Good morning! Here are some of the stories we’re reading on this fine Wednesday…
A raise! –> DC Council votes to raise minimum wage to $11.50 over two years — and to then index it to inflation — and mandate paid sick leave for some workers. The measure has to clear another vote before arriving on Mayor Vincent Gray’s desk. AP, via the San Francisco Chronicle.
And a blow to workers –> Judge rules Detroit can cut public pensions. Nathan Bomey reports for the Detroit Free Press.
Relaunch –> The Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff and Lena Sun report that HealthCare.gov is much improved, but some users are still facing glitches. ALSO: Jason Cherkis and Ryan Grim report for The Huffington Post that the law is going to get a big boost from efforts to enroll the uninsured in a handful of densely populated cities.
Fakes –> Kentucky authorities have ordered that three fake ACA sites (in Kentucky, it’s called Kynect) that were misleading people seeking to enroll be taken down.
Privatizers face pushback –> Salon’s Josh Eidelson reports that nearly half of state legislatures will be considering various reforms for outsourcing public services in the next year.
TTIP –> There’s another huge trade deal being negotiated behind closed doors. The Guardian’s George Monbiot says something’s rotten with the transatlantic partnership.
Budgets reflect priorities –> Amanda Terkel: New GOP plan would save military from sequestration by cutting Social Security. ALSO: According to the AP, House Republicans oppose extending unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless.
More problems for ALEC –> Internal documents reveal that the conservative advocacy group continues to bleed donors and legislators. Ed Pilkington and Suzanne Goldenberg report on the group’s plans to bounce back for The Guardian.
Independency –> New research shows that the children of mothers who use food-stamps during pregnancy and early childhood are more self-sufficient when they grow up. Paul Rosenberg has the story for Salon.
LIZ!! –> Why does the Wall Street-friendly “Third Way” hate Elizabeth Warren? Daily Kos has a chart.
Unbelievable –> Diver searching for bodies in a tugboat that sank three days earlier is shocked to come face to face with a survivor.
Dispatches from the war on Christmas –> Jon Stewart reports from the front lines.
What else is going on?