Woods Business Impact

It is being reported that the Tiger Wood incident is causing a ripple effect in the Insurance industries.  Large corporate sponsor are seeking insurance protection in the effect that their top spoke person fulls a “Tiger Wood”.

It was originally thought that Tiger Woods was the perfect spokesmen.   Now with everything that has happened, companies are running for protection.  The thought process is that if something like this can happen to Tiger Woods than no one is safe.

This run for cover drive is driving new avenues of revenue to the insurance company as they create new policy to protect companies against these types of incidents.

Status of Health Care

Now that the Democratic party has lost its majority hold in the Senate, what will happen to the Health Care plan.  Scott Brown’s victory in the state that has fought for health care under Senator Kennedy is perhaps a message to the Democratic that they need to get their act together.

The Republicans now have enough votees to block any measure in the chamber.

Administration officials and top congressional Democrats are reviewing a diminished range of options to pass a health care bill and salvage victory on President Obama’s top domestic priority.

Among the options under consideration is to draft a new, stripped-down version of the bill capable of passing both chambers.

A second option is having the House pass an identical version of the bill approved by the Senate in December. Doing so would allow the measure to proceed straight to Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

A number of House liberals, however, are pushing back hard against the idea of adopting the Senate plan without major changes. The more conservative Senate measure contains a number of provisions unpopular with progressives, including a 40 percent tax on high-end “Cadillac” health plans which would be imposed on the insurance companies that provide them.

Haiti Earthquake

Our best wishes to the families and victim of the Haiti earthquake.  It was reported that over 100,000 people could be dead.

Death was everywhere in Port-au-Prince. Bodies of tiny children were piled next to schools. Corpses of women lay on the street with stunned expressions frozen on their faces as flies began to gather. Bodies of men were covered with plastic tarps or cotton sheets.

President Barack Obama promised an all-out rescue and humanitarian effort, adding that the U.S. commitment to its hemispheric neighbor will be unwavering.

New 2010 Laws

Here are some new laws going into effect in 2010:

1.  Increases employee withholdings, supplemental wage withholding, and wage stock options and bonuses. As part of California’s new state budget adopted in the summer of 2009, state income taxes withheld from paychecks will increase 10 percent. Employees’ individual annual income tax bills will not increase; the amount owed in taxes in April 2010 will be adjusted to reflect the withholding increase.

2.  The new Form I-9 for employment eligibility verification contains an updated list of acceptable documents employees must present upon hiring. The purpose of this form is to document that new employees – both citizen and noncitizen – are eligible to work in the United States. Within three days of hire, all employees must complete the form and provide documents that establish identity and employment authorization.

3. Federal legislation changed the definition of who is covered for “qualifying exigency” leave related to servicemembers. Part of the National Defense Authorization Act, this new definition also expands FMLA provisions pertaining to military caregiver leave. Both qualifying exigency and military caregiver leave now include time off to care for veterans under certain circumstances.

4. Code. All licensed hospitals are required to annually conduct a safety and security assessment. Under the new law, hospitals must review and update their security regulations to ensure that patients and workers do not become victims of violence.

Internet Censhorship

The Los Angeles Times reported that in South Korea, Cyber Bullies were bullying people to watch what they say on the Internet.

In recent years, celebrities, authors and ordinary South Koreans have been subjected to relentless online assaults — at times with disastrous, or even lethal, effects.

Most South Korean cyber bullies are teenagers hiding behind the cloak of Internet anonymity, analysts say, products of a highly regimented culture in which the young are discouraged from speaking their minds with parents, teachers and bosses. At home in their rooms, they let loose, often at the slightest provocation.

In an effort to bring civility to the Internet, the government of South Korean, has put together a bill that would punish those who insult others on the Internet with up to three years of jail or a $30k fine.  The bill was unsuccesful.

401k Contribution Cap

Your 401(k) contribution ceiling will stay the same next year.  The maximum will remain at $16,500

Workers with a retirement plan who earn less than $66,000 annually ($109,000 for couples) also can contribute up to $5,000 to a traditional or Roth IRA, and workers age 50 and over can contribute up to $6,000. The income limits don’t apply to couples who don’t have a retirement plan through their jobs.

State of California Furlough

The state of California has mandated that UC employees take a non-paid furlough sometime between September and next September.  This is all in an effort to cut the State budget.

The days don’t have to be consecutive, but have to accumulate to total each individual’s amount.  Now, while the university has to encourage them to take off those days, the staff can still work those days while being unpaid.  What this amounts to is being forced to take unpaid vacation days.

There have been numerous protest over the efforts of the universities to slash their budgets but given that current fiscal state of California it doesn’t look like the school have much of a choice in the matter.

New Miranda Rights

Arguments are being made before the Supreme Court this week over how Miranda rights should be given to criminal suspects.  According to the AP, the Supreme Court could be headed toward telling the police they have to explicitly warn criminal suspects that their lawyer can be present during any interrogations.

The argument steams from a case where Kevin Dwayne Powell was given Miranda warnings that included telling him he had a right to a lawyer before questioning. Powell’s lawyers appealed, saying police didn’t tell him he had a right to have a lawyer during police interrogation. The Florida Supreme Court overturned it. Justice Stephen Breyer said Monday that Miranda rights say a suspect has the right to have an attorney during questioning, and he asked repeatedly if the Florida officers made that plain to Powell.

If the court rules that the police officer should have told the supusect that he had a right to have his attorney during interrogation then police officer will have to start to modify the existing Miranda warning that says,

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”

Tiger Wood Fined

The greatest golfer was fined today for his mishap over the weekend.  Are you ready the the amount of the fine.  It was a whopping $164.  A mere fracture of what it cost all the new outlet to report all the rumors of what might have transpired.

In addition he will get four points added to his driving record.  The actual violation was careless driving.  He will not face any criminal charges.  There was no enough evidence to warrant to subpena his medial information.

Despite what really happend the real losers are the beneficiary of the Tiger Wood Foundation.  Tiger was schedule to play in his yearly charity tournment this week in Thousand Oaks.  With his absent, tons of people will no doubt not attend – limiting the amount of money raised for the foundation.

No Cost Of Living Adjustment

Beginning in January 2010,  Seniors will not get a cost of living adjustment in their Social Security checks.  Normally, Seniors get a two to three percentage increase in benefits.  That might seem like much but with increasing medical cost rising each year that is going to hurt.

Social Security benefits are adjusted every year to keep up with inflation.  Adjustments are based on the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners between the third quarter (July-September) of the previous year and the third quarter of the current year. The 2010 COLA will be based on a period marked by sharp drops in prices and deflation.

This will also be the case for the year 2011 as well unless Congress makes some changes.  Senior won’t see a modest increase until 2012.