Archive for the 'Articles' Category

02
Feb
16

Leaders Don’t Wait For A Revolution. They Effect Change.

Obama-Hand-to-Ear

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Don

Of course Bernie Sanders wants to blow the system up, it is the same system by the way that has allowed him to sit on his ass up in Washington for thirty years and accomplish nothing of note. For all our lives black people have been told that in order to change the system you must do it from the inside, which is what President Obama has done. And now here comes Bernie Sanders preaching revolution, President Obama didn’t need a revolution to bring about Obamacare, he didn’t need a revolution to get Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions and give up its nuclear material. President Obama didn’t need a revolution to end DADT and to usher in marriage equality, nor did he need a revolution to change our disastrous policy against Cuba. I don’t recall any speech that President Obama has made that he has used the word “revolution.” So now you can throw the phrase “revolution” onto the same pile of trash that “make America great again” rests on.

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26
Jan
16

Living With Diabetes? ObamaCare Has You Covered

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Amy Lynn Smith: Life With Diabetes Is Sweeter Thanks To Obamacare

When Alexander Star was 15 years old, he thought he was the picture of health, especially after he made the varsity basketball team. But when he told one of his teachers he needed to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes, she rightly told him he should be checked for diabetes. Frequent urination is a classic warning sign. When the doctors tested Star’s blood glucose level, it was 1,300 mg/dL – dangerously high considering that even in people with diabetes the goal is to keep blood glucose levels between about 100 and 150 mg/dL. “The doctors wondered why I wasn’t in a coma,” says Star, who is now a 29-year-old recording artist/songwriter living in Florida. “That was the beginning of my journey as a type 1 diabetic.”

 He was covered under his father’s insurance plan until he turned 26 – when he suddenly found himself without health insurance he could afford. “The COBRA plan I was on shot up from $120 a month to $512 a month for the exact same plan, a cost that was not do-able for me,” Star says. Fortunately, the Obamacare marketplace opened up soon after and he enrolled in a new plan. “If it wasn’t for Obamacare, I don’t know how I’d be capable of taking care of myself,” Star says. “Even if I had a lot of money, before Obamacare they could still decline me because I have a pre-existing condition.” Star signed up for a plan with better coverage and more personal attention than he received from his previous plan. His premiums are around $150 a month and he doesn’t pay anything extra for his insulin pump or continuous blood glucose monitor – diabetes management options his previous provider never even told him about.

More here

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17
Jan
16

The Clintons and African Americans

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Don

Maybe the problem is that we’re looking at the Hillary Clinton situation through a political lens and not a psychological lens. When you’re beloved by black folk as much as the Clintons were you can’t come away from thinking that you’re not one of them, or that you don’t understand the plight of black folk. The problem the Clintons encountered was that an actual black man arrived and challenged their standing in the black community. When Bill Clinton was attacked, many in the black community defended him.

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When his impeachment was taking place every black minister with a church ran down to the White House to lay hands on Bill Clinton and to pray for him. Damn near every black celebrity that ever met Bill Clinton said that Bill had a special connection with them. For lack of a better word, Bill Clinton had a stranglehold on the Black community. In the eighties in the black community you had a lot of social and judicial unrest, blacks had to find a way to channel that unrest, and they found it through starting businesses, they found it through the arts, and they found it through politics. And by the time the nineties arrived the black community was on the verge of realizing its power.

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Then Bill Clinton arrived, he invited us into the White House to break bread with him, in so many ways “he felt our pain.” To this day Bill and Hillary Clinton can walk into any neighborhood of color and be welcomed with open arms. In the black community the past works of the Clintons guaranteed our never wavering loyalty.

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And then it happened, on a cold day in Illinois an unassuming skinny black man with an unusual name said that he was running to be President of the United States of America. And as quickly as he announced he was also quickly dismissed, even by some in the black community. The black political structure was not ready for Barack Obama, we were ok if you ran for Mayor or Senator or Governor. But for the Presidency, hold on a minute young buck.

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The psychological chains are the hardest chains the black community has ever had to break; even to this day we struggle to break them to some extent. And this is where the Clintons come in; we in the black community we put the Clintons on such a pedestal that they’ve convinced themselves that they can do no wrong when it came to the black voter. What the Clintons failed to understood was that a vote for Barack was not necessarily a vote against them.

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Many people believed that black people voted for Barack because he was black, some of that is true. But those voters didn’t outnumber those voters that voted against Barack because he was black; those two groups cancelled each other out. So, now you have the Clintons being loved in the black community versus the black community voting for Barack Obama. And that is the problem that the Clintons couldn’t understand, to this day they still don’t understand it. And because they didn’t understand it they lashed out in ways that didn’t make sense in the black community. Bill Clinton telling Ted Kennedy that back in the day someone like Barack would be serving them coffee, questioning Barack’s citizenship. And undermining the President Obama at every opportunity are just some of the ways that they have lashed out.

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The Clintons would do well this time around to embrace President Obama and understand what he represents for the country, but more importantly what he represents for the black community.

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11
Jan
16

President Obama: Changing All Lives For The Better

Obama This Guy

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Alan Pyke: Why The Obama Administration Wants To Pay For Prisoners To Go To School

“My professor, Miss Jamie Mullaney, she cried the last day of class. And it made me cry,” Terrell Johnson said, sitting across from Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch at Maryland Correctional Institute-Jessup on Friday morning. “I’m in a place where it’s not good to cry,” said Johnson, who’s in the middle of a prison sentence for selling drugs. “But I didn’t care. I felt like this lady genuinely cares if I get this education. That made me wanna try even harder, because I don’t want to let her down.” Mullaney, the head of Goucher College’s sociology department, wasn’t there to hear Johnson recount how his coursework in the Goucher Prison Education Partnership (GPEP) has changed him.

The Goucher program these men participate in is funded entirely through money the school has raised itself. No state or federal education dollars provide GPEP books, teachers, tutors, and work materials. The program’s costs — about $5,000 per student per year, a sliver of what it costs to incarcerate an adult for 12 months at Jessup — have come entirely from private sources who believe in what professors like Mullaney and renowned historian Jean Harvey Baker and their 70 uniformed, caged students are doing here and at a neighboring women’s facility. But under the pilot program Lynch and Duncan unveiled Friday, partnerships like GPEP will be able to apply for Pell Grant funding. “The cost-benefit of this doesn’t take a math genius to figure out,” Duncan said. “We lock folks up here, $35,000, $40,000 every single year. A Pell Grant is less than $6,000 each year.”

More here

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09
Jan
16

Can Y’all Smell What POTUS is Cooking?

Can Y’all Smell What POTUS is Cooking?

by @zizii2

Barack Obama has decided to put himself on the Democratic “ballot” in 2016. You heard that right. He’s running again. Why not? The entire Republican Party is running against him anyway, so why not get himself on the “ballot”? Give ‘em and their corporate stenographers something to REALLY talk about. POTUS is going to be everywhere front and center, on the trail, in the media, in your backyard cookout.

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He’s not going to campaign FOR the Democratic party’s candidates, he’s going to set and drive the Democratic Party agenda, which Dem pols may choose to join, not the other way around. Why? Because the Democratic Party needs to be shaken from its death throes.

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A party that had everything going for it with the advent of Barack Obama, the organizing energy of his coalition, resources, cutting edge technology, simply gave up on itself after victory in 2008. It got a dead cat bounce during the 2012 re-election, then promptly went right back into willful stupor.

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With a party leadership so cross-eyed, doddering around on two left feet, unwilling to embrace its own legislative successes, running away from Barack Obama, and even more zombified after the 2014 electoral losses, it is a miracle that there is barely any sign of life left to whip up for the 2016 cycle. However, strolling from cycle to cycle hitching ourselves to time-limited election campaigns will not do much to resuscitate the dried out soul of the party. We’ve needed a MOVEMENT larger than the Democratic Party itself.

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A MOVEMENT comprising CITIZENS who are passionate about CAUSES like the literal survival of the 99% and the CORE VALUES of fairness of this country; who match the zeal of the billionaire vampires sucking our blood, who doggedly mobilize, cajole, trek the “streets” real or virtual, persuade persuade persuade fellow citizens to join, and never suck on purity binkies or descend into hissy fits. In short, a movement made up of CITIZENS who really have no more fcks to give.

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That’s what my tea leaves say Barack Obama is cooking with 2016 elections penciled in as item one. And his coalition best gird up to run with him. The coalition is slightly expanded now. He’s invited “responsible gun owners” and Americans simply fed up with the incessant gun violence that has brought grief to so many families of diverse political stripes, to join us the usual motley crew who’ve hung with him since forever. Together he’ll lead the charge to put politicians in Washington who are ANSWERABLE to US the PEOPLE, while firmly telling especially fork-tongued Democrats: “Uh uh, it’s either us or the NRA. No compromise.”

obama 3

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Just as he sparked off his 2012 re-election bid with the famous Income Inequality speech in Osawatomie, Kansas in December 2011  much to the utter confusion of the beltway and media lackeys, plus the usual centrist bedwetters gnashing teeth about Barack Obama veering too far left, so too his mission on gun safety is meant to drive the 2016 agenda. It is a natural fit with the demographic make up of his expanding coalition. The energy is there. Prez Obama lit the torch this week.

obama guns

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Barack Obama knows a thing or two about building movements from the ground up. Sure, it successfully propelled him to electoral victory; a detour into that little something called saving us from a recession, saving an auto industry, drawing us out of two wars, building the foundation for alternative energy, preventing us from needlessly dying from a macabre healthcare system, repairing our image abroad, righting historical wrongs against Native American populations, redressing disparities in a broken criminal justice system, presiding over record job growth, and many more “detours”.

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Yet MOVEMENT has always remained at the heart of POTUS’ core belief in citizenship. It’s why OFA stayed alive while he ran that obstacle course called Washington DC, and now he’s revving up to give his movement a new mandate. Are y’all ready? All aboard

07
Jan
16

Just when you thought things couldn’t get more ridiculous

The above is a real tweet by GOP frontrunner and favorite Donald J. Trump.

Il Douche seems to have a problem with geography. First, his first major campaign ad substituted Morocco for Mexico. And now he thinks that Germany’s occupation of France from World War II is still in effect.

On the one hand this is farcical. Il Douche is trying to prove the aphorism that eventually Americans will elect a President as stupid as they are. But, of course, in this case farce can easily transmute into tragedy.

Barack Obama has been the most significant president in American history. He has not only saved the economy, brought healthcare to millions, restored US prestige across the globe, and solved several intractable diplomatic issues, but, by the mere fact of being black, has undone the opposition party. Although the GOP hates the Clintons as well, I don’t think President Hillary Clinton elected and re-elected in 2008 and 2012 would have made the GOP go as apeshit as Barack Hussein Obama.

For example, this is what Speaker of the House Paul Ryan had to say in 2013 as a just-failed vice presidential candidate:

“I think we need to find out how to close these loopholes and do it in such a way that we don’t infringe upon people’s Second Amendment rights,” he said in an interview with the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

“We had this issue, 2001, 1999 I think … when I first got into Congress,” Ryan continued. “At the time I remember thinking, ‘You know, there is a loophole here. We should address that.'”

Continue reading ‘Just when you thought things couldn’t get more ridiculous’

04
Jan
16

The Dollar Keeps Growing In Strength. Thanks, President Obama

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Ari Alstedter: Obama Dollar Rally Is Forecast to Join Clinton, Reagan Upturns

The dollar has an opportunity to make history. After three straight years of gains, strategists are forecasting the U.S. currency will be a world beater again in 2016, strengthening against seven of 10 developed-world peers by the end of the year, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. That outlook is backed by the Federal Reserve’s stated intent to continue raising interest rates while peers in the rest of the world keep them flat or lower.

The rally that started during President Barack Obama’s second term is poised to join a category defined by only the biggest, most durable periods of dollar strength since the currency’s peg to gold ended in 1971. “This is the third big dollar rally we’ve had,” said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy in New York at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. “The Obama dollar rally, I think, is being fueled by the divergence in monetary policy.” That comes after three straight years of gains for the U.S. Trade Weighted Real Broad Dollar Index, a monthly weighted average of the dollar against the currencies of its main trading partners compiled by the Fed back to 1973

More here

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22
Dec
15

The Insurance Race Gap Is Being Closed. Thanks, ObamaCare

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Christopher Flavelle: Obamacare Is Closing Insurance’s Race Gap

a new paper shows one place where the law has been a clear success: narrowing the race gap in health insurance. So why aren’t more Democrats shouting that from the rooftops. In 2013, the year before most of the law’s provisions for subsidized insurance took effect, non-elderly blacks were 47 percent more likely than whites to be uninsured.

For American Indians, that figure was 93 percent; for Hispanics, 120 percent. In 2014, not only did the share of whites without insurance fall; the share of blacks and Asian Americans fell by more. The difference between whites and Hispanics shrank, from 14 percentage points to 11.8 percentage points. What’s odd about the race gap isn’t its persistence, but that its narrowing isn’t more celebrated as one of the law’s accomplishments. Narrowing the race gap in health insurance counts unequivocally as progress.

More here

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21
Dec
15

They all rolled over and one fell out

News broke this morning that Linsdey Graham, the bachelor senator from South Carolina, has exited the clown car which passes for the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

The frightening thing is that Lindsey “I Want To Be At War With Everyone” Graham is the “moderate” in the race. Normally, a man who wants to bomb anyone who so much as says “boo” to the US would be considered a war-mongering radical. But because he has come out forcefully against the Trump and Cruz lean of the modern GOP, he’s been lauded as a truth-teller in the Republican Party by the media with whom he’s so cozy.

So let that sink in. A guy who literally wants to bomb everyone is the moderate. This is an indication of how far the Republican Party has shifted to proto-fascism, if not outright fascism. And, let’s be frank: This has happened in the eight years since we elected Barack Obama. It’s gone into overdrive since we re-elected him in 2012. The GOP said it learned lessons from 2012, promising to be more inclusive and open. But, if it learned those lessons on an elite level, the lesson which the proletariat learned was that nothing but the hardest of right wing ideology would do to defeat the pernicious Obama regime and its liberal enablers. Thus, Il Douche and Punch-Me-Face Cruz are the leaders in the primary polling.

Continue reading ‘They all rolled over and one fell out’

17
Dec
15

Chalk one up for the good guys

Bloomberg reports that the Feds have indicted Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli on fraud charges.

Surely you remember Martin, no? He founded Turing, bought the rights to a drug used to treat AIDS patients, and proceeded to raise the price from $13 a pill to $750 a pill, thus earning him the title to “the most hated man in America”. Even Donald Trump said he was a “spoiled brat”.

Shkreli promised to reduce the drug price cost after receiving a torrent of abuse, but then reneged on that promise. And just this week, in what can only be described as a “fuck you” to the world, he bought the only copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album for $2 million. Because when you’re a sociopath, you do things like that.

As the Bloomberg article points out, when he was again prodded to reduce the drug’s price, his response was a tweet which merely said “lol”. He also said if he had to do it over again, the would have raised the price even more, as his investors expected him to “maximize profits.”

Continue reading ‘Chalk one up for the good guys’

15
Dec
15

The Department of Fear is winning

Let’s not fool ourselves. Fear is winning.

The Los Angeles Unified School District received a threat against its schools. Today it proceeded to shut them all down out of an “abundance of caution”, that term with which we’ve become so familiar. Seven hundred thousand students have been locked out of their schools based on a threat which New York City public schools also received, but which the NYPD determined to be a hoax. Hundreds of thousands of students disrupted from their routine has a ripple effect, forcing parents to stay home, affecting the economy.

I’m old enough to remember when Osama bin Laden said that his strategy was to bankrupt America by making it do stupid things. Although he sleeps with the fishes, his successors seem to be sticking to that strategy.

It doesn’t help that fear isn’t being stoked solely by jihadists. Our politicians on the Right are quite content to go along with stoking that fear, seeing it as a sure road to victory in 2016. So what if the country becomes a shell of what it was? So what if hate crimes spike as a terrified populace searches for scapegoats? None of that matters. All that matters is that they terrify the electorate into voting for a party which thrives on nothing but fear, as it has no other program on which to run.

Continue reading ‘The Department of Fear is winning’

10
Dec
15

Stop making us be racists!

I found this picture on the Twitter box yesterday. I shook my head and pursed my lips and moved on. Saved it for future use, however.

I had no idea that the future is today.

Over on the National Review (no link, as I don’t wish to give them clicks directly), there’s an article blaming Il Douche’s rise to—wait for it—that damned Obama! Yes, see, it’s all Barack Obama’s fault that a large swathe of white America has lost its puny little minds. If only someone not as black were inhabiting the White House the country would be a paradise of racial comity.

That’s the lie right there. This country has never been a paradise of racial comity. As the President acknowledges, things have improved. But a lot of that improvement was, I believe, cosmetic. The racial animus simmered underground, waiting for a chance to boil up, as in Yugoslavia once it was freed from Marshal Tito’s iron grip. Only in this regard is Pres. Obama “responsible” for white people losing their shit; his election and conduct as president have held up a glaring light to their prejudices, and as often happens with human beings, once a fault is revealed we tend to scream louder that it’s not us, it’s them.

Continue reading ‘Stop making us be racists!’

08
Dec
15

Cancer Diagnosis? ObamaCare Has Your Back

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Tara Culp-Ressler: The Impact Of Obamacare On Cancer Outcomes Is Becoming Clearer

More young women are getting screened and diagnosed with early-stage cervical cancer, potentially because Obamacare allows them to access insurance benefits through their parents’ plans, according to a new study from American Cancer Society researchers. The researchers examined a large database that tracks cancer cases in the United States. They compared the cancer diagnoses among women between the ages of 21 to 25 to the diagnoses among women between the ages of 26 to 34 — both before and after the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect. An Obamacare provision that allows young adults to remain insured through their parents’ plans until the age of 26 appears to have affected the rates of cervical cancer diagnosis among that demographic.

After the ACA, the diagnosis rates significantly rose for the women in their early twenties and remained fairly constant for older women. “It’s a very remarkable finding, actually,” researcher Dr. Ahmedin Jemal told the New York Times. “You see the effect of the ACA on the cancer outcomes.” It’s better to receive an early cancer diagnosis because the disease is easier to treat in its early stages and patients are more likely to survive. Even though it might not sound like a good thing that cervical cancer cases are on the rise, it’s actually reflective of the fact that more people are using their health insurance to get screened. Previous research has found that people with insurance are more likely to take advantage of preventative health services like screenings that can detect cancer as soon as possible.

More here

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08
Dec
15

The First Time as Tragedy, the Second Time as Farce

Well, Il Douche went full Nazi yesterday. At a rally, he proposed banning all Muslims from entering the US. The crowd, of course, went wild.

Various GOP grandees clutched their pearls and averred that this was unconstitutional, un-American, and bad politics. Even Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney snapped back at Il Douche. (Of course, he was probably mostly concerned with his rich Saudi friends not being able to visit him at his secure, undisclosed location.)

Forgive me if I take their protestations with an ounce of salt.

The GOP, for 50 years, has covertly stoked racism among the white working class, the people who feel disenfranchised since the social justice movements of the 1960s and who form the bedrock of the Republican voting base. As a wise Republican once said, you can no longer say “nigger”, but you can say “welfare queen”, or “forced busing”. The code is understood.

Continue reading ‘The First Time as Tragedy, the Second Time as Farce’




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