Morning Media Summary


HHS is Paying Google with Taxpayer Money to Alter ‘Obamacare’ Search Results (Updated):
“The brazenness of the Obama administration never ceases to amaze. Try typing “Obamacare” into Google, and you’ll find that the first entry is now the Obama administration’s If you don’t particularly like that result, you’ll probably hate the fact that you’re paying for it.”

CES 2011: Microsoft shows future Windows running on ARM chip:
“Microsoft showed the next generation of Windows running on a different chip system today at the Consumer Electronics Show.”

Google wins injunction against agency using Microsoft cloud:
“A judge has sided with Google and issued a preliminary injunction ordering the U.S. Department of the Interior to abandon procurement efforts for a Microsoft-only cloud computing contract.”

Amazon readies launch of Android Market competitor:
“Amazon is preparing to open an Android app store to compete with Google’s Android Market, and has launched a beta portal where developers can submit applications for Android-based smartphones, according to a company blog post.”

FCC challenges app makers to protect open Internet:
“U.S. regulators are asking software developers in an “Open Internet Challenge” to create apps that let Internet users know when their service provider — fixed or mobile — is interfering with content.”

Global Warming / Environment / Energy:

State of American Energy:
“With nearly 15 million Americans out of work and the U.S. economy in the midst of recovery from a major economic recession, we need action in Washington that will get us back on track—and keep us moving forward.”

Insurance / Gambling:

Sweepstakes cafes banned:
“Despite a new trend throughout the state of Florida, Internet sweepstakes cafes will not come to Oviedo after the city council passed a ban on their establishment within city borders.”

Alcohol May Come With a New Kind of High: Taxes:
“Alcohol may soon come with a new kind of high. It’s not stronger proof. It’s a higher tax.”

Health / Safety:

Report Linking Vaccine To Autism Was Fraudulent, Says British Medical Journal:
“The first study to link a childhood vaccine to autism was based on doctored information about the children involved, according to a new report on the widely discredited research.”

Blue Shield Of California Seeks Rate Hikes Of As Much As 59 Percent For Individuals:
“Another big California health insurer has stunned individual policyholders with huge rate increases — this time it’s Blue Shield of California seeking cumulative hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1.”

Global food prices hit record high, says UN:
“The FAO Food Price Index rose to a record high in December, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation said.”


House GOP trips up on spending cut figure it could have corrected long ago:
“Republicans took control of the House last fall based on commitments to slash government spending, yet even as they basked in their rise to power Wednesday, they were already under fire for reducing the amount of spending they plan to cut right away.”

Americans spends 6.1 billion hours on their taxes:
“Filing taxes takes too long, costs too much money and is far too overwhelming a process for taxpayers.”


Tobacco Settlement Funds Available:
“Caldwell County agriculture producers may begin applying for the 2011 installment of Tobacco Settlement monies next week.”

Early push for adding ‘teeth’ to new GOP Constitution rule fails in conference meeting:
“An early push by New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett to add some “teeth” to the GOP’s new Constitution rule requiring every bill cite its specific constitutional authority failed in a Republican conference meeting Tuesday.”

Highest Court of Maryland Holds Second Amendment Does Not Protect Carrying (Concealed or Not) of Guns Outside the Home:
“Here’s the opinion, handed down today, in Williams v. State. The court interprets Heller and McDonald as focused on home possession of guns, arguing that “it is clear that prohibition of firearms in the home was the gravamen of the certiorari questions in both Heller and McDonald and their answers. If the Supreme Court, in this dicta, meant its holding to extend beyond home possession, it will need to say so more plainly.””


New York City’s No-Show SEIU Snow Jobs:
“In 2009, SEIU Local 444 local President Joseph Mannion was paid $108,340 plus benefits, including seniority credits, for working fulltime for the union. According to the union’s 2009 IRS report, Mannion was paid an additional $83,046 by the union. That’s over $190,000 plus benefits.”

New governors usher in era of labor union reform:
“The AFL-CIO, the New York Times reported, recently distributed an internal memo warning its members that in several states around the country, Republicans may pursue new laws with the goal of financially starving labor unions. This trend has public employee unions worrying that lawmakers will finally scale back the extent to which unions eat up state budgets.”

Transportation/ Land Use:

When it Comes to High-Speed Rail, Chinese Negotiatiors Play Hardball:
“Chinese official Dong Yan made it clear from the get-go: “The project is to drive China’s economy, not foreign economies.” He was talking about China’s massive investments in high-speed rail technology, and he and his colleagues’ bare-knuckled approach to the negotiations spoke for itself.”