Archive for March 17th, 2014

17
Mar
14

Medal of Honor: A Wrong Put Right

Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris

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On March 18th, 2014, President Barack Obama will award 24 Army veterans the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.

These veterans will receive the Medal of Honor in recognition of their valor during major combat operations in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Each of these Soldiers’ bravery was previously recognized by award of the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military award; that award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor in recognition of their gallantry, intrepidity and heroism above and beyond the call of duty.

In 2002, Congress, through the Defense Authorization Act, called for a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veteran war records from WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, to ensure those deserving the Medal of Honor were not denied because of prejudice. During the review, records of several Soldiers of neither Jewish nor Hispanic descent were also found to display criteria worthy of the Medal of Honor. The 2002 Act was amended to allow these Soldiers to be honored with the upgrade – in addition to the Jewish and Hispanic American Soldiers.

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The President will award the Medal of Honor to:

Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia: For his courageous actions while serving as radio telephone operator in Company C, 1st Battalion (Airmobile), 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) during search and clear mission near Tam Ky, Republic of Vietnam.

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Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris: For his courageous actions while serving as Commander of a Strike Force drawn from Company D, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, during combat operations against an armed enemy in the vicinity of Chi Lang, Republic of Vietnam on September 17, 1969.

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Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela: For his courageous actions while serving as the company commander, Detachment B-36, Company A, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces during combat operations against an armed enemy in Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam on September 1, 1969.

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The President will posthumously award the Medal of Honor to:

Sergeant Candelario Garcia: For his courageous actions while serving as an acting Team Leader for Company B, 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry, 1st Brigade,1st Infantry Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Lai Khe, Republic of Vietnam on December 8, 1968.

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Specialist Four Leonard L. Alvarado: For his courageous actions while serving as a Rifleman with Company D, 2d Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) during combat operations against an armed enemy in Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam on August 12, 1969.

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Staff Sergeant Felix M. Conde-Falcon: For his courageous actions while serving as an acting Platoon Leader in Company D, 1st Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade, 82d Airborne Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Ap Tan Hoa, Republic of Vietnam on April 4, 1969.

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Continue reading ‘Medal of Honor: A Wrong Put Right’

17
Mar
14

“I’m One Grateful Old Lady”

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A Word from ’57 and Female’ (comment here)

I am going to be 64 years old in a few months and being self-employed for the last 33 years I have never had one of my medications covered by insurance. Never. Just to stay minimally healthy, my asthma, blood pressure meds and a few others are around $600/month.

We had awful insurance that never covered my asthma until there was no insurance at all for the last decade. I lived in constant fear.

I chose a Gold plan – for my last year and half until Medicare I wanted maximum flexibility and a low deductible: $500 and $3,500 out-of-pocket cap with a large network. I chose a co-op plan. These plans, with no profit incentive, were supposed to be a bridge to something akin to a public option. In the 2012 budget fight, the Republicans won the elimination of these plans from ACA but anyone who had a grant before then was grandfathered in. IL was able to establish an insurance plan/company that will run on overhead similar to Medicare and we all ‘own’ the company.

My premium, after some subsidy, is $558/month. Your age can still be a factor in premium cost, but with a cap. I do have co-pays on my medications – it will be about $140/month. But I’m still only out a little more for truly comprehensive health care than what I was paying retail for my meds before ACA.

To walk up to the CVS Pharmacy counter and give them my card was overwhelming. My $320 asthma med: $70 co-pay. My $160 nasal spray: $30. And so on.

I need to get my first mammogram. I need to go to the gynecologist for the first time in 10 years. When I was sick last week and even the meds from the doctor weren’t working, I knew if – God forbid – I needed the ER because I couldn’t breathe, I could go. I have insurance. I will not be denied, as I was in 1983 because ‘no one develops asthma as an adult’ sayeth BCBS and they wouldn’t pay for my hospital stay.

I’m one grateful old lady.

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17
Mar
14

The 16 Sweetest Reasons To #GetCoveredNow

White House

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→  HealthCare.gov

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Time: White House Embraces March Madness To Sell Obamacare

The administration has marshaled athletes, coaches, and sports celebrities to help sell the law to the so-called “young invincibles,” whose participation is vital to the success of the insurance marketplaces, according to a White House official who described the blitz….

The field of teams in the college basketball tournament was set to be chosen on Sunday, also known as “Selection Sunday.” On Monday, the White House will release a “16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered” bracket listing the top reasons to get health insurance, along with a new web video featuring top college basketball coaches. The bracket will be updated all week to reflect the results of an online survey. The bracket is timed to coincide with the release of President Barack Obama’s selections for his own NCAA tournament bracket on Wednesday, the White House official said.

Additionally, ads paid for by the Department of Health and Human Services featuring LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Alonzo Mourning will air during March Madness games and on ESPN, ABC, TNT and NBAtv, while the agency is targeting digital ads to basketball supporters. Administration officials including Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer have called into sports radio stations across the country to promote insurance enrollment.

More here

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Roy Williams UNC Men’s Basketball Geno Auriemma UCONN Women’s Basketball

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Women can’t be charged more than men

Now that’s a slam dunk.

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It’s the smart thing to do

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Nobody’s invincible

Don’t let huge medical bills be your kryptonite.

Make sure you sign up for health coverage.

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Birth control is free

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You never know when you’ll take a hard foul

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See all the gifs here

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USA TODAY: Obama team uses March Madness to sell health care plan

On Monday, Obama — who is planning to release his annual NCAA tournament picks this week — will be interviewed by the Univision Radio program Locura Deportiva(“Sports Madness”). That session tips off a string of interviews with administration officials seeking to sell the health care plan…..

Throughout March Madness, a variety of administration officials — including McDonough, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and health care adviser Phil Schiliro — will sit for interviews on sports talk radio stations across the country, another tactic the administration has used in recent weeks. Past targets have included media markets in Atlanta, Austin, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and Tampa. Administration supporters will also hit the airwaves during the health care push. On Monday, Dan Rooney, chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be interviewed on a Steel City radio station.

On Thursday — the start of the Round of 64 in the men’s tournament — athletes who have helped the administration promote its health care plan in the past will participate in what the White House calls a “social media day of action,” seeking to drive traffic to websites that are linked to HealthCare.gov. Participants include basketball’s Kobe Bryant and football’s Victor Cruz

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17
Mar
14

President Obama Meets with Palestinian President Abbas

17
Mar
14

Rise and Shine

At the Dubliner, an Irish pub in Washington, D.C., Saturday, March 17, 2012

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Today (all times Eastern):

10:45: President Obama makes a statement on Crimea

10:55: President Obama meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Oval Office

11:40: Holds a working lunch with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

1:0: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:50: The President departs the White House en route Bethesda, Maryland

3:05: Arrives Bethesda

3:15: Visits the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

5:0: Departs Bethesda

5:15: Arrives at the White House

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Text of remarks here

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FACT SHEET: Ukraine-Related Sanctions

President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) under the national emergency with respect to Ukraine that finds that the actions and policies of the Russian government with respect to Ukraine -– including through the deployment of Russian military forces in the Crimea region of Ukraine –- undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of its assets.

This new authority expands upon E.O. 13660, which the President signed less than two weeks ago, by authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on named officials of the Russian government, any individual or entity that operates in the Russian arms industry, and any designated individual or entity that acts on behalf of, or that provides material or other support to, any senior Russian government official.  We have fashioned these sanctions to impose costs on named individuals who wield influence in the Russian government and those responsible for the deteriorating situation in Ukraine.  We stand ready to use these authorities in a direct and targeted fashion as events warrant.

More here

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Paul Waldman: As Crimea votes to secede, demands pour in for more effective posturing

A day after a referendum in Crimea on breaking away from Ukraine and joining Russia passed with 96.77 percent of the vote, encouraged by a rising presence of Russian troops, the Crimean parliament followed suit with its own vote asking to be annexed. Here at home, people will quickly begin asking “Who lost Crimea?,” as though events in Eastern Europe are being determined not by internal Ukrainian politics, longstanding ethnic divisions, Russian opportunism and a dozen other factors, but rather by what we in the United States would like to have happen.

You can bet that today and in the days to come, Republicans will be declaring their outrage, and insisting that this never would have happened had Barack Obama not been so weak. They’ve had a fetish about Obama’s alleged weakness in foreign affairs pretty much from the moment he took office….

…. without looking, can you name something these Republicans actually want Obama to do? Probably not, because whenever they’re asked, they come up with things like “make it clear” to Vladimir Putin that further incursions will not be tolerated. “Get tough.” Don’t “show weakness.” In other words, their complaint is that President Obama has not engaged in the proper kind of posturing.

More here

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Rick Ungar: The Real Numbers On ‘The Obamacare Effect’ Are In – Now Let The Crow Eating Begin

After years of negative speculation on the part of the opponents of Obamacare, hard data is finally coming in with respect to the anticipated negative side-effects of the law. The results are guaranteed to both surprise and depress those who have built their narrative around the effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act.

Let’s begin with the meme threatening that healthcare reform will lead to a serious decline in full-time employment as employers reduce workforce hours to below 30 per week in the effort to avoid their responsibility to provide health benefits to their employees.

It turns out that there has, in fact, been no such rush to reduce work hours. Indeed, numbers released last week reveal that precisely the opposite is taking place…..

…. While most all would agree that there are some repairs that need to be made to the Affordable Care Act, workable fixes designed to benefit the public and improve American healthcare cannot happen so long as politicians, pundits and special interests are devoted to lying about what Obamacare means and what it does not mean to the American public.

Facts matter — even when they screw up an effective disinformation campaign.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Yet another ACA ‘horror story’ draws scrutiny

After all the recent troubles conservatives have had with “Obamacare victims” in attack ads that turned out to be wrong, the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity wouldn’t push its luck with another dubious commercial, would it?

Of course it would….

More here

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TPM: Koch Group Abandons Obamacare ‘Horror’ Stories After Fact-Check Backlash

Have we heard the last Obamacare “horror” story? If new ads from the Koch Brothers-backed group are any indication, we might have.

Americans for Prosperity, the well-funded conservative group that has been attacking Democrats in battleground states over the health care reform law, put out TV ads Monday against Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Mark Udall (D-CO).

But what’s notable about the ads is what they aren’t: A personalized story of someone who’s been negatively affected by Obamacare, the kind of verifiable set of facts that can be checked — and rebutted, as happened with a recent AFP ad that led to significant backlash from the fact-checking community.

More here

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Michael Tomasky: The Grotesque Ban On Gays In New York’s St Patrick’s Day Parade

In states where gay marriage is legal, gays are still banned from openly marching in St Patrick’s Day parades in New York and Boston.It’s obscene, that in 2014, gay groups are forbidden from marching in St. Patrick’s Day parades in two of America’s most liberal cities. In Dublin—Dublin! I daresay a more Irish city even than Boston—gays have marched for years. As far as anyone can see, the parade flourishes, no epidemic of gayness has “afflicted” the children born in the years since inclusion, and everybody goes home happy. This isn’t just a foreign phenomenon. Chicago’s St Patrick’s Day parade has managed to include gays without catastrophe ensuing as well.

The New York-Boston situation, while legally not only understandable but completely defensible, is a moral shambles; to the extent that the men making and enforcing this ban won’t just live in history, they’ll live in infamy.

More here

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TPM: Guinness Drops Sponsorship Of NYC St. Paddy’s Parade Over LGBT Ban

Guinness is the latest in a line of beer makers to pull out of a major St. Patrick’s Day parade because organizers won’t allow gays and lesbians to march openly.The company announced late Sunday that it was dropping its sponsorship of Monday’s parade in New York City, after the famed Stonewall Inn threatened to stop selling Guinness beer if it continued to sponsor the parade.

More here

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Journalism:

:roll:

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Is Rusty attempting to eat the President’s ear in this pic?

President Obama shares a laugh with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, during a St. Patrick’s Day lunch for Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 14, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

On This Day:

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his wife, Fionnuala Kenny, in the Green Room of the White House before a St. Patrick’s Day reception, March 17, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama walks on the Colonnade of the White House, March 17, 2011, after making a Rose Garden statement about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama signs a condolence book for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims, at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C., March 17, 2011. Standing at left is Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ichiro Fujisaki (Photo by Pete Souza)

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March 17, 2012: “David Lienemann made this action photograph of Vice President Joe Biden and his security detail literally running during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Pittsburgh, Pa.”

President Obama greets the crowd at the Dubliner, an Irish pub in Washington, D.C., on St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Top O’ The Mooooooorning!

17
Mar
14

President Obama speaks on Crimea

10:45 AM EST: President Obama speaks on Crimea

(Will post R&S after)




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