On This Day: President Obama votes early, Chicago, October 25, 2012 (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)
Today (all times Eastern):
1:20: President Obama departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews
1:45: First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden greet the USO Volunteer of the Year, The Spirit of the USO Award honoree, and 6 USO service honorees and their families
2:15: Michelle Obama delivers remarks at the Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) National Issues Conference
2:30: President Obama arrives in New York
3:25: Visits Pathways in Technology Early College High School, Brooklyn
3:45: Delivers remarks
6:45: VP Biden and Dr Jill Biden deliver remarks at the Annual Issues Conference of the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum at the Newseum
7:0: President Obama delivers remarks at a DCCC event (private residence)
8:10: Attends a DNC event (private residence)
9:55: Departs New York
11:05: Arrives at the White House
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr Jill Biden host a poetry recital in honor of Kalsoom Nawaz Sharif, wife of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in the Blue Room of the White House, Oct. 23, 2013. The poems were read by Billy Collins, an American poet, and Sojourner Ahebee, a student poet (Photo by Amanda Lucidon)
Reuters: Obama to chide Republicans on spending cuts at school event
President Barack Obama will take a swipe at austerity-minded Republicans on Friday ahead of a looming budget rematch, urging against the backdrop of a model school that spending, rather than belt-tightening, is key to economic growth.
Lawmakers are girding for a conference starting Wednesday aimed at reconciling vastly different spending plans put forward by the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Obama will use a speech at the Pathways in Technology Early College High School in Brooklyn, New York, whose technology curriculum he has praised as a beacon for the future, to contrast his budget priorities with Republicans.
Very happily, I missed the Chris Hayes/Joan Walsh/Ezra Klein chat on MSNBC – any one of those three on my TV would have been too much, but all of them at the same time? Ugh. Any way, Tommy Christopher on the ‘discussion’ here
HHS: 1.6 million calls at call centers. 127,000 calls 24 hours after Obama spoke. Waiting times less than 1min. 10K agents at 17 locations
Arkansas Times:More than 60,000 Arkansans have enrolled in the “private option” for Medicaid
In testimony before the Joint Public Health Committee at the capitol, the Department of Human Services released the latest figures on enrollment in the “private option” for Medicaid expansion. Through October 19, more than 60,000 have enrolled, and more than 4,000 have submitted applications, pending an eligibility check from DHS.
To put these numbers in perspective: the “private option” has already reduced the number of uninsured adults (18-64) in Arkansas by almost 14 percent.
Boston Globe: ‘Remarkable’ mental health care changes near, Biden says
Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the country is on the cusp of what he called “remarkable changes” in the treatment of mental illness.
Speaking at a forum on mental health to mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s signing of the Community Mental Health Act, Biden said the human brain is the new frontier for exploration in 2013.
… Biden said that ongoing research also holds promise for returning veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress. And as a result of President Barack Obama’s health care law, he said, more people have access to care for mental illness because the law bars insurance companies from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions like bipolar disorder.
The political goals for congressional Republicans going into yesterday’s “Obamacare” hearing were relatively straightforward: (1) use website troubles to question the Obama administration’s competence; (2) hope the publicity might discourage consumers from getting coverage to which they’re entitled; and (3) pretend they care about substance, not grandstanding.
It wouldn’t have even been that difficult. The Affordable Care Act’s website really has suffered from systemic flaws and plenty of folks really are frustrated. If Republicans wanted to maintain the pretense that consumer access matters to them, there are actual, legitimate complaints to raise.
Steve Benen: Raising Medicare age eligibility doesn’t work
Talk of Medicare “reforms” have become a familiar political refrain, though the word doesn’t always mean the same thing to everything. The Affordable Care Act, for example, includes cost-saving reforms for the Medicare system that Republicans endorsed, then condemned, then endorsed again. For their part, GOP lawmakers frequently push ideas such as expansive “means testing.”
And then there’s raising the Medicare eligibility age, which is a perennial favorite on the right, and which President Obama was reportedly willing to entertain as part of the 2011 “Grand Bargain” talks before congressional Republicans rejected the offer. It nevertheless remains a key GOP “reform” goal, premised on the assumption that a higher eligibility age would save a fortune.
Steve Benen: N.C. Republican ousted following ‘Daily Show’ interview
…. Don Yelton, a Republican Party official in North Carolina, thought it’d be a good idea to appear on “The Daily Show” and defend his party’s new voter-suppression law. It didn’t turn out well for him or the state GOP.
If you missed the interview, it’s a doozy. Yelton, who’s practically a caricature of himself, told Aasif Mandvi the new state voting law is intended to tilt elections in Republicans’ favor, used the “n” word, referenced “lazy black people that wants the government to give them everything,” and said, in all seriousness, that one of his “best friends is black.”
… The controversy coincides with a new effort, launched just this week, in which the North Carolina Republican Party is trying to expand its outreach to the African-American community.