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August 17, 2013 11:17 AM Individual mandate suddenly a right: Saturday morning roundup

By Samuel Knight

*In his weekly radio address this morning, President Obama offered a staunch defense of his healthcare plan — one that might not sit well with the health insurance industry lobbyists he has worked so hard to appease.

“In the United States of America, health insurance isn’t a privilege - it is your right,” he said. “And we’re going to keep it that way.”

Is that how the Heritage Foundation originally drew up their plan? Based on rights?

*Wildfires in Idaho’s Sun Valley have led local authorities there to order the evacuation of 1600 homes. As the Christian Science Monitor noted, Sun Valley is an “affluent resort region that’s a second home to celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Hanks, and Bruce Willis.”

The area also has historical significance. Ernest Hemingway purchased moved to Ketchum, Idaho in 1959. He committed suicide there in 1961. In that time, he was under close FBI surveillance - a typically Hooverian operation that was over a decade old, launched due to his communist sympathies.

*The Obama administration’s refusal to cut off aid to the junta Egypt isn’t just about the Camp David Accord. USA Today points out it’s also about maintaining good relations with a government that controls territory crucial to greasing the wheels of the U.S. military machine.

During the past year, more than 2,000 U.S. military aircraft flew through Egyptian airspace, supporting missions in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East, according to U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for the region.

About 35 to 45 U.S. 5th Fleet naval ships pass through the Suez Canal annually, including carrier strike groups, according to the Bahrain-based fleet. Egypt has allowed U.S. warships to be expedited, which often means getting to the head of a very long line of ships waiting for access to the canal.

*Want to embarrass Apple Computers? There’s an app for that! Via InformationWeek:

Four computer security researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated that they can create malicious apps that can avoid detection by Apple’s app review process.

*The English Premier Leauge kicked off today. Lest you think this is merely consequential - in an American context - to a small group of sport-nerd Anglophiles (ahem, full disclosure), NBC paid $250 million for the rights to broadcast matches for the next three years. Six out of twenty Premier League owners are American.

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.

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