President Barack Obama's healthcare law will cost about 20% less over the next decade than originally projected, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday, in part because lower-than-expected healthcare inflation has led to smaller premiums. So far, the number of uninsured Americans has dropped by about 12 million. By the end of 2016, 24 million fewer Americans will lack insurance, the nonpartisan budget office forecast. read more
"Te former U.S. Army psychiatrist sentenced to die for the 2009 Ft. Hood shooting that killed 13 and wounded dozens more has released a letter saying he wants to become a citizen of the militant group Islamic State, according to a letter.
Nidal Malik Hasan addressed a handwritten letter to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi, requesting citizenship with the group, according to Fox News, which obtained a copy of the letter this week.
"It would be an honor for any believer to be an obedient citizen soldier," Hasan wrote in the letter, verified for the Los Angeles Times by attorney John Galligan on Saturday." read more
A robber wielding a lighted blowtorch made off from a Glendale, California, deli with an unknown amount of cash and a bottle of vodka, police said. Glendale police said the culprit visited Gardenia Market and Deli around 10:15 p.m. Saturday evening. He bought a cup of coffee and left. He returned about 15 minutes later, hanging around the back of the store, seeming to wait for customers to leave, said police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot. read more
A nine-month-old boy died Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's Missouri home, police said. The older boy had gotten hold of his grandfather's .22 caliber Magnum revolver and fired a shot that struck the infant in the head, mortally wounding him. "I walked in and there was my baby, lying there, bleeding," said mother Alexis Wiederholt. I had just hugged him in my arms five minutes before that." Wiederholt said she had no idea her father, William Porter, kept a loaded pistol in his Elmo home. "I didn't know it was there until I turned around and saw it laying on the bed," she said. "I don't know why someone would have a loaded gun in the house while kids were around."
Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times: In these parlous times when conservatives are sharpening their knives to slash Social Security benefits, the last thing nearly 60 million beneficiaries need is someone working to erode the program from the inside. But that appears to be the role of Charles Blahous, a Social Security trustee who has just published a commentary endorsing the House Republican caucus' flagrant attack on Social Security's disability component and, by extension, on the entire program. Blahous' paper is misleading about the issues facing the disability fund, and his prescription points to benefit cuts across the board. More on that in a moment. read more