failing to act against global warming, the fact is that the planet basically has not been warming for the past 15 years.

Obama's plan includes regulations aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from power plants, vehicles, and buildings.

Yet the Earth's temperature has not risen significantly of late even though human activities have pumped some 400 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past 15 years.

As a result of these emissions, "we should have seen temperatures rise by around [0.45 degrees Fahrenheit]," German climate scientist Hans von Storch said in an interview with Spiegel Online.

"That hasn't happened. In fact, the increase over the past 15 years was just [0.11 degrees] — a value very close to zero."

Storch is a professor at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg and director of the Institute for Coastal Research at the Helmholtz Research Centre in Germany.

He said: "So far, no one has been able to provide a compelling answer to why climate change seems to be taking a break.

"If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models."

One explanation for the erroneous models could be that "greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have less of an effect than we have assumed," he said.

Another possibility is that scientists "have underestimated how much the climate fluctuates owing to natural causes," he added.

Obama, in his Tuesday speech, sought to debunk skepticism about man-made global warming by declaring: "We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society."

But skeptic Marc Morano, founder of the Climate Depot website, said: "President Obama is still parading his ignorance on climate science, linking bad weather to 'global warming,' claiming a mythical 97 percent consensus, and implying that his executive actions can alter the globe's temperature and lessen extreme weather events.

"The president has descended into the realm of medieval witchcraft by claiming he can combat global temperature rises and weather patterns through administrative action."

Editor's Note:

2. Mothers as Breadwinners at All-Time High

The percentage of U.S. households with children under age 18 where mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners is at a record high of 40 percent.

Back in 1960, just 11 percent of households had breadwinning mothers, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Among today's breadwinning mothers, 5.1 million are married moms who earn more than their husbands, and 8.6 million are single mothers.

The income gap between the two groups is large. The median total family income of married mothers who earn more than their husbands was almost $80,000 in 2011, above the national median of $57,100 for all families with young children, while the median for single moms was $23,000.

The growth of both groups is due in large part to women's increasing presence in the workplace. Women now make up 47 percent of the labor force, and the employment rate of married women with children soared from 37 percent in 1968 to 65 percent in 2011.

But a recent Pew Research Center survey found that 74 percent of adults believe the rising number of women in the labor force has made it harder for parents to raise children, and half say it has a negative impact on marriages.

Other findings of the Pew survey:

  • Half of respondents say children are better off with a stay-at-home mom.
  • The share of families led by a single mother has more than tripled since 1960, from 7 percent to 25 percent.
  • 64 percent of those polled say the rise in single mothers is a "big problem," down from 71 percent in 2007.
  • 78 percent of Republicans say the growing number of children born to unwed mothers is a big problem, compared to 51 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents.
  • The share of single mothers who have never married, as opposed to those who are divorced, separated, or widowed, has increased from 4 percent in 1960 to 44 percent in 2011. Nearly half of these never-married mothers have a high school education or less.

    Editor's Note:

    3. Experts Call for Government Action on Salt

    Efforts to encourage the food industry to lower the sodium content of packaged and restaurant foods have been a "disaster" — and government needs to step in to force reductions in salt content, according to a new report.

    "Despite industry pledges to cut back, the average sodium content in 402 packaged foods tracked between 2005 and 2011 by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) declined by just 3.5 percent," states the report from the CSPI, a consumer advocacy organization focusing on health and nutrition.

    "And even though public health officials have been ringing alarm bells about excess sodium's role in promoting high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease, chain restaurants actually increased sodium slightly in the 78 items tracked by an average of 2.6 percent."

    CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said: "The strategy of relying on the food industry to voluntarily reduce sodium has proven to be a public health disaster. Inaction on the part of industry and the federal government is condemning too many Americans to entirely preventable heart attacks, strokes, and deaths each year."

    The current levels of sodium in packaged and restaurant food will likely cause at least 1 million deaths and $100 billion in healthcare costs in the coming decade, according to the report, which was published on the website of JAMA Internal Medicine.

    Americans are in fact consuming more sodium today than 40 years ago, and about 80 percent of the sodium they consume has been added by food manufacturers and restaurants.

    Per capita sodium consumption is now as high as 3,800 mg per day, while the American Heart Association recommends the limit should be 1,500 mg per day.

    The CSPI estimates that companies would have to reduce sodium content by 70 percent for healthy young adults to reach the 1,500 mg level.

    The CSPI says Congress should require the Food and Drug Administration to immediately propose sodium-reduction legislation, monitor sodium levels in the food supply, and set sodium limits for categories of processed foods that are the biggest sources of sodium.

    The center also calls on the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to require "High in Salt" warnings on packages of high-sodium products.

    Editor's Note:

    4. Small Businesses Freeze Hiring Over Obamacare

    Many small businesses are holding off on hiring or are even shedding jobs due to fears of higher costs resulting from the implementation of Obamacare, a new poll reveals.

    The Gallup poll was commissioned by the law firm Littler Mendelson, which specializes in employment law, and surveyed more than 600 owners whose businesses have less than $20 million in yearly sales.

    More than four in 10 of the businesses surveyed — 41 percent — disclosed that they have frozen hiring because of Obamacare. And 19 percent said they had reduced their number of employees "as a specific result of the Affordable Care Act."

    Another 38 percent of the small business owners said they have "pulled back on their plans to grow their business" because of the ACA.

    "We don't know until 2014 and beyond what the impact of the ACA will be on businesses. There is tremendous fear that the premiums will be much higher, for small businesses especially," Littler Mendelson attorney Steven Friedman told CNBC.

    Under Obamacare, nearly all firms with 50 or more full-time workers will have to offer health coverage or face a fine of $2,000 per full-timer after the first 30 employees.

    The poll found that 18 percent of businesses surveyed have reduced the hours of employees to part-time to avoid the fine.

    Other results of the poll include:

  • 48 percent of owners believe Obamacare will be bad for their bottom line, compared to 9 percent who say it will be good for business.
  • 55 percent of owners say the ACA will lead to higher healthcare costs, while just 5 percent believe it will lower costs.
  • 52 percent expect Obamacare to reduce the quality of healthcare.
  • 24 percent say they may go so far as to drop insurance coverage due to Obamacare. "Small businesses are a major driver of job growth," The Weekly Standard observed, "and this Gallup poll helps shed light on why job growth has been so abysmal during the Obamacare era."

    Editor's Note:

    5. Israelis Reject Input From American Jews

    A majority of Israelis think the government should disregard American Jews' positions on the peace process and religious affairs, according to a new poll.

    Of those polled, 32 percent say Israeli leaders should not at all take into account the views of American Jews on the peace process, and 33.6 percent believe those views should be considered only to a small extent.

    Just 21.6 percent called for those views to be taken into account to a great extent, and 9.4 say to a very great extent. The rest of the respondents did not express an opinion.

    On religious issues such as the government's relations with the Conservative and Reform movements, 24 percent of respondents are against taking American Jews' positions into account, and 30.6 percent say they should be considered to only a small extent, the Jerusalem Post reported.

    However, 66 percent of Israelis believe the Jewish community in the United States has a very positive or somewhat positive influence on Israel's national security.

    Also, 76 percent of Israelis believe American Jews' support for Israel in the future will remain at today's level or grow even stronger.

    The poll was conducted by Teleseker and commissioned by the Ruderman Family Foundation, which seeks to strengthen the relationship between Israel and American Jews.

    The poll shows that Israelis' views on their relationship with American Jews are "diverse," said Professor Steven Cohen of Hebrew Union College.

    He added: "The Israeli public displays a wide variety of opinions regarding the advisability of taking American Jews' positions into account, the strength of connection of U.S. Jews with Israel, and the sustainability of that connection."

    Editor's Note:

    6. Foreign-Born Population to Set Record

    The immigration reform bill crafted by the Gang of Eight would dramatically increase legal immigration but reduce future illegal immigration by just 25 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

    And based on the CBO's numbers, the Center for Immigration Studies projects that the foreign-born share of the U.S. population, legal and illegal, would hit a record high of 15 percent in 2020, surpassing the previous record of 14.8 reached in 1890.

    Furthermore, the foreign-born population would reach 17 percent of the total population by 2023, totaling 55.9 million, then soar to 65 million by 2033, the center projects.

    The foreign-born population stood at less than 20 million as recently as 1990 — 7.9 percent of the total.

    The record high of 15 percent in 2020 means that in a 50-year period, the foreign-born share of the population would have more than tripled from 4.7 percent in 1970 — the fastest foreign-born growth in American history.

    According to the Census Bureau, net immigration in 2020 will total 909,000 without passage of the Gang of Eight bill, but 1.8 million with passage.

    In sheer numbers, the foreign-born population in 2020 will total 44.8 million without passage and 51.1 million with passage.

    "It must be remembered that immigration plus natural population increase was already going to increase the size of the U.S. population from 308.7 million in 2010 to 358.5 million in 2030 and 399.8 million in 2050," the center observes.

    "The Gang of Eight's immigration bill would add significantly to these totals."

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    Editor's Note:

    Editor's Notes:

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Insider ReportHeadlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Obama's Global Warming Plan Called 'Medieval Witchcraft' 2. Mothers as Breadwinners at All-Time High 3. Experts Call for Government Action on Salt 4. Small Businesses Freeze Hiring Over Obamacare 5. Israelis...
Obamacare,Spurs,Hiring,Freeze,Israelis Reject US Jews Input Obama Climate Plan Panned as Medieval Witchcraft,Experts Call for Government Action on Salt,Mothers as Breadwinners
Monday, 01 July 2013 01:00 AM
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