Archive for the 'Articles' Category


Who Loves ObamaCare? ➞ New Jerseyans

Image: Supreme Court Upholds Obama's Affordable Care Act


Beth Fitzgerald: Sharp Decline In Uninsured New Jerseyans In Wake Of Obamacare, Report Finds

The number of uninsured New Jersey non-elderly adults plunged 46 percent — from 21.2 percent in September 2013 to 11.5 percent in June 2014 — according to a new report Friday from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. According to the report, co-authored by Joel Cantor, director of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, and Katherine Hempstead of RWJF, the decrease is statistically significant — and suggests that more than 520,000 New Jerseyans have obtained health coverage since September 2013. “This are the first numbers showing the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the number of uninsured in New Jersey,” Cantor said. “They show a robust response to the ACA.”

Cantor said the survey shows that “People are responding to the availability of subsidies for private plans (on and to the expansion of Medicaid eligibility. It appears that the problem of the uninsured was cut nearly in half since the third quarter of 2013. We can expect the number gaining coverage to rise a bit further this year, as people eligible for Medicaid can still sign up. The next opportunity for other individuals to buy coverage will begin in November, when the annual enrollment period opens for 2015 plans.” The state was also very smart to opt for the Medicaid expansion, which is the main reason the uninsured is dropping at a faster rate than the national average. The big increase in federal funds that will be spent in premium subsidies and Medicaid will also help stimulate New Jersey’s economy. Good news all around.”

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Self-Employed? ObamaCare Has You Covered

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Jason: Affordable Care For The Self-Employed

The day I finally got affordable health insurance, I practically ran through the streets yelling the good news. I wanted everyone in Atlanta to know that I was covered. Up until that moment, having insurance had been a constant uphill battle. My struggle to find affordable care began in 2012. I underwent an MRI and the results showed an anomaly in my brain. Following the procedure, I went through a bunch of tests to determine whether it was malignant. Thankfully, doctors assured me that it was benign, and I thought the worst was over. But the MRI results began to follow me. Health insurance companies didn’t care that it was benign—they used it as a reason to deny me coverage.

That’s why I signed up for health insurance through the new marketplace as soon as I possibly could, not only for my peace of mind, but for the good of my business. I chose a gold plan with a $2,500 deductible. It was an incredible feeling that, months later, still hasn’t gone away. I feel like being self-employed no longer means having to fend for myself. Since I got affordable care, my business has grown. I’ve been able to use the savings on my health insurance to hire part-time analysts and assistants to help. As a self-employed person, I feel like I’m finally on a level playing field with my friends who work at large companies with good health care plans.

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A Leader Who Cares About Climate Change? That’s President Obama



Coral Davenport: U.S. Moves To Reduce Global Warming Emissions

The Obama administration on Tuesday announced a series of moves aimed at cutting emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. The White House has secured voluntary agreements from some of the nation’s largest companies to scale down or phase out their use of HFCs, which are factory-made gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull, Kroger, Honeywell and DuPont, the company that invented fluorinated refrigerants, have agreed to cut their use and replace them with climate-friendly alternatives.

Over all, the administration estimated that the agreements announced on Tuesday would reduce cumulative global consumption of HFCs by the equivalent of 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2025. That is about 1.5 percent of the world’s 2010 greenhouse gas emissions, or the same as taking 15 million cars off the road for 10 years. “Every drumbeat in this symphony helps. It drives it along. This is part of that drumbeat,” said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, a research organization. “The benefits from cutting non-CO2 come much faster,” he added. “CO2 is like a supertanker – you can stop it, but it keeps drifting for a long time. Cutting HFCs are like stopping a steamboat. You stop it and that’s that.”

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Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Barack Obama uses a light saber as he watches a demonstration of fencing at an event supporting Chicago’s 2016 host city Olympic bid, Sept. 16, 2009, on the South Lawn of the White House


Today (all times Eastern)

9:15: President Obama meets with General John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL

12:20: Departs Joint Base Andrews

1:55: Arrives Atlanta, Georgia

2:35: Participates in a briefing on Ebola at the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, Atlanta

3:25: Meets with Emory University doctors and healthcare professionals

4:05: Delivers remarks

5:35: Departs Atlanta

6:50: Arrives Tampa, Florida


President Obama greets retired Army Command Sgt. Major Bennie Adkins and family in the Oval Office before awarding him the Medal of Honor at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Sept. 15, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)


The Week Ahead

Wednesday: The President will visit U.S. Central Command at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL.

In the afternoon, he will return to Washington, DC.

In the evening, the President will host a picnic for members of Congress.

Thursday: On Thursday morning the President will participate in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony in the Oval Office.

In the afternoon, he will host President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine at the White House.

That evening, the President will attend a DNC event in Washington, DC.

Friday: The President will participate in an event with the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, DC.



BBC: US air strike supports Iraqi troops under attack

The US has carried out its first air strike against Islamic State (IS) militants under a new strategy to defeat the group.

The US military said Monday’s strike had destroyed an IS fighting position south-west of Baghdad that had been firing on Iraqi forces.

It came five days after US President Barack Obama outlined his plan to “degrade and ultimately destroy” IS.

The US has also been building a broad coalition to fight the jihadist group.

“The air strike south-west of Baghdad was the first taken as part of our expanded efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions to hit Isil targets as Iraqi forces go on offence, as outlined in the president’s speech last Wednesday,” US Central Command said.

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BBC: Ebola outbreak: Barack Obama ‘to pledge US troops to fight virus’

President Barack Obama is to announce plans on Tuesday to send 3,000 troops to Liberia to help fight the Ebola virus, US officials say. It is understood the US military will oversee building new treatment centres and help train medical staff.

There has been criticism of the slow international response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are the worst-hit countries. The outbreak has killed more than 2,400 people.

…. US officials said the aim of the country’s anti-Ebola initiative is to:

Train up to 500 healthcare workers a week

Construct 17 heathcare facilities, each with about 100 beds

Establish a joint command based in Monrovia, Liberia, to co-ordinate between US and international relief efforts

Distribute home healthcare kits to thousands of households

Conduct a home and community-based campaign to train local people in how to handle patients

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by Africa

Hey guys, I wanted to share a little bit of my attendance last night at the Grand Opening of the Charlie Crist office in Pensacola.

The event was scheduled to start at 5:30. By about 5:45, the parking lot was full of cars. What was impressive is that we had just had a big storm. It was raining from the heavens, I was still at work. Although I had planned to go, I was concerned that the rain was going to dampen the turnout. Boy, was I wrong. The small office, from the entrance to the area where everyone congregated, was jammed pack.

The guest speaker was Annette Taddeo, the governor’s running mate. She was running a little late, but that did not phase anyone. People were mingling and talking. You could hear people talking about the issues, from education to minimum wage to health care or the high speed rail. I walked around just to listen to the conversation.

…. By the time Annette arrived, the room was jammed packed. You had several speakers before her. They kept it short and sweet, but hit on all the major issues. One of them spoke about how everyone is saying this is an off year and we were not going to vote. That is not true he said, because we are tired of people telling us we were not going to vote. The 86, feisty, young and spry Baptist minister, got the crowd going chanting, What do we want to do? And the crowd roared back, Win.

The coordinator spoke a little and got all choked up as she talked about how Florida has seen two rounds of tuition hikes. She has two kids that she wants to go to college….

Taddeo, who spoke without notes, talked about her life a little. She said she learned how to speak English in Alabama. Some teacher told her she would never make it, but she said they were wrong. She was active in PBO election in 2008. In 2012, she said it was even personal because of the vitriol directed at PBO. She put everything on hold and decided to campaign for him full time. She was the chair for the Democratic Party in Miami Dade County.

She talked about how the current governor has derailed progress. She spoke about minimum wage. Equal pay for women. Medicaid Expansion. She was really good.

I was heartened to see so many people in the room. It reminded me of when I voter registered in 2012 and would hear the people on the street talk about how nothing would stop them from voting for PBO because of the disrespect, etc., he faced, while MSM kept saying we were not going to vote.

These people in that room were fired up. It made me want to work hard for the Crist campaign. That is what I am going to do. I told the coordinator that I would do what ever I could: Tweet, make phone calls, help in the office — anything they ask, as long as it does not conflict with my work schedule. I will be there.

I also want to appeal to anyone here who may have some time to do some phone banking. Yesterday, before the meeting, I got e-mails, phone calls from volunteers.

I hope I have not bored you with my long diatribe. In any case, I just wanted to share how excited it was last night. I believe that if we are committed, if we GOTV, if we vote, we win.

Thank you for reading. These are some of the pictures I took.



Sun Times: Obama library finalists: U of Chicago, UIC, Hawaii, Columbia

The Barack Obama Foundation on Monday announced the finalists for President Barack Obama’s presidential library and museum: the University of Chicago; the University of Illinois at Chicago; Columbia University and the University of Hawaii.

The University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago offered the foundation a choice of several sites in their proposals….

The Chicago-based foundation also released a “request for proposal,” providing for the first time much more detail about what President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle have in mind for the institution to hold the documents from the Obamas’ White House tenure; present exhibits and programs about the Obama administration and provide a home for their future activities.

One significant item in the RFP: bidders must provide a “vision” for an “academic collaboration that will enhance the pursuit of the President’s initiatives beyond 2017.

More here



ThinkProgress: Republicans Unanimously Block Equal Pay Bill

After allowing the Paycheck Fairness Act to move forward last week, Senate Republicans turned around on Monday evening and unanimously voted to block the bill, which would ban salary secrecy and tighten rules to try to narrow the gender wage gap.

The vote came weeks after the Republican National Committee claimed that “All Republicans support equal pay.” Senate Republicans have unanimously shot the bill down multiple times over the past four years.

The bill includes a number of provisions aimed at preventing the gender wage gap in the first place, which currently means a woman who works full time, year round makes 77 percent of what a similar man makes and hasn’t budged in a decade.

More here



ThinkProgress: Urban Outfitters: Come For The Bloody Kent State Gear, Stay For Master Class In Terrible Apologies

Urban Outfitters, the clothing manufacturer and hipster closet-filler, was marketing a “Vintage Kent State Sweatshirt” for $129 earlier today. The sweatshirt is splattered with what appears to be blood. According to, the sweatshirt is now sold out, probably because only one was available in the first place, as is the case with all of Urban’s “vintage” wares.

Right on cue, the retailer issued an apology. It is a master class in terrible apologies….

More here


On This Day

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch Olympian Ryan Reser, in white, and Paralympian Myles Porter during a judo demonstration, part of the U.S. Olympians youth sporting event on the South Lawn of the White House, Sept. 16, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch a balance beam demonstration hosted by gymnast Dominique Dawes, far left, on the South Lawn of the White House, Sept. 16, 2009. Also pictured are Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett (second from left) and former Olympic athlete Jackie Joyner Kersee (in white shirt) (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

President Barack Obama uses a Star Wars light saber as he parries with fencer Tim Morehouse during the U.S. Olympians youth sporting event on the South Lawn of the White House, Sept. 16, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

An aide briefs President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama before they are introduced at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 32nd Annual Awards Gala dinner in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi arrive for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 32nd Annual Awards Gala dinner in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 32nd Annual Awards Gala dinner in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16, 2009


President Barack Obama fist-bumps Vice President Joe Biden, as Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett looks on, before a meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 16, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama waits in his limousine after the motorcade arrived at Westchester County Airport, N.Y., on a rainy night, Sept. 16, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Barack Obama takes the stage to deliver remarks on the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Sept. 16, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)




Scotland the Brave?


What?! A post on the referendum for Scottish Independence? Why?!

Good question.

Well, President Obama’s ancestry can be traced to William the Lion, who ruled Scotland from 1165 to 1214, and who looked like a member of ZZ Top.

So, that’ll do.

(Also too, my mother and father honeymooned in Scotland – so that’s another excellent reason for the post)


Right then, the United Kingdom, made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ireland was divided in the 1920s, Northern Ireland remaining in the UK, southern Ireland having the good sense and swagger to go independent :cool:


So, how long has Scotland been part of the United Kingdom?

Since when most of Amk’s jokes were written: 1707.


How is the UK governed?

The central parliament (Westminster) for the United Kingdom is in England, and MPs are elected to it from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also have their own home-based parliaments (Scotland since 1998) which have powers not taken by Westminster (eg The Scottish parliament has no powers over defense and foreign affairs, Westminster decides all that).


So, why all this talk about independence now?

Because on September 18, the people of Scotland will vote in a referendum to decide whether they will break away from the United Kingdom and form an independent Scotland. And if that happened, it’d be gobsmacking!1!1!



Continue reading ‘Scotland the Brave?’






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