ThinkProgress: Uninsurance Rate Falls As Millions Sign Up For Obamacare, Survey Finds
The U.S. uninsurance rate has hit another five-year low as Americans continue enrolling in health coverage during Obamacare’s first open enrollment period, according to a new Gallup survey. All told, the uninsurance rate in the first three months of 2014 stood at 15.9 percent, compared to 17.1 percent in the last quarter of 2013 — and the largest drops in uninsurance occurred among African Americans and lower-income people, who are among the most likely to benefit from the ACA’s financial assistance.
“The uninsured rate for almost every major demographic group has dropped in 2014 so far,” wrote the Gallup researchers. “The percentage of uninsured Americans with an annual household income of less than $36,000 has dropped the most — by 2.8 percentage points — to 27.9% since the fourth quarter of 2013, while the percentage of uninsured blacks has fallen 2.6 points to 18.3%.
ThinkProgress: Bush’s Defense Secretary Destroys GOP Talking Points Against Obama’s Handling Of Crimea
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates pushed back on Sunday against conservatives who’ve blamed President Obama’s “weak” foreign policy for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Crimea.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Gates dismissed arguments that Obama’s handling of the conflict in Syria or his efforts to trim the defense budget emboldened Putin, arguing that the Russian president also invaded Georgia during the George W. Bush administration.
“My own view is, after all, Putin invaded Georgia when George W. Bush was president. Nobody ever accused George W. Bush of being weak or unwilling to use military force”….
President Obama occasionally takes a breather because, well, humans in stressful jobs sometimes need a break. For some reason, Republicans seem to find this fascinating….
…. all of this handwringing wouldn’t be quite so annoying if Republicans weren’t conveniently ignoring the president’s immediate predecessor.
Every president chooses to spend some time away from the White House, but some take more time than others. Ronald Reagan, for example, set the record for most vacation days for a sitting president – a record that stood until George W. Bush shattered Reagan’s seemingly unbreakable benchmark.
Obama practically lives in the Oval Office compared to the last couple of two-term Republican presidents.
Indeed, Bush at times seemed preoccupied with not going to work…..
Michael Hiltzik: Cultural production of ignorance provides rich field for study
Robert Proctor doesn’t think ignorance is bliss. He thinks that what you don’t know can hurt you. And that there’s more ignorance around than there used to be, and that its purveyors have gotten much better at filling our heads with nonsense.
Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford, is one of the world’s leading experts in agnotology, a neologism signifying the study of the cultural production of ignorance. It’s a rich field, especially today when whole industries devote themselves to sowing public misinformation and doubt about their products and activities.
The tobacco industry was a pioneer at this. Its goal was to erode public acceptance of the scientifically proven links between smoking and disease …. It’s also echoed by vaccination opponents and by climate change deniers.
And all those fabricated Obamacare horror stories wholesaled by Republican and conservative opponents of the Affordable Care Act and their aiders and abetters in the right-wing press? Their purpose is to sow doubt about the entire project of healthcare reform…
President Obama listens to remarks as he waits to go on stage to discuss education issues at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce gathering Tuesday, March 10, 2009, in Washington at the Washington Marriott Metro Center’s Grand Ballroom (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama and President Rene Preval of Haiti meet in the Oval Office, March 10, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama talks with Mrs. Elizabeth Preval, the First Lady of Haiti, in the Yellow Oval Room of the White House, March 10, 2010 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
A member of the audience holds a “Thank You” sign during President Obama’s speech on medicare fraud and health care insurance reform at St. Charles High School in St. Charles, Mo., March 10, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with parents Sirdeaner Walker and Kirk Smalley in the Blue Room of the White House before the start of the Conference on Bullying Prevention, March 10, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks with members of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks following a ceremony to honor the team’s 2009-10 championship season on the South Lawn of the White House, March 11, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama deliver remarks at the Conference on Bullying Prevention in the East Room of the White House, March 10, 2011
I was blessed to be at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in Dublin, Ireland in 2003, and got to be in the same stadium – along with 80,000 other people – as two of my most beloved heroes, Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali, which was too wonderful for words.
I honestly can’t even describe my emotions when Ali appeared, it was like laying eyes on God, and as for Nelson Mandela’s appearance …. just beyond magical.
This is them meeting up in Dublin, one of the VERY great images:
Any way, the climax of the ceremony was hometown boys U2 doing their thing, and they played my all-time favorite song, ‘One’ (see the video above). So, by then, I was in need of oxygen, it was too perfect an evening.
(Although the real highlight was probably the families and friends of the Special Olympians booing the Irish Prime Minister when he strutted in to the stadium, expecting a hero’s welcome – despite having cut services for those with special needs. They made their voices heard, it was a joy).
Now? I reckon Bono is a hypocritical, tax-dodging, insufferable dick, whose ego is comically large ….. but I’ll still always love him for ‘One’.
The best ever version of the song? Probably this, with the incomparable Mary J Blige: