Posts Tagged ‘oklahoma

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!

27
May
13

Rise and Shine

Elsheba Khan at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, in Arlington National Cemetery – he died on 6 August 2007 in Baqouba, Iraq

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Today:

9:30: The President and First Lady host a breakfast in honor of Gold Star Families

11:0: The President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; The First Lady also attends

11:20: The President delivers remarks

White House Live * C-Span

12:20: VP Biden and President Santos Speak to the press, Bogota, Colombia (Audio only at WH Live)

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The Oklahoman: President Barack Obama came to Oklahoma on Sunday to comfort grieving families, laud the work of emergency responders and offer assurances that the nation stands ready to assist with recovery from last week’s deadly tornadoes.

…. He also talked with Moore School Superintendent Suzy Pierce, Shelley Jaques-McMillin, principal of Briarwood Elementary, which also was badly damaged, and several others, including Scott Lewis, who was able to get his son, Zack, out of school and into a storm shelter in the nick of time.

“He just wanted to speak to the boy and tell him how brave he was,” Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis said. “Told us everything will be OK. And he reassured us. We told him how great FEMA was and the first responders.”

…. Afterward, the president met in private at the station for about 30 minutes with several family members of the children killed at Plaza Towers.

More here

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President Obama’s motorcade exits the tornado ravaged Plaza Towers Elementary School after visiting with residents and families in Moore

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National Memo – Five Great Signs for Obamacare

Republicans have tested the limits of hyperbole in attacking Obamacare. You can’t really top then-Minority Leader John Boehner warning that passage of the Affordable Care Act would be “Armageddon.” Well, we’re still here.

…. There’s no doubt that this new system that requires a health care marketplace to be set up in all 50 states will be complex and onerous to put in place — especially with Republicans purposely trying to engineer a disaster. But they’ve set expectations so low that there’s a good chance Obamacare will actually impress, especially in the blue states that are taking advantage of the landmark law.

….. Here are five auspicious signs for Obamacare

More here

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NYT: The state of the economy is far from ideal, but some very definite positives are brewing. It’s not just that we are continuing to recover from a deep recession; we are also seeing signs that America’s long-term future may be looking up, too.

The case for optimism is hardly open-and-shut. The economy’s problems include high unemployment, mediocre productivity gains and stagnant or slow-growing earnings for most income classes. Still, let’s consider five indicators that the future is starting to brighten:

More here

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Click to see the rest of the post

26
May
13

You’ve got a friend

President Barack Obama hugs Amy Simpson, principal of Plaza Towers Elementary School, outside what remains of the school following last week’s tornado in Moore, Okla., May 26 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama wipes away tears after speaking with Amy Simpson

26
May
13

President Obama in Moore, OK

President Obama embraces a school official as he views the devastation of the Plaza Towers Elementary School

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Transcript of remarks

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…. embracing Plaza Tower Elementary School Principal Amy Simpson

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3b

…. with Gov. Mary Fallin

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Students, teachers and parents from Plaza Towers Elementary reunited for the first time since the tornado

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Click here to see the rest of the post

26
May
13

President Obama in Oklahoma

President Obama is greeted by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin upon arrival at Tinker Air Force Base

All times EST:

1:45: President Obama views areas and visits families impacted by the tornadoes and thanks first responders (White House live)

2:15: Makes a statement

4:50: Departs Oklahoma

Live streaming from KFOR & News9KOCO Oklahoma will also show the 2:15 statement

Also try CBS and CNN




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