Archive for January 4th, 2014

04
Jan
14

Laughter Makes The World Go Round

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Continue reading ‘Laughter Makes The World Go Round’

04
Jan
14

Maddow to Kochs: Drop dead

(h/t to Little Green Footballs)

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My first troll was someone who responded to a less than flattering Tweet I sent out about the Koch Brothers. His essential point was “They have one voice, you have one voice, equal contest.”

It amazes me still that people who have the intellectual dexterity to get on Twitter can’t grasp the fact that, no, the Kochs don’t have “one voice”. Their voices are multiplied by their money, their power, their influence. The fact that they’re trying to increase that power by buying The Tribune Co. only accentuates that fact.

Those same people will howl to the moon about the “liberal media”. Some percentage of journalists may be “liberal”, however you care to define that word. But the idea that media conglomerates are “liberal” in the accepted modern usage of that term is laughable. Just this weekend we were treated to Melissa Harris Perry tearfully apologizing for daring to offend the Romneys, even though the offense was mere manufactured outrage. (Perhaps to distract from this.) Meanwhile, Phil Robertson served a suspension of 0 episodes for his racist, homophobic rant in the pages of GQ. Meanwhile, a Fox News contributor waxes philosophically about the possible necessity of “extra-judicially” dealing with President Obama. You shouldn’t wait to hear apologies from them; you’ll grow old in the doing.

Continue reading ‘Maddow to Kochs: Drop dead’

04
Jan
14

9 Years Ago Today

U.S. Senator Barack Obama re-enacts being sworn-in by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 4, 2005. With him are his wife Michelle and their two daughters Malia and Sasha.

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Senator Obama talks with his daughter Malia, 6, outside the U.S. Capitol after he was sworn in on January 4, 2005. Chicago Tribune photo by >> Pete Souza <<

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Sasha almost not shaking hands with Cheney? One of the very great moments!

04
Jan
14

Chat Away

In case you missed it.

04
Jan
14

Rise and Shine

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AP: Obama to Leave Hawaii for Washington on Saturday

President Barack Obama is planning his return to Washington after two weeks in Hawaii for a holiday vacation.

White House officials say that the president and his family expect to depart Hawaii on Saturday night.

The president’s vacation, spanning Christmas and New Year’s, is his longest to the islands during his presidency.

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ThinkProgress: The Latest Obamacare Controversy Doesn’t Actually Mean Health Reform Is Falling Apart

According to new research published on Thursday, extending Medicaid coverage to additional low-income Americans encourages them to go to the ER more frequently. As part of a larger study that’s examining the impact of Oregon’s 2008 Medicaid expansion, researchers compared the people in that state who gained public health coverage with the people who remained uninsured — and found that the first group made 40 percent more trips to emergency departments.

The findings have sparked concerns about the implications for the health reform law, which includes a large expansion of Medicaid for Americans above 138 percent of the federal poverty line. Expanding Medicaid is frequently touted as a cost-saving policy, in the hopes that providing more people with access to insurance will cut down on unnecessary, uncompensated ER visits. Now, critics are claiming that the study “exposes another Obamacare falsehood.”

They’re wrong. Rather than arguing against Medicaid expansion, the results actually underscore the importance of continuing to invest in providing efficient health services to people in Medicaid and the larger newly insured population. Here’s why:

More here

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Greg Sargent: Unemployment insurance extension hangs in the balance

Next week, as early as Monday, Senate Democrats will move to vote on a three month extension for unemployment benefits for the 1.3 million people who lost them just after Christmas.

But the chances of passage for the measure are “hanging in the balance,” the Democratic Senator who is taking the lead on rounding up Senate votes for the legislation tells me.

“It’s not determined yet, but we’re going to do everything we can,” Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island said in an interview. “Hanging in the balance is probably the right way to say it.”

More here

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Steve Benen: White House strengthens background checks

In the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, the White House unveiled a fairly detailed, ambitious agenda intended to reduce gun violence. Much of it required congressional action – which made progress difficult – but by November, the administration was nevertheless eager to tout headway through executive actions.

Today, as NBC News’ Carrie Dann reported, officials went a little further, proposing new measures intended to “prevent individuals who are prohibited from having a gun for mental health reasons from obtaining a firearm.”

More here

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ThinkProgress: Here’s What’s Really At Stake In That Birth Control Case Involving The Colorado Nuns

Late on New Year’s Eve, Justice Sonia Sotomayor handed down a very brief order holding that several religious groups could temporarily ignore the provisions of the Affordable Care Act relating to birth control. The order, which offers no rationale and appears to be nothing more than a routine action delaying a resolution of the case until the Justice Department had an opportunity to present its side of the case to the Court today, immediately became one of the most overblown stories of 2014. The order offers no hint about how Justice Sotomayor views the merits of this case, and it applies only to the few religious organizations before the court in this case. The overwhelming majority of American employers remain subject to the requirement that their employee health plans cover contraception.

Yet, while the significance of Sotomayor’s New Year’s Eve order should not be overstated, there’s an important legal issue lurking in this case that could give religious employers sweeping and unprecedented immunity from the law.

More here

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Line of the week? From Charles Pierce, of course:

“It’s rare that we get a look inside the thieves paradise being constructed by Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin.”

Genius.

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MoooOOOooorning!




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