The White House Now Has a Gender-Neutral Restroom

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

It appears that Obama administration is making boldly progressive moves to support the LGBT community during the President’s last term in office; today it was announced that a new gender-neutral bathroom was installed at the White House complex.

CNN reports that the restroom “is in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next door to the West Wing, within the White House complex where many employees have meetings and offices. The White House now allows staff and guests to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, including in the West Wing.”

This move is the latest from the Obama administration that attempts to provide protection and support for those in the LGBT community; earlier today, we reported that the President is supporting efforts to end conversation therapy for gay and trans youth. On Wednesday, an executive order to protect LGBT federal employees from discrimination went into effect.

Obama’s Community College Plan Would Be a Total Disaster

President Obama | Photo Jeff Fusco; piggy bank | Shutterstock.com

President Obama, photo Jeff Fusco |  piggy bank, Shutterstock.com

Obama’s dream plan to offer free community college tuition to students across the nation could work. The key word here is “could.” It would require a vast majority of community college systems to re-focus and re-think how they are currently handling their student populations and, to be frank, the nation’s potential community college students would need to re-focus and re-think what a college degree ultimately delivers.

However, given the “business model” that many community colleges are currently using, the Obama plan would be a total disaster. We’d simply be pumping out more students with more degrees that essentially mean nothing.  Read more »

Can Everybody Please Shut Up About The Obama Funeral Selfie?

selfie

It happened on Tuesday. One day before the Fake Sign Language Interpreter Scandal broke, United States President Barack Obama put on the Classic Overbite Selfie Face for a photo with some mobile-phone-wielding blonde (who happened to be Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt) and British Prime Minister David Cameron at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, a photo that has now become known as the Obama Funeral Selfie and has inspired the Great Obama Funeral Selfie Scandal of 2013, otherwise known as Selfie-gate. Read more »

Market Report: Obamas are Officially Best-Dressed Political Family

MR13

  • Check out Sasha and Malia’s coats. And that suede dress on FLOTUS! [Huffington Post]
  • From intern to head of Moschino: Jeremy Scott takes over. [Style.com]
  • Today, Mr. Porter (the menswear arm of luxury shopping site Net-a-porter) launched a six-piece capsule collection with Marni, designed exclusively for the site. [Mr. Porter]
  • Here, a roundup of every celebrity that has dressed up as Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke. [E! Online]

Even more fun things ahead. (No more Miley, promise.)

Too Much Eye Contact: Maybe This Is Why the Government Shut Down!

Photograph by Jeff Fusco

Photograph by Jeff Fusco

So yesterday John Boehner and President Obama sat down for a face-to-face chat, and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENED. Throughout the country, journalists lamented: How can this be? Isn’t a good old-fashioned tête-à-tête the best recipe for resolution in a standoff? Shouldn’t two reasonable men of wildly divergent opinions sitting eyeball to eyeball be able to work out a compromise?

Uh, no. The results of new research at Germany’s University of Freiburg show just the opposite, in startling contrast to the advice I’ve been giving my kids from the day they were born. (You know: Firm handshake, look the other person in the eye … ) Note to said kids: If you’re in search of compromise, look ’em in the mouth instead.

Read more »

Toomey Joins Wacko-Bird Caucus

Pat Toomey, Joe Manchin

Senator Pat Toomey has joined marathon-pseudo-filibusterer Ted Cruz and 17 other Republicans in voting against a bill that would keep the government running. Why? Because it wouldn’t include a provision that also sought to defund Obamacare. (Next up: The Senate sends the bill back to the House, which then gets to decide whether or not they want to let the government die.) It’s one thing for unruly populist Tea Partiers in the House to bring the country to the brink of shutdown every few months or so; it’s another altogether when 19 members of the more cautious (read: sane) upper chamber join the “wacko-bird” caucus too. Toomey, for the record, said he would vote to keep the government running if the Senate added a provision repealing Obamacare’s controversial medical device tax. It did not, so here we are. [Slate]

PA Obamacare Rates Among the Lowest in the Country

The Department of Health and Human Services has released estimates for how much those newfangled Obamacare health insurance packages will cost in each state. The good news? The cost of the insurance plans are among the lowest in the country, at an average of $286 a month. “Factoring in tax credits [for lower-income individuals] a family of four with $50,000 in annual income will pay an average $282 a month. It would cost $675 without the credits.”

The bad news?

One hitch in Pennsylvania is that it is likely that many childless adults and some others with incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty level — $11,490 for a single person — will not be eligible for a tax credit or for Medicaid because Corbett and the state Legislature have not signed on to a Medicaid expansion that was envisioned by the 2010 federal health care law.

Still, $286 is less than the national average of $328 and much, much less than the $385 New Jerseyans will be paying. The plans will be available through the exchange, or insurance marketplace, being run by the feds. [AP]

Obama Blocks Mega-Beer Merger to Keep Your Beer Cheap

The Department of Justice is suing Budweiser’s parent company to prevent it from buying the Modelo Group, which makes Corona, in order to control more of the Latino market, based primarily in Texas and California. (Modelo also owns the Modelo triumverate of beers.) If a sale were completed, the Belgian conglomerate InBev would control 46% of all beer sales in the United States, which the DOJ thinks is too much.

What’s more, InBev would control both Budweiser and Corona, which stay cheap in lare part because they compete against each other. Think of it this way: It’d be like if the Jets simply tried to buy the Sharks, and the president said ‘No, because if you did that, West Side Story will never get made.’ More or less. [LA Times]

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