Good morning, and a belated happy New Year! Here are some of the stories we’re reading as we get back into the groove for 2014…
Blocked –> The AP’s Jesse Holland reports that Justice Sonia Sotomayor has issued a temporary injunction against the ACA’s requirement that insurers include contraceptives on their lists of copay-free preventive medicines.
Bad news –> New study suggests that “cloud mixing” will force global temperatures to the high end of previous estimates. Dan Vergano reports for National Geographic.
Keep the bums in? –> In the LAT, Mark Barabak makes the counterintuitive argument that despite Congress’ pathetic approval ratings, highly polarized voters will likely blame the other party and the result may be that they end up sending most incumbents back to DC for another term.
Speaking of Congress –> Joshua Green writes at Businessweek that the end of extended unemployment benefits for 1.3 million people just after Christmas is going to hurt not only the long-term jobless, but the larger economy as well.
Civil wars –> Politico’s Kenneth Vogel reports that social conservatives are looking to take a page from their corporate counterparts by pooling campaign contributions and diving into the struggle for control of the GOP agenda. On the other side of the aisle, EJ Dionne writes at the WaPo that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is rising, and that centrists should welcome the development because it might help create a better political center.
Not so big –> At The Plumline, George Zornick reports on a new congressional study projecting that about 10,000 people — not five million — will lose cheap coverage as a result of ACA cancellations. ALSO: TNR’s Jonathan Cohn says that if we’re going to rehash the same Obamacare debates for the next few years, we should at least stick to some basic rules.
Lines stretched around the block… –> …for Colorado’s first legal marijuana sales in the US. John Ingold captured the mood for The Denver Post.
The job nobody wants –> Mari Saito and Antoni Slodkowski report for Reuters that the Japanese are recruiting homeless men to clean up the radioactive mess at Fukushima for minimum wage.
Weird –> Acclaimed flautist says 13 of his rare handmade instruments were seized at JFK as “agricultural products” and destroyed by customs agents. Via: Boston Globe.
No referendum needed –> Documentary crew films young dolphins intentionally getting intoxicated by chewing on toxic pufferfish.
What else is happening?