Q: Is it true that there are bills in Congress that would exempt members and their staffs and families from buying into “Obamacare”?
A: No. Congress members and staffers will be required to buy insurance through the exchanges on Jan. 1. But reportedly there is concern about whether federal contributions to premiums can continue without a change.
2012 Players Guide
Be Our Friend
Of the $410 million in sales by U.S. Christmas tree farmers in 2007, Oregon farmers led the nation with $109.3 million. Source: Census Bureau/USDA
It rarely snows when the temperature drops below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, not because it is too cold but because the atmosphere is too stable. Snow occurs when there is enough lifting of saturated air. Source: NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory
On average, 13 inches of snow equals 1 inch of rain. The ratio depends on the type of snow, however. Only 2 inches of sleet but nearly 50 inches of powdery snow can equal 1 inch of rain. Source: NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory
When lightning occurs in a snowstorm, it is called thundersnow. This can occur when there is strong instability and abundant moisture above the surface, such as above a warm front. Source: NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory
As of 2008, the city of North Pole, Alaska, had a population of 2,212. Source: Census Bureau
Fourteen percent of department store sales and 18 percent of jewelry store sales in 2008 occurred in December. Source: Census Bureau
Last December, retail sales by online shopping and mail-order houses totaled $24 billion, the highest total for any month of the year. Source: Census Bureau
The new United States of America ratified the Bill of Rights on Dec. 15, 1791. Source: Library of Congress
A little more than half of the United States’ potatoes were produced in Idaho and Washington in 2008. Source: Census Bureau/National Agriculture Statistics Service
In 1997 a massive menorah was built in Latrun, Israel. It was more than 60 feet tall, requiring a rabbi to be lifted in a crane each night of Hanukkah to light the candles. Source: History Channel