To all who served, are serving, will serve, and continue to serve, we here at TOD say a big THANK YOU for the sacrifices you and yours have made and the willingness and bravery to volunteer to defend and protect our country and our world every single day. We wish you a happy and memorable Veteran’s Day.
ThinkProgress: Obamacare Has Gotten More Popular Since The GOP Shut Down The Government To Defund It
A faction of Tea Party Republicans led by Sen Ted Cruz essentially forced a government shutdown to pressure Democrats to delay or defund the health reform law. But that dramatic move hasn’t done anything to convince Americans that Obamacare is a policy they should oppose. According to a new poll, Obamacare is actually gaining in popularity at the same time as the Republican Party has taken extreme measures to take a stand against it.
A new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll finds that 38 percent of Americans say Obamacare is a good idea, which represents a 7-point jump from last month. It’s the third-highest popularity rating for Obamacare — which typically doesn’t poll well as a whole, even though Americans tend to support its individual provisions — since the health law was first enacted.
The poll also finds that 50 percent of voters don’t want to eliminate funding for the health reform law, and the vast majority are opposed to tying Obamacare to the ongoing negotiations over the government shutdown. Just 23 percent of Americans say they want to continue the current shutdown to sabotage the health law.
Sally Wiggin: Heinz Field Plays Host To Educational Enrollment Event For Affordable Care Act
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Ambassador Dan Rooney arrived together at the event at Heinz Field’s West Club Lounge. The president of Community College of Allegheny College and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald were also there, as people who were uninsured asked questions about the Affordable Care Act of trained assistants.
Rooney also explained why he felt it was necessary to host this event at the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. ”I had nine children, some of them had diabetes and lupus. I was able to help them. But there are many folks out there who don’t have the same wherewithal,” Rooney said.
Sebelius said now that the websites are up and running, she believes more and more people are coming to better understand the law that requires Americans to have health insurance. ”Up until now, there has been a lot of misinformation about what the law is, and what it does. We are finally at the point where we can say to people, ‘Don’t listen to me and certainly don’t listen to the other side. Check it out for yourself,’” she said.
Billings Gazette: St. Vincent Healthcare Offers Affordable Care Act Enrollment And Education Fairs
St. Vincent Healthcare is aggressively reaching out to help uninsured Montanans gain access to health insurance because it is in the hospital’s best interest, said Jason Barker, president and CEO of St. Vincent Healthcare. Having more people covered with health insurance will help reduce bad debt, he said. In 2012, St. Vincent provided between $15 million and $16 million worth of charity medical care to people without health insurance.
The real push behind a series of upcoming Affordable Care Act Enrollment Fairs at St. Vincent Healthcare is more altruistic. Helping people access affordable health insurance is a good fit with the hospital’s overall mission, Barker said. Its mission is to improve the health of the individuals and the communities it serves with particular attention to the poor and vulnerable. “And, the folks who are impacted most favorably by the Affordable Care Act are the poor and vulnerable,” Barker said.
President Barack Obama talks with Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, left, and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling aboard Air Force One on the flight to Pittsburgh, Pa., Oct. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
It was a head-spinning day in Washington, yesterday was, as the story seemed to change from hour to hour in terms of who was proposing or accepting or refusing what and who seemed up and who seemed down. But through it all, one constant did not change and doesn’t seem likely to change: The Republicans are wrecking themselves.
the Republican Party has finally and fully succumbed to its cultural rage The rage kept the base galvanized. It kept the enemy, or enemies—liberal and the media, often one and the same—in the gun sights. But it could also be controlled, the way Reagan controlled it.
But all of them have used it. And they have tolerated it, the casual racism, the hatred of gay people, and the rest. They tolerated it because the booboisie voted the right way, and because they, the elites, remained in charge. Well, they’re not in charge now. The snarling dog they kept in a pen for decades has just escaped and bitten their hand off.
The Republican Party has been badly damaged in the ongoing government shutdown and debt limit standoff, with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finding that a majority of Americans blame the GOP for the shutdown, and with the party’s popularity declining to its lowest level.
Yet what is perhaps even more worrisome for the GOP is the “boomerang” effect: As the party has used the shutdown and fiscal fight to campaign against the nation’s health-care law and for limited government, the poll shows those efforts have backfired. For one thing, the health-care law has become more popular since the shutdown began.
President Barack Obama opens a door in the Oval Office to greet children from the education documentary “Waiting for Superman,” Oct. 11, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Bob Cesca: The Only Thing Republicans Really Hate About ‘Obamacare’ Is ‘Obama’
On second thought, I’d like to correct that thing I wrote about how the individual mandate is the only aspect of Obamacare that Republicans (suddenly) dislike. They mainly dislike the “Obama” part of the word “Obamacare.” And that’s the point of this little exercise. The dissatisfaction with, and outright hatred of Obamacare has little to do with the law itself. It has everything to do with the president who proposed it and who shepherded it through Congress. If that president had been named “Bush” or “Reagan” or even, heaven forbid, “McCain” or “Romney,” Republicans would be demanding, “Keep your government hands off my Dubyacare!”
President Barack Obama listens to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during a meeting on infrastructure investment in the State Dining Room of the White House, Oct. 11, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
For years, lawmakers from the U.S. Senate to states across the country have cited the abusesat Kermit Gosnell’s Pennsylvania clinic to restrict access to abortion. Today, California Governor Jerry Brown didn’t mention Gosnell’s name, but by signing the Early Access to Abortion Bill into law, he did more than any of those legislators to prevent another Gosnell.
The Early Access to Abortion Bill will enable trained nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to perform first-trimester abortions by vacuum aspiration. It’s the logic of cause and effect: If you make it easier to access an abortion, earlier, and from a legitimate provider, there will be fewer desperate customers turning to unsafe providers.
President Barack Obama boards Air Force One at Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, Oct. 11, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
TPM: Obama Signs Bill To Pay Military Death Benefits During Shutdown
President Barack Obama signed a House bill on Thursday night that allows families of deceased service members to collect benefits during the government shutdown, the White House announced. The bill “provides continuing appropriations for standard death gratuities and related survivor benefits for survivors of deceased military service members of the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes,” according to the White House statement.
Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday that the president was ”very disturbed” when he learned the Pay Our Military Act, which was passed before the government shutdown to ensure U.S. military members would receive pay for its duration, did not explicitly address the benefits.
Guinness Book of World Records holder John Cassidy performs a balloon act for First Lady Michelle Obama in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Oct. 11, 2011. Cassidy performed for kids on the South Lawn before the First Lady launched a challenge to break the Guinness World Records title for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
President Barack Obama greets students from the education documentary “Waiting for Superman” in the Oval Office, Oct. 11, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama signs H.R. 3210, Pay Our Military Act, which provides continuing appropriations for pay and allowances for members of the Armed Forces during any period for which interim or full-year appropriations for FY 2014 are not in effect, in the Oval Office, Monday night, Sept. 30, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
BBC News: Benefits Extended To US Gay Military Spouses
US military same-sex spouses will gain all benefits open to opposite-sex spouses by 3 September, Pentagon officials have said. It includes healthcare and housing and will be open to any military member with a valid marriage certificate. The Pentagon had already extended certain privileges to same-sex couples after a ban on openly gay troops – known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – was repealed in September 2011. But most benefits had been off-limits until the Supreme Court ruling.
“It is now the department’s policy to treat all married military personnel equally,” Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a memo on Wednesday to senior Pentagon officials. The Pentagon also stated it would allow leave for military personnel, who are stationed in a state that does not permit same-sex marriage, to travel to a jurisdiction where they can marry legally. The change will mean that homosexual troops and their spouses will also have the right to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC.
TPM: Peggy Noonan: Obama Should Defend Missouri Rodeo Clown (Yes Peggy, you are a RACIST)
Peggy Noonan offered a “classy” suggestion to President Barack Obama on Tuesday: go to bat for that rodeo clown in Missouri. Let me suggest a classy Obama move that might go over well. From his Vineyard vacation spot he should have the press office issue a release saying his reaction to finding out a rodeo clown was rudely spoofing him, was, “So what?” Say he loves free speech, including inevitably derision directed at him, and he does not wish for the Missouri state fair to fire the guy, and hopes those politicians (unctuously, excessively, embarrassingly) damning the clown and the crowd would pipe down and relax. This would be graceful and nice, wouldn’t it? He would never do it. He gives every sign of being a person who really believes he shouldn’t be made fun of, and if he is it’s probably racially toned, because why else would you make fun of him?
Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday denounced the violent crackdown by the Egyptian military as a “deplorable” and unnecessary escalation that represents a “serious blow” to peace and democracy.
Kerry said Egypt faced a “pivotal moment” and warned the military-appointed interim government that the “world is closely watching” how it responds. More than 100 people were killed Wednesday when the army raided camps where supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi have been protesting for the past month.
“Today’s events are deplorable, and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy,” Kerry said during a 5-minute surprise appearance at the State Department’s daily press briefing. “It’s a serious blow to reconciliation and the Egyptian people’s hopes for a transition towards democracy and inclusion.” “Violence will not create a roadmap to Egypt’s future,” he said.
North Carolina Republicans passed a sweeping set of changes to the state’s election law. These measures were proposed just one week after the Court’s ruling, and were rushed through the state legislature. GOP Gov. Pat McCrory calls them “common sense” measures, designed to “ensure the integrity” of the ballot box and “provide greater equality in access to voting to North Carolinians.” And that’s true, if you rob those words of their actual meaning. The centerpiece of the law is a strict new mandate for voter identification, that’s more notable for what it bans than what it permits. Of the various forms of state-issued ID, only four are valid for voting: driver’s licenses, passports, veteran’s IDs, and tribal cards. Everything else is unacceptable. This includes college IDs, public or municipal employee IDs, ID from public-assistance agencies, and out-of-state driver’s licenses.
"Reverse" racism is nearly as big a societal problem as employees sexually harassing their bosses.
It’s no accident that those are the excluded categories. As with similar laws in other states, the restrictions target Democratic voters, from students and young people—who are more likely to rely on university-issued identification—to public employees and the poor. And of course, a large share of these voters are black and Latino. Overall, the state estimates that as many as 318,000 voters could lack (PDF) appropriate identification. Echoing many supporters of voter identification, Governor McCrory points to other activities that require photo ID: “Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID, and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote.” But voting is just that, a right, and restricting particular kinds of ID—used by particular kinds of people—without expanding access to other forms of identification is an obvious attempt to make voting hard for some and not others.
There is but you have to wait in line 9 hours to get it // Rand Paul: No ‘evidence’ blacks prevented from voting wapo.st/19tBrDf
Indeed, the other provisions of the law make it plain that this was the intent. Governor McCrory’s “common sense” initiative bans paid voter-registration drives, removes a week from the early voting period (which was a popular option for black voters in 2008 and 2012), eliminates straight-ticket voting, repeals out-of-precinct voting, repeals a mandate for high-school voter-registration drives (again, because Republicans don’t want young people participating), eliminates flexibility in early-voting hours, and makes it more difficult for precincts to designate additional voting sites for the elderly or voters with disabilities. We’re only 50 years removed from Jim Crow, and history has a strong grasp. Yes, we have an African-American president. But we also have deep-seated racial inequality. To think we’ve overcome this—to think it no longer matters for the present—is worse than ignorant, it’s naive.