Posts Tagged ‘government

21
Jul
14

The President’s Day

@petesouza: Pres Obama and Medal of Honor recipient SSG Pitts during benediction as his wife and son watch

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Text of the President’s remarks here

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Rabbi David Saperstein claps as President Obama approaches to sign an executive order to protect LGBT employees from federal workplace discrimination

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Surrounded by LGBT supporters, including Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, President Barack Obama signs executive orders to protect LGBT employees from federal workplace discrimination in the East Room of the White House. President Obama’s executive orders prohibit discrimination against gay and transgender workers in the federal government and its contracting agencies, without a new exemption that was requested by some religious organizations

President Obama arrives to make a statement on the situation in Ukraine and Gaza

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Text of the President’s remarks here

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President Obama attends a town hall meeting to discuss his My Brother’s Keeper initiative while at the Walker Jones Education Campus in Washington. President Obama announced that leaders of 60 of the largest school systems have pledged to expand minority boys’ access to better preschools and advanced classes and to try to prevent grade retention, suspensions and expulsions

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Text of the President’s remarks here

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President Obama listens as he is introduced by the president of the NBA Players Association and Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul

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Text of the President’s remarks here

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President Obama bestows former Army Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts with the Medal of Honor in the East Room of the White House. Pitts is the ninth living recipient of the nation’s highest decoration for battlefield valor for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan

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Chips butting in on Nerdy’s post:

A year ago today, the weirdest thing happened: Manchester United and Chelsea teamed up.

Well, me and Nerdy.

Yup, it’s exactly 12 months since Chelsea Girl took over the running of TOD with me, and I don’t have to tell you how much she has contributed since then, or how much work she has put in to the site with wonderful posts like this, every single day. And without her, TOD honestly wouldn’t even exist any more.

Nerdy?

Thank you for everything – your intelligence, your energy, your passion, your determination, your dedication, your friendship, and your support.

It was a very, very happy day when you came in to TOD’s life, and mine.

Thank you Chelsea Girl.

24
Jun
14

President Obama’s Policies = Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

POTUS Thumbs Up

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Paul Davidson: Local Government Hiring Picks Up

After laying off workers through most of the recovery, city and county governments are adding jobs at the fastest pace in five years, providing support for the economy’s overall payroll gains. Stronger economic growth is driving higher municipal revenue, allowing local governments to add police officers and firefighters, reopen shuttered parks and make long-deferred street repairs. “We’re beginning to see cities and towns coming out of the Great Recession,” says Neil Bomberg, a program director for the National League of Cities. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, notes that total U.S. payroll gains have topped 200,000 each of the past four months.

Local governments are on more solid financial footing in part because of a gradual rise in home values that have boosted property tax collections, says Michael Pagano, dean of the college of urban planning and public affairs at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Earlier this year, Columbus, Ohio, passed an $807 million operating budget, its largest ever, that restores six recreation centers that had been open part-time to full-time status. The city’s finances have been stable since it raised its income tax to 2.5% from 2% in 2009, says Dan Williamson, spokesman for Mayor Michael Coleman.

More here

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18
Oct
13

Chat Away

12
Oct
13

“It’s Not Too Late To Do The Right Thing”

12
Oct
13

Chat Away

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Day One in the Oval Office, Jan. 21, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

He can’t have imagined the GOP hate and madness ahead. Can he?

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Senate Democrats are holding a press conference at 1:30 EDT – coverage continuing at C-Span

12
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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Live coverage from Congress on C-Span

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Steve Benen: Republican support in ‘jaw-dropping’ free fall

Professional pollsters for major news organizations are notoriously cautious people who avoid hyperbole. So when Democratic pollster Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff conducted the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll and described the results as “jaw-dropping,” it’s worth appreciating why.

Let’s put it this way: if this poll were a campfire story, it’d leave Republicans shaking uncontrollably in their sleeping bags. The GOP wasn’t in especially good shape before, but the shutdown crisis and the threats to crash the economy on purpose have been an unmitigated disaster for the party, causing the sort of collapse in public support pollsters simply don’t see very often.

What’s the good news for Republicans in the poll? There is no good news.

More here

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Dana Milbank: Cruzification of the GOP

…. Skeptics warned from the start that it was a suicide mission for Republicans to shut down the federal government in a long-shot attempt to defund Obamacare. Now that such dire predictions have come to pass, the lawmakers who engineered the shutdown are getting the conflagration — and the martyrdom — they sought.

….. Cruz has seen his reputation take a 16-point negative turn in the national Gallup poll since June. Cruz’s partner in the rebellion, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, has seen a 20-point negative swing in his home state over the same time period.

…. Even the infamous Koch brothers, financiers of the tea party, are distancing themselves from the shutdown contretemps….

The Boston Globe recently reported that David Koch gave MIT $20 million for a child-care facility, because “I got a tear in my eye” hearing about researchers’ need for child care. Maybe the lachrymose Koch will weep for his country when he realizes the economic destruction caused by the groups he bankrolled.

Full post here

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Ed Henry walking out of yesterday’s briefing because Jay Carney didn’t call the shill for a question – and because, you know, it’s all about him:

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The People’s View: As GOP cries uncle, Obama refuses to bail them out

As the Republican plan to deprive Americans of health care by holding the government’s operations hostage and threatening default has fallen apart in the face of withering public backlash and the strength of a president who has refused to pay ransom for Congress doing its job, some Republicans are still holding out hope that the same president who they hoped to destroy will bail them out from their own quagmire and save their face. Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

… In the mean time, Jay Carney has re-iterated that the president will not pay a ransom simply to reopen government and pay America’s bills.

What does all this mean? The best I can tell, the president is exactly in the same position he has always been in: Republicans need to end the shutdown, stop threatening default, and then the normal process of budget negotiations can resume. Once it does resume after the GOP ends the crisis they inflicted on America, the framework, as far as the president is concerned, needs to include both long term budget savings and increased taxes from those who can afford it.

More here

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Our very own Alycee:

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Oh, these people:

ThinkProgress: Congressman: Workers Furloughed In Shutdown Should Not Get Backpay

While the House unanimously passed a bill last week to pay the 800,000 workers who have been deemed non-essential in the shutdown their lost wages once the government opens again, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) thinks they shouldn’t get paid.

At a teletown hall on Thursday, a constituent called in to say, “The people that had to work should be paid. But the people that are home watching Netflix and whatever, I’m not sure that we should be sending them checks.”

More here

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UPI: US postal worker fired for throwing away Obamacare mail

The United States Postal Service has fired a Fresno, Calif., mailman who admitted he threw away letters about “Obamacare.”

Residents of a Central Fresno apartment complex took photos of a nearby dumpster filled with mail about “Obamacare.” Witnesses saw the postal carrier discarding the mail.

“He just kept glancing over his shoulder over and over again. It was like he knew what he was doing was wrong,” said witness Jerry Dills. “It was just amazing, I looked down in there and there was a bunch of people’s addresses and right away… I knew this was absolutely wrong.”

More here

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UPI: First lady Michelle Obama welcomes Pakistani teen shot by Taliban

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan last year, was greeted at the White House Friday by first lady Michelle Obama.

“President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama today welcomed Malala Yousafzai to the Oval Office to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls education in Pakistan,” the White House said in a statement. “The United States joins with the Pakistani people and so many around the world to celebrate Malala’s courage and her determination to promote the right of all girls to attend school and realize their dreams. As the first lady has said, ‘Investing in girls’ education is the very best thing we can do, not just for our daughters and granddaughters, but for their families, their communities, and their countries.'”

“Across the globe there are girls who will one day lead nations, if only we afford them the chance to choose their own destinies,” President Obama said in his proclamation to mark the International Day of the Girl. “And on every continent, there are girls who will go on to change the world in ways we can only imagine, if only we allow them the freedom to dream.”

More here

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Media Matters: Once Again, Sunday Morning Talk Shows Are White, Male, And Conservative

In the first nine months of 2013, white men dominated the guest lists on the broadcast network Sunday shows and CNN’s State of the Union. MSNBC was the only network achieving notable diversity in its guests, particularly on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show. Republicans and conservatives are hosted significantly more on the broadcast Sunday shows than Democrats and progressives.

More here

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@NoShock: The Washington Post engages a troll for the win!!

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Another Great Twitter Exchange of our Time:

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On This Day:

President Obama greets the student finalists of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge as they enter the Oval Office, Oct. 12, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’

08
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

The President has no public events scheduled

1:30 EDT: Jay Carney briefs the press

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ThinkProgress: Oklahoma Woman Tells GOP Lawmakers: Without Obamacare, ‘I Will Be Dead Before My 27th Birthday’

As the deadline approached for Congress to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded, Republicans refused to strike a deal unless it defunded or delayed Obamacare. Now, a week later, GOP lawmakers still seem unwilling to compromise unless they are able to dismantle some of the health reform law. One Oklahoma resident wants them to understand the human impact of that political position.

On the eve of the looming government shutdown, 26-year-old Kendall Brown published an open letter to the lawmakers who wanted to delay Obamacare for one year before agreeing to pass a funding bill. Brown didn’t mince words. “I am dying, because of the political games you are playing right now,” her op-ed began.

More here

An excerpt from the letter:

Open Letter to Lawmakers: The Human Cost

Dear lawmakers currently attempting to shut down Obamacare,

My name is Kendall Brown. I am a 26-year-old, college graduate with a full-time job…

And I am dying, because of the political games you are playing right now.

You see, I was born with Crohn’s Disease. This didn’t happen because I ate unhealthy food, or because I smoked, or because of any of the other reasons we use to victim blame sick people and justify not giving our countrymen adequate health care. I became severely ill beginning in the third grade because I won a genetic lottery that left me with a disease that would quickly drop me to 87 pounds, render me unable to walk at times, and nearly kill me twice…..

…. I don’t tell you this to make you feel sorry for me, Mr or Mrs lawmaker. I tell you this because I am tired of being reduced to a number, a statistic or, even worse, being described as a freeloader that wants to live off of the government health care teat. I tell you this because if you defund Obamacare, or delay it even for one year, as you are debating today, then this will be my last letter to you. I will be dead before my 27th birthday.

If you think that my life, and the lives of thousands of other people like me have no value, then by all means, delay the ACA. But before you do so, I’d like to invite you to hear stories from others like me, or, if you find yourself in the great state of Oklahoma, come meet me. I’d love to show you around and buy you a cup of coffee — and to introduce you to the woman you are killing.

Sincerely,

Kendall Brown

See the full letter at OKC.net

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Eugene Robinson: Obamacare is here. Get used to it.

While Republicans were throwing their silly tantrum, Obamacare became a fact. There is no turning back.

The point of no return was reached when millions of people crashed the Web sites of the new Affordable Care Act exchanges while trying to buy health insurance. Republicans can fight rear-guard battles if they want, but last Tuesday they lost the war. All they can do at this point is harm the nation — and their political prospects.

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Medicare guaranteed health care for the elderly, Medicaid for the poor. Obamacare begins to fill the remaining gaps. It will get better over time, but already — crashing Web sites and all — it’s a beautiful thing.

Full post here

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TPM: Carl Bernstein Slams Media’s ’50/50′ Shutdown Coverage: ‘This Is About The Republican Party’

Longtime journalist Carl Bernstein on Tuesday called on the press to abandon the false equivalence that’s colored much of the coverage of the government shutdown.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the man who helped break the Watergate scandal said that the current budget impasse is not a two-sided matter.

“This is about the Republican Party and what it’s going to be,” Bernstein said. “Is it going to conduct a fact-based, philosophical argument in our political system or is it going to be a nihilistic, hateful, asymmetrical in terms of facts and the truth part of the party, as in Joe McCarthy?”

More here

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TPM: Harry Reid: GOP Obsession With Defunding Obamacare Is ‘Insanity’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Saturday that Republicans’ preoccupation with defunding Obamacare amounts to “insanity.”

The Nevada Democrat explained in an interview with Esquire magazine why he recently said the Tea Party caucus is losing their minds.

“The reason I said that is that Einstein said the sign of insanity is when you do something over and over again and expect a different result,” he said. “They’ve voted forty-four times to defund Obamacare. Is that insanity? I think so.”

More here

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Missed this video the other day:

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ThinkProgress: Seven Big Companies Working To Help Americans Sign Up For Obamacare

Now that Obamacare’s new insurance marketplaces are open to the public, some uninsured Americans are eager to sign up. However, many others likely remain confused about their options under health reform, particularly as Obamacare continues to get caught in the political crossfire. In order to bridge the education gap about the health law, advocates are ramping up their enrollment efforts in creative ways. For instance, you can now text ENROLL to Planned Parenthood to receive information about health reform.

But nonprofit and government groups can’t do it all on their own. Here are seven large companies that are currently joining in on the effort and helping to spread the word about the new insurance options available under Obamacare:

See here

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Washington Post Editorial: The House GOP has nothing to show for its government shutdown

What have House Republicans managed to accomplish in a week of government shutdown?

Damage the livelihood of millions of Americans? Check. Government secretaries, food-truck operators, cleaners who work in motels near national parks: They’re all hurting.

Waste billions of taxpayer dollars? Check….

Interfere with key government operations? Check….

Rattle the markets, slow an economy in recovery, interrupt potentially lifesaving research at the National Institutes of Health? Check, check and check.

Derail the hated Obamacare? Ch . . . — oh, no, wait a minute…..

Full editorial here

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Link to Lawrence O’Donnell last night on the GOP’s attempts to ‘shut down the Presidency': See here

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Liberal Librarian: The party of fear and the politics of Armageddon

I was looking through my personal library this past weekend, lost in my thoughts as to how we’ve come to this present pass in American politics, and came across a book I haven’t read in 20 years, but have clung to. The Party of Fear: The American Far Right from Nativism to the Militia Movement by David H. Bennett, was published in 1988 and revised in 1995. It makes for grim reading.

It’s a sad truism of the United States that we as a people are ahistorical. We have no memory of what happened last week, much less in the last century. If we were to remember our history, we might be better prepared for when it invariably rears its head again, the passions and bigotries of the past roaring out of the dark id of the American psyche. We fight the same battles over, because the causes of those battles are never fully addressed.

More here

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ThinkProgress: The Complete Guide To The Rise Of The Debt Ceiling Truthers

With just days to go until the nation hits the debt ceiling on October 17th, a growing chorus of Republican lawmakers have begun dismissing the dangers of national default, insisting that the government can continue paying interest on its debt and fund the most critical programs.

Economists have dismissed this prioritization scheme as chaotic and unworkable, warning that the United States would be “unable to pay between 40 to 45 percent of the 80 million payments it makes every month.” If the debt ceiling is not increased, the credit markets would freeze, the value of the dollar would plummet, interest rates would skyrocket, and a global recession would ensue.

But the so-called debt ceiling truthers, who swept into power after the 2010 midterm elections and, to the surprise of GOP leaders, took over the debt ceiling debate, continue to deny this reality. Below is a brief timeline showing how they rose to power and prominence within the Republican party…..

More here

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Charles Pierce: Where Are The Gutsy Republicans?

You’ll forgive me if, at the moment, I decline to believe that we will be saved from the Reign Of The Morons by unicorns, the Easter Bunny, or reasonable Republicans in either house of Congress who would gladly vote with the Democrats, if only evil castrato Speaker John Boehner would allow them to do it. You will also forgive me if, at the moment, I decline to believe in mermaids, the Pooka McPhillimey, or fed-up plutocrats who can find a sucker to primary Tea Party congresscritters from what passes for The Left in the Republican party these days.

… The Reign Of The Morons is many things, but one of its most obvious causes is a complete failure of political courage within the Republican party. It isn’t simply a matter of the party’s having created a monster that it can no longer control – although that’s undeniable part of it – it also is the fact that the party lacks a substantial center of power that even is willing to risk trying. Say what you will about Victor Frankenstein. He chased his creation to the ends of the earth. Where are the Republicans who are willing to ride the ice floe?

Full post here

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Steve Benen: Shutdown takes its toll on congressional GOP

As the deadline neared for the nation’s first-ever war-time government shutdown, the consensus was that congressional Republicans, already unpopular, would feel the brunt of the public backlash. So far, those expectations were correct.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released yesterday found widespread dissatisfaction across the board, but Americans’ attitudes towards Republicans are especially brutal.

While approval for President Obama and congressional Democrats ticked higher in the wake of the government shutdown, approval for congressional Republicans dropped to a woeful 24%. Just as important, GOP lawmakers, who shut down the government exactly one week ago, have seen their disapproval ratings soar to 70%. A majority of Americans, 51%, now say they “strongly” disapprove of the nation’s far-right party.

More here

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Bob Cesca: The GOP Debt Ceiling Strategy: Lies, Grabassery and Default Denialism

The Republican Party’s geyser-like misinformation campaign regarding the government shutdown, accompanied by continued misinformation about the Affordable Care Act and the debt ceiling, has been almost too powerful to follow as it whizzes by.

The latest line, which appears to have convinced a majority of Republican voters, is that nothing will happen if the debt limit isn’t raised, least of all a default. As I pointed out yesterday, this is complete nonsense. We’ve heard this before in the form of denying the climate crisis in the face of almost unanimous scientific consensus. In this case, dozens of experts are forecasting the worst possible consequences if the House GOP doesn’t perform what was formerly a very customary task, devoid of melodrama or hostage-taking.

More here

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On This Day:

Oct 8, 2009: VP Biden and Jacqueline’s new best friend, Valerie Jarrett, leave the Economic Daily Briefing in the Oval Office (Pete Souza)

Oct 8, 2009: President Obama, along with members of Congress and Cabinet secretaries, jockeys for a rebound during a basketball game on the White House court (Pete Souza)

Oct 8, 2012: President Obama views a portrait of César Chávez before the César E. Chávez National Monument dedication ceremony in Keene, Calif. (Pete Souza)

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MooooOOOOoooorning!

05
Oct
13

Rise and Shine

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The Week Ahead

Who knows?

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AP: Text of Obama’s exclusive interview

Q: There is a lot that I want to ask you about the government shutdown and foreign policy, but I wanted to start with health care. The signature element of your health care law went online this week, and the interest seems to have really exceeded expectations, but there were some serious glitches with the online systems. And our reporting shows that the number of people who actually managed to sign up for insurance in the states using the federal system was in the single digits. How many people have actually signed up for insurance this week?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t have the numbers yet. What we know is that, as you indicated, the interest way exceeded expectations and that’s the good news. It shows that people really need and want affordable health care. And the product is a really good one. It turns out that choice and competition work. So what’s happened is you’ve got private insurers who have bid to get into this system to offer affordable health care at significantly lower prices than anybody could buy in the individual market, because basically they’re now part of a big group.

And it is true that what’s happened is the website got overwhelmed by the volume. And folks are working around the clock and have been systematically reducing the wait times, but we are confident that over the course of the six months – because it’s important to remember people have six months to sign up – that we are going to probably exceed what anybody expected in terms of the amount of interest that people have.

More here

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NYMag: George Clooney Explains the Shutdown

…. we asked the liberal-leaning actor for his thoughts about the ongoing government shutdown. He had many — on John Boehner’s grand strategy, on the “idiots” who think we don’t need government, and on Ted Cruz’s reading of Green Eggs and Ham.

“People keep talking about how this has to be a great negotiation, but there isn’t any negotiating a law. We negotiate on all these other topics, but this was put into law, and [Obama] was reelected on it. It was reaffirmed, it was passed through the Supreme Court — it’s a law. You don’t like it? Win an election. That’s how it works…..”

…. “Shutting down the government is not how you make government work. And anybody who thinks we don’t need it is an idiot.”

More here

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I think we linked this already, but it’s so good it can’t be linked enough:

Kurt Eichenwald: The Truth About Obamacare and How It Solves the Suffering of the Insured

Last week, I wrote a lengthy piece to refute the Republican lies about Obamacare. This week, I am going to write about some of the truths.

… Normally, I would start this discussion by providing chapter-and-verse details about the 47 million men, women, and children who now have the opportunity to obtain health insurance, to live longer and healthier lives, to avoid needless bankruptcies. But, in what to me is one of the saddest developments in our nation’s history, that reality is irrelevant to ardent Obamacare opponents.

Words like “takers” and “slackers” are thrown at the uninsured, as if they have brought their pre-existing conditions, jobs without benefits, or low-paying positions on themselves…..

…. I don’t expect to persuade the people who really believe all the malarkey about death panels and socialism. They have been lied to for so long that I think it will take years before they will be able to understand how badly they have been used. But, hopefully, there are those who want to know why Obamacare exists and what the point of it is. And when you know the truth, you will understand that — for all of its imperfections — Obamacare is an essential step toward healing the deeply sick American health-care system.

Full article here

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ThinkProgress: How A Rand Paul Republican From Alabama Learned To Love Obamacare

Joshua Pittman is a 31-year-old self-employed videographer from Montgomery, Alabama. A libertarian Republican who voted for Ron Paul in 2012 and believes that Sen. Rand Paul is the future of the GOP …. But on Tuesday morning, Pittman logged on to HealthCare.gov and after some initial glitches and delays, successfully enrolled in a Bronze-level Obamacare health insurance plan….

Though he initially supported repealing the law, Pittman became curious about Obamacare in the days and weeks before it launched …. Asked what he liked, Pittman highlighted its prohibition against denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, noting that he wouldn’t be able to find coverage without it….

… Pittman doesn’t believe that Obamacare is perfect, but says Republicans in Congress should stop trying to repeal the law and give it a chance to work. “As a Republican, I think [the GOP's repeal effort] is childish and I think this is the wrong way to lead… it’s babyish and I think as a party it just reflects negatively upon us,” he explains.

Full post here

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The Perpetual Campaign: My Obamacare Experience… And Why The Shutdown Was Never About Obamacare

…. I currently pay $348 per month for health insurance, with a $1500 deductible. For a plan with the same level of coverage, I will now pay $297 per month, with a $1000 deductible. This will save me $1100 on health care in 2014. That’s $1100 that I will spend on something other than health care, money that will stimulate the economy. That money did not come from other taxpayers. The savings came as a result of setting up an exchange that would allow everyone to access group buying power.

…. the reason insurers can no longer discriminate against me for my pre-existing condition is because of the individual mandate. If there were no mandate forcing healthy people into the risk pool, then everyone would simply wait until they were sick to get insurance, and the entire insurance system would collapse.

… the Teahadists will scream about losing our freedoms, but as best as I can tell, the only freedoms I’m losing here are the freedom to be in pain and the freedom to overpay for health insurance.

Sorry, Senator Cruz, but contrary to what you wailed no fewer than 100 times during the course of your 21-hour fake filibuster/ideological hissy fit… Obamacare is working, chief.

Full post here

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EgbertoWillies: Even In Texas The Republican Caricature Of Obamacare Is Meeting Reality

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been one of the biggest obstructionists to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in Texas along with the entire Republican Party nationally. Inasmuch as Texas is the state with the highest rate of uninsured citizens he refused Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid. For those with pre-existing condition in Texas who were either in the high priced high risk Texas insurance pool or were uninsured because of the cost of these high risk pools, Obamacare comes to the rescue even here in Texas.

Must-read: here

And more (thank yoooou GlobalCitizenLinda for the link!):

EgbertoWillies: GOP Biggest Fear Occurring – Republicans Loving Obamacare

Anyone wondering why the Right Wing Tea Party Republicans are in a frenzy, one need only see what is happening now that the reality of the Affordable Care Act is emerging. The lies they told are coming back to bite them.

They are attempting to discourage young American citizens from going to the exchanges by telling them Obamacare will either be too expensive or an intrusion from the government. Good things are happening however. Inasmuch as the Right Wing is being outright destructive with the nation’s economy in the attempt to derail Obamacare, empirical and factual data is proven to be a hindrance to their obstructionist tactics.

The State Health Bureaucracy in Texas is actually promoting Obamacare. That is a feat in its own right. On October 1st, the Obamacare health exchange servers were overwhelmed because of the inordinately large number of people accessing it.

More here

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Paul Krugman: Reform Turns Real

…. It’s long been clear that the great fear of the Republican Party was not that health reform would fail, but that it would succeed. And developments since Tuesday, when the exchanges on which individuals will buy health insurance opened for business, strongly suggest that their worst fears will indeed be realized: This thing is going to work.

…. the glitches of October won’t matter in the long run. But why are they actually encouraging? Because they appear, for the most part, to be the result of the sheer volume of traffic, which has been much heavier than expected. And this means that one big worry of Obamacare supporters — that not enough people knew about the program, so that many eligible Americans would fail to sign up — is receding fast.

….. Obamacare is off to a good start, with even the bad news being really good news for the program’s future. We’re not quite there yet, but more and more, it looks as if health reform is here to stay.

Full article here

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Timothy Egan: Wrong Side of History

Sarah Palin finally got her death panels — a direct blow from the Republican House. In shutting down the government, leaving 800,000 people without a paycheck and draining the economy of $300 million a day, the Party of Madness also took away last-chance cancer trials for children at the National Institutes of Health.

And now that the pain that was dismissed as a trifle on Monday, a “slimdown” according to the chuckleheads at Fox News, is revealed as tragic by mid-week, the very radicals who caused the havoc are trying to say it’s not their fault.

It’s too late. They flunked hostage-taking. About 30 or so Republicans in the House, bunkered in gerrymandered districts while breathing the oxygen of delusion, are now part of a cast of miscreants who have stood firmly on the wrong side of history. The headline, today and 50 years from now, will be the same: Republicans closed the government to keep millions of their fellow Americans from getting affordable health care.

More here

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Baltimore Sun: Congress: Do your job

Our view: There is no room to ‘negotiate’ when extremists take the federal government hostage — and threaten to do the same to the economy

With the shutdown dragging along and no discernible progress coming out of Wednesday’s meeting between President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders, Republicans bemoaned the Democrats’ unwillingness to negotiate. They’ll negotiate with the president of Iran, was the common GOP talking point, but they won’t talk to us.

Actually, the more appropriate comparison might have been that President Obama didn’t negotiate with foreign terrorists out to hurt the country, and he isn’t rewarding similar tactics back home. California Rep. George Miller, a Democrat, may have gone too far when he recently referred to the tea party attack on Obamacare as a “jihad” on the House floor, but not by too much.

More here

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Greg Sargent: Dems move to force Republicans to reopen the government

House Democratic leaders believe they have hit on a new way to potentially force House Republican leaders into allowing a vote on a “clean CR” funding the government without any defunding of Obamacare attached.

At last count, as many as two dozen House Republicans appear prepared to vote for a clean CR. With Democrats included, that means a majority of the House of Representatives would vote right now to reopen the government. But the House GOP leadership won’t allow such a vote.

Dems have hit on a way to use a “discharge petition,” which forces a House vote if a majority of Representatives signs it, to try to force the issue. Previously, it was thought this could not work, because a discharge petition takes 30 legislative days to ripen, so if this were tried with the clean CR that passed the Senate, this couldn’t bear fruit until some time in November.

But now House Democrats say they have found a previously filed bill to use as a discharge petition — one that would fund the government at sequester levels.

More here

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On This Day:

Oct. 5, 2012: President Obama has his picture taken with a patron at the West Side Market in Cleveland, Ohio (Pete Souza)

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Oct. 5, 2010: President Obama waits in the Green Room before being introduced at the White House Summit on Community Colleges (Pete Souza)

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Oct. 5, 2011: First Lady Michelle Obama greets USO honorees and their families in the Vermeil Room of the White House (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

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MoooOOOooorning – Happy Saturday!




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